When it comes to beautiful beaches and sunny skies on the Emerald Coast, nowhere in Florida is quite like Destin.
Sure, plenty of other counties and cities can be found on the Emerald Coast.
But if you’re looking for a city that has plenty of entertainment in the State, from the natural beauty of the many beaches to some of the best water parks in the Pan Handle, it’s hard to top this little Northwestern Florida city.
Tourism is a big part of the local economy, which gives plenty of businesses the chance to show off the many food vendors that Destin is known for, both for locale delicacies, and far-flung flavors.
It’s these restaurants, cafés, and other food establishments that we’re here to mull over today. After all, between all that exploring of Destin, you’re going to get hungry sooner or later!
And when you do, make sure to check out these amazing places to grab a bite to eat (see also “Best Places To Eat In Daytona Beach“)!
1. Bric A Brac
Starting with an establishment that has quickly climbed the ranks of the best restaurants in Destin, we have Bric a Brac, a seafood venue that is sure to have you coming back a second and a third time!
Given that the city has a strong fishing tradition, and arguably boasts the biggest fishing fleet of boats in the country, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many people hold the seafood here in high regard.
It’s a fact that Bric a Brac has made full use of, a seafood menu that is sure to have something for everyone.
Seriously, considering that seafood can be such a love-or-hate kind of meat for some people, the fact that this restaurant caters to all tastes somehow, old and young, is damn impressive!
If you’re looking for a recommended meal for a first-time visit, we would wholeheartedly suggest the crab cakes here. They’re some of the best that we’ve ever tasted!
Staying with the seafood options for a little longer, we have a phenomenal to try out if you’re a fan of shellfish, and if you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience.
Located out on Destin Harbor, this open-planned restaurant has a vibe and feel, unlike virtually any other restaurant on this list. It’s a very laid-back feel to it, and is the perfect place for social meet-ups, whether it’s a couple of nights out or a big party of 10.
However, while you’ll be feeling relaxed while lounging in this amazing restaurant, the food quality is anything but lax. The shrimp, fish, and oyster meals here are immaculate, and cooked to perfection in a way that melts in your mouth.
However, if you’re perhaps not the biggest seafood enthusiast, the restaurant still has main meal options for you. The prime steak here is something else, and the cocktails are the perfect way to celebrate a night in the city.
And, if that wasn’t enough, there are even live performances at Boshamps from local legends and performers that you’ll be able to enjoy throughout your dining experience.
This place is easily recommended by us, both as a restaurant and as an experience!
Moving from delicate fish dishes to dessert delights for a second, the Donut Hole is arguably The place to go to for donuts in North West Florida.
They’re almost always ranked at the top of the most listing for best donuts in the county, heck, the best donuts in the state!
With a huge variety of donuts to choose from, there’s a type and flavor here for pretty much everyone. Glazed, jelly, custard, and a range of other amazing fried donut treats are waiting for you here.
(For the freshest donut flavor, make sure that you get down to the Donut Hole early when these amazing little confectionaries are fresh out of the fryer!)
Plus, it’s not just donuts that you can enjoy here. Donut Hole has a ton of other breakfast foods to choose from, from sausage, bacon, and hash browns, to other sweet breakfast treats. We especially love the pancakes here!
In short, whether it’s an all-day breakfast or some phenomenal donuts, you’ve got your cravings covered here!
4. Marina Cafe
One of the things that you’ll notice about many of the best picks for food in Destin is that many of them have been around for a while. Their reliable quality and sheer variety make them the mainstays of the Destin food circuit.
Marina Cafe is another example of an amazing restaurant/café that has stood the test of time. After all, you don’t stay in business for more than 30 years, and become the most-awarded restaurant in Destin, by luck alone!
One thing that we particularly love about Marina Cafe is the variety that it offers customers. While many of the other places that we’ve covered tend to specialize in one or two kinds of food, you get a little bit of everything here.
From wagyu beef, cooked to perfection, to phenomenal crab cakes and fish fillets that you can’t get enough of, there’s something for every flavor palette here.
Plus, with a 2-hour happy hour on weekdays from 5 to 7 pm on beers and wines, you can sample some of Destin’s best drinks here too! There’s even a buy-1-get-1 entrée special offer if you’re dining from 5 to 6 pm.
With enticing offers like that, how could anyone not want to take a closer look at this place?
Of course, not everyone is looking for a savory meal when they’re looking for a place to eat (see also “Amazing Places To Eat In Pensacola“), especially if they’re on the go. Sometimes, you want something cool and sweet in your system, which is where Shake’s Frozen Custard comes into the mix!
Obviously, in a town as sunny and warm with a coast as Destin, there are bound to be more than a few good milkshake parlors dotted around the city. But even among these, Shake’s Frozen Custard stands out as one of the best.
This is in part thanks to their thorough ice-cream-making process. Made using old-fashioned techniques, as well as largely made by hand, the quality of the ice cream here is second to none.
Meaning that the milkshakes that the ice cream goes into are also going to be incredible!
Plus, there are a ton of different frozen desserts on offer here, from milkshakes to sundaes, to concretes.
Whether it’s eating in or taking away, this amazing ice cream-focused parlor has your chilled sweet needs covered!
Who doesn’t love a good local market? Fresh produce and food, what’s not to love?
In Destin, however, that Local Market in question is a phenomenal place to eat. Not just for the food, but for the ambiance of this breakfast and lunch diner.
There’s a little something for everyone here, no matter their taste preferences and palettes.
From crunchy salads, both fruit, and veggie, to delicious sandwiches of all kinds, this is arguably THE place to go if you’re looking to grab a bite for lunch, whether it’s for breakfast or lunch.
Plus, the Local Market also donates a percentage of all of its sales to American Lunch, a non-profit 501c3 scheme to provide hot meals to people in and around Destin that need help.
Sure, the food tastes amazing here. But knowing that you’ll also be helping out local people that need help when eating here just makes that food taste so much better, knowing that you’re helping someone, right?
Of course, in a city with as much fresh seafood as Destin, it was only a matter of time before we found ourselves in another amazing seafood venue.
Dewey Destin’s Seafood has a history that goes back as far as the town itself, with one of Dewey Destin’s ancestors being the man, fisherman Leonard Destin, who founded the city in the first place.
Dewey Destin’s restaurant continues that maritime tradition with a host of incredible seafood dishes for you to choose from, from fried fish and crab to the amazing catches of the day.
There are quite a few different Dewey Destin Seafood restaurants across the city, with all of them having their twists and variations on classic dishes.
If you’re looking for a recommendation of which one to try first, we would recommend either the New Orleans Snowballs or the Dewey Destin’s Seafood or Harborside restaurants, for that authentic, tied-to-the-sea feeling!
Of course, how could we have a list of the best places to eat, and not mention at least one pizza place to check out?
Merlin’s Pizza has to be one of the best, with a wide range of different bases and toppings to pick from, and options for both eating in or taking out!
The name is certainly appropriate as these pizzas will melt like magic with flavor in your mouth!
So, Destin isn’t lacking in good food, as we can see.
Whether it’s a great breakfast diner, a pleasant and relaxing lunch, or a seafood restaurant with amazing vibes in the evening, there is a place for pretty much any mood and time, and plenty of different cuisines to choose from!
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