11 Best Seafood Restaurants in Destin, FL (2023 Update)

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Destin, located in Florida, is home to some of the best seafood restaurants to be found in not only the state of Florida, but in the world!

These seafood-based restaurants featured fresh locally caught seafood and stunning waterfront views. Popular with locals and vacationers alike, each seafood restaurant listed below boats its own creative flare and customized setting to welcome customers from all over the world.

Seafood Restaurants in Destin Florida
Credit: @todoindestin

Whether it be Grouper Meuniere from Louisiana Lagniappe, Baked “Action” Oysters from Boathouse Oyster Bar, or Gilligan’s Seafood Famous Gumbo from Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, there are plenty of appetizing seafood selections to be tested and tasted in Destin, Florida.

With the array of selections of seafood restaurants available in Destin, Florida, we’ve put together a list of only the best rated by locals and tourists alike so that your visit will be worth your while.

Best Seafood Restaurants in Destin Florida

Louisiana Lagniappe

Louisiana Lagniappe
Credit: @louisianalagniappedestin
  • Address: 775 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 837-0881
  • Hours: 4:30 PM-9:30 PM

In business for over 30 years, Louisiana Lagniappe is well-known by locals and vacationers alike for its Creole-based flare on the local Gulf-caught seafood.

Louisiana Lagniappe is dedicated to serving only the freshest of steaks and seafood. It’s no wonder they’re rated in the Top 10 on TripAdvisor, managing to win the Award of Excellence each year to boot!

With waterfront dining views, families can step on in to Louisiana Lagniappe for Creole-inspired cuisine like their Grouper Meuniere, pan sautéed Gulf Grouper topped with meuniere sauce, or their Jambalaya, shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage seasoned and cooked together in a rich tomato sauce with rice. Do you love fried seafood more? Try the Lagniappe Seafood Platter, that has jumbo Gulf shrimp, oysters, Gulf Grouper, and soft-shell crab, or the Louisiana Oysters, fried to the perfect amount of crispiness.

Diner’s Note: Louisiana Lagniappe may provide fancy and professional takes on their food dishes, but they encourage casual attire for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House

Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House
Credit: @boshamps
  • Address: 414 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 424-7406
  • Hours: 11 AM-9:30 PM (Sunday-Thursday), 11 AM-10 PM (Friday-Saturday)

Serving local and fresh seafood with a decisively and delicious Southern flare, Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House boasts an ocean-front view, a casual setting, and 2 full bars.

Appetizers to try when visiting Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House include the House Smoked Yellowfin Tuna Dip, Fried Main Lobster Bites, and the True Alabama Feta Cheese Dip. Get a taste of the Oyster Bar delights like the Oyster Rockefeller that’s baked with asiago cheese, spinach, and Pernod, or the Oysters Bienville, baked with gulf shrimp, Bienville sauce, and lump crab.

For an entree dish, order the Pan Roasted Grouper that is seasoned and made with house-made Alabama tomato jam, feta cheese soufflé, citrus butter, and garlic braised local spinach. A local favorite is the Off The Docks Catch Of The Day that can be grilled, blackened, or fried per customization, and is seasoned and paired with local okra-tomato maque choux and creamy Spanish Mahon cheese grits.

Diner’s Note: Happy hour is from 3-6 PM every day! The valet service is exceptional and professional.

Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant

Dewey Destin's Seafood Restaurant
Credit: @deweydestinsharborside
  • Address: 9 Calhoun Ave, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 837-7575
  • Hours: 11 AM-8 PM

Filled with a historical background connected to its location, Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant is owned and run by the family that founded the town of Destin, Florida.

The town of Destin, Florida, was founded by Leonard Destin. Traveling over from New London, Connecticut, Leonard and his father, George, and his brother, William, sailed by sea on three ships in 1835. After a hurricane hit, William and George Destin were lost at sea. In honor of his father and brother, Leonard named the town he discovered after the family name, “Destin” when he discovered the magnanimous shores that boasted rich provisions of seafood.

At this understandably popular seafood restaurant location, visitors will be able to see Crab Island while eating the best locally caught seafood with unrivaled views. Crab Island has been featured on Good Morning America and HGTV for its floating bars, shallow clear waters, and obstacle courses that make it one of the most popular attractions and activities to do in Destin, Florida.

Diner’s Note: Get a taste of a popular Florida-based dessert, Key Lime Pie, that is homemade in-house at Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant. Start off your lunch or dinner with an appetizer of the Gumbo or Smoked Tuna Dip, then an entree of the Steamed Royal Red Shrimp, Grilled Mahi, or Fried Soft-Shell Crab.

Boathouse Oyster Bar

Boathouse Oyster Bar 1
Credit: @boathouseoysterbar
  • Address: 288 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 837-3645
  • Hours: 11 AM-2 AM (Sunday-Thursday), 11 AM-4 AM (Friday-Saturday)

A Destin-favorite for locals and vacationers alike, Boathouse Oyster Bar has boasted the Best Oysters and Gumbo in the area for over 30 years!

With its expansive hours that range from daytime to energetic nightlife, Boathouse Oyster Bar is a great seafood restaurant to visit for its lively atmosphere, waterfront setting, and undeniably fresh oysters.

Boathouse Oyster Bar 2
Credit: @boathouseoysterbar

For an appetizer grab some Cajun-Boiled Peanuts, Wings of Fire, Tuna Dip, or Trailer Park Nachos! And for dinner, buy a round of Alaskan Snow Crab, a serving of Tuna Steak, or the Baked “Action” Oysters. There are Boathouse Buckets available in different sizes for seafood explorers that like to have a lot of seafood options on their plate when they sit down to eat.

Diner’s Note: Every hour is happy hour at Boathouse Oyster Bar!

The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House

The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House 1
Credit: @backporchdestin
  • Address: 1740 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 837-2022
  • Hours: 11 AM-10 PM (Sunday-Thursday, Saturday), 11 AM- 8 PM (Friday)

A local favorite since 1974, The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House started out as a petite A-frame building and has since expanded with its reputable repertoire of seafood, excellent customer service, and energetic atmosphere.

Get a taste of magnetic beachfront dining views while munching on local and fresh Apalachicola oysters with The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House’s Back Porch Oysters—Golden Fried Oysters, fried to the perfect amount of crisp and hand-breaded, or its Back Porch Oysters, topped and baked with cheese and crabmeat.

The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House 2
Credit: @backporchdestin

Known for the local “taste testers”, The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House has attracted the local beach bum cats since 1977. Boasted as they original “taste testers”, these furry and friendly felines hang around the area and aren’t opposed to a nibble of fish.

Diner’s Note: Check out their Chargrilled Amberjack, invented and curated by The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House! Recommended by local fishers and boat captains, its famous Chargrilled Amberjack was the first of its kind and has steadily grown in popularity due to its great taste.

Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer

Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer
Credit: @brotulas
  • Address: 210D Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (850) 460-8900
  • Hours: 11 AM-9 PM (Sunday-Thursday), 11 AM- 10 PM (Friday-Saturday)

A family-friendly seafood restaurant, Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer is locally owned and operated.

“Brotula” is a term that originates a local fish of the area, the Bearded Brotula or Cusk Eel. A great-tasting fish that has been kept a local secret for years by the local fishing community, the Bearded Brotula is one of many locally-sourced seafood delicacies that are served to your plate.

Dishes like Pecan-Crusted Grouper with Bourbon Cream, paired with balsamic, bacon-braised Brussel sprouts, and parmesan, and the Crabmeat Crusted Cobia, served with lemon cream sauce, mango-pepper relish, fire-roasted vegetables, and crispy grit cake, are some of the outstanding seafood-based meals served at Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer.

Diner’s Note: Happy hour is 2 PM- 6 PM every day.

Read More: What Are Steamers Seafood?

Beach Walk Café

Beach Walk Café
Credit: @hendersonparkinn
  • Address: 2700 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, Florida
  • Phone: 850 650 7100
  • Hours: 5 pm to 8 pm, Monday to Saturday

The first thing you would want to keep in mind when visiting the Beach Walk Café in Henderson Park Inn is that they only allow guests 13 years or older to dine in their enchanting premises. It is a romantic destination right on the beach featuring breathtaking seaside landscapes, a breezy outdoor dining space, and cozy string lights that create the best romantic scene.

It is the perfect beach location to have that romantic dinner or anniversary. Book Beach Walk Café’s VIP Toes package to have a private table on the sand with a full course meal and lots of drinks under the stars.

Stunning views and intimate ambiance are not the only great offers. Take a look at their locals’ favorite menu featuring beloved items like the smoked fish appetizer with artisanal spiced chips. The snapper is a must-try with its corn truffle risotto, Madeira mushrooms, and Citrus Beurre Blanc.

Beach Walk Café is your go-to seafood and steak restaurant with scenic beautiful views. When in doubt, try their award-winning certified black Angus filet as you stay deep into the emerald waters of the Gulf.

The Crab Trap Destin

The Crab Trap Destin
Credit: @crabtrapdestin
  • Address: 3500 Scenic Highway 98 E, Destin, Florida
  • Phone: 850 654 2722
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm, open throughout the year except Christmas Day

Known as the original Gulf front seafood eatery, The Crab Trap on the Scenic Highway has served Destin for over 30 years with two more locations across Florida. It is one of Destin’s best restaurants with unmatched views of the Emerald Coast.

Crap Trap in James Lee Park is beloved amongst the locals for their popular local signature Hot Crab dip and fresh daily selections of seafood.

Even though you won’t be dining right on the sandy beaches, you can choose a table on their outdoor patio with a bar. Huge open-air windows bring the restaurant to life with unobstructed view of the blue splashes and cool breezes.

Feast on the Crab Trap’s soft crab cake with a distinctly flavorful taste and their crab served with hot butter and corn on the cob.

Harbor Docks

Harbor Docks
Credit: @harbordocks
  • Address: 538 Highway 98 E, Destin, Florida
  • Phone: 850 837 2506
  • Hours: 11 am – 10:30 pm, Sunday – Thursday; 11 am – 11 pm, Friday & Saturday

Local Destin seafood has been served in Harbor Docks since 1979. The restaurant is among the earliest players in the seafood industry in Florida and currently features its own wholesale market that delivers fresh local seafood daily.

Harbor Docks is known for its traditional selection of seafood made in fried, sautéed, blackened, or baked variety. Cajun and Thai options grace the menu among other sushi choices that make the most appetizing sushi tolls in town.

The blackened grouper is a crowd pleaser with corn chow chow, assortment of the day’s vegetables, and smoked gouda stone-ground grits. Try the brined & smoked yellowfin tuna dip served alongside pita chips.

Captain Dave’s On the Gulf

Captain Dave’s On the Gulf
Credit: @capt_daves_on_the_gulf
  • Address: 3796 Old Highway 98, Destin, Florida
  • Phone: 850 837 2627
  • Hours: 4 pm – Close (normally 9 pm) from Monday – Sunday

Another historical restaurant in on the Gulf of Mexico is Captain Dave’s on the Gulf, open since 1968. The family-owned restaurant has been in business for more than five decades offering picturesque views of the Gulf, limited seating but with a formal, focused & attentive menu.

Feast on the popular blackened broiled Cajun redfish, topped with pepper cream sauce, and hand-battered shrimp. The savory seafood gumbo is a local’s favorite featuring Captain Dave’s signature tomato-based gumbo with scallops, shrimp, and mahi.

Shrimp Basket Destin

Shrimp Basket Destin
Credit: @theshrimpbasket
  • Address: 711 US-98, Destin, FL 32541
  • Phone (386) 204-0882
  • Hours: 11 AM-9 PM (Sunday-Thursday), 11 AM-10 PM (Friday-Saturday)

Shrimp Basket started out its journey when two locals joined together in 1993 with the idea to start their own restaurant centered around family. Where food is affordable and the atmosphere is welcoming and relaxing.

As vacationers, tourists, and locals alike began expressing—or more like demanding—that Shrimp Basket expand locations, Shrimp Basket has since then done just that, as requested by their loving customers.

When you stop in to Shrimp Basket in Destin, Florida, make sure to bring your appetite! Shrimp Basket’s All-You-Can-Eat Specials are well-known to fill the biggest of appetites with their selections of Popcorn Shrimp (Sunday and Wednesday), Steamed Shrimp (Tuesday), Fried Whitefish (Monday and Thursday), and Fried Catfish (Monday and Thursday) that are available on select days.

Get a taste of their famous Po’boys that are available with Crawfish, Chicken, Oyster, and Shrimp or try out the Crab Burger In Paradise, Shrimp Basket’s cheeseburger that is topped with their popular grilled crab cake.

Diner’s Note: As this is a small restaurant, it’s important to call for a reservation or call ahead for pick-up orders so as not to wait too long for a table or food.

Also Read: Best Seafood Restaurants in Miami

Destin Florida Seafood Restaurants: FAQs

Are there ghost crabs in Destin?

There are four different types of crabs that can be found on the shorelines of Destin, Florida. They include Stone Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Big Blue Crabs, and Ghost Crabs.

Super common in the Destin area, Ghost Crabs were given the name due to the coloring that appears to be almost clear. This breed of crab is not edible for humans, but is often eaten by seagulls that scour the area.

Where Do Locals Eat Seafood in Destin, Florida?

There are a bunch of seafood joints located in Destin, Florida, that are popular with the locals. Louisiana Lagniappe is one of them, famous for its Creole-based flare on the local Gulf-caught seafood.

Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House is another local favorite, a favorite off the menu is the Off The Docks Catch Of The Day. This selection on the menu can be grilled, blackened, or fried per requestion and is paired with local okra-tomato maque choux and creamy Spanish Mahon cheese grits.

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Final Thoughts

Explore your options with Destin, Florida’s wide selection of restaurants! All of the top-rated seafood restaurants provided above are waiting for a visit, if only to please your tastebuds and your appetite with freshly caught seafood seasoned to perfection and served to your plate—and palate.

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