from a locals perspective
As a frequent traveler myself, I understand that food is a BIG part of the travel experience. It can also be a big part of travel STRESS if you don’t know where to go. Some places we have traveled have caused us stress because there were hardly any choices to choose from, while others have been overwhelming because there have been too many choices!
I like to think that Destin is a good in between. *WINK*
In this TLV blog post I want to share a quick guide to some of our favorite restaurants in the area. These are the ones we frequent the most often. A few of them are common chain restaurants that you just can’t go wrong with, while most may be something you’ve never heard of before, or that are specifically local to the Destin area.
I have broken them up into categories and included links so you can check out their websites and locations.
While this says “IN DESTIN”, this list will include restaurants along the gulf coast in surrounding areas as well. Including: Downtown Destin, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, & Sandestin.
HERE IS A LIST OF OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN THE DESTIN AREA AS LOCALS:
#1: Maple Street Biscuit Company – Funny enough, we were first introduced to Maple Street while taking a quick “staycation” in Tallahassee. We loved it so much that we went more than once in the short time we were there. I actually thought about contacting the company and requesting a location in our area, but I never got around to it. Not too long later we saw a sign, “Coming Soon! Maple Street Biscuit Company”! HA!
Maple Street is unique in many ways, and has amazing biscuit sandwiches and biscuit cinnamon rolls!
Miramar Beach Location
#2: First Watch – First Watch is a great place for the whole family. They have a combination of classic items, as well as a few unique ones. They have freshly made juices. They’re similar to Cracker Barrel in the sense that one person can get breakfast, while another gets lunch. I have linked the Destin location below; there is also a location in Santa Rosa Beach.
#3: Chanticleer Eatery – Chanticleer is best described at COZY. They have great food, a cute outdoor patio space for dining if you prefer, and they are located next to a strip of unique, local shops and boutiques.
Our favorite thing to get from Chanticleer is their salads! They are HUGE and colorful and delicious.
#4: Everkrisp – Everkrisp is a salad bar! If you are a big salad fan like us, then you will understand the hype here. It is also the only salad bar that I am aware of in the vicinity. They have tons of tasty ingredients to build your own salad. They have some pre-made salad options, as well as a few non-salad options. They also get LOCAL and ORGANIC produce as much as seasonally possible.
#5: Burrito Del Sol – Amazing, local Mexican food with a “build-your-own” type menu. Need I say more?
#6: Real Thai Fusion – I think all I need to say here is that I did not like Thai food until I went here. I have tried SO many different items off their menu and loved them all! We know the owner on a first name basis…. That says something….
#7: Cantina Laredo – A modern and sophisticated take on Mexican food. The restaurant has a classy vibe, and they have a great outdoor dining patio space.
#8: The Craft Bar – How do I describe The Craft Bar? It’s unique. It has mostly pub vibes. 30 beers on tap. Burger nights. Yet also a few classy vibes with their charcuterie board and wines. Great food. They have two nearby locations. One in Destin, and one in Miramar Beach.
#9: VKI Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar – Yummy hibachi and a large selection of sushi. They have an in-house ginger dressing for their side salads that is amazing. We’ve bought tubs to take home before!
This is obviously a necessary category for a Destin food blog! But, I feel I need to make a disclaimer for this category. Believe it or not, neither Ryan nor I eat seafood! *GASP* I know.
I cannot personally vouch for the seafood at these restaurants. BUT, we have been to each of these restaurants multiple times and gotten non-seafood items that we really enjoyed. And others have raved about the seafood at these restaurants.
ALSO, I can tell you that these are the hoppin’ places to be. THEY ARE ALL ON THE WATER. And give you all the feels and vibes of livin’ the best Destin beach life.
This small list includes restaurants on multiple different bodies of water.
#10: Surf Hut – Surf Hut is on the beach, and has a large outdoor area to enjoy while either waiting for your table, or enjoying the sunset after dinner.
#11: Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar – Located across the street from the beach, this two-story restaurant has great views. They have an outdoor dining space. And they have a sweet tea chicken sandwich….. Mmhhmmm….
#12: Harbor Docks – Harbor Docks is located ON the Destin Harbor, a unique Destin local experience that is different from the beach. The harbor is where the locals bring in their catches from the day. They also serve breakfast here.
#13: Lulu’s – Lulu’s is so fun! It’s located on the BAY in Destin. The entire back of the restaurant opens up to views of the water and the mid-bay bridge. They built their own little beach off the back of the restaurant for hanging out and letting your little ones play in the sand. Many people come to eat via the water; they pull up on their jet skis or boats, anchor, and wade up. They often have live music too. Definitely a fun place for the whole family that offers a legit Destin vibe.
Thanks for stopping by the blog! I hope you found this list of Destin restaurants helpful!
Come back again for more travel tips and adventures.