Along the Emerald Coast in the Destin and 30A area, you might think that because you are dining beachfront that the food is fresh. But that is not always the case. Some of those popular beach restaurants serve imported, previously frozen seafood, and others just aren’t up to par when it comes to service and atmosphere…
We love living on the Gulf Coast and want your experience here to be incredible whether you’re on vacation or new to the area – and that includes eating the best food! Below are a few local favorite dinner restaurants in Destin and 30A, and these guys aren’t trying to trick you – the food they serve is fresh, local, and delicious! Plus, you get the added experience of being near the beach and enjoying the relaxed, coastal atmosphere.
Check them out and let us know – which one do you love most?!
- Bijoux is located in The Market Shops right outside of Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. If you are a foodie, it is worth every penny! Besides featuring fresh Gulf seafood, Bijoux offers happy hour at the bar.
- Boshamps is located at the Destin Harbor and offers a wide range of locally sourced seafood. Their service and views are great and they are among our personal favorites!
- Bitterroot is another personal favorite in Destin. They opened in 2020 and offer lunch from 11am-2pm daily and dinner from 4pm to closing. They’re quickly becoming known as a go-to for high-end lunch and dinner options with great cocktails and service!
- Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer is a locally owned and operated restaurant located on the Historic Destin Harbor that provides indoor and outdoor dining options, live music, and Sunday Brunch specials.
- Dewey Destin’s has two Destin locations that are great options for lunch or casual dinner.
- Camille’s is located on old 98 in Destin and provides amazing dinner cuisine and sushi. If you visit, you must try the Backdown Roll!
- Located in the heart of Destin, Osaka takes pride in serving only the best – from organic local produce and quality beef to fresh Gulf seafood.
- Sunset Bay Cafe is a family-owned restaurant that serves locally sourced ingredients and provides diners with a relaxed dining experience overlooking the bay.
- Fat Clemenza’s is a great Italian option in Miramar Beach. Well-known for their wood-fired pizza, they have great service and even better food!
- Cuvée Kitchen + Wine Bar is one of the newest restaurants in Destin and offers guests a variety of Gulf-to-table dishes, sushi, craft cocktails, and a large wine selection.
- Jackacudas on 98 offers a wide variety of creative sushi rolls and meals for dine-in or takeout. They offer happy hour every day – and have more than just sushi (so you’ll find something on the menu for everyone)!
- The Red Bar in Grayton Beach is a fun dining experience for both adults and kids (if they are good with louder music!). Even when there is a long wait, it is worth every minute as you listen to the awesome jazz band. Be sure to try their crab cakes – they are the best!
- Pescado Seafood Grill and Rooftop Bar is the place to go when you’re looking for casual fine dining with a great vibe and view! Perfect for those kid-free date nights!
- Louis Louis in Santa Rosa Beach is the Red Bar’s brother. Featuring the same great food, it offers a more quiet and intimate atmosphere with no live music.
- Blue Mabel is also in Santa Rosa Beach and is the best option when you’re looking for an early dinner! They are well known for their daily happy hour menu and house-made sauces.
- Grayton Beer Brewpub is a local brewery, restaurant, and bar located in the heart of Grayton Beach. They offer lunch and dinner starting at 11:00 am daily with 15+ beers on tap, all of which are brewed onsite or at their production facility, along with wine and craft cocktail options.
- Nanbu is Japanese for “southerner” and this Grayton Beach restaurant is a welcome addition! From poke bowls to ramen and more, Nanbu offers a great selection of Japanese favorites in a welcoming atmosphere. You can even order online for pickup (or delivery if you’re close!).
- The Wine Bar boasts several locations and serves lunch and dinner. As the name suggests, they have a fantastic wine selection and the food never disappoints.
- Old Florida Fish House is located in the heart of Seagrove Beach and offers a family-friendly dining experience. Enjoy Gulf-fresh seafood specials, select steaks, and the best sushi on 30A.
- Get a dose of paradise at Paradis. This restaurant focuses on coastal cuisine and is dedicated to preparing meals with only the best fresh and local ingredients.
- Bud and Alley’s is a local favorite! Located in Seaside, this restaurant takes its diners back to simpler times. Besides the awesome Gulf views from the rooftop bar, guests also enjoy classic, southern cuisine, and fresh seafood.
Did your favorite make the list? Let us know in the comments if you have another we should add!
Great article and I look forward to trying your recommendations. We stayed at the Blue Paradise house just a block or two from Bud and Alley’s and visited the restaurant twice during our one week stay. We are planning to go back to the same house next time we visit so hopefully some of these options are nearby as well!
We love Bud and Alley’s! You have got to try their scallops, so good.
My family also was lucky enough to stay at Blue Paradise! We loved our trip and the 4 bikes that were included with the home allowed us to pedal around and try a few of the restaurants from this awesome list. My personal favorite was the blackened fish I tried at Louis Louis, definitely a must try if you get the chance.
There are SO many amazing places to eat! It is hard to pick my favorite. Glad you liked Louis Louis!
I’m surprised you don’t have Boshamps on here. It is the absolute BEST in Destin!!
Ooooh, good catch! That’s actually one of our personal favorites as well and accidentally got left off. Adding it now. Thanks for the comment!