For being a relatively small town, Destin has some incredible locally-owned restaurants. You could probably eat at a different spot every night for a year and never repeat yourself. From sushi to Mexican, to Italian and seafood (duh), and everything in between, we’ve got it all!
People are constantly asking me where to eat in Destin and what to order, so I thought I’d round my top 10 favorite meals! This was a tall order, but I’ve settled on these tasty delights (in no particular order).
1. Blue Crab Beignets at Bijoux
Bijoux is hands-down one of my favorite restaurants in Destin and this appetizer is a great way to kick off your meal. The beignets are little pillows of fried crab perfection without being too heavy. The acidic apple slaw they sit on perfectly balances the crab and I could eat it for breakfast. The blackened brie is another fabulous appetizer here (you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu).
2. Bloody Mary at Boshamps
This cocktail drinks like a meal so I had to include it on my list! I’m a huge Bloody Mary fan and nobody in town does it like Boshamps. It’s garnished with a skewer of pickled veggies and shrimp and is quite filling (the pickled shrimp are amazing!). Two of these bad boys and you don’t even need to order dinner. 😉
3. Steak Empanadas at La Crema
You’ll have to drive out to La Crema in Rosemary Beach for these empanadas but it is totally worth it. La Crema is a chocolate and tapas restaurant and is such a fun spot! We’ve ordered a wide variety of tapas off the menu and they are all fantastic (though many are quite rich- have the Tums nearby). Our absolute favorite are the steak empanadas. The pastry dough is warm and soft and the creamy, spicy steak filling is just heaven. The crispy brussel sprouts, Serrano-wrapped figs, and peanut butter chocolate lava cake are all amazing, but the empanadas take the cake!
4. Eggs Benedict at Mama Clemenza’s European Breakfast
I can promise you this eggs benedict is unlike any you’ve ever tried! Instead of a traditional English muffin, poached eggs are laid on top of two Yorkshire pudding muffins, then topped with salty prosciutto and dreamy, creamy hollandaise sauce. TO DIE FOR. Mama Clemenza’s is a unique brunch experience, offering lots of Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The croque madame, cheese blintzes, and and lemon curd ricotta pancakes are great choices, also.
5. Backdown Roll at Harbor Docks
Harbor Docks may be known for its fresh seafood and expansive views of the harbor, but the BEST sushi in all of Destin can be found here! The extensive and delicious sushi menu can be credited to chef Yoshi, a true Destin gem. There isn’t a roll on the menu that I wouldn’t try, but it’s hard for me to order anything other than the Backdown Roll. It’s filled with crunchy shrimp, cream cheese, and cucumber, then topped with avocado, tuna, and the most incredible crab salad you’ll ever taste. Harbor Docks has its own fishing fleet and seafood market, so the seafood in the sushi just doesn’t get any fresher.
6. Grand Cru Cheeseboard at Chan’s Wine Bar
I could live on gourmet cheeses, cured meats, bread, and wine…couldn’t you? Everyone in town knows that Wine World is the place to go for a nice glass of wine and incredible cheeses (though their salads are great, too). This gigantic cheeseboard comes loaded with the chef’s selection of cheeses, meats, olives, fruit, nuts, bread, and dipping oil. My girlfriends and I like to order a salad and share this incredible feast as our dinner. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Bliss!
7. Acai Bowl at Formula Fresh
Believe it or not, I do eat healthy foods every now and then (though I prefer not to). 😉 Formula Fresh is my favorite place for lean and clean eats and their acai bowls are out of this world! The Choc-o-lot is my number one favorite and comes loaded with acai, banana, coconut milk, and avocado (making it oh, so creamy) and then it’s topped with hemp granola, banana, paleo cookie crumble, and cocoa nibs. I ask for a drizzle of peanut butter on top because, duh, peanut butter. The Blue Almond and Be Yummy are great, also. My kids love the smoothies, and the juices are fresh-pressed and full of vitamins and nutrients.
8. Baja Shrimp Salad at Burrito del Sol
I’ve already proclaimed my love for this salad (and salad is a loose term here). This is my go-to lunch when I’m ravenous and craving something flavorful and filling. I usually get mine without the shell (see…more healthy eats) and it comes with beans, cabbage (I ask for half romaine), pineapple salsa, baja dressing, and blackened shrimp. This sucker will keep you full for hours! Totally worth it. Their house salsa is awesome, too.
9. Pan Sauteed Snapper at Boshamps
photo via @boshamps
If you’ve followed me on Instagram for more than five minutes, you know that Boshamps is our very favorite restaurant in all of Destin. As such, it comes as no surprise that two Boshamps menu items made it onto my list! The pan sauteed snapper over fresh pappardelle pasta is our absolute favorite. The snapper is always fresh and sauteed to perfection. The homemade pasta is topped with roasted tomatoes, local spinach, asiago cheese, and a life-changing chorizo vinaigrette. I just can’t explain how good this is. Jason and I usually share it and lick the plate clean. Boshamps is great for the whole family (gorgeous views of the harbor, a sandy play area, awesome drinks), but the food is excellent quality, which is why we keep coming back.
10. Beef Noodle Soup at Jasmine Thai
My mom instilled in me a great love for Thai food from a very young age. Thankfully Jason and the kids enjoy it as much as I do and the best local Thai restaurant is right around the corner from our house. I don’t care if it’s 50 degrees or 150 degrees outside. I’m always in the mood for a piping hot bowl of beef noodle soup from Jasmine Thai. The beef broth is soothing and rich and has incredible depth of flavor. I tried ordering the chicken noodle soup once, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the flavorful beef. I always ask to add steamed veggies into mine, so it’s overflowing with noodles, beef, crispy garlic, and plenty of fresh veggies.
There you have it. Let me know your thoughts if you try any of these! Suddenly I’m starving…