Best Restaurants in Destin

Where To Eat in Destin, FL – a list of the best restaurants in the Destin, Florida area. Drinks, lunch, and dinner – we’ve got you covered! From dives, restaurants on the beach, to fancy steakhouses and everything in between!

collage of 7 food photos with text overlay

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Where to Eat in Destin, FL

Summer vacation is only a few weeks away. I can not wait! We are already planning our trip down to the Destin Florida area. We LOVE Destin! The beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast are second to none and there is tons of great food.

Today I am sharing a list of the best restaurants in Destin, FL. I’ve got restaurants on the beach, local favorites, pizza, burgers, the biggest cocktail EVER, and a fancy steakhouse. There is something for the whole family.

  • The Beach House Restaurant
  • Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House
  • McGuire’s Irish Pub
  • Fat Clemenza’s
  • Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Pazzo Italiano
  • The Craft Bar
  • The Wine Bar
  • Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer
  • The Surf Hut
  • Pompano Joe’s
  • Landshark’s Pizza
  • Lulu’s
  • Harbor Docks
  • Ocean Club
  • Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

Where to Stay in Destin

We stayed at the Hilton Sandestin on our most recent trip. It is our favorite place to stay. The rooms are nice and it is directly on the beach. I love sitting on the balcony and watching the waves.

collage of food photos with text overlay

If you are staying in a condo, don’t miss our Beach Vacation Meals post! Lots of great ideas for quick and easy beach meals. https://www.plainchicken.com/quick-easy-beach-vacation-meals/

Keep reading to see all of the delicious food we ate on our trip and start planning your Summer vacation!

We have several posts on the Destin, FL area. You can check them all out here: https://www.plainchicken.com/search/label/Destin


The Beach House Restaurant

collage of 3 drink photos

The Beach House is located directly next door to the Hilton Sandestin beach resort. It had been YEARS since I had eaten here, so I thought it was time to go back. We started with some cocktails. They were all delicious! Plus it has a great VIEW! It is RIGHT on the beach!

plate of hushpuppies

I have a serious weakness for hushpuppies. I get them everywhere we go. The hushpuppies at The Beach House were very good!

blackened fish sandwich and fries

Chicken Legs got the blackened fish sandwich and fries. It was good!

plate of bbq pork nachos

I opted for the Pulled Pork Nachos. SO good! We could have just split the nachos and been fine. It is a lot of food!

The Beach House Restaurant Sandestin

https://thebeachhousesd.com/

4009 S Sandestin Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

2 drinks on the bar with a menu

Boshamps is my absolute favorite place to eat in Destin. We love to sit outside near the bar. It is the perfect location to enjoy an adult beverage and look out over the beautiful Destin harbor. Boshamps also has live music outside – so check the schedule to see who will be playing when you are in town.

boshamps spinach dip

Back Forty Farms Spinach & Artichoke Dip – local baby spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, and warm tortilla chips.

This is wonderful. Just the right amount of spinach and TONS of cheese!

Boshamps Basket with fried shrimp, hand-cut fries, hushpuppies, southern slaw, and green tomato chow-chow tartar.

pulled pork sandwich

House Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders – house-made Gulf BBQ sauce, house-cured pickles, white BBQ sauce, and hand-cut fries. This pulled pork is delicious! Better than most of the popular bbq joints. Give these a try!

boshamps shrimp roll

Alabama Gulf Shrimp Roll with hand-cut “Old Bay” fries, and assorted house pickles. Think lobster roll with shrimp.

boshamps grouper sandwich

Honest Gulf Grouper Sandwich – blackened grouper, southern slaw, local ripe tomato, crisp iceberg, pickled red onion, house-cured pickles, hand-cut fries, and green tomato chow-chow tartar. This sandwich is expensive but worth it!

boshamps chicken sandwich

Crunchy Yardbird Sammy – buttermilk fried chicken, local ripe tomato, crisp iceberg, pickled red onion, house-cured pickles, bacon marmalade, house buttermilk dressing, and hand-cut fries. This might just be the best fried chicken sandwich in the world. The buttermilk dressing is great and the bacon marmalade is to die for! TO-DIE-FOR.

If you are looking for a great place to eat on the water with a relaxed atmosphere, give Boshamps a try. It is a local favorite!

Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

https://boshamps.com/
414 Harbor Blvd, Destin, Florida 32541


McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin

green cocktail in a large jar

McGuire’s Irish Pub is located on Emerald Coast Pkwy right before you go over the bridge to Ft. Walton. It is always busy and one bite and your taste buds will know why!

I started with the Irish Wake. I have no idea what all was in this but it was good and strong. They will only serve each person 3 of these drinks. I don’t know who could drink three, but that is the limit.

dollars hanging from ceiling

The thing at McGuire’s is to staple a dollar bills to the walls and ceiling. I didn’t participate, but it is one of the things that makes McGuire’s unique.

plate of brown bread

We started with some of the complimentary bread. It was a brown bread similar to The Outback with a butter glaze on top.

plate of fried potato balls

Irish Boxtys – Garlic Mashed Potatoes hand-rolled in herbed bread crumbs and fried. Served with Salsa, Guacamole Dip, and a Horse Radish Sour Cream Sauce.

plate of buffalo chicken thighs

These Buffalo Chicken Thighs were one of the best things we ate on our trip. O-M-G! I would get my own order next time. I’m not really a chicken thigh person, but these were AMAZING! No bones – just lots of chicken meat and hot sauce.

plate of fish & chips

Traditional Fish & Chips – tastes as good as what we ate in London.

hamburger and fries on a plate

Finally, we shared a Bacon Cheeseburger and fries. The burger was really, really good. The burger is also very large. It is definitely something you can share.

McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin

https://www.mcguiresirishpub.com/destin

33 US-98, Destin, FL 32541


Fat Clemenza’s

plate of garlic knots

Fat Clemenza’s is our favorite Italian restaurant in Destin. We’ve been eating here for years and still love it. The food is fantastic and they have good service. Fat Clemenzas is open for lunch and dinner. I suggest reservations for dinner. The dining room is small and they are ALWAYS packed.

You MUST start with an order of Fat Clemenza’s homemade garlic rolls (5 per order) – they are the house specialty. I dream about these rolls!

fried ravioli

Toasted Ravioli – Breaded ravioli with Italian bread crumbs stuffed with ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese. Ask for a side of vodka sauce with them. SO good!

carbonara pasta

Pasta Carbonara – with pancetta, white onion, in a cream sauce and finished with egg yolk.

veal with pasta

Veal Saltimbocca – baked in a mushroom/veal sauce with Prosciutto Di Parma and melted fresh mozzarella cheese served with pasta.

lasagna in a baking dish

Housemade Meat Lasagna. It is listed as a customer favorite. One bite and you will know why. It is a lot of food and leftovers are equally delicious reheated.

pepperoni pizza

All pizzas are made from homemade dough, homemade pizza sauce, hand-tossed by their master pizza chef from Italy, and fired in a wood-burning oven at 900 degrees.

We sat at the bar and had a ringside set to the pizza show! They make a lot of pizza. It is some of the best in town.

plate of tiramisu dessert

If you still have room after your delicious meal, give the Tiramisu a try. It is fantastic!

Fat Clemenza’s

https://fatclemenzas.com/

12273 US Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, Fl 32550


Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano

plate of garlic knots

Mimmo’s is very similar to Fat Clemenzas. One of the former chefs left Fat Clemenza and started Mimmo’s.

You may recognize the garlic knots. Equally delicious.

garlic bread loaf

They also have a famous Garlic Bread stuffed with ham and cheese. EVERYONE said that we had to try it. 

cross section of ham and cheese bread

I now know why. This stuff is AMAZING! You can totally just get this bread as your meal. Ask for some pizza sauce on the side and you are set!

lamb chop on a plate

Veal Marsala – Fresh veal or chicken cooked in a traditional marsala wine & mushroom sauce. It is usually served over angel hair pasta. Chicken Legs opted to try the fettuccine alfredo instead.

bowl of fettuccine alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo – Fettuccine pasta tossed in a creamy Parmesan alfredo sauce.

baking dish of lasagna

Meat Lasagna – vven-baked, meaty lasagna with Bolognese sauce, béchamel, Parmesan cheese then topped with mozzarella.

pizza on a platter

Mimmo’s has a wood-fired pizza oven. People come in droves getting pizza to go. We gave it a try and it is delicious.

Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano

http://eatmimmos.com/

979 US Hwy 98 E, Ste. 5, Destin, FL 32541


Pazzo Italiano

cheese pizza

Pazzo is another Italian restaurant owned by a former Fat Clemenza chef. They have the famous garlic knots as well!

We stopped in for a quick meal one night and snagged a seat at the bar. We were lucky. It was crazy busy! I definitely suggest making a reservation for lunch or dinner.

Pazzo has wood-buring pizza ovens. We wanted to give it a try, so started with a kid’s cheese pizza as our appetizer. It was really good.

plate of veal and pasta

Veal Saltimbocca – pan-seared veal with prosciutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella and finished with o porcini mushroom sauce.

bowl of bolognese pasta

Fettuccine bolognese – a flavorful blend of ground beef and ground pork, finely chopped garden vegetables simmered in San Marzano tomatoes sauce and red wine.

Pazzo Italiano Destin

https://www.pazzodestin.com/

34904 Emerald Coast Pkwy #114, Destin, FL 32541


The Craft Bar

holding a wine glass

The Craft Bar is a new favorite. They have four locations in the area. Destin, Ft. Walton, Grand Boulevard, and Panama City. They specialize in American cuisine and good beer. Not a beer drinker? No worries, they also have wine! YAY! Don’t miss their happy hour – GREAT deals!

pretzels and dip

We sampled a variety of appetizers and a burger.

First up – the pretzels with smoked salt. They are served with an IPA mustard. We added a side of beer cheese for $1. Worth it!

lamb burger and fries

Lamb burger – house-ground leg of lamb, feta cheese, caramelized onion, tzatziki, on a ciabatta bun.

mac & cheese

Craft Bar Mac and Cheese – sharp white cheddar cheese, gruyere, smoked apple wood bacon-infused crust. Have mercy!

pulled pork quesadilla

Finally, the Pulled Pork Quesadilla served with Williamson Brothers BBQ sauce (my favorite!

If you want a fun casual place with delicious food, give the Craft Bar a try.

The Craft Bar Destin

https://www.thecraftbarfl.com/

4424 Commons Dr E, Destin, Florida 32541


The Wine Bar

2 glasses of wine on a table

Right next door to the Craft Bar is the Wine Bar. It is the perfect place to grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. The Wine Bar is our go-to spot for happy hour. Their daily happy hour special is a carafe of wine for the price of a large glass from 11am – 6pm. We always stop in for a carafe or three. Rosé all day!

charcuterie board

In addition to wine, they also serve some of the best food in town. We love to snack on a meat and cheese plate. The bread and olive oil is the best!

The Wine Bar is also a great spot for lunch with fresh sandwiches and salads.

We are going to eat here for dinner on our next trip. They serve prime steaks and fresh seafood is on the dinner menu. I’ve seen the food coming out when we’ve been having drinks and it looks incredible.

The Wine Bar

https://www.thewinebarfl.com/the-wine-bar-destin

4424 Commons Drive East Suite E3, Destin, FL 32541


Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

bushwacker cocktail

This was our second time eating at Brotula’s. We ate here several years ago and decided to try it again. The menu had changed, but it was still good. Chicken Legs started with a Bushwacker. It hit the spot!

basket of fried okra

We started with an order of fried okra. I love fried okra and this was good. The portion was a little small for the money, but it tasted good.

fish tacos

Chicken Legs got the fish tacos and LOVED them. He said they were some of the best he’s ever eaten. He got the fish blackened. Give them a try!

hamburger and fries on a platter

I’m not really into seafood, so I went with the burger. It was good. I really loved the hushpuppies and fries!

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

https://www.brotulas.com/

210D Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541


The Surf Hut

2 drinks on the table with the beach in the background

I found the Surf Hut on Yelp. It was highly rated, so we decided to take a chance and give it a try. Boy am I glad we did. It was great! PLUS it is right on the white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico! BOOM! You can’t beat these beach views!

We started the meal with some cocktails. You can’t eat on the beach without a cocktail!

plate of fried cheese

If fried cheese is on the menu, we are getting it. This was delicious!

fish tacos

Chicken Legs got the Taco Trio. It normally comes with one fish, one shrimp, and one pulled pork taco. Chicken Legs skipped the pork taco and got his trio with two fish tacos and one shrimp taco.

He said they were fantastic. The tacos were served with some rice and black beans. I am totally getting the rice and beans as my side next time. SO good!

chicken sandwich and fries

I got the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with pepper jack cheese. It was great. It comes with pico de gallo, slaw and fries. YUM!

The Surf Hut smokes their own BBQ on site. I am going to try some of the pulled pork next time.

The Surf Hut

https://www.surfhutdestin.com/

551 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL 32550


Pompano Joe’s Seafood House

glass of wine looking at the beach

If you are looking for a great restaurant right on the beach, Pompano Joe is your place. You can not beat this view of the Gulf!

plate of fried mozzarella

Mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce – SO good! And the portion size is incredible. Definitely enough to share with a big group.

grilled fish sandwich and fries

Grilled Grouper Sandwich with fries and coleslaw.

chicken tender platter

I got the chicken finger platter with hushpuppies, french fries and black beans and rice. This is a TON of food. Definitely enough to share. It was SO good. I am totally getting this again.

Pompano Joe’s

http://www.pompano-joes.com/

2237 Scenic Gulf Highway, Miramar Beach, FL — 32550


Landshark’s Pizza

pizza on a plate

Landsharks Pizza is a local sports bar. It is located across the street from McGuire’s – right before you get to the bridge to Ft. Walton. A local told us about Landshark’s. We love pizza and wings so gave it a try.

Landshark’s have your typical bar food. We’ve only tried the pizza and wings. I can not wait to work my way through all the appetizers and sandwiches.

collage of 4 pictures of wings

The wings come in 5, 10, 20, or 50 and have more than 20 sauce options. We usually get two orders of five and try different sauces. It will take us a while to give them all a try.

This is the perfect place to relax and watch a game. It is a Packers bar, so it is crazy during Packers games.

Landshark’s Pizza

https://landsharkspizza.com/

300 Harbor Blvd A-B, Destin, FL 32541


Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s

bushwacker cocktail

Lulu’s is one of our favorite Destin restaurants. It has such a fun atmosphere. It is right on the bay and they have live music, a beach, and even a water plane you can take a ride in! If you are looking for a good time, this is your spot!

fried okra

We always start with the Fried Okra basket with homemade Ranch dressing. If you haven’t tried fried okra, this is the okra to try. It is THE BEST!

pulled pork nachos

You can never go wrong with the Pulled Pork Nachos. Corn tortilla chips, tomatoes, jalapeños, queso, melted Cheddar. Served with LuLu’s Sassy Salsa and sour cream.

They put the queso on the bottom of the pan so the chips don’t get soggy. If you get the nachos, make sure to dig down to the bottom!

shrimp po boy

Fried shrimp po boy with fries.

pineapple chicken sandwich

Jerk Chicken Sandwich – grilled chicken tenders marinated in LuLu’s own Southern Jerk Seasoning topped with bacon, grilled pineapple, and swiss cheese. Served with Honey Mustard. Yum!

fish tacos

Fish Tacos – corn tortillas filled with fresh fish and topped with jack-cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, pickled red onions, cilantro slaw, island black beans, and mojo sauce. Served with Tortilla Chips and LuLu’s Sassy Salsa.

Lulu’s is one of our favorite places in all of the Destin area. You must give it a try!

Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s

https://lulusfunfoodmusic.com/location/destin/

4607 Legendary Marina Dr, Destin, FL 32541


Harbor Dock’s

harbor dock's restaurant entrance

If you love fresh gulf seafood, Harbor Docks is your place. In addition to the seafood restaurant, they also have a local seafood market! This was our first time eating here, but it definitely won’t be the last!

wine glass on the dock

As the name implies, the restaurant is directly on the Harbor. You can watch boats sail up and down the water as you dine.

plate of sushi

They have an extensive sushi menu. It was delicious! We can’t wait to try more!

pad thai

I’ve been eyeing the Pad Thai and it did not disappoint! Stir-fried rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts, peanuts, lime, and spring rolls. They offer it with chicken, beef, or shrimp.

burget and fries on a plate

If you aren’t a seafood fan, you can’t go wrong with the burger. Make sure to get the Smoked Gouda-Bacon Spread – so good!

Harbor Dock’s

https://www.harbordocks.com/

538 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541


Ocean Club Restaurant

The Ocean Club is our favorite place for dinner in Destin. It is a fine dining restaurant located in Topsail, near the entrance to the Sandestin resort. It is more of a local place and the tourists are really missing out! They have amazing food! They also have live music and dancing!

We started our meal with a crab cake. It is one of our favorite crab cakes in town. I love the sauce that comes with it.

Caesar Salad with hearts of romaine, croutons, and shaved Reggiano.

Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese with red onions, beefsteak tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Grouper Ocean Club topped with crabmeat and served with shrimp.

Soft Shell Crab – two soft shell crabs fried and topped with pecans and almonds and served with pasta alfredo.

grouper and vegetables on a plate

Grouper Almondine – sauteed and topped with toasted almonds, garlic beurre blanc and meuniere sauce with house vegetables.

Chicken Parmesan – sauteed chicken breast served with pasta and our homemade red sauce.

Chicken Picatta – chicken breast in a white wine and lemon butter caper sauce served with pasta. This is my all-time favorite chicken dish. I always clean the plate!

Don’t forget to look at the dessert menu. This ice cream pie was AMAZING!

Ocean Club takes reservations. I suggest calling to get one. They are always busy when we are there, especially on Wednesday and Saturday night when there is live music.

Ocean Club

http://theoceanclubdestin.com/

8955 US-98 W 107, Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

crab cake on a plate

Seagar’s is located in the Hilton Sandestin Hotel. It is always a treat eating here. It is expensive, so we try and save it for special occasions.

We always start with the crab cake. It is seriously delicious.

wedge salad

We usually sit at the bar when we come for dinner. They do not serve the Caesar salad in the bar, so we usually get the wedge. Baby iceberg lettuce, oven-roasted tomatoes, bacon, radish, pickled red onion, croutons, and house-made Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing.

ribeye steak on a plate

All of the steaks are 100% USDA Prime and are served with a Veal Jus.

The Ribeye is meant to be shared.

filet on a plate

The filet mignon is our go-to steak.

steak cut in half on a plate

It is always cooked to perfection!

bowl of mushrooms

Our go-to side dishes are the Sauteed Mushrooms.

You can get the recipe here: https://www.plainchicken.com/steakhouse-sauteed-mushrooms/

macaroni and cheese

The macaroni and cheese is heavenly! Here is our take on this recipe: https://www.plainchicken.com/steakhouse-mac-cheese/

If you need a place to celebrate a special occasion, give Seagar’s a try. It is sure to fit the bill!

Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

https://www.seagars.com/

4000 S Sandestin Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550


Restaurants Destin Florida

There are so many great places to eat in Destin! It is always hard to choose where to go.

We also tried Louisiana Lagniappe on a recent trip. Everyone raves about it, but we did NOT like it. The service wasn’t very good, it was blazing HOT inside the restaurant, and the food felt more like cafeteria food than the gourmet cajun food they advertise. Maybe we had an off night, who knows.

I already have a list going of places we want to try on our next trip:

  • Pizza by the Sea
  • Parlor Doughnuts
  • Tuscany Italian Bistro
  • Slick Lips
  • Maple Street Biscuit Company
  • Bijoux
  • Marina Cafe
  • La Paz
  • Camille’s

Is your favorite place on our list? What are some of your favorite places to eat in Destin? Leave us a comment with your favorites!

We have several posts on the Destin, FL area. You can check them all out here: https://www.plainchicken.com/search/label/Destin

Steph

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Comments

  1. I’m really surprised that The Old Florida Fish House wasn’t on your list. If you’ve not been there then next time give it a try‼️ It is really good 🙌🏻🙌🏻

  2. Glad to see that Bijoux is on your list to try. It’s our favorite in the area. We even drive from Rosemary Beach to eat there. So good!

  3. We’ve been to several of these & they are awesome! I think Pompano Joe’s & Kenny D’s (both on scenic 98) should be on the list!

  4. Our hands down favorite, is Floyd’s on Okaloosa Island….. SOOOOOO good! and last month while there, we tried AJ’s again, honestly best clams I have ever eaten! There is also a pizza place by The Track that we ended up eating at twice.

  5. Sorry you didn’t have The Henderson House on your list of great restaurants.
    They are second to none.

  6. We just booked our first trip for spring break and we are staying at the Hilton Sandestin. Can't wait to try a few of these places.

  7. We've only been to Destin once but we loved it and plan to go again. We enjoyed eating breakfast at The Donut Hole.

  8. Mary's Diner (old Destin Diner) and the Back Porch are 2 of our stapes as well as Louisiana Lagniappe. Another good one is the old Dewey Destin on Calhoun (not Harborside). If you get there early enough, you can watch that day's catch get unloaded off the boats:)

  9. Have you eaten at Tuscany Italian Bistro in Destin? Or Boschamp's? Those are two of our MUST GOs… and we go several times a year!

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