The Best Restaurants in Destin
If you want to know where to find the best restaurants in Destin, keep reading! Even if you stay in a condo or home, it’s nice to check out local restaurants during your Destin vacation.
Here are some of the best places to eat in Destin. Don’t forget to check out 32 things to do in Destin, Florida, during your vacation after you read this post! We also have blog posts for the 20 best things to do in Navarre with kids, which is just down the road!
The Best Places to eat in Destin
Here are the best restaurants in Destin, in no particular order! If you like this post, we think you’ll also enjoy a Guide to Crab Island in Destin, Florida.
The food at Marina Cafe is delicious. However, what you will appreciate the most is the views of the harbor as you are dining.
The menu offers American, Asian, and Steakhouse cuisine. You can’t go wrong when ordering the Japanese barbecued salmon, grilled filet medallions, or dijon lamb chops. The wine list is extensive as well. This means you can find something to pair nicely with your chosen dish.
While this is an excellent place in Destin for dinner, they are also known for their happy hour. So, arrive early for drinks and stay for dinner as the sun sets over the harbor.
Address: 404 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar has been around since 1984! It is an icon and one of the most popular places to eat in Destin. AJ’s offers some of the best seafood and live music at four locations along the Emerald Coast.
Address: 116 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
Seagars is not located directly in Destin. The food is so good, though, that it is worth the short drive to this restaurant near Destin.
The menu focuses on steak and seafood. Most people order the Maine lobster, Dover sole, and almost any type of steak on the menu. If you dine at Seagar’s, I recommend ordering the Steak Diane. It is all assembled tableside, which is quite the show.
Address: 4000 Sandestin Blvd South, Miramar Beach, FL
Dewey Destin’s Harborside
Dewey’s great, great grandfather happens to be the person who founded the town of Destin back in 1835. If that isn’t enough reason to dine at this best restaurant in Destin, I don’t know what is. Oh yeah, maybe the food!
Seafood dishes are the most popular at this restaurant on the harbor. You can always order a steak or burger if you don’t want seafood.
Address: 202 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
If you’re looking for waterfront dining in Destin, check out Boshamps on the Destin Harbor. Boshamps started as The Flamingo Cafe in 1985 as a fine dining restaurant. It was later reimagined as a casual dining experience as Boshamps, named after the owner’s three labs!
Boshamps offers the freshest seafood, live music, and custom cocktails. It is open daily from 11 AM-9:30 PM until 11 PM on the weekends.
Address:414 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Beach Walk Cafe
The American dishes on the menu at Beach Walk Cafe all have European and Asian influences. Be prepared to sink your teeth into roasted lamb with eggplant, hot crawfish salad, and oven-roasted pork.
Oh, and for dessert, you can’t go wrong with a slice or two of banana cream pie.
This is one of the only fine dining restaurants in Destin that is directly on the water. As a fine dining establishment, they have a rule that all guests must be at least 13 years of age. If you have younger children, this restaurant in Destin will need to wait until they are older.
Address: 2700 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL
McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery
It doesn’t get more Irish than McGuire’s when you are on vacation in Destin. Irish memorabilia is everywhere inside this restaurant. What makes the atmosphere even more unique, though, is the thousands of dollar bills. Those bills are all hanging from the ceiling. They were all signed by guests who enjoyed their time at this pub.
The menu is filled with Irish fare. Expect delicious portions of shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, and fish and chips. They also serve steaks, burgers, pasta, and seafood for those who don’t want Irish food.
You shouldn’t forget to order one house brew with your meal. Those brews include a light, stout, and a red. You can choose a non-alcoholic root beer when you don’t want alcohol.
Address: 33 US-98, Destin, FL
Surf Hut is one of the best places to eat near the beach in Destin. You will probably find yourself playing a life-sized beach game when you are not enjoying a meal at this restaurant.
The menu at Surf Hut is filled with seafood that was caught locally. You can eat at this restaurant in Destin for lunch or dinner. Burgers and fish sandwiches are the perfect lunch options. Summer seafood salad, shoreline tacos, and ribs are on the dinner menu.
Address: 551 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin, FL
One of the oldest family-owned restaurants in Destin is Harbor Docks. This is one of the many seafood restaurants in Destin. And they must be doing something right because they have grown in popularity since they opened in 1979.
This is an excellent place to eat in Destin for lunch or dinner. The lunch menu includes fish tacos, fried green tomatoes, and sandwiches. Dinner brings stuffed shrimp, a chef’s platter, and surf and turf. You will also find a full sushi menu to fulfill your cravings.
Address: 538 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Mimmos Ristorante Italiano
One of the best restaurants in Destin for Italian food is Mimmos. They are open for lunch and dinner.
The menu is filled with classic Italian dishes. You will find everything from chicken parm and stuffed eggplant to caprese and pasta sandwiches. And don’t worry, the kids can order a pizza if nothing else suits them.
I recommend saving room for dessert. This may entail taking part of your meal back to your hotel with you, though. It’s definitely worth it for a taste of Mimmos’ cannolis, spumoni, and tiramisu.
Address: 979 US Highway 98 E Ste 5, Destin, FL
The Crab Trap Destin
The Crab Trap is Surf Hut’s sister restaurant in Destin. If you already ate at Surf Hut, do not think you can skip this restaurant. The Crab Trap is known for their crab. It is caught locally and served fresh every day.
Crab is also the most popular dish at this restaurant. They also have other types of seafood, chicken, and pasta on their menu.
Address: 3500 Highway 98 E, Destin, FL
One of the best restaurants for dinner in Destin is La Paz. At least it is if you are craving Tex-Mex. The iron skillet fajitas are delicious. You can choose between steak, chicken, or shrimp for your protein. Or you can have all three!
Order a margarita or two to go with the tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. Ask for a little extra guacamole and salsa too. Both are made fresh at the restaurant.
Address: 950 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL
One of the best places to eat breakfast in Destin is Crackings. Many of the breakfast dishes have a little twist. Local favorites include the lobster gouda grits, omelets with shrimp, and praline pecan-filled waffles.
Address: 979 Highway 98 E, Destin, FL
You can’t go on vacation and not enjoy a pizza night! One of the best restaurants for pizza in Destin is Merlin’s Pizza. The menu contains classics like pepperoni, Hawaiian luau, Buffalo chicken, and bacon cheeseburger deluxe. You can build your own pizza too.
Address: 1251 Airport Rd, Destin, FL
The Back Porch
The Back Porch began as a little beach shack back in 1974. The food was so good that this restaurant in Destin has continued to grow over the years. It is now a favorite beachfront dining destination for locals and tourists alike.
One of the more unique items on the menu is their very own char-grilled Amberjack fish sandwich. They offer other fish sandwiches as well if you are not in the mood to try Amberjack yet.
Other seafood items include crab stuffed shrimp, crab cakes, and oysters.
Address: 1740 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL
The Craft Bar
The Craft Bar is one of the best places to go for happy hour in Destin. Happy hour is held every weekday. You can order all types of appetizers to go with your drinks.
If you stay for dinner, be aware that the menu changes regularly. They source their ingredients locally and create their menus according to what they can get during each season. Past menu items included steak frites, burgers, and fish and chips.
Address: 4424 Commons Dr. E, Destin, FL
The Local Market
One of the best restaurants for lunch in Destin is The Local Market. This restaurant in Destin is known for its sandwiches. Local favorites include the French dip, Reuben, and market club. Veggie subs are available if you do not eat meat.
This restaurant does serve dinner a few nights a week too. You will find a little bit of everything on the menu. Whether you order the pork chops, ziti, or veggie kabobs, you will get a salad on the side.
Address: 950 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL
Lulu’s Destin Florida
It is all about the food, music, and having a good time at Lulu’s in Destin! This is one of the family-friendly restaurants in Destin. It is down by the waterfront, which means fantastic views of the Gulf breeze while eating.
Cheeseburgers, jerk chicken sandwiches, and fried blue crab claws are only a few delicious dishes on their menu.
Also, Lulu’s offers signature cocktails. Lulu’s world-famous bushwhacker is a must-try. You might want to grab a t-shirt from the shop as a souvenir before you leave.
Address: 4608 Legendary Marina Dr, Destin, FL
Live music is often played at Destin Boathouse. This best restaurant in Destin is known for its oyster dishes and Boathouse buckets. The buckets are filled with snow crab, shrimp, crab claws, mussels, oysters, corn, and potatoes.
If you don’t want seafood, they have prime rib, hot dogs, and sandwiches on their menu.
An oyster brunch is served on Sundays. Keep that in mind if you are looking for a brunch option while on vacation in Destin.
Address: 288 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Gilligan’s is one of the more affordable restaurants in Destin. This restaurant is right on the harbor, adding to any meal’s ambiance. They offer seafood and southern cuisine that melts in your mouth.
Grab a shrimp po’boy, grilled mahi mahi, or some Louisiana red beans and rice to fill up.
It is important to note that Gilligan’s is a seasonal restaurant in Destin. They are only open from March through November.
Address: 530 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
This is one of the best restaurants in Destin that is right on the harbor. The menu is filled with Creole seafood and steak. You will enjoy watching the sunset as you enjoy dishes like Mardi Gras shrimp, grouper meuniere, and jambalaya.
Address: 775 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL
Burrito del Sol
Burrito del Sol is Baja-style Mexican food is served at this fantastic restaurant in Destin. You can choose which style you want for any of their menu items. Your choices include Baja, bbq, southwest, and chipotle.
The menu options are simple too. You can get a taco, burrito, or quesadilla. Or you can be a little healthier with a taco salad.
Address: 517 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Thai Tanic Restaurant
Choosing Thai for dinner is easy when you decide to dine at this restaurant in Destin. Traditional Thai dishes are served in a casual restaurant setting. Firstly, I recommend beginning with their crab rangoon. Next, dive into fried catfish nuggets, pineapple fried rice, or Thai sukiyaki.
Address: 107 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer
This restaurant gets its name from a type of fish caught in Destin. That fish is the bearded brotula.
Brotula’s has a laid-back vibe, which is perfect for when you want to relax and gaze out at the harbor.
Seafood is everywhere on the menu. If you are craving crab, grouper, shrimp, or fish, they have it covered.
Brotula’s is also open for brunch on Sundays. Add it to the list of possibilities when looking for brunch options in Destin.
Address: 210 D Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Jackacuda’s Seafood and Sushi
Charter boat Captain Dale Beebe came up with the phrase Jackacuda in the 90s, and the name has stuck with this restaurant in Destin. Jackacuda’s is located right in the marina.
Southern and Asian-inspired seafood dishes fill the menu. When you are not eating those dishes, you might find yourself digging into their different types of sushi.
Address: 36120 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL
The Harbor Tavern
One of the best restaurants in Destin for relaxing and having a good time is The Harbor Tavern. You will love sitting outside as you enjoy some peel and eat shrimp.
Mediterranean bowls, burgers, tacos, and sandwiches round out the menu at this establishment.
Address: 306 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
The dining experience at Ruth’s Chris Steak House is unique. In fact, it is one of the more unique restaurants in Destin.
As you sit in the courtyard bar, you will feel like you are in New Orleans. However, the fun doesn’t stop there though. Live entertainment, a private billiard room, and private dining rooms can turn a dinner out into an experience of a lifetime.
Steaks, seafood, and pasta are all on the menu at this steakhouse. Also, make sure you order the proper wine from their list to go with the menu item of your choice.
Address: 15000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL
Harry T’s Lighthouse
This restaurant in Destin was named after a famous trapeze artist, Flying Harry T. You will find this restaurant inside a lighthouse. Also, the theme is circus-related, which shouldn’t surprise you.
Their most popular dishes include harbor steamer, shrimp and grits, and seafood platter.
Address: 46 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL
Captain Dave’s on the Gulf
Shrimp, scallops, lobster, and grouper are all featured on the menu at Captain Dave’s. Additionally, the view of the water is incredible!
Address: 3796 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL
The best restaurants in Destin
These are the best places to eat in Destin. Did your favorite Destin restaurant make this list? If not, please share your favorites in the comments!
Planning a trip to Destin? Make sure to check out some of the best places things to do in NW Florida:
- 32 things to do in Destin Florida
- The 20 best things to do in Navarre with kids
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Navarre Beach Review
About Florida Travel With Kids
Florida Travel with Kids was started by a family who loves to travel the state of Florida with kids! This site will help you explore the fun state of Florida and all of the kid-friendly activities you’ll find here.
Did you enjoy this post? I would love it if you would pin it for later! Or, make sure to share it with your friends on social media if they are looking for things to do in Florida with kids.
How can you in your right mind post anything about Destin restraints without mentioning “THE LEGENDARY AJ’S ” I’ve been to all of these and nothing beats a night of dinning and dancing at AJ’S . Lived here almost 40yrs and always eat good food and have good time at AJ’S
I feel like there are nicer ways to make suggestions on the internet (maybe consider that you are talking to a real person?), but I appreciate your suggestion all the same. I will add it to the list!
how about BOSHAMPS, the best food in destin !!!!!!
Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll add it to the list.