This funky, laid back family restaurant is a favorite with locals and might be the best place to get a New York steak in the area. It’s located just off the main road in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Cactus Flower Cafe
This is the place to go if you are looking for fish tacos and sangria.
In search of a quaint spot to dine where the locals hang out? You won’t be disappointed at Dharma Blue! Just a short drive from the beach to historic Downtown Pensacola, it is a lovely Victorian cottage set adjacent to Seville Park. Dharma’s expansive menu features a wide selection of fresh seafood entrees as well as steaks, pastas, sushi and game.
Dog House Deli
If you are looking for some great affordable food we recommend you check out the Dog House Deli. This local favorite has been around for three decades and are best known for their franks. Dog House has over a dozen kinds of juicy signature creations served up on yummy steamed buns. They also serve a great breakfast, sandwiches, chilli and bread pudding. Don’t miss the bread pudding. Click here to read about Dog House Deli on Toes in the Sand Blog.
Five Sisters Blues Cafe
Black musicians like B.B. King played in smoky clubs on the historic streets of the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood in downtown Pensacola. Today you can soak up the vibe with old-fashioned comfort food—infused with soul and talent This is the place to go for brunch if you are craving chicken and waffles. The fried chicken is the best around, and the classic southern sides are sure to please.
Flounders Chowder House
This is a lively and large waterfront restaurant located sound side on Pensacola Beach. They have lots of outdoor seating, some of which enables you to have your toes in the sand while you eat. The menu includes southern and American favorites such as fried food in baskets, burgers, seafood, steaks and pasta. They have an indoor pub style bar for the adults and an outdoor playground for the kids. Cheap martinis and free appetizers make Tuesday nights a favorite with the locals. Let’s just say – a Diesel Fuel will get you going on a weekend night!
Gilligan’s Tiki Bar
Gilligan’s Tiki Bar on the Hampton Inn’s beachfront pool deck is a great place to catch a sunset. They serve six kinds of draft beer, blended cocktails, and have a flat screen television for games. They have free oysters every Wednesday in the summer and are open seasonally 11am to sunset.
H2O Cajun Asian Grill & Bonsai Sushi Bar
There are several great dining options in the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel. All the food is great, especially the burgers. If you want to splurge try the Steak Dano. It’s named after their chef Dan Dunn who is one of five local celebrity chefs. It is an 8-ounce filet mignon with fried lobster and shrimp, wild mushrooms, baby bok choy and garlic herb mashed potatoes. Chef Dano cooked at the James Beard House in New York several times. You can read Pensacola’s Celebrity Chef’s in New York on Toes in the Sand Blog. The Hilton also serves a great brunch, has fresh sushi at Bonsai sushi bar and poolside dining at Latitudes pool bar.
Got BBQ on the brain? How about putting some in your belly? The Happy Pig is a must do for all BBQ lovers. Just follow the wonderful smoky aroma to a trendy little spot in historic downtown Pensacola. Every table has a large variety of specialty BBQ sauces to accommodate both Texan and Southern palates alike. They offer nightly specials, beginning with Happy Hour Monday thru Friday. If you are feeling adventurous and more than a little hungry, ask about the “Port-In-Nator Challenge”.
Hemmingways Island Grill
Hemmingways has a great soundside view and offers an eclectic Caribbean-influenced menu that reflects island lifestyles. This is made evident by dishes like Havana Harry’s Pork Tenderloin, which consists of chargrilled jerk-rubbed pork, drizzled with fresh mango sauce and served with yellow rice and black beans. They also have lots of fresh seafood to offer such as Long Boat Key Mahi-Mahi, which is a grilled filet topped with sauteed shrimp, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and a creamy citrus butter sauce served with island rice. You can read all about Hemmingways on Toes in the Sand Blog.
Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Tap Room
Hopjacks is a staple in Pensacola for their collaboration of delicious pizza, wide selection of micro and craft beers and lively atmosphere, which creates the ultimate recipe for a fun, welcoming experience. Be sure not to miss out on their award-winning Belgian Fries, served until 2AM! On Tuesdays, drinks are $3 from 7pm to 3am.
This is the best place for sandwiches in historic downtown Pensacola. It is also a lively bar if you are looking to get out and about.
For those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other, look no further than Jacksons, right across the street from where Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States, planted the first American flag on Florida soil. Local celebrity chef, Irv Miller, produces magic in the kitchen with his passion for flavor and presentation—satisfying one palate after another. Jacksons is the premier place to enjoy gourmet food, drinks and company in downtown Pensacola!
Vinyl Music Hall
The newest mid-size live music venue located on the corner of Palafox Street. It caters to national and regional acts in all genres. Vinyl offers a full bar and is connected to 5 ½ Bar, a high-end wine and spirits bar.
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille
Hands down, Jacos is the best waterfront restaurant in downtown Pensacola at the bottom of historic Palafox Street. Not only is their view phenomenal, but also their food is very delicious. This restaurant is the perfect location to relax and enjoy simple pleasures like a martini, a flatbread or a beautiful sunset. Read more about Jaco’s on the Toes in the Sand Blog.
Lillo’s Tuscan Grille
This is a great little Italian restaurant at the far end of the Soundside Market across the street from the Hilton hotel. Lillo’s is a good place to get take-out if you want to enjoy some quality Italian food in your room. If you sit on the small outdoor patio, you can enjoy views of Pensacola Bay. All the pasta dishes are great. Take note that if you order the ‘spagasagna’, which is a giant plate of spaghetti topped with lasagne, the portion is big enough for a family of four.
McGuire’s Irish Pub
Don’t be startled that the walls and ceilings of this pub are dressed with $1 bills—more than a million, in fact. And also, do NOT try to become richer by ripping off a dollar, but rather leave your mark with a dollar. A Pensacola landmark and award-winning Irish Pub, this restaurant has coined great food, wonderful beverages and live Irish entertainment which creates an remarkable experience for locals and tourists!
This funky little place is located in the colorful strip mall east of the Paradise Hotel and is known for having an uber good breakfast.
Paradise Bar and Grill
Located ‘soundside,’ this beach bar is a favorite hangout among locals. As the folks at Visit Florida say, “It’s as real as swamp full of gators, as laid back as juice-in-the-blender and as high-spirited as a hurricane. If you’re looking for a peachy place to people watch, grab a grouper sandwich and tap your toes to live tunes, this piece of old-time Florida is bound to float your flip-flops.” Fried green beans, quesadillas and the Cuban sandwich won’t disappoint.
Peg Leg Pete’s
This is one of the most popular restaurants on Pensacola Beach, and as a result there’s usually a line up. However, table waits are well managed with portable buzzers and there’s a comfortable bar called the Underwear Bar under the main restaurant where you can enjoy a cocktail in the meantime. It’s a family friendly place with a playground for the wee ones. The kids food that comes in a sand pail. How fun is that? They’re known for their oysters which are amazing, but the chicken parmesan and the artichoke dip won’t fail you either. We recommend you start with a dozen Oyster Rockefeller and some peel and eat shrimp.
Red Fish Blue Fish
Red Fish Blue Fish is the newest outdoor waterfront restaurant on Pensacola Beach built with repurposed shipping containers from Indonesian boat wood that gives it a funky, casual vibe. It’s a unique, fresh and sustainable approach to a fish ’n’ chip eatery, serving fresh Gulf Coast fish, homemade burgers, tacos, yummy cocktails & more.
Riptides Sports Grill & Gulf Front Tiki Bar
Riptides is located in the Holiday Inn Resort hotel. They have 20 flat screen high-definition televisions so it is a great place to catch a game. The burgers and wings are awesome. They have a burger so big that if you finish it you get a free beer. Riptides Tiki Bar located on the hotel’s beachfront pool deck is the biggest tiki on the coast and a great place to watch a sunset.
Shaggy’s Restaurant Pensacola Beach
This is a great place to watch and sunset on their back deck. In the summer, the windows do not have glass, so the breeze blows right through. They are known for having great burgers, BBQ and fish sandwiches. You can read about Shaggy’s Restaurant on Toes in the Sand Blog.
This funky little shack of a restaurant is located on the water at the end of the Portofino Boardwalk. They serve good burgers and great fries–especially their yam fries. Their bars stools around the edge of their patio are the perfect place to perch and watch the endless activity in Pensacola Bay.
The Fish House & Atlas Oyster House
Upscale dockside dining overlooking beautiful Pensacola Bay and Seville Harbor, The Fish House is known best for its range of fresh seafood selections, house-smoked steaks, sushi and an extensive wine list, and the reputation is well deserved. If you are adventurous try their famous Grits a Ya Ya. In the evening, The Fish House evolves into a hot gathering spot for locals to come enjoy the deck bars and live entertainment. Wednesday night is Ladies Night.
The Global Grill
Pensacola’s go-to spot for any celebrations or special occasions, The Global Grill prides itself on their gourmet selection of tapas, entrées & salads. The beautiful decor and live music create a wonderful ambiance for dining.
The Grand Marlin
This is a great choice if you’re looking for fine dining. They have a fresh seafood menu that changes daily and the environment is first class. Their deluxe deck is a great place to watch a sunset. The outdoor bar is an ideal place to cozy up with some locals especially during their daily happy hour from 3pm-5pm. You must sit at the bar to enjoy happy hour specials. Don’t miss $5 burgers on Sundays. They also serve a Sunday Brunch that will not disappoint. Click here to read about The Grand Marlin on Toes in the Sand Blog.