Food experiences on Florida’s Space Coast that are ‘out of this world’

Space-inspired restaurants and astronaut food are on offer for visitors

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From space-themed restaurants to shops selling snacks astronauts eat during missions — there are plenty of stellar food experiences on Florida’s Space Coast.

Several towns bordering launch pads in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and the Kennedy Space Centre have themed restaurants and stores.

These include the city of Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island, Titusville and Cocoa Beach — all popular spots for tourists who are visiting to view rockets lift-off.

Many businesses in these areas have been naming their brands after space objects since the early days of the US space programme in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Dehydrated food is sent to space because water is heavy. Removing it helps with reducing weight on a spacecraft and gives the food longer shelf life.

It was a clever way to attract more customers into their establishments.

Tourists flocked to the Space Coast to witness America’s attempt to launch its first astronaut into space and then send humans to the Moon as part of the Apollo programme.

The space race between the US and the former Soviet Union fuelled the country’s efforts to become a space power.

Today, many businesses, especially restaurants, are still catering to tourists who are after an out-of-this-world experience.

Space, globally, is gaining momentum again as the sector enters a new era with private companies leading the way this time.

The National visited some of these space-themed establishments.

The Space Bar

Located in Titusville and only 15 minutes away from the Kennedy Space Centre, this food joint has a stellar atmosphere.

Guests are greeted by an enormous model astronaut and then board a “rocket elevator” with a narrator and sound effects that gives the illusion of lift-off.

Once on the rooftop level, a massive mural of the Moon that lights up during the night welcomes guests into the restaurant.

Star-themed cushions and a menu filled with space-inspired drinks add to the cosmic experience.

However, the best part are the unobstructed views of the some of the launch pads and Nasa’s massive Vehicle Assembly Building, where rockets are stored and prepared for a launch.

Guests can view a rocket launch while dining.

On the menu, there are sandwiches, poke bowls, snacks and desserts.

Orbit Cafe

A popular place for children, this food establishment is located in the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex.

Guests can self-order from rocket-shaped kiosks, with breakfast and lunch on offer.

Enormous rocket models that tell the history of the US space programme surround the restaurant.

One-day entry tickets for the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex are $75 per adult and $65 per child.

Moon Rock Cafe

Also located in the visitor complex, the Moon Rock Cafe is astronomically different to the Hard Rock Cafe global restaurant chain.

Instead of live bands blasting music, you can hear rocket engines roar loudly as they launch only a few miles away.

It is an indoor restaurant with outdoor seating. Guests can also take their trays to the massive seating area spread across the location for launch viewing.

On the menu, there are “Space Dots” ice cream, pizza, chicken tenders, fries, juices, chocolate milk, chips and chocolates — making it an ideal spot for kids and kids-at-heart.

Astronaut food

Gift shops on the Space Coast sell snacks astronauts can eat in space.

The National tried the freeze-dried ice cream sandwich in two different flavours — classic vanilla and strawberry.

You have to take a strong bite to crack into the hard chocolate biscuit and the “ice cream”.

Al though the flavour is there, the snack crumbles into pieces easily.

Dehydrated food is sent to space because water is heavy. Removing it helps with reducing weight on a spacecraft and gives the food longer shelf life.

Space Shirts

Many shops spread across Florida sell space-themed souvenirs.

Space Shirts is one that is located while on the way to the Kennedy Space Centre.

A huge model of a Nasa’s Space Launch System rocket welcomes visitors into the shop.

Across from the shop, a new restaurant called The Galaxy Bar and Grill is opening soon.

Updated: November 28, 2022, 5:29 AM
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