After spending the day at Crab Island and chowing down on those food vendors you’re bound to get hungry again, and we don’t blame you, around here we’re always hungry for more!
Destin is mostly known for its tourist trap food spots that showcase many of the same kinds of overpriced fish with their run-of-the-mill flavor. That’s not something for you, don’t bore your taste buds with a broken record of flavors. That’s why we’ve brought to you FlavorTown! Is this an actual part of Destin you may ask? Nope, but that’s what we call our list of Destin’s hidden food gems that will provide a flavor most people will only dream of.
I know we just mentioned not bringing the same old boring Florida fish into the list but we promise that while this place may be all about fish, it’s cut from a different cloth. Let’s start with the history, it all starts with a tale as old as time, well as old as the 1980s, the Tenneco 80, not to be confused with the vacuum Tineco 80, was an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico that was created by dropping a retired oil rig that housed monster amberjacks. Captain Dale Beebe set out to find an amberjack of his own in the 1990s, but to his disappointment, he only came across a sea of barracudas. The little guys were amusing not only Captain Dale but also the boats around him that had radioed in to see if Dale had succeeded in his hunt for amberjack, to which he famously replied “All I caught today were Jackacuda’s” a fairly niche fisherman joke that stuck to this day naming the area of Tenneco 80, Jackacuda’s and also this restaurant of course. What’s the food like? Well, it serves up sushi as you’ve never had before, some may even say it’s “legendary”. Check out the place for yourself and don’t forget to look at their website if you have a seating preference.
Aside from its adorable name, this place is serving up something mighty, a strong beach wind of another fish spot, although this one is not only special but it is cooked, and to perfection might we add. At The Surf Hut, you get to create your catch without doing any of the work. You could even find yourself chowing down on a shish kabob or one of their delectable house specials. Looking for something smokey? This Destin spot has that too! If you’re more in the mood for something on the simple side, they even have sandwiches to offer. This menu has so much to choose from you might not even need to see the rest of this list, just kidding, you’ll want to see it. Grab your surfboards, surf on them, then throw them into the wind because you don’t need them here when you’re chowing down.
The name might have you wondering if you’re in for a photo op, and the answer is maybe. However, this Destin spot is mostly dedicated to our favorite childhood classics, one listed in most photo ops from the food truck is a spin-off of mac and cheese. Why buy mac and cheese when making it is so easy? The amount of ease is even listed in the name i.e. “easy mac”. Well, this isn’t just about the mac and cheese, it’s more about the 90s and Kraft singles and the varieties of all the childhood classics that come with that. Say Cheese’s classic is their popular “classic melt” which consists of bread and American cheese, they also offer a step up if you’re feeling lively, with 3 different kinds of cheeses, their pizza melt kicks it up. The spin on our childhood classics is that everything is in compact sandwich form, from mac and cheese in a fluffy toast to smores sandwiches for all you sweet folks. There’s even what Say Cheese calls an NCB, what does that have to do with cheese? Well, there’s “cream cheese” and it sounds delicious so it counts, the NCB has Nutella, banana, and cream cheese, and it will have you saying “More banana please”. This food truck may be bringing the cheese but in a refined way.
No, this is not about how terrible you are at bringing the party game. The party fowl restaurant in Destin emphasizes its “fowl”, giving you all the bird things to eat, they are said to specialize in Tennessee-style hot chicken and boozy slushies, what a combo! If you can’t handle the heat, they won’t tell you to get out of the kitchen, but they will ask that you tell them what level of spice you can handle, and not to worry, they give you plenty of levels to choose from. Boneless Tennessee-style chicken is truly special for those who have not tried it just keep in mind it keeps things “spicy”. Come to the place that packs heat!
Of all the food places listed, this one is Destin establishment is the kind of spot you’ll want to find your little black dress for, the decor is an Insta photo dream with pastel blues, alongside giant windows overlooking the beach, which will make your experience feel dreamy. Now that we’ve painted the aesthetic, how’s the food? Coming in just as picturesque as the decor is their food, their crab cake is what dreams are made of and the pineapple layer cake is a must-try for after your dinner! Sit inside where it’s air-conditioned or sit outside, either way, the view is stunning. Don’t forget to check out their happy hour from 3-6!
As much as we would like to keep these gems to ourselves, we are happy to share the love, enjoy all the flavors and fun and then get back out to the water for some more water sports!