Dive on in to find the locals guide to the best waterfront views of the city and the tastes that accompany it.
Downtown Pensacola: Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grille
Nestled at the end of the historic Palafox Pier, Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grille is accessible by foot or boat. This waterfront restaurant and bar offers “Sunset Specials” from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, including half off wine by the glass and $3 off featured cocktails and includes a stunning view. Pair with a Signature Flatbread (I prefer the Tender Blue pictured below and the house red) and you have yourself a perfect evening! While wining and dining, enjoy the passing of yachts coming in and out of the marina and a gentle Bay breeze. If you’re in for an eclectic flair, the restaurant in partnership with the Pensacola Museum of Art hosts Art Night on the Bayfront the last Wednesday of every month featuring some of the area’s best local artists. To curb your craving, grab a late-night Dessert Sampler and you’ll be satisfied for the evening!
Downtown Pensacola: Pensacola Fish House – Atlas Oyster House – The Deck Bar
A unique Pensacola tradition, this three-in-one establishment offers a variety of choices in an assortment of spaces. Famous for its Grits a YaYa, the Fish House is open daily for lunch and dinner. Guests will find the restaurant is most busy for Sunday brunch, where it boasts the best drink specials in town. Five-dollar bottomless mimosas and $2 bloody marys are accompanied by a menu fit for a king and queen, so fit that the King and Queen of Spain ate here when they visited! You can find most people biting into the decadent Jack Daniel’s Chicken and Waffles or the Steakhouse Bennies complete with hollandaise, spiced beef medallions and fresh lump crab meat while overlooking the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
On the other side of the building where the locals refer to it as, “the Fish House’s laid-back sister,” Atlas Oyster House offers some of the best specials in the downtown area. Every Monday visitors will find 25 cent oysters and half priced sushi on Tuesdays. Happy hour commences daily from 4-6 p.m. with $2 drafts, $3 mixed well drinks and $4 house wines. Don’t fret though if you’re in the mood for something a little heavier, Atlas offers all the same entrée staples that Fish House does.
Out back at The Deck Bar, make sure to pack your dancing shoes. Guests can find live music just about every night of the week with some of the best drinks in town. Monday Madness offers 50 cent draft Bud Light and a featured craft brew every Monday after 5 p.m. and Wednesday night Ladies drink for $2 a drink after 4 p.m. The Deck Bar also offers a unique event space holding wedding receptions and other private events.
Pensacola Beach: The Grand Marlin and the North Drop Bar
Offering some of the freshest seafood in town, The Grand Marlin prints its menus daily to ensure the most quality ingredients available. Located on Pensacola Beach overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound, the Grand Marlin is an upscale dining experience available for any meal. Every meal I’ve ever had here, I always begin with the Oyster Rockefeller, please take my advice, your taste buds will thank you generously. The lush, buttery hollandaise sauce alone is enough to spin you into another region of the state. After you indulge on the oysters, depending on what day of the week you go, there are some amazing specials offered.
Photo By @wandering.blind
On Tuesday’s they offer a wonderful Surf & Turf special complete with a grilled filet mignon and a fresh lump crab cake that will knock your socks off. If you’re stopping in for lunch I’d recommend the watermelon tuna poke bowl. This entrée tastes like summer and has all sorts of balanced goodness in it to keep you going all day. If you’re looking for a simpler affair, try the North Drop Bar for happy hour. During the work week from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and on the weekend from 3-6 p.m., enjoy $6 bar bites and drink specials.
Pensacola Beach: The Frisky Dolphin Sunset Oyster Bar & Grill
For a more casual affair, stop in at the Frisky Dolphin Sunset Oyster Bar & Grill. New to the scene and gaining a lot of buzz this place is anything but average, it offers fresh gulf coast seafood with a creole flair. My suggestion: start with the oysters frisky – garlic butter combines bacon, Monterey Jack and a jalapeno slice baked to perfection! Finish it off with the Snow Crab Legs and BAM your taste buds will be jumping! If you’re looking for entertainment they offer karaoke on Friday night and live music on Saturday and Sunday as well as yard games all week long.
Photo By @jordsgirl526
Perdido Key: Sunset Grille
Available by car or by boat, the Sunset Grille is nestled dockside at Holiday Harbor Marina. Watch local anglers bring in the fresh catch-of-the-day while you relax and sip on a cold sunset lemon ice and snack on smoked tuna dip. The Grille is both child and dog-friendly, so I’d suggest coming on island time because you won’t want to leave! One of the best things to do is to get the peel & eat shrimp and watch the kids play in the enclosed playground out back that has life-sized boats and jet skis that they can “drive”. Don’t forget to order a slice of the key lime pie before you leave!