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Eat Like a Local

As any “Pensacolian" knows, there is no better place to call home than the Gulf Coast. Though the seaside destination is famously known for its breathtaking views, Pensacola is also home to an eclectic mix of off-the-beaten-path restaurants that are a must-try if you’re a visitor who likes to blend in with the locals. Here we unveil hidden gems that are highly regarded by foodies in the community.

Have a favorite? Share you favorite local eats using hashtag #ExplorePcola.

Jerry’s Drive-In

Ask a local to choose their go-to diner, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear, “Jerry’s, of course.” The East Pensacola Heights hotspot opened in 1939 and quickly became known for its carhop-style service and Original Bacon Cheeseburger. Although no longer a true drive-in, Jerry’s still takes pride in a classic, all-American menu of burgers, fries, onion rings and milkshakes. House favorites also include fish chowder and oyster stew, plus an assortment of fried delights: mullet, gizzards, livers and okra. During your visit, take a quick walk around the diner; the walls are covered with community-donated bumper stickers, sports posters and cheeky slogans.

Jerry'sPhoto by @glittertooth

O’Zone Pizza Pub

O’zone Pizza Pub hits the spot when you’re craving hand-crafted pizza pies, craft beer and a good time. Tucked away in the basement of the historic, old Sacred Heart Hospital building, O’Zone is known for its quirky, fun atmosphere. Rumor has it that ghosts wander the hallways upstairs, but that doesn’t stop locals from visiting the gothic-style, architectural landmark. If anything, the spookiness adds to the pub’s mystique. There are many pizza varieties, but A Nutty Idea has been voted the pub’s best original pizza recipe, so it’s an obvious must-try (especially if you’re a fan of cream cheese and cashews). The pasta dishes, calzones, soups and salads round out the extensive menu, and The Italian Stallion and The John Wayne grinders are savory delights on a bun.

O'zone PizzaPhoto by @magnified.soul

Blue Dot BBQ

Located in the historic Belmont-Devillers district in downtown Pensacola, Blue Dot BBQ first opened in 1946 and has welcomed a steady stream of hungry visitors ever since to its no-frills, no-flash eatery. Only one small sign hangs on the blue brick building, but locals always know where to find it. Once inside, snag a stool at the counter or grab a seat at one of the diner-style wood tables as you wait for mouthwatering barbecue ribs or melt-in-your-mouth burgers to emerge from the kitchen. And, just like your order that comes out in an unassuming paper bag, paper’s the way to pay, too – Blue Dot is a cash-only establishment.

Blue dotPhoto by @lone.k.chau

Hub Stacey’s

Serving both Perdido Key and Pensacola, Hub Stacey’s has been a local hot spot for years. Whether dining in or getting take-out, guests will never be disappointed by its classic sandwiches and wings. If you are in the Perdido Key area, Hub’s can be accessed by car or boat. Arriving by boat, Galvez Landing offers a place to dock and walk a short distance to the restaurant. Guests can relax and listen to live bands perform while enjoying the pub fare. The downtown location offers the same great menu and is located directly across from Seville Square. Here guests can sit inside or on the patio to enjoy the views of beautiful downtown Pensacola.

Hub Stacey'sPhoto by @goodlifepensacola

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