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!

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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 Donut Hole
  • Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House
  • McGuire’s Irish Pub
  • The Boathouse Oyster Bar
  • Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Pazzo Italiano
  • The Craft Bar
  • The Wine Bar
  • Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer
  • The Surf Hut
  • Pompano Joe’s
  • Merlin’s Pizza
  • Lulu’s
  • Harbor Docks
  • The Red Door Saloon
  • Buffalo Jack’s Legendary Wings & Pizza
  • El Jalisco
  • Marina Cafe
  • La Paz

The Donut Hole

breakfast plates on a table

The Donut Hole is the most popular place for breakfast in Destin. It has some of the best diner food around!

hashbrowns ham eggs and sausage

Hashbrowns, ham, bacon, sausage, and eggs.

bacon and biscuits

I am obsessed with their thick bacon and fresh biscuits.


Their pancakes are GIANT!

blueberry french toast

The blueberry french toast is heaven in your mouth!

reuben sandwich

You can’t go wrong with their Reuben for lunch or dinner. It is absolutely delicious.

chicken sandwich

I can never pass up a chicken sandwich. This one was delicious. AND they have the good honey mustard!

giant chocolate chip cookie

Look at the size of that cookie!

And of course, you have to get the doughnuts if you eat at a place called The Donut Hole!

The Donut Hole

635 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

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
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

33 US-98, Destin, FL 32541

The Boathouse Oyster Bar

inside of the boathouse restaurant

The Boathouse is a dive bar located at the Destin Harbor. There are multiple bars to choose from for your drinks and meal. We sat in the back bar so we could see the water.

bowl of boiled peanuts

We started with Cajun Boiled Peanuts.

smoked wings

Next up, Smoked Wings. OMG! These are AMAZING! Some of the best we’ve ever eaten.

bacon cheeseburger

We shared a Bacon Cheeseburger. It comes with a pickle and chips.

inside of a cheeseburger

It was cooked to perfection.

The Boathouse is famous for its oysters. They are on the list for our next visit.

The Boathouse Oyster Bar

288 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

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

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

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

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!

chicken wrap
french dip sandwich

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

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

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 its own BBQ on-site. I am going to try some of the pulled pork next time.

The Surf Hut

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

2237 Scenic Gulf Highway, Miramar Beach, FL — 32550

Merlin’s Pizza


Merlin’s was voted best pizza in Destin for 2023. One bite and you will know why. This has quickly shot up to the top of our list. We get a thin-crust sausage and pepperoni pizza. We always get a large pizza so we can have leftovers! SO good


Don’t miss the Blooming Meatball. A half-pound meatball stuffed with cheese and baked in marinara sauce.

Merlin’s Pizza

1251 Airport Rd, 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

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

538 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

The Red Door Saloon

bushwacker drink

The Red Door Saloon is located at the Destin Harbor. It is in front of The Boathouse.

I read that they have the best Bushwackers, so we had to give it a try. It was very tasty!

cajun boiled peanuts

We can never pass up Cajun Boiled Peanuts!

fried shrimp basket

Chicken Legs got the Fried Shrimp Basket.

blackened chicken sandwich and fries

I debated between the Blackened Chicken Sandwich and a Pizza. The bartender recommended the chicken sandwich, so that is what I got. OMG! SO good! One of the best in town.

restaurant cat

On the way out, we met Tortuga. He is the resident cat. You know I LOVE him! I am on a mission to make him my friend. LOL!

The Red Door Saloon

240 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, FL 32541

Buffalo Jack’s Legendary Wings & Pizza

inside of buffalo jack's in destin

Buffalo Jack’s is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and watch the game. Looks at all those televisions! They have a TV in every booth!!!

fried mozzarella

We can’t resist Fried Mozzarella and this one was great!


Wings are always a must at a sports bar. These hold up to their legendary status!


Buffalo Jack’s is known for their pizza. We gave it a try and it was delicious!

bacon cheeseburger

We couldn’t pass up the burgers. They have TONS of choices. We went with a basic bacon cheeseburger and it was great.

Buffalo Jack’s Legendary Wings & Pizza

11275 Emerald Coast Pkwy #3, Destin, FL 32550

El Jalisco

chips and salsa

El Jalisco is located in the Destin Commons shopping center. It is close enough for us to drive our golf cart over for lunch or dinner!

cheese dip

I think cheese dip should be mandatory when you eat at a Mexican place. Don’t you?

plate of mexican food

Chicken Legs got the Chimichanga Platter. It was smothered in queso – YUM!

chicken quesadilla

I got the quesadilla platter with grilled chicken. SO so good! I am going to get chicken fajitas next time!

El Jalsico

4304 Legendary Dr C110, Destin, FL 32541

Marina Cafe

Marina Cafe is a fine dining restaurant at the harbor. Look at that sunset! They have happy hour from 5-7 pm every day with half-price drinks. This is a great place to come if you have a crowd. They take reservations and have large group rooms.

They have an amazing meat and cheese tray. It was almost too pretty to eat.

Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef  with arugula and extra-virgin olive oil.

Pan Seared Andouille Crusted Louisiana Redfish – cayenne butter, chive remoulade,

and seasonal vegetables

Seared New Bedford Scallops – roasted garlic risotto, garlic braised spinach, pureed shrimp, and tarragon butter. Chicken Legs added crab meat.

Center Cut Prime Filet served over risotto. It comes with potatoes, but I love parmesan risotto.

Marina Cafe

404 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

La Paz

La Paz is currently my favorite Mexican place. They are only open for dinner, so plan ahead. The chips and salsa are delicious!

I could have made a meal out of this Chili con Queso with Ground Beef. The best!

La Paz is owned by the same people that own Harbor Docks, so they offer some of the freshest fish in town. Chicken Legs got the fish tacos for dinner and they were delicious.

I got the Chicken Fajitas. SO YUMMY

Look at the sides that come with it! I wish I could have eaten all, but I couldn’t. I might have to skip the chips on my next visit.

La Paz

950 Gulf Shore Drive, Destin, FL 32541 

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?

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:


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  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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