When you are on vacation at the beach, you just have to try the local seafood – especially if you don’t live near the water. Destin, FL is no exception and boasts some of the best seafood on the Emerald Coast. Some of the star attractions include:
- Red Snapper
- Mahi Mahi
- Blue Crab
Not every seafood restaurant in Destin offers truly fresh catches but I will let you know which ones do! If you are looking for crab, check out my complete guide to local crab in Destin. You’ll find that local crab in Destin is amazing but that there are some great restaurants to get snow crab and king crab at, also.
Here are my picks for the best seafood restaurants in Destin, FL:
Harbor Docks epitomizes fresh seafood. In fact, they have their own seafood market. Boats regularly unload their catches at Harbor Docks and the seafood is never frozen – always fresh. All their food comes straight from the market to your table (of course, cooked first!).
Harbor Docks also has an excellent sushi offering – maybe even the best anywhere in the area. All sushi is made fresh and selected from local catches. Sushi doesn’t get much fresher than this.
They are even open for breakfast, Friday – Sunday from 7 AM – 10:30 AM. Keep in mind, though, that seafood isn’t the name of the game for breakfast. If you’re looking to cure your seafood itch, lunch and dinner are your best bets.
If you are looking for the freshest seafood available then Harbor Docks is your best bet.
Seafood with a creole twist. Louisiana Lagniappe has a respectable seafood selection. Grouper is their powerhouse fish and have variations of the dish. The Grouper Ponchartrain and the Grouper Kevin are amazing – definitely a great choice if you like grouper.
If you’ve never had Redfish, Louisiana Lagniappe has a great rendition of it. It also comes with crab and lobster which is one of my favorite combinations.
The appetizers are really, really good here. The Lobster Rangoons, in particular, are excellent. They are wontons stuffed with Maine Lobster, cream cheese, fried and served with a sweet chili sauce. I am also partial to the Smoked Tuna dip – this alone could fill you up before the entrée arrives.
Marina Café is located right on the Destin harbor and sports an elegant, creative, and supremely delicious seafood arsenal. The restaurant is also considered fine dining and recommends reservations. My husband and I went there once without reservations and the wait was significant so make sure you get those reservations in! This is definitely one of the most romantic restaurants in Destin – great for date nights.
The chef seafood creations at Marina Café are some of the most creative displays I have seen anywhere. Of course, they are also delicious, too, so don’t worry! The Red Snapper is to die for and their crab and shrimp dishes are divine.
They have a wide variety of seafood specials that are subject to change so click the link in the first paragraph to check out their latest menu offerings.
Boshamps is a fun, family-friendly seafood restaurant that serves a bit of everything. They have their own seafood sourcing company, Lucky Dog Seafood Company, that procures seafood exclusively for Boshamps so you know it’s fresh. When you walk in the door to Boshamps, you can even catch a glimpse of their seafood company employees hard at work.
Red Snapper at Boshamps, in my opinion, has to be some of the best I have ever had. The “Original” Snapper Destin is an amazing entrée that is sure to impress even picky seafood eaters.
If you like oysters, they have baked, raw, and fried options. The Oysters Boshamp is really unique – baked with caramelized Vidalia onions, Alabama feta, and house-made bacon marmalade.
I haven’t mentioned soup in this post so far but I have to mention the corn and crab chowder. It is an original recipe from the Flamingo Café, the predecessor to the current Boshamps.
Dewey Destin’s at Crab Island
Dewey Destin’s has a few locations, but the original location at Crab Island is a unique experience. You travel down a dirt road to a shack by the water but get to enjoy spectacular views and amazing seafood. All the food is made to order and you pick it up at the window. No waiters or waitresses!
If you decide to go, you can’t go wrong with fried or grilled seafood baskets. The Mate’s Platter is exceptional. It comes with fried scallops, mahi, and shrimp. They also have seafood sandwich baskets – definitely try the mahi or shrimp po boy.
They close at 8 PM so make sure you get there early!
If you are looking for the freshest seafood in Destin, you have to check out Harbor Docks and Boshamps.
If you are looking for fine dining with amazing seafood selections, Marina Café and Louisiana Lagniappe will not disappoint.
If you want a seafood place you can roll up to without a shirt on and enjoy the view, Dewy Destin’s at Crab Island is the choice for you.
Looking for even more incredible restaurants in Destin? Check out my ultimate Destin restaurant guide.
Is there an amazing seafood restaurant in Destin that I missed? Let me know in the comments!