I grew up going on vacation to the panhandle of Florida. You name the beach, and I've probably been there: Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, Destin, Fort Walton, Panama City Beach, Seaside, etc. Although I grew up going to all of these places, when my husband and I decided to make a trip back just recently, I didn't really know where to go or what to do and it was our "babymoon" so my main concern was where to eat! I asked for recommendations from my trustee Facebook friends, some locals, and a few people that I knew that have second homes in the area. With Spring Break right around the corner and this area being so popular, I thought I'd write a post on some places that we ate and loved! Most of these places are near the Destin area or within 20 minutes of Destin and are definitely worth the drive! My mouth is watering just compiling the list in my head... yum... I love seafood! How about you?! I also love any good food that I don't have to cook and clean up, ha!
Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House: Boshamps is in Destin and overlooks the harbor. This was my favorite place we ate during our trip. They gave you the heartiest portion size and it was the most bang for our buck! It wasn't cheap by any means but the cost compared to the food we got was totally worth it. It was extremely crowded when we went and the wait was super long so we decided we'd sit at the bar as that area was first come, first serve. It was an excellent choice because we got an outside seat and there were just two of us so we didn't feel crammed even when our food arrived. We also went later in the evening but I'd suggest getting there around sunset as I'm sure it would be beautiful over he harbor. Andrew ordered the local catch of the day over creamy cheese grits and boy, was it good! I got the lobster mac n' cheese and it was the best lobster mac n' cheese I've ever had. There was a piece of lobster in every single bite and I even got a lobster claw. The food was fresh and delicious. I'd go back again and again.
Donut Hole Bakery Cafe: There are actually two Donut Hole's in the area so you can choose which one is closest to where you are staying! They are opened 24 hours and the menus are all the same from what I understand. We ate at the Donut Hold in Destin. We got there just before it got crowded so we didn't have to wait long but by the time we left there were people sitting outside waiting to eat. We actually went for breakfast so I'm sure the crowds are different depending on the time of day. Their coffee here was excellent! I even dipped my donuts in my coffee which made both taste better in my opinion. They are more than a donut shop though, they have full menu of breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, and burgers as well as a daily specials menu. The best part is, breakfast is served all day! We ended up leaving this place with a huge piece of Oreo cheesecake which we snacked on the rest of the week in our condo.
Bud and Alley's: This is a waterfront restaurant in the 30A area, a little bit of a drive from Destin but not too far and definitely worth it! No matter where you sit in this restaurant you'll have a fantastic view of the crystal clear blue water and white sand beaches. I think my favorite thing was that we sat on the rooftop area. They have breakfast, lunch, dinner and also do special events. We went during lunch and the vibe here is totally laid back, the food is great, and the drinks are cold. I had a virgin Miami Vice... yum!
The Red Bar: This was the place that I received the most recommendations to try out! I was very eager to see what all of the fuss was about. The food was wonderful but there aren't a ton of options, there are about five items written on a chalk board nightly of what you can choose to eat. This place is more about the ambiance than the food. It's in Grayton Beach and is a total hot spot for great food and live music! I dropped Andrew off at the front so he could get our name on the list thinking I'd just whip around and find a parking place. I ended up driving around and around in circles for about 20 minutes until I was able to find somewhere to park; after that, we waited another 30 minutes to get seated. We didn't even go during busy season so I can't imagine how this places fills up in the summer or during spring break! The band that night was great and the place is truly all red inside, hence the name. This is one of those places you've got to experience at least once! What a fun recommendation, I'm glad we went.
You didn't think I was going to list all of these places to eat without included something sweet did you?! As I said, we were on our "babymoon" and I had been craving/really wanting ice cream. Craving sounds better and makes me feel better! I started asking around and found Hershey's Ice Cream. The place had excellent reviews and when we walked in the owner actually greeted us. We visited here more than once on our trip and I had the best ice cream flavor I've ever eaten called bourbon caramel. It was to die for! If you're in the mood for something sweet after all of these delicious meals you absolutely need to make a stop at Hershey's!
Have you been to any of the places I mentioned? We'll be going back to this are more and more now that we've moved further south and we always love to try out new places so please drop a comment as to where we should eat next time!
A southern girl trying to make my dreams come true. My husband and I love to travel and go on new adventures--We love Jesus and the blessings He provides!