BBQ in Destin, 30A, & Panama City Beach

Explore the smoky flavors defining the Emerald Coast's culinary scene!

Posted on 3/15/2024

Sprinkled along Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast, like fine seasonings on choice cuts of meat, are a collection of southern barbecue secrets few people appreciate—or may even be aware of. Perhaps it's because we're affectionately known as the Redneck Riviera, or maybe it's the allure of our shores that attracts the coolest people from the most renowned BBQ locales. These culinary artisans have migrated here to live out their dreams, bringing with them their unique barbecue styles, sauces, and seasonings. As we embark on this journey of smoky, savory flavors, it's clear that every establishment we'll visit is fabulous and worth savoring, whether at your beachfront vacation rental or during a romantic picnic on the shore.

Intrigued by the allure of these flavors, we invite you to join us on a culinary tour from Destin to Panama City Beach, moving through Miramar Beach and the Scenic 30A. This eastward voyage promises an exploration of the region's best barbecue, showcasing how each location contributes to the Emerald Coast's distinguished culinary scene.

Featured Video: 3 Sons Bar-B-Q

Destin BBQ

Moe's BBQ Destin

Moe's Original BBQ | 303 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

Let's begin our BBQ journey in the Luckiest Fishing Village in the World, better known as Destin. This charming coastal town has earned its reputation as a haven for grilled and smoked meats. Our first stop is Moe's Original B Que, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Renowned for its delectable offerings, Moe's serves up award-winning smoked meats with a delightful down-home style. Nestled on the tip of the Destin peninsula, just off Highway 98, you'll know you're in the right place when the enticing aroma beckons you in. If you find yourself smitten with their flavors (and trust us, you will), fear not—Moe's has dotted the South with their culinary delights, and yes, they offer take-home sauce for your personal enjoyment!

Chipper's BBQ Destin

Chipper's BBQ | 4419 Commons Dr, Destin, FL 32541

Another must-try in Destin is Chipper's BBQ, lauded by Restaurant Guru and crowned as one of Emerald Coast Magazine's Best in Destin. This family-owned establishment boasts three generations of expertise, stemming from their Northern roots but firmly grounded in Southern tradition. With ten restaurants under their belt, their commitment to quality and flavor shines through in every bite. One taste, and you'll find yourself craving seconds.

Miramar Beach BBQ

Lillie's Q BBQ Miramar Beach

Lillie's Q | 9848 US-98, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Next up on our BBQ adventure is Lillie's Q, nestled between Destin and 30A in the picturesque enclave of Miramar Beach. Situated on the north side of Hwy 98, this hidden gem boasts an eclectic charm that perfectly complements its mouthwatering offerings. Step up to the window, and you'll find yourself immersed in a honky-tonk metal sculpture garden, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience. Whether you opt for a cozy table on the covered porch or prefer to bask in the coastal breeze elsewhere, Lillie's Q promises to deliver some of the best BBQ in town. Be sure to sample their renowned sauces, which has garnered acclaim far and wide. And if you're lucky, you might even have the chance to meet the mastermind behind the barbecue—a character whose passion for his craft shines through in every savory bite.


3 Sons Bar-B-Q 30A

3 Sons Bar-B-Q | 6931 W 30A, SRB, FL 32459

Introducing the latest addition to our BBQ expedition: 3 Sons Bar-B-Q. Originally a beloved food truck in the area since 2013, this culinary gem expanded to its brick-and-mortar location at the far western end of 30A just last year. Nestled on the south side of 30A near Dune Allen Beach, 3 Sons Bar-B-Q brings a fresh perspective to the local BBQ scene. Every bite boasts the unique flavor of the "sons," showcasing their distinct barbecue style and culinary prowess. From tantalizing spices to diverse dining options, this establishment offers a feast for the senses. Whether you're grabbing a quick bite to enjoy on the beach or seeking a leisurely meal near Grayton Beach State Park, 3 Sons Bar-B-Q provides the perfect pit stop on your Emerald Coast adventure.

98 Bar-B-Que Santa Rosa Beach

98 Bar-B-Que | 5008 US-98, SRB, FL 32459

Returning to Highway 98, our next destination is 98 Barbecue—an establishment that promises an unforgettable dining experience. Step inside and you'll be greeted by an inviting atmosphere, complete with dark wood tables, ample sauce, and plenty of paper towels to tackle the delicious mess ahead. Renowned for serving some of the best barbecue on 98, this eatery is a haven for BBQ enthusiasts. Whether you're dining in or grabbing a hearty serving to-go, you're in for a treat. Indulge in their sweet sauce, legendary coleslaw, and don't forget to try their epic corn nuggets—just one bite, and you'll understand why 98 Barbecue has earned its place as a local favorite along the Emerald Coast.

Barefoot BBQ Seaside

Barefoot BBQ | 2221 E Hwy 30A, Seaside, FL 32459

For those in search of friendly vibes and fantastic barbecue, venture no further than the classic American beach town of Seaside. Here, tucked away in an airstream trailer, you'll discover Barefoot Barbecue—a hidden gem boasting some of the most delicious BBQ on 30A. Whether you're craving a mouthwatering pork sandwich, epic BBQ nachos, or any other smoked delight to enjoy on the beach or prefer to savor your meal in the casual atmosphere with plenty of outdoor seating, Barefoot Barbecue delivers. Don't miss out on their delicious sauce, adding the perfect finishing touch to every bite. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the surrounding architecture or gaze out at the impossibly blue sea—there's simply no better vibe than here at Barefoot Barbecue in Seaside.

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Panama City Beach BBQ

Back Beach Barbecue Panama City Beach

Back Beach Barbecue | 19714 PCB Pkwy, PCB, FL 32413

Heading eastward, our journey brings us to Panama City Beach's Back Beach Barbecue—a culinary powerhouse in the world of BBQ. As you step inside, you're greeted by a spacious interior adorned with natural wood accents and a plethora of tables, while outside, ample outdoor seating beckons under the Florida sun. With something always cooking, this joint is a magnet for bikers, locals, and vacationers alike. The sauce here is legendary—thick, spicy, and utterly irresistible. And let's not forget about their stellar coleslaw, the perfect accompaniment to any BBQ feast. Offering great value for your dollar, Back Beach Barbecue is the ideal spot to grab dinner for the whole family, ensuring plenty of smiles all around.

Destin BBQ Festivals

Amidst the plethora of barbecue havens, our region plays host to some truly epic barbecue competitions. Kicking off the festivities in September is Destin Commons shopping center's Smoke on the Coast—a showdown where local restaurants team up with nonprofits for a flavorful competition. Sample delectable offerings from various contenders as they vie for the title of best barbecue, all while supporting a good cause. With opportunities for shopping amidst your culinary adventure, this family-friendly event boasts face painting and a plethora of vendors. You're bound to leave stuffed, so why not bring home some sauce or coleslaw to keep the party going?

Just a stone's throw away and a month later, you'll find Eggs on the Beach—an eagerly anticipated Big Green Egg cooking competition. Gathered from across Northwest Florida, top chefs converge for a battle royale, all in the name of charity. For a mere $50, indulge in unlimited bites, desserts, and sample Angels Envy bourbon in its purest form or as a craft cocktail. The cook team with the most Taster votes not only secures bragging rights but also walks away with a coveted Big Green Egg. This popular foodie event is elevated with live music, a cash bar, and the excitement of college football on flat-screen TVs, offering ample chances to win prizes, including your very own Big Green Egg. Whether you're a culinary connoisseur or simply looking for a beachside soirée, this cooking event by the beach is an unbeatable experience, no matter how you slice it.

Ocean Reef Guests

As we conclude our barbecue adventure along the Emerald Coast, it's evident that this region is a mecca for BBQ enthusiasts and food aficionados alike. From the flavorful ribs of Moes Original B Que to the mouthwatering BBQ nachos at Barefoot Barbecue in Seaside, each stop has left us craving more of that smoky, savory goodness. But the culinary journey doesn't end here—vibrant BBQ competitions like Smoke on the Coast and Eggs on the Beach keep the excitement sizzling year-round. So, with the irresistible aroma of BBQ lingering in the Gulf breeze, we invite you to join us in exploring the endless flavors of Northwest Florida. And while you're here, why not make the most of your vacation by staying in one of our premier vacation rentals in Destin, 30A, or Panama City Beach? Experience the ultimate blend of comfort, convenience, and coastal charm, ensuring your getaway is truly unforgettable. After all, life is simply better on our shores, where every bite tells a story of southern hospitality and culinary delight.

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