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Award-Winning Tastes

Beneath the currents of the casual coastal Pensacola lifestyle, you’ll find dining choices that excite even the most refined foodie. The Pensacola community boasts restaurants guided by the creative talents of not only veteran chefs but rising stars. Take your visit to the next level with a memorable meal from Pensacola eateries that have earned accolades from top organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

Restaurant IRON • Chef Alex McPhail

Winner of Florida Trend magazine’s Golden Spoon Award, Restaurant IRON is the brainchild of Chef Alex McPhail, who is dedicated to using organic, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. You’ll have a tough time choosing among Southern-inspired dishes like Crispy Skin Gulf Red Snapper and Creole Dusted Shrimp and Grits. If you’re in the mood for a nightcap, strike up a conversation with Campbell Esquerre, IRON’s award-winning bartender, and sample a specialty cocktail like the IRON Goddess (tequila, basil, lemon, elderflower) or a glass of red from their extensive wine list. 

McGuire’s Irish Pub

“Feasting, imbibery and debauchery” is the slogan of this nearly 40-year-old restaurant, located in a former firehouse. One of the most beloved restaurants in the Panhandle, McGuire’s serves up traditional Irish pub fare, celebrated steaks and their famous 18-cent Senate Bean Soup. Over the years, McGuire’s has collected an impressive array of accolades, including 11 Florida Trend Golden Spoon Awards and induction into the Golden Spoon Awards Hall of Fame, not to mention features on The Today Show and The Food Network. Make your mark at the restaurant by tacking a dollar bill to the wall, if you can find space. And don’t forget to kiss the moose.

The Global Grill • Chef Frank Taylor

Located on Palafox Street, The Global Grill is a downtown staple you don’t want to leave off your culinary itinerary. Winner of Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award and glowingly reviewed by Fodor’s Travel, Chef Frank Taylor crafts signature tapas for sharing and a diverse selection of mouth-watering main dishes, such as Potato Crusted Gulf Fish and Filet Mignon with a house-made Worcestershire sauce. Be sure to make a reservation, as the restaurant fills up quickly. When selecting your assortment of tapas, don’t overlook the Lamb Lollipops, a local favorite.

Jackson’s Steakhouse • Chef Irv Miller

If you’re in the mood for a truly elegant meal in downtown Pensacola, step into the 1860s-era building that houses Jackson’s Steakhouse, highly regarded for its grain-fed beef and fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood. Inducted into the Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame, Jackson’s has been recognized by Wine Spectator with the Award of Excellence, and has earned attention from Distinguished Restaurants of North America – placing Jackson’s in the top 2 percent of all fine-dining restaurants in America. Stopping by for lunch? Your first martini is on the house, a Jackson’s tradition.

Skopelos at New World • Chef Gus Silivos

Pensacola natives were delighted in 2016 when the legendary Skopelos (named for the Greek island where the chef was born) reopened its doors in a new Downtown Pensacola location. Executive Chef Gus Silivos helms Skopelos at New World on the south end of Palafox Street. Chef Silivos serves fresh, Mediterranean-inspired fare such as Scallion Rubbed Australian Lamb Rack with olive and sweet pepper tapenade and sunbaked tomato couscous. Silivos and his creations are the winners of many prestigious awards, drawing guests from far and wide.

Union Public House • Chef Blake Rushing

After working in Michelen Star-ranked restaurants around the world, Chef Blake Rushing opened Union Public House, a Pensacola gastropub that serves Southern comfort food with a modern twist. To wit, the Wild Boar Sloppy Joe or shareable Pimento Cheese Pups. On Saturday, wake up in time for brunch to try the Texas French Toast with mascarpone cream cheese, vanilla maple poached pears and bacon or the Gumbo Eggs Benny, a cornbread muffin with a poached egg, crispy bacon and a red pepper hollandaise. 

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