Staff Picks: Best Destin Seafood Restaurants

Kenny D's, Harbor Docks, The Other End, Bayou Bill's, and...

Posted on 3/10/2020

If you've ever wondered where to find the Best Seafood in Destin, you've come to the right place! Based on votes by our staff, we created a comprehensive list of the best and most popular Destin Seafood restaurants. Just for you!

Why should you care what our staff has to say?

Because they are local experts! Ocean Reef Resorts prides itself on hiring locals who live, work, and play in this special piece of paradise. These local professionals know their stuff and are readily available to ensure guests have the most enjoyable and memorable Destin vacation. As more and more vacation companies are removing the "people" aspect out of the reservation process, and major national companies are buying out local companies, we want our guests to know that we take their vacation experience seriously. As a local company, we want to make sure your vacation is the best that it can be. And what better way to accomplish this than by providing all the insider details on everything that makes Destin so great?

In an effort to share our staff's local knowledge with our wonderful visitors, we polled the team on their favorite seafood restaurants. Here is what they came up with! (Pro tip: read to the end to discover the most popular Destin seafood restaurant, as voted by the staff.)

Kenny D's Beach Bar & Grill

Oyster Rockefeller Kenny D's Destin

Located in Destin's Miramar Beach, Kenny D's Beach Bar & Grill boasts a delightful combination of fresh Gulf Coast seafood and Cajun-style cuisine. Kenny and Leta, the restaurant's owners, are native to New Orleans, but have brought a slice of their homeland to this paradise destination. This restaurant's award-winning gumbo is just the tip of the peninsula when it comes to providing mouthwatering dining options. Popular menu items include Oysters-onda-halfshell, Cajun Ken's Fish Couvillion, a Shrimp Feast, and more. Our Ocean Reef Resorts Miramar Beach General Manager, warns guests not to judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, a restaurant by its exterior. Of Kenny D's, he says, "This classic diner-style restaurant may lack the curb appeal of some of its competitors, but it is right by the beach. And make no mistake, they have the best Oysters Rockefeller in town!"

Harbor Docks

Harbor Docks has been a Destin staple for over 40 years. To operate this long in such a competitive market, you just know it has to be amazing! From local seafood to excellent service, this restaurant appeals to seafood lovers of all ages. The restaurant prides itself on serving local seafood provided by the Harbor Docks Wholesale Seafood Market. Unlike other areas in Florida these days, the food at Harbor Docks is fresh and made from scratch every single day. In addition to its dinner menu, Harbor Docks also offers lunch, breakfast, sushi, and cocktail menus. Tasty dishes include Boiled Gulf Shrimp, Blackened Catch of the Day, and Gulf Grouper Parmadine. You'll have to explore the whole menu yourself to find your favorite! So, what does our staff have to say about this popular seafood restaurant? Cameron in Guest Services at the Seacrest Beach Office says Harbor Docks has the "best seafood in the south, fresh as fresh can be. Locally sourced, caught right in our backyard."

Read more: Where do you buy fresh seafood in Destin?

The Other End Restaurant & Beer Garden

The Other End Destin

One of the best things about getting an insider's view of an area is discovering the unique, practically hidden local gems. The Other End Restaurant and Beer Garden is one of these such diamonds… or should we say emeralds! This beer garden is located on the Destin Harbor, and offers a delicious selection of craft beer and wine, as well a wide variety of amazing bar food and seafood. It offers outdoor seating, so diners can enjoy their meals in the perfect coastal weather. Mikey, a Service Technician in Miramar Beach, highly recommends this delightful hole-in-the-wall dining venue.

Bayou Bill's Crab House

Bayou Bill's Crab House

Bayou Bill's Crab House received multiple votes by our staff as a Destin's best seafood restaurant. This classic restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach offers a full seafood-to-table menu. From raw oysters, gumbo, crab feasts, shellfish, and fresh fish, there is something here for everyone. The raw oyster bar features the freshest Apalachicola oysters, from oysters on the half shell to char-grilled oysters. Other favorite dishes include Janie's Pontchartrain, Jimmy's Parmesan Shrimp, Pan Sautéed Orleans, Crab Feast for Two, Shrimp, and Scallops, and so much more. Guests should also be sure to take their picture with the Giant Alligator – after all, Florida is known for these scaly guys! Top the evening off with a fully stocked bar, and diners will bask in the full coastal dining experience.

Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

Boshamps Destin

Here it is – the best seafood restaurant in Destin, according to the knowledgeable, local, Ocean Reef Resorts Staff. And the winner is, drum roll, please…Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House! Boshamps is located directly on the Destin Harbor, offering incredible food and incredible views. This restaurant has been a local favorite for decades, providing its diners with seafood dishes made from the freshest local ingredients and a luxury dining experience. The restaurant's menu boasts a delectable selection of Gulf-to-table dishes, including the Devil's Crab, Fried Green Tomato & Jumbo Lump Crab, Crispy Fried Calamari, Raw "Nekkid" Oysters, "Oysters Bienville, Yankee Lobster Mac 'N Cheese, Off the Docks Catch of the Day, and so much more. Custom cocktails, draft beer, and house wines add to the experience. Finally, guests can enjoy live music on the weekends, and who doesn't love dinner and a show? Boshamps is truly a local staple when it comes to Destin's best seafood restaurants. Although a little silly, our Grayton Beach General Manager Justin said it best, "The Alabama Feta Cheese Dip is ridiculous and the Oysters Boshamp are so good it'll make your tongue slap your brain." Talk about imagery!

Destin Favorite Places to Eat

In addition to our staff's knowledge, we also appreciate the input provided by our Emerald Coast visitors. Based on an informal Facebook poll, we discovered a few more Destin seafood fan favorites. These include: Louisiana Lagniappe, Dewey Destin's, Pompano Joe's, and the Back Porch. Check out the details in the article Your Favorite Destin Restaurants.

If you plan to vacation to Destin, chances are you will want to grab some fresh seafood at some point. These restaurants are your ticket for the best seafood! All are within walking or driving distance of our Ocean Reef Resorts Destin vacation rentals, so be sure to talk to your vacation specialist for details. As mentioned previously, our staff is here to ensure you have the best time in the best beach destination, including experiencing the best seafood. Bon Appetit!

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