Crystal clear blue waters plus white sandy beaches equal one dreamy Destin, FL vacation. This Gulf Coast hot spot is beloved for its world-class fishing and pristine natural beauty. In addition, when it comes to culinary prowess, this gem of the Emerald Coast also shines.
Follow along to discover the 12 best restaurants in Destin.
Satisfy your starving stomach with freshly grilled grouper or eat your weight in peel-and-eat shrimp.
Swear you’ve been transported to the shires of Ireland when you settle in for a portion of stick-to-your-ribs Shepherd's Pie at the local pub. Or, start your day off with a sugar high at the Donut Hole.
From family-friendly ambiance to fine dining, Destin restaurants can do it all!
Ready to eat your way through Destin FL? Read on…
Destin Florida Restaurants
Dewey Destin Seafood Restaurant
Who can resist a seafood restaurant with a side of history? Founded by the very same family who gave Destin, Florida its name, Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant serves as a beacon of Gulf Coast hospitality and fresh fish.
A homage to old Florida, this cozy shack serves up picturesque views of Crab Island and some of the best seafood in Destin. Make a beeline for the window, where you’ll place your order for fried crab claws, grilled gulf shrimp, and hush puppies.
Have you spent the day at sea? Bring in your own freshly caught fish, and the Dewey team will fry or grill your catch for you.
Beach Walk Cafe
In the mood for a romantic dining experience? Set the stage for amour when you hightail it to the Henderson Park Inn. Nestled in this secluded Gulf Coast hotel lies the Beach Walk Cafe.
A go-to destination for upscale American cuisine, where diners can revel in the unspoiled beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. Beach Walk manages to deliver an unparalleled fine dining experience complete with sand, sunsets, and starry skies.
Keep things fresh with their appetizer of citrus-marinated Gulf fish before diving into their divine Apalachicola Gulf Shrimp Scampi, featuring mounds of fettuccine pasta drenched in a white wine lemon garlic butter sauce.
Awe-inspiring waterfront views, stylish decor, and flavorful plates come together in perfect harmony at Destin’s most award-winning restaurant. For over 30 years, Marina Cafe has made its home in Destin Harbor.
Discerning patrons can choose to dine al fresco or get cozy at an intimate table in the candlelit dining room. Peruse their lengthy wine list and debate whether to go surf or turf.
Whet your appetite with an appetizer of blackened Grouper Cheeks served with ginger soy butter and island slaw, before moving on to their chargrilled Gulf Swordfish or USDA Prime Ribeye.
Tommy Bahama Restaurant Destin
Tommy Bahama may be best known for their flowy tropical shirts and laid-back island atmosphere, but at Sandestin, you can break bread amongst the lush flora and wicker furniture.
Reservations are recommended at this location but are more than worth the effort. Sip on a refreshing Bahia Sangria cocktail, as you soak in the soaring ceilings and charming outdoor aesthetic.
Take advantage of their everyday happy hour and munch away on small plates ranging from warm goat cheese dip to Blackened Mahi Mahi tacos.
Margaritaville Restaurant Destin
Calling all Parrot Heads! Embrace the island vibes and laidback lifestyle of Jimmy Buffet, when you feed your craving for frozen margs and grilled fish tacos at Margaritaville. The Destin outpost of this popular chain sits right on the Harborwalk.
Mosey on over and awaken your taste buds with a Spicy Mango Margarita or a Frozen Rum Runner. Feast on signature favorites such as their crispy coconut shrimp served with pineapple dipping sauce or try their hefty double cheeseburger in Paradise.
Don’t forget to take a peek at their event schedule to plan your visit to coincide with karaoke or live music nights.
After a day of beach volleyball or bodysurfing sometimes you just need a no-frills seafood spot. Foodies in the know head to Fort Walton Beach to stuff themselves silly with steamed crabs, seafood gumbolaya, and crawfish po’boys.
A true seafood lover’s paradise, locals and tourists alike gather at the Shack and rave about the stunning waterfront scenery and tropical cocktails crafted with care. Order up a draft from one of the area’s top breweries, or channel your inner island persona with a frozen Coco Loco.
Don’t forget to end your supper of seafood delights with a slice of creamy tart Key Lime pie.
Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi
Canopied outdoor seating strewn with string lights set the stage for an evening of incredible sushi. Named after the infamous ‘Jackacudas’ of the Gulf, Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi seeks to inject your Destin fish experience with equal parts flavor and fun.
Save some dollars when you stop by for their daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring drink specials, half-off appetizers, and $2 off select sushi rolls. Otherwise, try a medley of their outrageous specialty rolls from the Backdown featuring shrimp tempura and spicy lobster to the Kami Ka Zee Roll containing tuna, yellowtail, mango, jalapeno, cream cheese, and crunchies.
The Donut Hole
Who can say no to an all-day breakfast plus some freshly baked fritters? This homey Destin outpost of sugar and carbs is considered an Emerald Coast must-visit. Start your beach day off on a high note at the Donut Hole.
For 45 years this edifice of treats has delighted patrons with their hearty portions of bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, and homemade donuts. Snag a box of jelly, chocolate, red velvet, and cinnamon donuts to devour to go. Or, enjoy your Boston cream pie on-site.
Mimmo's Ristorante Italiano
Had it up to here with fish? If you need a slight break before you veer into seafood overload, swing by Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano.
A welcome reprieve in a sea of Grouper and oysters, here you can make yourself at home in the Mediterranean-inspired dining room complete with elegant wood and stone accents. Sip a heavenly Tuscan Chianti before helping yourself to an order of crispy calamari fritti or roasted garlic bruschetta.
Next, indulge in a rich plate of Carbonara or sample the house’s signature pizza pie, topped generously with Prosciutto di Parma, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella, and tomato sauce.
Muted hues of blue and cream and soft overhead lighting plus a bounty of Creole spice and flavor. These unlikely components come together in perfect harmony at Louisiana Lagniappe.
A study in complementary contrasts, this upscale eatery specializes in Louisiana-style specialties and seafood. Casual, yet elevated diners can come here and enjoy waterfront views as they tuck into tantalizing plates of Grouper Pontchartrain, shrimp and grits, and Jambalaya.
Be sure not to take down too many homemade hushpuppies as you’ll want just a sliver of room to sample their creamy Peanut Butter Pie featuring a thick layer of Reese's Peanut Butter filling and topped with chopped peanuts and caramel chips.
McGuire's Irish Pub
Live music and a buzzing atmosphere have been enticing patrons to frequent McGuire’s Irish Pub for years. Let loose like a leprechaun when you enjoy your libation in one of their signature copper kettles, or keep it classy with an official James Bond martini.
No bland boiled potatoes here! Ease into the Irish state of mind with some gouda and bacon-topped potato skins, or go full Emerald Isle with a plate of Corned Beef and Cabbage or Shepherd's Pie.
Ruth Chris Steak House
All about the beef? Make your inner carnivore jump up and down with glee when you wind down your Destin day at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Since 1965 Ruth’s Chris has been one of the most revered names in the Steakhouse game.
Lock in that reservation ahead of time, and get set to celebrate that special anniversary, birthday, or milestone. Way more than potatoes, salads, and steaks, Ruth’s also delivers mouthwatering vegetarian, gluten-friendly, and keto options.
Munch away on a seared Ahi Tuna appetizer or keep that diet in check with a keto-approved Porterhouse or Lobster Tail for two.
Crab legs dipped in buttery, creole-tinged bowls of gumbo, plus ice-cold margaritas. Is your mouth watering yet? Before we jump into the most delectable restaurants in Destin FL, it’s time to secure your accommodations.
Whether you plan to splash the day away at Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park or explore the charming Destin Boardwalk, we have Destin Hotels for every type of traveler. As always, make your hotel reservation with confidence knowing you are guaranteed our lowest rates online.
Known as the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village, it’s no secret Destin Florida is synonymous with seafood.
Experience Destin: Once Bite at a Time
While no one can deny the visceral pleasures of an ocean-fresh oyster or hunk of grouper blackened and served on a pillowy hoagie roll, there is more to this Panhandle paradise than fish!
Grumbling tummies will be easily satisfied when they taste their way through the diverse offerings of Destin’s best restaurants.
Devour plates of shareable sushi bakes and steamed pork dumplings served with ginger teriyaki sauce. Or, journey to the Sicilian countryside when you sample the family recipes of Mimmo’s Italian restaurant.
From Fettuccine Alfredo to freshly baked Key Lime Pie, every meal in Destin is a true delight.
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