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Best places to eat seafood in Destin FL

Experience Fresh Seafood in Destin, FL

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There’s nothing better than enjoying some freshly caught seafood when you’re near the ocean. I like to eat my seafood on the same day it was swimming, if possible. One of my family’s favorite places to hang on the beach is Destin, Florida, which offers so many choices for fresh seafood. In fact, you’ll see signs at local restaurants stating “The oysters you eat today spent last night in Apalachicola Bay.” Here are three ways to get the freshest seafood in Destin, FL (without having to filet your own fish).

Best Places to Eat Seafood in Destin, FL

Steamed Shrimp from the Seafood Market

If you’re staying at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, you may think that the seafood market is out of scope for your trip. However, the nice thing about the seafood markets (and many of the grocery stores) in the Destin area is that they will steam and season your shrimp for you and wrap it up to go, free of charge. We have enjoyed an afternoon snack of steamed shrimp with Old Bay on our trips to Destin on each of our trips. Take your shrimp to the beach to share with your family, and you’ll be thinking that life can’t get much better than this.

Sexton Seafood Market is located close to Hilton Sandestin Beach. I recommend the Royal Red shrimp, a deep water shrimp found in the gulf with a sweet taste similar to lobster.

You catch it, they’ll cook it

Ok, so cleaning fish is totally not on my agenda for a Florida vacation. I do like to do a little ocean fishing, since we’re from landlocked Illinois and it’s fun for the kids. If you decide to do a half-day fishing trip with your family, you could end up with some tasty varieties of snapper, grouper, or flounder. But who is going to clean and cook them for you?

Right on the wharf are several restaurants that will take care of the dirty work for you. Boshamps, Harbor Docks, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, and Dewey Destin’s will serve up your catch. Sandcastles at Hilton Sandestin Beach also offers a Hook ‘n’ Cook program, as well.

Choose to have your fish fried, grilled, or blackened, along with side dishes, for a reasonable price of between $7-12 per person. Don’t worry about wearing your fishing clothes to the restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and you won’t feel out of place.

Traditional Seafood Restaurants

If you’re not up to fishing, but still want to experience fresh local seafood, there are options galore in the Destin area. If you’re feeling fancy, try Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. This restaurant is onsite at Hilton Sandestin Beach but is frequented among locals as well as hotel guests. The AAA Four Diamond Steakhouse will not disappoint with its elegant dining room and spectacular wine list.

If you’re feeling casual, I recommend Stinky’s Fish Camp, along 30A. The food is Southern homestyle with many local seafood options and a great kids menu. I have a picky eater and an adventurous eater, and this restaurant fits the bill for both kids.

If you plan to visit Destin, there are so many options to experience the local food and culture. Enjoy the sun on your face while lying on the beach and the prospect of the hardest decision of the day being where to eat dinner!

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Rachel is from Peoria, Illinois. She works full-time as a software implementation consultant in the healthcare field. Her family includes her husband Justin, also an IT professional,…

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