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February 21, 2024 | Posted in Destin Guides

Meal With a View: Your Waterfront Favorites

Coming to Florida means enjoying its open beaches and sunshine, so when it comes to food, why would you want to lose that aspect? Did someone say delicious food with a view, please? If not, they should. While here in Destin, Florida, you absolutely should take advantage of all the restaurants that overlook the ocean. Are you having a hard time sorting through them all after a day of jet skiing in the sun? Don’t worry, fellow sunshine enthusiasts; we have a whole gaggle of places to choose from.

Waterfront Restaurants in Destin, Florida

Beach Walk Henderson Park Inn

This award-winning fine dining spot is just about as close as it gets to dining on the water. Named one of the most romantic restaurants in North America, Beach Walk Henderson Park Inn is an ocean-side restaurant made for tranquility. While here, you can expect smooth wooden table fixtures and a deck right on the sand. They even have a fire pit with lounge chairs for later in the evening. Inside is quaint and beach cottage-like seating built for comfort. When it comes to the food, this place doesn’t skip out. Items listed on the menu are things like Apalachicola Gulf Shrimp Scampi and lush Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steak. All items are carefully curated by Destin’s own Executive Chef Daniel Peters, who puts flavor and love into all of Beach Walk’s dishes.

The Shack

Built in 1991, this may not be the love shack but is bringing the love. The Shack in Destin, Florida, raves of being a casual experience for seafood lovers everywhere. The Shack prides itself on the variety of ways in which they prepare their tasty sea critters; we’re talking steamed, grilled, fried – the list goes on. While here, be sure to indulge in their full bar where you can slurp up any of their tropical drinks to your heart’s desire. What kind of food does The Shack have on their menu? Prepare yourself for mouthwatering classic BANGIN’ SHRIMP or their ever-so-popular Shack hush puppies, which are made with their very special and scrumptious strawberry butter. As mentioned before, The Shack is the spot for a vacation-style cocktail. At the bar, you can expect tropical favorites like The Shack’s giant Shack Punch, their Paradise Harbor, or throwback… Capri Sun. That’s right, you heard us – a cocktail version of our childhood classic. It’s one of those flavors you have to try to understand.

The Back Porch

Next up, we’re taking you to our back porch – okay, not our porch but a porch that was made long ago in 1974. It began in less a porch situation and more an A-frame building on the beach kind of deal; throw in an amberjack sandwich, and the rest is history. If you like beachside wooden turquoise and views for days, you’re going to love this place! The Back Porch is not only known for its views but also its raw oysters that will have you saying, ‘Keep clam and carry on to the delicious food.’ What kind of food will be served here? On the menu are classic waterside finds like peel-and-eat shrimp and crab bites. Come to The Back Porch for a casual and chill lunch or dinner and see what all the fuss is about.

Pompano Joe’s

Welcome to the home of not only fresh seafood but in a town full of overpriced tourist traps, this spot is also affordable. This dapper spot was built in 1995 and went on to be such a success they opened a second location in 2013. Expect the restaurant to have pops of color all around a large interior. Come to eat or enjoy the large deck overlooking the water, and grab a drink at the fully stocked bar. When it comes to nibbles, Pompano Joe’s knows what’s up. The menu here has items like grouper, yellowfin tuna, and mahi-mahi. All of the items are mouthwateringly approved, but Pompano Joe’s hits you with a little Cajun flair with its specialty gumbo, which when visiting can make you feel like you’re home. Come hungry and leave happy.

Rockin’ Tacos

For our next beachside venue, we’re hoping you love tacos as much as we do. The passion for tacos is in the name of Rockin Tacos; you can expect tacos, of course, but so much more can be experienced at this delectable restaurant of tortilla-filled dreams. Expect to walk into a cantina-style interior that will make you think, ‘That’s the stuff.’ Rockin prides itself on their Mexican cuisine and is not only popular with locals and tourists but also on TV, as they have been featured on shows like Travel Channel, HGTV, and Forbes Magazine. Come in to enjoy fried avocados or Mexican street corn that you chase down with a tart and sweet margarita. The food is not all there is to rave about; there’s an actual rave too, well, semi – some evenings have live performances, including DJs and other local musicians that explain the ‘rockin’ in these tacos. Come and chow down or get down.

Pontoon Boats

Now the last stop in Destin is pontoon boats for rent and heading to Cab Island. While you are down there, definitely check out the food vendors. There are all kinds of food from savory items like a burger, to sweet foods like ice cream. Destin, Florida pontoon rentals show you the vendors also sell drinks ranging from water to non-alcoholic beverages. After grabbing food and drinks from the vendors, make your way back on to your boat so you can enjoy the scenery around you. By doing this, it is basically like you have your very own private waterfront restaurant! Depending on the time of day you choose to go to crab island, make sure to get a glimpse of the surroundings around you since you never know what you will end up seeing with a Destin pontoon rental. Remember that no alcohol is sold at Crab Island, so BYOB.

There you have it – a list made for the view. Until the next gastronomic adventure, bon appétit!

a heron on the beach

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