Dining With a Water View
Boats sailing past, waves crashing against the shore, a brilliant orange and purple sunset reflecting in deep blue water—and delicious food. Almost nothing pairs better with a beach vacation than dinner with a view.
Of all the questions locals hear, “Where’s a good place to eat with a view of the water?” is the most popular. So, we did our best to round up waterfront and water-view restaurants that are beloved from 30A to Destin:
30A Water Views
With its cobblestone streets and gas streetlamps, Rosemary Beach offers romantic charm like no other 30A beach community. And now, you can add even more romance by dining at Pescado’s Rooftop Bar and Seafood Grill. Enjoy views of the Gulf and the roofscapes of this unforgettable New Urbanist community while enjoying fresh seafood and daily specials. You must be 18 years or older to enter, but all ages are welcome for lunch and Sunday brunch.
Across the way from Pescado is The Pearl’s rooftop restaurant—Havana Beach Rooftop. Enjoy communal tables with a menu centered around shared-plate dining and stunning views of the Gulf. When the stars come out, two firepits help keep guests warm.
Shhh… Crabby Steves is a bit of a local secret for a good reason: you can only reach it on foot (unless you’re staying at High Pointe Resort). Located at the top of a dune walkover, it doesn’t get much more scenic than Crabby Steve’s Gulfside Grill. After walking along the beach to reach it, reward yourself with a cocktail, a delicious fish sandwich, and some spicy tuna dip.
What can you expect at Old Florida Fish House? How about oysters, fresh fish, a sushi bar, and gorgeous views across Eastern Lake to the Gulf? Head outside to toast the sunset from a deck overlooking the lake, enjoy live music, or relax with a cocktail in an Adirondack chair while the kids play along the lake’s shore.
It doesn’t get much “beachier” than feasting on a pound of steamed Gulf shrimp while staring at cresting waves with white sand between your toes. Order at The Shrimp Shack window and enjoy your food along the Seaside Boardwalk. See if you can spot a dolphin between bites!
This Seaside classic is beloved by both locals and tourists. Founded by two surf buddies, Bud & Alley’s has incredible views of Seaside and the Gulf. Enjoy smoked tuna dip, a po’boy, or the grilled fish of the day, before celebrating sunset with the ringing of a vintage bell.
This relaxed, family-style restaurant overlooks the Gulf from inside the award-winning WaterColor Inn. Flip flops and hair damp from the beach are welcome because FOOW focuses on the experience, not a dress code. Offering daily brunch and dinner, FOOW serves classic Gulf fare with an extensive and fun drink menu—like the mocktail “Georgia Peach at the Beach” or a fully-loaded “Swim to the Second Sandbar” cocktail. Dine inside or out, or order food to go!
What’s not to love about a bar with panoramic beach views, live music, and local seafood? Popular with tourists and locals, Shunk Gulley enjoys views of the Gulf and the beach access at Ed Walline Park from upstairs. And the best part? You can cross 30A after your meal to dip your toes in the Gulf.
Don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing stinky about this beautiful Dune Allen Beach restaurant! Stinky’s is serious about serving local Gulf seafood and is built along the shores of Lake Allen, one of the rare coastal dune lakes found along 30A. This family-friendly restaurant even sells turtle food so restless kids can head to the dock to feed the turtles while the grown-ups rela
Choctawhatchee Bay Views
Dine on the covered porch to best enjoy striking views of the Choctawhatchee Bay at the aptly named The Bay Restaurant. Known for its Southern coastal cuisine and sushi, The Bay is a great place to meet up with friends and enjoy live music while the kids play on the white sand beach.
Across the road from The Bay Restaurant is a two-story building that houses two distinctly different restaurants. North Beach Social is located on the first floor, and Farm & Fire [https://www.farmandfiresouthwalton.com] is on the second floor. North Beach Social embraces its Bay-front location as a mostly outdoor bar and restaurant. Tables and a large deck extend alongside a large sandy beach with a dedicated kids’ play area. The firepits blaze when the sun goes down, and local musicians take the stage.
Upstairs, at Farm & Fire, diners will enjoy bird’s eye views of the Bay and a varied menu that includes sushi, brick-oven pizzas, steak, and local seafood
Miramar Beach & Destin Water Views
Waterfront dining on the Destin Harbor is an incomparable experience. There’s nothing like enjoying fresh, local seafood while the charter boats sail by. Dine on the back deck for the best water views, and enjoy a peek at Lucky Dog Seafood’s wholesale market upon entering the restaurant. Boshamps is dedicated to providing the freshest Gulf seafood—and Lucky Dog Seafood Company does that by sourcing, procuring, and providing fresh Gulf seafood exclusively to Boshamp diners.
Pompano Joe’s is a quirky, colorful restaurant located next to the Miramar Beach Regional Access, making it easy to get to and guaranteeing uninterrupted beach views. Indulge in a varied menu featuring Caribbean spices and flavors (they also offer a gluten-free menu) and discover why Pompano Joe’s is a destination unto itself.
Lulu’s in Destin invites guests to arrive by car, boat, jet ski, or paddle boat! Lucy Buffett’s lively restaurant sits on the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay, near the base of the Mid-Bay Bridge. Kids will love the large outdoor play area and gift shop, and parents will appreciate the live music and varied food and drink menu. Lulu’s even offers a dedicated allergy-free menu for guests with different food allergies!
Built right on the beach in Miramar Beach, Crap Trap Destin serves delicious Gulf seafood in a classic Florida setting. Toast the day with a drink at the beachside bar, or let the kids play on the beach playground. Large open-air windows let in unforgettable beach views and warm, salt-air breezes
Explore and discover all of the Emerald coast.
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