Welcome to the enchanting world of Destin, a coastal gem on Florida’s Emerald Coast, where stunning white-sand beaches meet the shimmering emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond its natural beauty, Destin boasts a vibrant and inviting bar scene that will delight locals and enthrall visitors alike. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the very best bars this picturesque paradise has to offer. From beachfront tiki bars serving up tropical cocktails to charming waterfront pubs with fresh seafood and ice-cold beer, Destin’s bar landscape has something for everyone. Whether you’re a sun-soaked beachgoer, a dedicated foodie, or a cocktail connoisseur, our curated list of the finest bars in Destin promises to quench your thirst for both libations and ambiance. Join us as we explore the coastal delights of the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” through its most exceptional watering holes.
Lucky’s Rotten Apple is a lively bar near Escape Zone 60. They play live local music, cool jams on nights with DJs, and sports games on the TVs during the day. The pool tables, happy hour, and club-like lights all contribute to a friendly, inviting, and ultra-fun atmosphere. I like getting cheap cocktails here, like Sex on the Beach and Blue Lagoon.
AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar is a popular seafood spot that people go to for both raw oysters and cold beer. Located right on the Destin Harbor near the boardwalk, this bar attracts both tourists and locals alike with live music and large windows where you might be able to spot a Dolphin! Shrimp and grits, fish tacos, and snow crab are my favorite non-oyster menu items.
McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin is a highly-rated Irish pub that offers live music on most nights, so you usually don’t have to plan ahead to enjoy a show. Near the HarborWalk Village, this pub is known for its massive portions, so come here with an empty stomach. The Shepherd’s Pie and Reuben Egg Rolls are my favorite dishes, and I always pair them with an ice-cold root beer.
If you’re looking for a more homey, relaxed bar — especially during the day — head to Red Door Saloon near the Heron Harbor marina. This local bar is the best place to go for the combination of domestic beer, loaded bratwursts, and chicken sandwiches. I enjoy their bloody marys as well, especially during the day. At night, the pub gets a little louder with tourists, but that’s a part of the fun.
The Harbor Tavern is one of the best bars in Destin, Florida, for both food and drinks. Like Red Door Saloon, The Harbor Tavern is located near Heron Harbor. I love meeting friends there and enjoying various foods, from southern burgers to pork belly tacos to Mediterranean bowls. Their cocktails are delicious, too, especially the Blueberry Hard Lemonade with lemonade rum, mint, and fresh blueberries — yum!
If you want the best seafood with a Creole-inspired touch and an upscale environment, look no further than Louisiana Lagniappe. This restaurant near Norriego Point has been serving customers for over thirty-five years, so it’s hard to go wrong with anything you order here. I like their fried crawfish, blackened scallops, and lobster tails the most, paired with signature drinks like the “Southern Sky” and “Bayou Breeze.”
Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, located near the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina, is the perfect place to go for fresh seafood, lovely water views, and creative cocktails. I appreciate that their cocktails are intricate but still well-priced. My favorite is Deedee’s Strawberry Lemon Drop, featuring fresh muddled strawberries and black cherry vodka.
The Craft bar has multiple locations, but the one in Destin near AMC Destin Commons is my favorite gastropub in town! I like how it has a friendly, homey feel but still serves highly impressive cocktails and elevated bar food. I love pairing their southern fried chicken or fried green tomatoes with a cold, crisp cider.
Lastly, Bric à Brac is a true gem in Destin, as it has such an upbeat atmosphere, great live music, and a dance floor to show off your best moves. This bar near The Local Market also has an outstanding array of seafood, including but not limited to blackened grouper, crab cakes, and shrimp ceviche.
Why should you trust us?
We use our own local experience and contacts in the city to know which places to include in our lists. We also researched the web and read 4 reputable blogs and websites, including tripadvisor.com, whereindestin.com, penningtonprofessionalphotography.com, and floridatravelinspiration.com. So that you can be sure you’re receiving the best of the best. We compiled all the results in one spot and ranked them according to how frequently they were referenced.