It’s hard to believe that this summer marks three years of living in Destin, Florida! We love the laid-back lifestyle, welcoming people and of course the beautiful beaches. There’s also a lot of great food! If you like seafood, you’ve come to the right place. Destin is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” so there is no shortage of Gulf shrimp, grouper and other fresh fish. That’s not all Destin has to offer though. There is a plethora of delicious restaurants that serve everything from Thai and Italian to Mexican and Irish. If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Destin, you won’t want to miss these amazing eateries:
Harbor Docks: Amazing Sushi & Seafood
Harbor Docks is my go-to spot for sushi in Destin. You have to try the Backdown roll, which is made with shrimp, cream cheese, tempura, cucumber, spicy sauce and topped with tuna, avocado and crab salad. They also have my favorite Pad Thai in town! My husband and I biked here for lunch one day and dined on their patio, which overlooks the harbor. It quickly became one of our favorite restaurants!
The Local Market: #1 Cuban Sandwich
This casual, funky breakfast and lunch spot is perfect if you want a quick (and delicious!) bite. The breakfast menu at The Local Market includes avocado toast, honey butter chicken biscuit, a breakfast burrito and other tasty treats. For lunch, they have a variety of scratch-made sandwiches, including their famous Cubano, but you also can’t go wrong with the Italiano or Turkey Avocado. In addition to the food, I really love the atmosphere at The Local Market because it feels like a neighborhood gathering spot where you dine inside or outside at picnic tables. Plus they have shelves full of specialty products (think gourmet jams & jellies) and refrigerated cases boasting fresh juice, beers, and other grab-and-go items. It’s part restaurant and part market, which makes for a unique experience. There really is something for everyone!
La Paz: A must for Taco Tuesday!
You can’t go wrong with Mexican food any day of the week, but we especially love going to La Paz on Taco Tuesday! Street tacos are $2 each and you can choose from chicken, steak, and pork. I usually get one of each, but the pork might be my favorite. I’ve also ordered from the regular menu and love their fish tacos, quesadillas and bacon-wrapped shrimp. They hand pick their fresh fish from Harbor Docks Seafood Market daily and the shrimp comes from the Amison family in nearby Appalachicola, so you know you’re getting the best!
The margaritas are amazing, too! They are made with fresh squeezed citrus and 100% agave tequilas and mezcals. The blood orange margarita is so tasty and refreshing. This is definitely a local hot spot — last time we went, we saw three separate tables of people we knew.
Marina Cafe: Great Happy Hour Food & Drink Specials
My husband is a happy hour aficionado and Marina Cafe probably has his favorite food & drink specials in Destin. Drinks and select sushi rolls are half price, plus they have other delicious food on their happy hour menu for under $7. The Thai barbecued chicken is SO good and big enough for a meal. If you want to get the full dining experience and a great price, entrées are buy one, get one free from 5pm to 6pm. I personally love their scallops and salmon! Plus their desserts aren’t too bad either 😉 That coconut cream pie tastes as good as it looks. The view at Marina Cafe is also pretty hard to beat. It’s right on the harbor and has an outdoor deck where you can dine or enjoy a cocktail. We watched the Christmas boat parade from here last year and it was the perfect location!
Burrito del Sol:
Family owned and operated, Burrito del Sol serves Baja-Style Mexican food and has AMAZING fish and shrimp tacos! It’s a build-your-own style menu, so you pick your tortilla (or lettuce or chips), then your protein and style (baja, chipotle, southwest, BBQ). With their homemade salsa, guacamole, seasonings and sauces, everything is very fresh and flavorful! Plus they have ever-changing and unique daily specials, so you can always try something new as you relax in this fun, friendly atmosphere.
1835 Porch Bar: The Only Craft Cocktails with a Harbor View
I love everything about 1835 Porch Bar – the food, the drinks, the view, the atmosphere. It literally is a bar on the porch of a home originally built in the early 1900s, which was used as a summer cottage for many years. It’s nestled within the trees overlooking the water and has a classic old Florida ambiance. You walk up to order and then sit outside on the patio overlooking the harbor to enjoy your food and drinks. It’s the perfect place to have dinner with a view, enjoy a craft cocktail around the fire, listen to live music, and play games like giant Connect Four, Jenga and cornhole. They also change the cocktail and food menu seasonally, so there’s always something fresh and creative to try!
East Pass Coffee Co: Cutest Place to Get Your Caffeine Fix
Formerly JumpinGoat Coffee trailer, East Pass Coffee Co. is an adorable family owned café that serves great coffee, sandwiches, acai bowls and treats. Be sure to try the Vietnamese Cold Brew or the Coco for Mocha, which is made with their signature coffee (hot or cold), mocha creamer and coconut syrup. Both are amazing! With the best brews and bites, East Pass Coffee Co. is the perfect place for a pick-me-up and catching up with friends!
Mimmo’s: The Best Italian food
Mimmo is originally from Siciliy and brings his authentic Italian cuisine to the Emerald Coast. Mimmo’s is a local hot spot with amazing food, great cocktails, and a fun atmosphere. Don’t be fooled by the strip mall location — inside it’s classy, cozy and the perfect place for date night! I especially love their brick oven pizzas and you have to start with the garlic knots! They are opening up a new location in 30A soon, which everyone is really excited about.
The Pancakery: Bring your brunch squad
If you want a hearty, tasty breakfast The Pancakery is a great option! The pancakes are HUGE and they have a variety of flavors. I’m a fan of their savory dishes as well, such as the Crab Island Omelette which is made with crab cake pieces and hollandaise sauce. They also serve lunch items and their classic Club Sandwich is a great choice! You can eat inside or on their outdoor patio.