5 Must-Visit Restaurants in Destin, Florida

Where to Eat On Your Next Destin Vacation

When you find yourself in Destin, Florida, famed for its glistening white sand beaches and the mesmerizing shades of blue in its waters, the dining experience is just as captivating. This sunny coastal town offers a culinary journey that will tantalize every palate, from the freshest seafood served in laid-back shacks to exquisite gourmet dishes presented in upscale dining establishments. Culinary enthusiasts will find themselves spoilt for choice with the array of dining options that Destin has to offer.

To help you navigate through the multitude of options, we’ve curated a list of five must-visit eateries that stand out in this gastronomical paradise. Each one these popular restaurants delivers not only delicious food but also a unique dining experience that could easily become one of your most memorable moments in Destin. These restaurants are a testament to the town’s vibrant food culture, showcasing local flavors, innovative culinary techniques, and the freshest local ingredients. Here are the five standout restaurants in Destin that you absolutely shouldn’t miss on your next vacation!

Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant

If you’re on the hunt for an authentic seafood experience, look no further than Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant. Known for its delectable variety of seafood dishes, this establishment has built a reputation around its mouth-watering offerings. For those who lean towards the classics, the restaurant serves local favorites such as fried shrimp and oysters that capture the essence of the sea.

However, Dewey Destin’s doesn’t stop at the conventional. They also offer a range of unique dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From the Blackened Grouper Sandwich, a hearty meal highlighting the rich flavors of grouper, to the Crab Cake Sliders, a fresh twist on the traditional, there’s a whole host of exciting options for the adventurous diner.

But the restaurant isn’t just about great food; it’s also about the experience. Savor your meal on their outdoor patio, enveloped by the balmy sea breeze. The patio overlooks the harbor, offering diners picturesque views that complete the maritime dining experience. Whether you’re a seafood connoisseur or a casual diner, Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant has something to offer everyone.

The Back Porch

Nestled on the sun-kissed shores, The Back Porch serves as a haven for seafood enthusiasts. Revered for its fresh-off-the-dock seafood, this quaint beachfront restaurant provides an unforgettable dining experience. The menu is a testament to the bountiful marine life of the Gulf of Mexico, featuring a variety of delicacies that seafood lovers would truly appreciate.

Their signature Shrimp Tacos are a crowd favorite, featuring succulent shrimp enveloped in soft tortillas, garnished with fresh ingredients that tantalize the palate. Similarly, their Fresh Grouper Sandwich is another must-try, starring a generous serving of grouper that’s carefully prepared to bring out its naturally rich flavors.

But it’s not just the food that makes The Back Porch special. The restaurant offers a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico. Diners can gaze out at the turquoise waters, the setting sun painting the sky with hues of orange and pink, all while relishing their meal.

Completing the dining experience, The Back Porch boasts an extensive wine list. The selection caters to a variety of preferences, ensuring that everyone finds a wine that perfectly complements their chosen dish. Whether you’re a fan of bold reds, crisp whites, or sparkling rosés, you’re guaranteed to discover the perfect glass of vino to round off your meal at The Back Porch.

Louisiana Lagniappe

If you’re a fan of authentic Cajun cuisine and find yourself in Destin, worry not, Louisiana Lagniappe has you covered! Known for its rich flavors and tantalizing dishes, this popular eatery should be your go-to food spot. Located conveniently in your vicinity, Louisiana Lagniappe offers a culinary trip straight to the heart of Cajun country without leaving the comfort of Destin.

Kickstart your gastronomic adventure with their delectable starters—their gumbo, a Cajun classic, is a crowd-pleaser. Or perhaps, try their jambalaya, a hearty dish packed full of flavor that will transport you to the bayous of Louisiana. Don’t overlook the house specialties, which include mouthwatering creations like Crawfish Etouffee, a traditional Louisiana dish that showcases the delicate yet robust flavor of crawfish, and the Redfish Pontchartrain, a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to regional cuisine, which is sure to leave your taste buds delighted.

While their main courses are certainly fulfilling, you would be remiss to leave without sampling their desserts. Their Bananas Foster is a must-try! Prepared in quintessential Louisiana style, it provides a sweet ending to an already rewarding meal. Louisiana Lagniappe’s broad selection of dishes and its authentic Cajun flair promises an experience that is as unique as it is mouth-wateringly satisfying.   

Harry T’s Lighthouse Restaurant

Situated with an unparalleled view of the HarborWalk Marina, right at the base of the majestic Marler Bridge, Harry T’s Lighthouse Restaurant boasts not just unique and breathtaking views, but also a wide array of mouth-watering food options. As you step into this remarkable place, the scent of the sea mingles perfectly with the appetizing aroma of cooking, promising an unforgettable dining experience.

The menu is an impressive array of fresh seafood dishes, where the Crab Stuffed Flounder and Crispy Fried Oysters are perennial favorites. Each dish is carefully crafted with the freshest ingredients, transforming a humble seafood meal into a culinary masterpiece. And for those who prefer land to sea, the restaurant doesn’t disappoint. Traditional yet exquisite entrees like their melt-in-your-mouth Filet Mignon or the rich and flavorful Chicken Marsala are a sure delight for any carnivore.

But what truly sets Harry T’s apart is not just their food. Every night, the restaurant comes alive with live music. The ambiance is electric, with the tunes adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your dining experience. So, not only do you get to savor delectable dishes, but you also get to enjoy fantastic entertainment, making your visit to Harry T’s Lighthouse Restaurant more than just a meal – it’s a night out to remember.

AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

Rounding off our list with a flourish is the fantastic AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. This laid-back, waterfront-based establishment is renowned for serving up a mouth-watering array of classic oyster house and seafood dishes, giving each customer a taste of the ocean in every bite. You can’t go wrong with their fish tacos or po’boys, both favorites among the regulars and newcomers alike.

Yet, AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar isn’t just about the classics. They’re not afraid to innovate and bring something a little different to the table. Take, for example, their Lobster Mac & Cheese or the Shrimp & Grits Fritters – unique offerings that have quickly become a hit among the patrons.

One of the highlights of AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar that deserves a special mention is their phenomenal raw bar. Here you can relish freshly shucked oysters and clams, sourced directly from the boat and served onto your platter, guaranteeing the ultimate freshness.

Whether you’re a discerning food connoisseur seeking to treat your palate to exquisitely prepared and presented gourmet dishes or a lover of casual fare eager to partake in scrumptious comfort food served up in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, Destin’s eclectic mix of dining establishments promises to cater to any and every craving. From the traditional charm of classic seafood shacks serving up the day’s freshest catch to the high-end eateries that tantalize your senses with their decadent offerings, coupled with breathtaking vistas of the harbor, these five standout restaurants offer a blend of culinary excellence and authentic ambiance that is sure to please even the most discerning gastronome. So, whether you are planning a weekend getaway or a longer sojourn, make sure to schedule a visit to one, or better yet, all of these remarkable dining arenas. Indulge in the culinary offerings of the best restaurants in Destin during your next trip down south – a gastronomical journey that will not only satiate your immediate hunger but will also leave an indelible imprint on your culinary memory. Your taste buds, without a doubt, will be eternally grateful for the unforgettable gastronomic adventure!

Be sure and also check out our Destin Guide!
and 8 Fun Activities to Enjoy On Your Next Visit to Destin

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