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Sun-Kissed Dining: Top Restaurants in Destin, FL

A trip to the Emerald Coast of Florida is not only amazing for its natural beauty but also for diverse culinary experiences deeply influenced by the region’s seaside geography. One of the best places to experience it all is Destin, FL.

Dubbed the world’s luckiest fishing village, Destin boasts exceptional restaurants and eateries offering the freshest seafood the Gulf of Mexico can provide. Whether you find yourself in an Italian cantina or a simple beach shack, you can expect nothing short of a mind-blowing meal.

And the city’s culinary scene isn’t limited to its fishing heritage; there’s something to satisfy every palate; from fine steaks to vegan and vegetarian options, Destin has it all.


Wondering where to go for a great meal? In this blog, we’ll bring you a carefully curated list featuring some of the top restaurants in Destin, FL.


Get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure!




Pompano Joe’s

With two locations along the Emerald Coast, one in Destin and the other in Panama City Beach, Pompano Joe’s is your go-to destination for fresh Gulf seafood dishes with Caribbean nuances.


This charming wooden beach shack has Gulf-to-table seafood prepared with meticulous care and passion, and you can see this in both the exquisite presentation of the dishes and the amazing flavors.


Some highlights on the menu include the Seafood Gumbo, Coconut Shrimp, and Grouper Guadalupe. Their sandwiches are must-tries, particularly the grouper and mahi-mahi options. The truth is that you can’t go wrong with any choice from their extensive menu, which, by the way, also features vegetarian and gluten-free options and a kids’ section.


More than delicious food at affordable prices, Pompano Joe’s sits in a prime location right on the white sands, with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico’s dazzling waters. The decor is made of colorful touches and exudes a fun and breezy atmosphere. Whether you choose a table on their deck or one of the picnic tables on the sand, you’re sure to have a great time.

Louisiana Lagniappe

For over three decades, Louisiana Lagniappe has been a staple of the Destin culinary scene, serving fresh seafood with a Creole flair and offering fine steaks at reasonable prices. Nestled within the Sandpiper Cove community, this hidden gem is perfect for family gatherings or romantic date nights.


Their waterfront location boasts lovely views of a marina dotted with moored boats. Whether you choose to dine on the restaurant’s deck or in its casual indoor space, you’ll find a lovely setting.


The menu seamlessly blends the best of seafood and meat-based dishes. Some of the best options include Blackened Scallops, Blackened Redfish, Shrimp and Grits, Twin Lobster Tails, Bayou Grouper, as well as perfectly cooked Filet Mignon, Ribeye, and Surf & Turf. They also have a kids’ menu available, featuring delightful bites like cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and popcorn shrimp.


Here’s a tip: If you’re planning a visit to the restaurant, note that they don’t accept reservations, but you can call ahead and put your name on the list.





Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano

This stylish Sicilian bistro is famous for its exceptional menu featuring recipes that have been passed down through generations in the same family. The offerings are extensive and diverse, and there is something to delight every palate. You can start your meal with appetizers like Garlic Knots, Burrata Caprese, or Beef Carpaccio. Or, if you prefer something lighter, their fresh salads, especially the Caesar and Tuna options, are highly recommended.


Then, it’s time to dive into a feast of homemade plates of pasta, including favorites like Linguine Frutti di Mare, Linguine Vongole, Fettuccine Alfredo, Gnocchi Lobster Carbonara, and Gnocchi Genova — all of each are cooked to perfection! The Gnocchi Genova, by the way, is served with a superb pistachio pesto cream sauce and topped with burrata — simply perfect! Oh, their pizzas are equally amazing.


To complement the experience, you can choose from a great selection of wines or maybe try one of their classic Italian libations.


The ambiance? It exudes pure style with red-brick walls, a gleaming marble bar, and long leather benches. Trust us: You’ll leave applauding the staff and chef!



Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House

Located right on Destin’s harbor, Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, or simply Boshamps, as this spot is called by locals, offers casual seating with two bars and very nice water views.


The menu features southern-style seafood and Angus steaks. The pan-roasted Gulf grouper is a favorite option, as are the Oysters Rockefeller. But you should also try their sandwiches. The staff is also happy to suggest kid-friendly options and vegetarian alternatives.


Speaking of kids, they usually like this place, especially because they can play on the sand while you have your drink by the bar, listening to some live music.


By the way, the bar has a variety of drink options. This one is all about kicking back and enjoying the laid-back Florida vibes. You can sit indoors or outdoors, and both environments are equally inviting!



Captain Dave’s On the Gulf

Captain Dave’s is a typical Florida seafood eatery, a pretty and airy restaurant with more great water views for you to enjoy. In business since 1968 (and that’s a testament to its quality!), they focus on American seafood with a Gulf Coast twist.


The menu offers classic fried, grilled, and broiled seafood dishes. Here’s a golden tip: Make sure to ask what the daily special is; sometimes they have great surprises!


Their floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel like you’re right on the shore, even if you sit inside, and their welcoming hospitality will make a real difference in your dining experience.


Oh, there’s also a full-service bar with a spacious lounge — in other words, a great place perfect for a drink after a great dinner.




Harbor Docks

Another fantastic waterfront hangout with deck seating, great seafood, and even sushi is Harbor Docks. In business for nearly 45 years, this one is a total local gem. The restaurant has its own local market just below the dining area — talking about fresh food, right?


The Fried Seafood Platters are a great order; they serve the catch of the day together with hand-cut fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies. They also infuse their offering with a well-suited Asian flavor. The Japanese menu includes rolls, poke, sashimi, and nigiri, and the Thai Pad Thai is very popular.


With its nice atmosphere, longstanding tradition in service, and good views of the Destin Harbor, Harbor Docks is a go-to spot in Destin, especially if you are into sushi!



Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi

Here’s one that’s a favorite of vegans and vegetarians! Located in the heart of Destin’s vibrant HarborWalk Village, this easygoing eatery blends Asian cuisine with other dishes and combines them with amazing cocktails and marina views. What more could you ask for a nice dinner in Destin?


The sushi options include many rolls with high-quality ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, and daikon sprouts. You can also ask for a vegetarian poke bowl without the Hai steak; the Hai Steak bowl is a popular option for its vegetables and seaweed.


Strawberry and watermelon mint lemonade are favorites among the drink options. Another popular dish with vegetarians is the Vegetarian Tofu Drunken Noodles, and this is also good for those who are meat eaters.


The environment is pretty relaxed, with a beach-chic vibe, and the service is excellent. If you pick your table well, you’ll also have great views of the boardwalk.




Red Onion Organic

Red Onion Organic is all about offering gourmet Mediterranean food in the heart of Florida. As the name suggests, they have a healthy twist to it, which includes a variety of plant-based options such as falafel or a veggie sandwich — all remarkably fresh.


This cozy beach casual, mom-and-pop restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients and exceptional service. They also offer a nice selection of wines and beers to round out the meal beautifully.


The atmosphere at Red Onion Organic invites you to sit back, relax, and take your time with each course of the meal. They also offer a nice selection of wines and beers to complement the dining experience.

Top Restaurants in Destin, FL

Are you feeling hungry already? The diverse range of restaurants in Destin, FL is certain to enhance your Florida vacation experience. Before venturing on your trip, it’sDesRea always a great idea to explore restaurant guides like this one to stay informed about new openings and receive top recommendations.


For additional insights on what to explore in Destin, FL, head to our destination blog. From the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants to a nightlife guide and the reasons why you should consider living in Destin all year round, all the information you need can be found. We have many juicy blogs awaiting you with lots of local tips.

Wondering Where To Stay During Your Visit to Destin FL?

Stay like a local by booking one of our RealJoy Vacations rentals. From spacious beachfront houses to luxurious resorts, we offer a wide selection not just in Destin but along the Emerald Coast. All our properties come with top-notch amenities that will make your experience unforgettable.


The best part? All of our rentals come equipped with great kitchens, so you can be the king of your own diet and cook whatever you want.

Book now with RealJoy Vacations and have the ultimate vacation on the Emerald Coast.


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