Destin, Florida just so happens to be surrounded by water. Whilst this does not mean anything to the average Joe, for us seafood fanatics it can only mean one thing - the freshest seafood possible!
What’s more, Destin just so happens to be located on the Gulf of Mexico - did someone say fresh Gulf oysters?!
As you may know, I am something of an oyster obsessive. I hunt out the best oysters wherever I am in the world and I am passionate about sharing my oyster experiences with you all so that you can taste those delicious morsels of salty goodness for yourself.
Destin is known for its beautiful beaches, waterparks, and proximity to the Gulf Coast. As such, it attracts a fair amount of tourists every year.
Of course, thanks to how close they are to the sea, the restaurants in Destin are all pretty jam-packed with seafood. Oysters feature on many menus, and I have made it my mission to let you know what oysters are worth their weight in gold (or should that be pearls?).
In this article, I will be reviewing four restaurants that I think serve the very best oysters in Destin. These oysters rival some of the best I have tasted all around the world! So, if you are a Destin local, or a tourist planning to take a trip sometime soon, this might just be the article for you.
414 Harbor Blvd, FL 32541-2326
First on my list is the fantastic and aptly named Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House. With great views and fantastic food, this Oyster House has it all. As the name suggests, Seafood and Oysters are the name of the game at this joint, and trust me when I say that they are out of this world.
The focus in this restaurant is on fresh seafood and a welcoming atmosphere. They achieve this atmosphere through live music, great service, and friendly staff.
Although it’s a seafood restaurant, there are dishes to suit everyone. That being said, as you might have guessed, I headed straight to the oyster bar section of the menu.
The oyster bar has a plethora of delicious oyster dishes, from old classic favorites of fried oysters to something unique and tasty like their trademark dish Oyster Boshamp (this is baked caramelized oysters with feta, onions, and bacon marmalade.
There are menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks so you can taste something divine whatever time of day you happen to visit them.
Of course, whilst the focus is seafood, there are also many other unmissable aspects of your Boshamps eating experience such as their wonderful custom cocktail menu, impressive wine list, and bacon marmalade!
Boshamps also do combo meals, platter, and PoBoys on their lunchtime menu so you can get a taste of oysters with other dishes, too. There truly is something for everyone at this authentic local eatery.
There is Cajun and Creole food aplenty, seafood galore, and proper American hearty dishes. You will certainly not be sorry that you paid a visit to Boshamps!
1740 Scenic Highway 98, FL 32541-3355
The Back Porch is a set of two restaurants in Destin, and both are divine. However, the one that I am reviewing is the restaurant that is situated on the beachfront in Destin, whereas the other restaurant is close by in Panama Beach.
Like many of the other restaurants in Destin, The Back Porch is perfectly located for some of the best views Destin has to offer.
Its proximity to the sea means that fresh seafood is a staple at the restaurant, so much so that the oyster prices vary based on what has been caught that day and what the local oyster market dictates!
The Back Porch specializes in seafood, but not just any seafood! Their specialty is Gulf seafood meaning that local cuisine is the focus here. You can be sure that any seafood you order from here will be freshly caught.
With this in mind, much of their menu, especially daily catches and daily specials will depend on the specific time of year as it will be based on what is available within the waters of the Gulf at that time.
Of course, oysters are what you came here for, and so oysters are what I’ll give you - and let me tell you, whilst the oyster options are fewer in comparison to that of the previous restaurant, the choices they do offer are incredible.
There is a whole section on the menu dedicated to three special oyster dishes as well as options for oyster sandwiches, oysters added to meals, and a seafood platter that contains oysters.
The overall atmosphere is friendly and comfortable as it is a bar scene. Service is friendly and it is a great place for group dining as well as more intimate meals.
Certainly an unmissable experience if you happen to be in Destin and want a restaurant with a view. You can even check out the view yourself before visiting by checking out the live beach cam on their website which shows the view directly from the Back Porch.
210 Harbor Blvd, FL 32541-2345
Brotula’s is one of the highest rated restaurants in Destin, and luckily for me (and all of you), they specialize in seafood!
First thing’s first, like many of the other restaurants in Destin, and certainly on this list, Brotula’s happens to boast fantastic views of the surrounding sea and harbor area. This immediately gives it an edge as you can enjoy your meal outside with views galore.
As with many other Destin eateries, the proximity to the sea means that Brotula’s stocks fresh seafood, which is very important when considering the seafood heavy menu it has on offer.
They offer an array of seafood, both cooked and raw, and they even have the option to ‘hook and cook’ which means you can take something that you have caught on your fishing trip and they will cook it fresh for you!
In terms of oysters, there are a variety of options to choose from. You can have them raw on the shell in half a dozen or the full dozen, served with a cocktail sauce and a lemon for a refreshing, freshly caught snack.
You can also have them baked with garlic and parmesan butter. These are particularly delicious and moreish!
The menus include lunch, dinner, brunch, drinks, and cocktails. The brunch menu is particularly impressive as there is a wide range of seafood based dishes you can choose from, as well as the option for a chilled seafood platter that includes fresh oysters.
If you happen to be dining with people who don’t like seafood, there are some great alternatives on each of the menus for Brotula’s, so everyone will be satisfied.
The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, and they cater equally to large parties and intimate dining guests. There truly is something for everyone at this top-notch seafood joint.
116 Harbor Blvd 1/4 Mile East of Destin Bridge, FL 32541-2312
Last but certainly not least, I want to take the time to tell you about AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. There are a number of these restaurants dotted about the state, but this particular eatery is known simply as AJ’s on the Harbor by locals.
It is aptly named, since it is right on the harbor, offering gorgeous views to anyone who dines there.
The overall atmosphere at AJ’s on the Harbor is one of fun, liveliness, and friendliness. Service is great, and they even provide live entertainment almost every night.
It is a bar as well as a restaurant, and both their food and drinks menus are impressive! The best way to think of Aj’s on the Harbor is as an experience rather than simply a palace to eat.
However, that is what you are here for, and so I will be looking in more detail at the food they have on offer, in particular, their oysters! Now, out of all of the restaurants on this list, I think AJ’s had the widest selection of oysters, and they were available in many different forms.
From raw in the half shell, to steamed with garlic butter, and oven-baked and stuffed with crab. You can also have seafood platters, an option to get a combination of different types of oysters if you can’t choose, and even fried oysters!
One thing is for sure and that is that AJ’s on the Harbor is not a restaurant experience to be missed. Just make sure you set aside an evening so you can enjoy every aspect of it, including the great live music!
All in all, the oyster options in Destin, Florida are very impressive. These four restaurants are just my top picks. There are countless other great restaurants there offering oysters and fresh seafood. You could eat at a different restaurant for every single meal a day!