You've likely heard restaurants described or categorized as "farm-to-table," but what about "Gulf-to-table"? In a city with a nickname like the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village," it should come as no surprise that Florida's marine creatures are the backbone of the city's dining scene. In fact, at any given time, there are 20 different kinds of fish to sample. But if you prefer land mammals and vegetables to sea creatures, Destin has you covered there, too.
Marina Café, which features fresh seafood, steaks, pastas, sushi and wood-fired pizzas, is lauded not only for its menu but also for its spectacular views of Destin Harbor. If you're looking for a more casual atmosphere that doesn't sacrifice taste, the Dewey Destin restaurants serve up a full menu of seafood favorites alongside a bit of history: Dewey’s great, great grandfather, Leonard Destin, founded the town in 1835. If you don't mind the drive, Fish Out of Water in Santa Rosa Beach (about 25 miles east of Destin) is another favorite among travelers and critics, in part for its beachside location overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Prefer to catch your own dinner? Several Destin restaurants participate in the "you catch it, we'll cook it" philosophy, meaning they'll cook your cleaned fish any way you like it with the sides of your choice. You can find a complete list of Gulf-to-table eateries willing to cook your catch on the visitors bureau's website.
When you need a break from Destin's seafood menus, visitors say you should head to McGuire's Irish Pub. It has its fair share of Irish dishes, but it also offers steak and hamburgers, not to mention tours of its brewery and live music.