Looking for a romantic restaurant in Destin, Florida? Both locals and visitors love these hot spots for date night. When my husband and I get a rare evening out without kids, I prefer to go somewhere that has an upscale atmosphere, high-end cuisine and great drinks. Of course there are plenty of casual restaurants here, too, but these eateries feel like a special treat and you can get dressed up without feeling out of place. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, birthday or just a special night out, these Destin restaurants will not disappoint! Plus, many of them take reservations so that you can spend your date night sipping and savoring rather than waiting for a table.
Bitterroot. This stylish establishment offers high-end cuisine and unique craft cocktails. The darker, sophisticated atmosphere is the perfect place for a date or girls’ night out. The menu is updated seasonally, so there’s always something new to try and you know the food is fresh and flavorful. I recommend starting with their whipped ricotta dip! And don’t skip dessert – the Candy Bar and Bread Pudding are a couple of my favorites!
Mimmo’s. This local hot spot boasts amazing Italian food, great cocktails, and a fun atmosphere. Don’t be fooled by the strip mall location — inside it’s classy, cozy and the perfect place for date night! My go-to dinner order is the Pappardelle All’aragosta (papardelle pasta with lobster meat, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms tossed in a vodka sauce), but everything I’ve tried on the menu has been incredible!
Camille’s Restaurant. Whether you want to share some sushi or enjoy the area’s succulent seafood, Camille’s has something for everyone on the menu. This cozy restaurant is located on the second level of Beachside Inn and offers a glimpse of the Gulf as you share a delectable meal with your significant other.
Beach Walk Café. One of the few restaurants located directly on the Gulf, this fine-dining establishment at Henderson Park Inn offers stunning views and fresh, flavorful cuisine. They have indoor seating and a deck with outdoor seating, but if you want to dine on the beach, reserve their VIP Toes in the Sand dining experience. You’ll arrive at a private table directly on the sand and devour dinner, dessert, and drinks in true barefoot luxury complete with a dedicated server for second-to-none service.
Marina Cafe. Enjoy a view of Destin Harbor from the candlelit dining room or elegant bar. The menu features fresh daily seafood selections, USDA prime steaks, pastas, sushi, wood-fired pizzas and more. I personally love the scallops! Their extensive wine collection features over 100 wines. And if you don’t mind eating early, they offer a Buy One Get One Entrée special from 5pm to 6pm.
Louisiana Lagniappe offers an upscale waterfront dining experience with views of the harbor, Louisiana-style seafood, and many other delectable dishes. During the winter months they offer a “Two Can Dine and a Bottle of Wine for $59” special. They also have a dock, so you can sail up in your boat for a tasty meal!
Pazzo Italiano serves Italian entrées, wood-fired pizzas, wine, and more in a chic, contemporary space. I usually order the Pappardelle Dello Chef, which is made with egg pasta, Italian sausage, porcini mushroom and creamy smoked Gouda cheese sauce and drizzled with truffle oil. They also have nightly specials so there’s always something new to try. Last time we were there it was a delicious grouper and risotto dish!
Primrose. Located within the luxurious Henderson Beach Resort, Primrose serves contemporary steak and seafood dishes in an airy, upscale setting. The gourmet menu features fresh hand-crafted sushi along with Gulf-to-table seafood, steaks and craft cocktails. And while you’re at The Henderson, make your way up to The Rooftop bar for a cocktail and watch the sun set over the beach.
The Wine Bar. This elegant gathering spot features farm-to-table cuisine, charcuterie boards made with artisan cheeses, and an award-winning wine list. Enjoy several small plates or try one of their mouthwatering main dishes, such as manchego-crusted fresh catch, a filet or grouper piccata. If you’re a happy hour fan (who isn’t?!), stop by between 3pm and 6pm Monday – Thursday for discounted small plates and $8 specialty cocktails. They also have a daily carafe special: enjoy a select 12 oz. carafe for the price of a large glass.
Soleil. Savor coastal modern cuisine as you watch the sun set over the Gulf and feel the salty breeze against your skin. This beachfront restaurant in Destin is located inside the The Inn at Crystal Beach and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Start off your date night with a beautiful (and tasty!) cocktail and share some starters, like the crab cakes. Main dishes include a variety of seafood options, but they also have a burger and steak for those who don’t want seafood. The grouper I had was amazing!
Bijoux is a full service fine dining restaurant located in The Market Shops at the entrance of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. It features the freshest Gulf seafood, prime steaks and an extensive award winning wine list. The intimate lounge boasts a full bar complete with a large selection of specialty martinis.
Commelfo. It’s all in the details at this modern restaurant, which brings big city vibes to the beach. Everything is beautiful, from the interior design to how they plate the dishes. My husband and I went there for date night a few months ago and loved the truffled burrata caprese, Commelfo salad, scallops, and sea salt caramel cheesecake. It’s the perfect spot to dress up and enjoy some unique, high-quality food.
I hope this guide to romantic restaurants in Destin helps you have a memorable meal during your vacation! If you’d like to capture your visit, I’m a Florida photographer and offer couples sessions. Click here to inquire about a session! I’d love to help you document your special getaway.