When you come to Destin, fresh seafood is something you cannot leave without experiencing. And if you’re like me, you just gotta get you some crab legs! One thing I have learned, though, is that snow crab and king crab are not native to the area and are never fresh.
So, I began thinking.
Is there fresh crab caught right here in the Destin area?
Yes, there is!
Blue crab and Stone crab are local to the area and if you are looking for the BEST, freshest crab in the area, then look no further then to these two delicacies.
Are blue and stone crab not your thing? Don’t worry! You can still get delicious snow and king crab in the Destin area, I will tell you where at the end of this post.
Blue crab is commonly found around the Destin jetties and you can buy it in seafood markets like Blalock’s in Destin.
What if you didn’t come here to cook? I feel you on that one. So what are some restaurants where you can try this awesome blue crab? Take note, you won’t be able to find blue crab as an entrée – only an appetizer (subject to change). Don’t let that stop you from getting some blue crab!
If you are going to get any appetizer, you have to try the blue crab claws. Try them sautéed, you won’t regret it.
Just like at Boshamps, the blue crab claws are to die for. Available fried or sautéed.
Located in the Hilton at San Destin, Seagar’s has a great offering of blue crab. Unlike the previous two restaurants, they not only offer blue crab claws but also jumbo lump blue crab. Seagar’s maybe a steakhouse but do not underestimate their seafood. It is fantastic.
Stone crab is a bit different. You won’t be able to find it in any Destin restaurant. Stone crab is in season from October 15 – May 15 every year. Stone crab population is monitored heavily to ensure that there is enough to go around, given that it is so phenomenal. Stone crab is caught from the Florida Panhandle, all the way down to the bottom tip of Florida.
Looks like you are going to have to cook. Still interested? Head on over to Destin Ice Seafood Market between October 15 – April 15 and get you some Stone crab claws. It may seem like a lot of work but stone crab is something you just cannot experience properly unless you get it locally.
At this point, you may be thinking:
“Ok, that’s great and all but I really just want some snow crab/king crab.”
I get you! I love snow crab and there are still some great restaurants around Destin to get your fix. Here are my two suggestions for the BEST snow crab near Destin:
Old Bay Steamer
Yes, Old Bay Steamer is on Okaloosa Island – right down the road from Destin. Still, most locals agree that their snow crab and king crab is the BEST in the area. Nothing here is fried, so keep that in mind if you decide to come.
One thing about crab legs is how much they give you. Many restaurants give you tiny legs with hardly any meat. Not here. You are getting a massive haul of crab and it should be enough to please almost anyone.
Oh, and you just have to try the blue crab claws and blue crab dip. And if you’ve never tried Alaskan Dungeness crab, this is the place to get it. The quality of crab here is simply outstanding.
If you want to eat your crab and stare at the beautiful Miramar Beach, Pompano Joe’s is your destination for crab.
First, the blue crab claws appetizer is delicious. Very similar to Louisiana Lagniappe’s take on it.
Second, you can’t leave without getting the grilled snow crab legs.
It is an interesting take on snow crab and between the crab and the beachfront views, I can’t think of a better place to be right now.
Before I conclude this, there is one more crab experience you can try:
All you can eat!
If you want all-you-can-eat crab, you definitely have to make the journey to Santa Rosa Beach/30A and visit Elmo’s Grill.
The All-You-Can-Eat Feast gives you peel-n-eat shrimp, fried shrimp, crab legs, fried fish, and New York Strip. Quite the entrée, but you definitely won’t leave hungry.
To summarize, if you are looking for fresh local crab, head on over to Seagar’s, Louisiana Lagniappe, Boshamps, or Pompano Joe’s for some blue crab.
If you want stone crab, get it in October – May at Destin Ice.
If you are craving excellent snow and king crab, go to Old Bay Steamer or Pompano Joe’s.
Lastly, if you want all-you-can-eat crab legs, Elmo’s in Santa Rosa Beach is the place to be.
What’s your favorite crab to devour near Destin? Let me know in the comments!