1) Harbor Docks
If we could only eat out once while on vacation, it would be at Harbor Docks. It's not fancy (if you eat outside, you'll be seated at a picnic table), but the food is out of this world, and you have a great view of Destin Harbor. It's a little pricey, but worth every penny. If you only go to one place on my list - this is the one you should choose. And if they have bread pudding for dessert, you must try it!
Gus' favorite: filet mignon
My favorite: sushi (try the cowboy roll!)
Location: 538 Harbor Blvd., Destin - south side of Highway 98 across from Hog's Breath Saloon.
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 7am-11pm
Callahan's is another place that we really enjoy. We used to go there when there were just a few tables in the deli. Now they've opened a larger place about a half mile away from the old spot, and it's fantastic. Sunday brunch is a great option - but then so are any of the lunch sandwiches. I don't think we've ever eaten dinner here, but I'm sure it's good as well. I know you can choose a steak from the deli case and they will cook it to order. Prices are very reasonable.
Gus' favorite: Reuben sandwich
My favorite: Chicken salad sandwich
Location: 791 Harbor Blvd., Destin - north side of Highway 98 just west of Main Street
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sunday brunch 9am-3pm
Phone: (850) 837-7171
3) Another Broken Egg Cafe
Winner of Best Breakfast 11 years in a row, - and it's easy to see (taste) why. This is our favorite breakfast spot, and we always eat here more than once during a vacation. On our last trip here, we actually stayed in Baytowne Wharf, so we walked to ABEC almost every morning. There are other locations as well, but this is our favorite.
Gus' favorite: The Works Breakfast
My favorite: Belgian waffle, granola & yogurt, eggs w/ spinach, tomatoes, & cheese
Location: 9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd., Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin
Hours: I believe they're open 6:30am - 2pm daily
Phone: (850) 622-2050
4) Harry T's
We used to eat at Harry T's when it was at the Yacht Club - now it's in Harborwalk Village, right on Destin Harbor, so you can watch all the boats coming and going. You can't beat the view, and the food is very good. It's a little pricey for lunch, but I guess you gotta pay for the view! They have some super-humongous sundaes if you want to share a dessert. And they sell pretty cool t-shirts, too.
Our favorite: Fish & Chips
Location: 46 Harbor Blvd. at Harborwalk Village (US Hwy. 98) in Destin, heading west right before the Destin Bridge
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11am-10pm, Fri. 11am-11pm, Sat.-Sun. 10am-11am
Phone: (850) 654-4800
Not sure if they have carryout or not
5) Hog's Breath Saloon
We've been to Hog's Breath in Destin and Key West - seriously some of the best burgers you'll ever eat - and I'm not even a burger fan! It's a fun, laid-back atmosphere and they almost always have live music in the evenings. With some of their adult beverages, you get a free plastic Hog's Breath cup. And yes, I have one. Prices are pretty reasonable, and the place is family-friendly, especially before 9pm.
Our favorite: Hog Burger
Location: 541 Harbor Boulevard, Destin - north side of Highway 98 across from Harbor Docks.
Hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 2am, Fri - Sat: 11am - 4am, Sun: 11am - 2amPhone: (850) 837-5991
6) Donut Hole
They don't have a website, but then, they probably don't need one. This is another place that is always packed. There are a couple of locations, but we usually eat at the one in Destin. It's pretty small, but the food is great. We've done both breakfast and lunch - and the pastries are delicious! Get there early for the best selection!
Gus' favorite: ham and cheese omelet
My favorite: Boston Cream doughnuts!
Location: 635 Hwy 98 E, Destin - north side of Highway 98
Hours: Some sites say open 24 hours, but I don't think that is year 'round
Phone: (850) 837-8824
7) Marlin Grill
We've only eaten here once, but it made quite an impression. This is definitely an upscale restaurant, and I would save it for a "couples" night, even though they have a menu for children. They have both indoor and outdoor seating - I prefer outdoor for two reasons, 1) I like to enjoy the weather, and 2) I like to people-watch! Very pricey, which is another reason not to bring the kids.
Gus' favorite: grilled amberjack
My favorite: grilled salmon and creamed spinach
Location: 9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd., Suite B2, Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin
Hours: Mon - Sun 5pm - 11pm
Phone: (850) 351-1990
8) Graffiti/The Funky Blues Shack
Two places in one! Graffiti is a casual Italian restaurant with really, really tasty food at the most reasonable prices in Baytowne Wharf. The Funky Blues Shack is the bar with live music nightly.
Lunch and dinner served daily.
Update 2017: Graffiti moved to a new location late in 2016. They're now on Emerald Coast Pkwy. opposite Destin Commons, but actually more across from the Walgreens.
Gus' favorite: Fettuccine Alfredo w/Chicken, bread w/dipping oil
My favorite: Angel Olive Oil & Garlic w/ Shrimp, bread w/dipping oil
(Update 2017: They've renamed everything on the menu now)
Location: 34902 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL 32541
Hours: Graffiti: Mon - Sun 4pm - 10pm
Phone: (850) 424-6650
Guglielmo's has several locations; Tuscany Italian Bistro and several Ciao Bella pizzerias. We ate at the Guglielmo's in Navarre Beach, but I believe that location is now closed. I just happened to see a Groupon special for it, so we gave it a try. So glad we did!! Without the Groupon coupon, our bill would've been around $75 for two - but that included two glasses of wine, two salads, two entrees, and the bread basket. There are also less expensive menu choices - and of course, the pizzas are reasonably priced.
Note: Ciao Bella also serves pasta, sandwiches, soup, seafood, chicken, & salads.
Gus' favorite: Veal Piccata & Bread Lovers Basket w/dipping oil
My favorite: Cappelini Toscana & Bread Lovers Basket w/dipping oil
Location: 36178 Emerald Pkwy., Destin
Hours: Mon - Sun 11am-10pm
Phone: (850) 654-9880
10) Rum Runners
I added Rum Runners not necessarily because of the food (which is average bar-type food IMO) but because of the atmosphere in the evening. It's a fun place to hang out. If you sit inside (2 floors), there is live music - if you sit outside (4 patios & decks), you can people-watch (and still hear the music). If you grab lunch there, it's usually pretty quiet - but it's a fun place to stop in and cool off. Most of their stuff is a bit overpriced, but that's typical for Baytowne Wharf. Gotta pay those resort taxes!
Gus' favorite: Hurricane Burger
My favorite: Spring Salad
Location: 130 Fisherman's Cove, Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin
Hours: Mon - Sun 11am - 2am
Phone: (850) 351-1817
And one extra place that really isn't a restaurant, but it's a favorite:
11) Sarah K's Gourmet
This is another place that we've been frequenting for years. What's better than gourmet take-out? NOTHING! You can pick up lunch or dinner, take it home, pop it in the fridge, hit the beach, then come back hours later and heat your homemade dinner up in the oven. There are also lunches that don't require reheating, so you can easily pack them in a cooler for the beach or on the boat. Everything comes in aluminum tins with reheating instructions on top. You can have a gourmet meal on your balcony overlooking the water for less than half of what the same food would cost in a restaurant.
Gus' favorite: grilled chicken breast & twice-baked potatoes
My favorite: any of the chicken, green beans, & twice-baked potatoes - desserts!!
Location: 34940 Hwy. 98, Destin - south side of Hwy. 98, directly behind Olive Garden & Cracker Barrel, across the street from Destin Commons & Bass Pro Shop; same shopping center as Best Buy & Office Depot
Hours: Mon - Sat 11am - 6pm, Summer (June, July, August) 11am - 7pm
Phone: (850) 269-0044
Updated 4/15/14: Guess what? I have a new post with 5 more don't-miss restaurants - and I've created a printable list of the restaurants from both posts!
Do you have a favorite place to eat in Destin or the surrounding area? I'd love to know, because we're always looking for new places to try! Leave it in the comments here or send me a snap - I'm enjoythevue on Snapchat!
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