Your Favorite Destin Restaurants

Our Facebook Fans Pick Destin's Top Restaurants

Posted on 2/9/2018

Nearly all of our exceptional vacation rental properties at Ocean Reef Resorts include full kitchens, so our guests may save money and create a fun family feast when dining in. However when you're on vacation a big part of the fun is eating out! Destin's Emerald Coast has a cornucopia of fine restaurants that include eateries of all kinds. Many of them are long-established culinary treasures that are hugely popular among both visitors and locals alike. 

Favorite Destin Restaurants

We decided that the best way to determine the five best restaurants in Destin was to ask our Ocean Reef Facebook Fans which were their favorites. We received a received a huge response from our fans who suggested over 35 favorite restaurants in and around Destin. Here are your Top Five Favorites Destin Restaurants with a countdown to number one!

Blackend Redfish Louisiana Lagniappe

5. Louisiana Lagniappe

Lagniappe is a French Cajun word well known in Louisiana and especially in New Orleans that stands for "a little something extra." The name certainly resonates with this restaurant that sits beside the harbor on Holiday Isle. However, some would say you get a lot of lagniappe here due to their fine Louisiana Creole-inspired cuisine. TripAdvisor reviews lists this well-established restaurant among their Top Ten, and it receives an Award for Excellence almost every year. Favorite dishes include Maine Lobster with Shrimp Etouffe, Eggplant Orleans, Barbeque Jumbo Shrimp, Jambalaya and Grouper Louisianne.

Dewey Destin's Fried Shrimp

4. Dewey Destin's

Dewey Destin's family has been here for many generations as fishermen, and as you might have guessed, his ancestors were among the town's founders. Captain Leonard Destin was the first to arrive here almost 170 years ago in 1850 and helped create "the world's luckiest fishing village." Dewey opened his bayfront restaurant on the same docks that all the generations of his family had always used for unloading the gulf's harvest. They serve daily fresh catches of Grouper, Amberjack, Snapper and Trigger Fish depending upon the season. Fresh shrimp and oysters are brought in from Apalachicola and Bayou La Batre at least twice a week. The brought in by local fishermen catches from the gulf are fried or grilled. Daily specials are listed on a chalkboard while old black and white photos show Destin's fascinating fishing history. Dewey Destin's Harborside opened as his second restaurant in the past few years above the marina. Both restaurants score a 4.6  Star Rating on Facebook.

Pompano Joes Garlic Grouper and Lobster Tail

3. Pompano Joe's

This colorful yet rustic restaurant sits right on the beach off of Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach and close to many of our Ocean Reef Resorts vacation rentals. The Travel Channel featured Pompano Joe's as The Ultimate Beach Snack Shacks and one of the world's best beach restaurants! Pompano Joe's is a multiple Blue Ribbon Winner for serving the Best Gumbo at the Sandestin Gumbo Festival. Their gulf caught seafood is prepared with a Caribbean flavor. The fun casual atmosphere includes a friendly beach bar, outdoor seating and big windows indoors that are open for the gulf breeze on nice days. Due to Pompano Joe's popularity, five years ago they opened a second location at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

McGuire's Irish Pub Burger

2. McGuire's Irish Pub

It takes a lot to become one of the most popular restaurants in a seafood town, but McGuire's Irish Pub happens to be one of America's great steakhouses. They opened originally in Pensacola back in 1977 which still operates today and opened their Destin location at the bridge in 1996. Their whimsical motto is "Feasting, Imbibery & Debauchery" – so plan to eat, drink and be merry when you go there! The entire place is plastered with signed one dollar bills placed by patrons over the years. Besides the fine steaks and delicious prime rib they also serve over 25 different burgers with different toppings on each. Although most of their half-pound burgers are about $10,  the "Grand Burger" goes for  $100 which includes a large custom ground patty of Filet Mignon, a side of caviar and a Grand Magnum of Moet Imperial Champagne. They also serve a wide assortment of seafood, pasta dishes, chicken, and pork. You may also want to try a big mug of one the Irish ales or beer that they brew themselves. Besides our Ocean Reef Resorts survey, they also ranked #2 among the Ten Best Restaurants in Destin from reviews on Trip Advisor and received a 4.7 Star rating on Facebook.

Back Porch Destin

1. The Back Porch

This restaurant does have a wide "back porch" with rocking chairs and tables that face the gorgeous glistening gulf. It has become a traditional coastal culinary destination and a favorite among locals ever since they opened back in 1974. The Back Porch takes tremendous pride in serving only fresh caught gulf seafood which arrives daily. They were the very first restaurant in the area to serve tasty chargrilled Amberjack back in the 1980s. They also have an authentic Oyster Bar where they shuck the fresh shell right in front of you. These go great with an ice cold brew. The views from tables on the back porch overlook the jewel toned waters of the gulf. The salty breeze, glorious views, and sound of the pounding surf will definitely stimulate your appetite for some savory seafood!

Best Burgers on 30A

Keeping reading: Best Burgers on 30A

Well now that you know where to go eat, pick another favorite among our wonderful Ocean Reef Resorts vacation rentals nearby. Our user-friendly website will give you images, verbal descriptions, lists of individual amenities, aerial views for location, seasonal rates, calendar availability and information on Reef Reward's fun discounts. Bon appétit'!

Related Articles


Surfing in Destin

Watch Now

Grayton Landing

30A in A Minute

Top 5 Miramar Beach Resorts

Rags to Riches Gratyon Beach

Trending Articles

Related Vacation Rentals

This beachfront two bedroom condominium directly faces the emerald hued gulf at Sterling Sands, which is one of Destin's premier destinations. The location is the heart of Destin, so lots of delightful diversions are close by. However you may have a hard time leaving this beautiful place since it sits right upon the shimmering white beach with dazz
Sterling Sands 312
2 BR
2 BA
4 Guests
Condo - Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating (1)