Best Restaurants in Destin FL

March 25, 2024 9 min read

As one strolls along the pristine white beaches of Destin, Florida, the salty breeze hints at more than just the azure waves of the Gulf of Mexico; it whispers of culinary treasures waiting to satisfy the appetite of any food lover. Destin boasts a vibrant food scene that caters to various palates, offering everything from freshly caught seafood to succulent steaks and innovative cuisine. The restaurants in this coastal gem are as multifaceted as the shells dotting its sandy shores, with options ranging from laid-back beachfront eateries to upscale dining establishments with breathtaking views.

Food enthusiasts will find that the best restaurants in Destin provide not just a meal, but a memorable dining experience. The chefs in these eateries pride themselves on using local ingredients to create dishes that resonate with the flavors of the Gulf Coast. Whether it’s the tang of a key lime pie or the rich taste of Gulf shrimp straight from the boat, every bite promises to be a delight. With a selection of restaurants offering al fresco dining, visitors can enjoy their food while basking in the warm Florida sun and soaking in the beautiful vistas.

Each restaurant in Destin has its own unique charm, ensuring that residents and tourists alike will find a spot that feels just right. Some establishments feature live entertainment, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the dining experience. The combination of high-quality food, scenic locations, and the welcoming spirit of Southern hospitality makes the quest for the best restaurants in Destin an adventure of its own. From beach shacks offering the day’s catch to sophisticated kitchens where each plate is a work of art, dining in Destin is a journey well worth taking for any culinary explorer.

Exploring Destin's Flavorful Landscape

Destin, Florida, is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts, boasting an array of dining experiences that capture the essence of the Gulf Coast. Visitors find themselves in a culinary paradise, where fresh seafood is the star of the show, and the flavors of Northwest Florida are celebrated in every bite.

The restaurants here cater to a spectrum of preferences. Jackacuda's Seafood & Sushi is a local favorite, known for its freshly caught seafood and inventive sushi rolls. Diners can indulge in their celebrated spicy tuna or the chef's choice sashimi.

For those in quest of an ultimate beachfront dining experience, The Crab Trap is the place to be. With a menu featuring Gulf Coast classics like jumbo lump crab cakes and fried Gulf shrimp, the views are as magnificent as the food.

Dewey Destin's Seafood Restaurant, another gem, steeped in history, offers a rustic experience with their dockside dining. One can savor the flavor of their renowned blackened Gulf grouper or grilled sea scallops while soaking in the panoramic views.

Below is a glance at some revered destinations for the palate:

Restaurant Cuisine Type Specialty
Jackacuda's Seafood & Sushi Seafood/Sushi Spicy Tuna Roll
The Crab Trap Seafood Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
Dewey Destin's Seafood Blackened Gulf Grouper

Whether craving succulent shrimp or a hearty bowl of gumbo, Destin's restaurants offer a dining experience that is as dynamic as the city itself. One cannot help but be exhilarated by the vast culinary offerings of this Gulf Coast haven. With every restaurant having something unique to present, the only difficulty is choosing where to start their epicurean adventure.

Top Seafood Spots in Destin

Destin's seafood restaurants are renowned for their fresh catches and inviting atmospheres. Visitors can expect an array of delicious options, including local grouper and spicy gumbo.

Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House

At Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, guests are treated to more than just a meal; they experience the true spirit of the Gulf Coast. They boast a menu highlighted with fresh seafood straight from the water. Their grouper is a must-try, known for its delicate flavor and perfect sear.

  • Signature Dish: Gulf-to-Table Grouper
  • Popular Item: Oyster Sampler Platter

Harbor Docks

Since 1979, Harbor Docks has been serving up fresh catches daily, with a side of mesmerizing harbor views. They take pride in their homemade gumbo, a rich and flavorful stew that perfectly encapsulates the essence of the sea.

  • Famous For: Home-style Gumbo
  • Seafood Highlight: Sushi-grade Tuna

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer offers a casual setting where diners can indulge in the bounty of the sea. Their seafood steamers are a communal feast, inviting patrons to share the experience of fresh shellfish and local flavors.

  • Specialties: Steamed Seafood Platters
  • Local Favorite: Royal Red Shrimp

Savor the Taste of America

In Destin, Florida, the American cuisine scene thrives with an eclectic mix of restaurants that celebrate classic flavors. Diners can indulge in a variety of American dishes, from succulent burgers to savory steaks, while enjoying the coastal ambiance.

Beach Walk Cafe

At the Beach Walk Cafe, guests are treated to American classics with a twist. This eatery takes pride in its Creole-infused dishes, offering a unique blend of flavors that pay homage to American Southern cooking. Visitors cannot miss the Creole Bouillabaisse, a delicious stew that perfectly captures the essence of coastal dining.

Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi

Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi is not your traditional American restaurant; however, they serve an all-American favorite: sushi rolls with a Southern twist. Their Cajun-spiced rolls are a testament to the fusion of cultures, merging Cajun seasoning with fresh seafood. Alongside, they offer hearty burgers that solidify their place in the American dining landscape.

The Back Porch

Known for its stunning views and legendary seafood and steak options, The Back Porch remains a staple in Destin. The restaurant boasts a steakhouse menu featuring USDA prime steaks grilled to perfection. Guests rave about the “Surf and Turf” option, combining succulent steak with fresh, local seafood for a true American dining experience.

Experience Global Flavors Locally

In Destin, food enthusiasts rejoice as they savor international culinary masterpieces. The city is a melting pot of flavors, offering an array of restaurants that bring the world to your plate with authentic and creatively interpreted dishes.

Marina Cafe

Marina Cafe is an elegant destination where Italian and Mediterranean influences meld beautifully. Patrons can indulge in Grouper Piccata, highlighting the essence of European coastal cuisine with perfectly balanced flavors. Their menu also features a selection of sushi, introducing a refined Asian flair to the experience.

  • Signature Dish: Grouper Piccata
  • Sushi Highlight: Tuna Avo

La Paz

This vibrant spot promises a lively Mexican and Caribbean adventure for the taste buds. La Paz delights diners with its robust Ceviche, a zesty celebration of fresh seafood. It's a place where spectacular spices and traditional recipes from the Latin world come to life.

  • Must-Try: Traditional Ceviche
  • Specialty: Flavor-packed Tacos


Bijoux offers a sophisticated array of French-European inspired cuisine with a Southern twist. Here, one can relish in upscale dishes such as the succulent Bone-In Filet, a testament to their commitment to both quality and innovation. The atmosphere at Bijoux complements the luxuriousness of the menu, making every meal feel like a special occasion.

  • Decadent Selection: Bone-In Filet
  • Seafood Delicacy: Seared Scallops

Unique Dining Experiences

Destin, Florida, offers an array of unique dining experiences that cater to a variety of palates. From fresh seafood at East Pass to the quirky decor at Bric a Brac and the Creole flavors of Louisiana Lagniappe, each establishment provides a distinctive atmosphere and menu.

East Pass Seafood & Oyster House

East Pass Seafood & Oyster House specializes in fresh, locally-sourced oysters and seafood dishes. The sushi selections here impress with innovative rolls and sashimi sourced from the Gulf. Their wine list boasts an array of choices perfect for pairing with seafood.

  • Features: Sushi bar, wine selections, waterfront views
  • Cocktails: Yes, with a focus on seafood-friendly mixology

Bric a Brac

Bric a Brac is more than a restaurant; it's a lively, eclectic experience. They serve up hearty American fare with a twist, and the atmosphere is as vibrant as the dishes. The place transforms into a fun spot at night, complete with a bar and live music, creating an upbeat dining experience.

  • Features: Cafe-style lunch, vibrant bar scene at night
  • Cocktails: Available, featuring both classics and unique concoctions

Louisiana Lagniappe

Immerse yourself in the warm, inviting ambiance of Louisiana Lagniappe. This restaurant is renowned for its authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine. The wine bar aspect elevates the dining experience, offering a selection that complements the rich, spicy flavors of the South.

  • Features: Southern-inspired seafood dishes, elegant dining
  • Cocktails: Crafted to match the cuisine, with a Southern flair

Casual Bites and Comforting Eats

Destin, Florida, boasts an array of dining spots perfect for grabbing a casual bite or indulging in some hearty, comforting food. Whether one craves a sumptuous breakfast, a beachy brunch, a delightful lunch, or a savory pizza and burger, these restaurants offer a warm ambiance coupled with delicious fare that captures the essence of coastal cuisine.


They serve an impressive brunch menu that foodies adore. At Crackings, guests can start their day with a variety of breakfast options, including classic items like eggs Benedict and innovative dishes such as the lobster and brie omelet. The café vibe is relaxed, inviting diners to savor their meals in leisure.

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

Seafood lovers rejoice at Brotula's, where the lunch menu includes everything from fresh catch to hearty burgers. The restaurant's commitment to local sourcing ensures that each dish, be it a steamer full of mussels or a juicy burger, bursts with flavor. Their waterfront location adds a tranquil backdrop to every meal.

Miramar Beach Pizza

For those who fancy pizza, Miramar Beach Pizza offers a delightful variety of pies, from traditional cheese to gourmet toppings. Their hand-tossed, stone-baked pizzas are a hit among both locals and visitors. Whether one opts for a slice or a whole pie, the taste and quality are consistent, making it a must-visit spot for pizza aficionados.

Health-Conscious and Dietary Options

Destin, Florida offers a variety of dining establishments that cater to health-conscious individuals and those with specific dietary needs. The restaurants range from laid-back eateries to high-end venues, ensuring that even the most discerning palates can find something to enjoy. They all share a commitment to fresh ingredients and offer options to suit vegetarian, gluten-free, and seafood lovers.

La Paz

La Paz stands out for its vibrant, flavor-packed dishes that cater to health-conscious diners. Vegetarians can rejoice with their extensive range of meat-free dishes, while those seeking gluten-free options will find carefully prepared plates to meet their needs. The menu features an array of fresh seafood that promises a delicious and nutritious meal.

  • Vegetarian: Generous selection of vegetable-based entrees.
  • Gluten-Free: Clearly marked dishes for easy selection.
  • Seafood: Daily fresh catch specials.

Harbor Docks

At Harbor Docks, guests are treated to a mingling of tradition and nutrition. They take pride in serving fresh seafood straight from the Gulf, meticulously cooked to enhance its natural flavors. Vegetarians and guests with gluten sensitivities will find a welcoming selection of dishes.

  • Vegetarian: Creative salads and appetizers.
  • Gluten-Free: A special menu dedicated to gluten-free dining.
  • Seafood: Commitment to locally-sourced, seasonal fish.


Bijoux is a fine dining gem in Destin, known for its elegant atmosphere and a menu that respects various dietary preferences. Each dish is crafted with care, using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Vegetarian visitors will find luxury in the selection of gourmet plant-based dishes. Gluten-free diners are not an afterthought, with an impressive array of options that don't sacrifice taste.

  • Vegetarian: Luxurious vegetarian courses.
  • Gluten-Free: Robust gluten-free menu.
  • Seafood: Focus on high-quality, fresh ingredients.

Enjoying the Outdoors with Great Food

In Destin, Florida, combining outdoor dining with a beachside ambiance elevates the culinary experience. The Back Porch has been a staple for both locals and visitors seeking fresh seafood along with a scenic view of the gulf's emerald waters. Guests can relax at wooden tables under shaded umbrellas and feel the gentle sea breeze.

Beach Walk Café, tucked away within the Henderson Park Inn, offers a more intimate outdoor dining experience. Its location provides a stunning vantage point for sunset views, making it a perfect spot for special occasions. Patrons can savor their gourmet meals just steps away from the soft, sandy beach.

Outdoor dining in Destin isn't complete without mentioning sea-to-table dining options. Here's a quick look at some key features of these establishments:

  • The Back Porch:
    • Iconic diner known for its Gulf views
    • Famous for grilled seafood specialties
    • Beachy, casual atmosphere
  • Beach Walk Café:
    • Fine dining with an intimate setting
    • Offers toes-in-the-sand dining experience
    • Focuses on creative cuisine and local flavors

These eateries not only provide delicious meals but also deliver an unforgettable ambiance, where the lines between indoor comfort and the natural beauty of Destin's coastline blur exquisitely.

Convenience Dining: Takeout and Delivery

When hunger strikes in Destin, FL, a plethora of restaurants offer the convenience of takeout and delivery. East Pass Seafood & Oyster House is a gem among these, where patrons can enjoy the fresh bounty of the sea from the comfort of their home. This establishment provides brisk and friendly service, ensuring that each to-go package contains the same quality and flavor as if diners were seated at the restaurant itself.

For those seeking variety, here's a quick guide to local favorites:

Restaurant Cuisine Takeout Delivery
East Pass Seafood & Oyster Seafood Yes Yes
Jin Jin 88 Chinese Yes Yes
Mimmo's Ristorante Italiano Italian Yes Selected areas
The Craft Bar Gastropub Yes No

Diners who crave freshness often opt for East Pass Seafood & Oyster, thanks to their delicious oysters and seafood dishes. Ordering is made simple via phone or through their website, and they pride themselves on efficient service.

For a quick bite or a family meal without the hassle of dining out, these Destin staples provide top-notch dishes just a phone call or a click away. They cater to a variety of tastes, from traditional Italian fare at Mimmo's to sushi rolls at Jin Jin 88. These restaurants ensure that delicious meals are conveniently available for pick-up or delivery, so food enthusiasts can indulge in Destin's culinary delights whenever the mood strikes.

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