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Dining with a View

The Gulf. The Sound. The Bay. These are just a few bodies of water that Pensacola loves to show off – especially over a great meal. No matter what your aquatic preference, there are numerous fantastic dining experiences along the Gulf Coast where locals and visitors alike are able to enjoy the sparkling, emerald H2O up close. Visit these scenic destinations during your Pensacola stay, and get ready to be greeted by stunning vistas.

The Grand Marlin Restaurant and North Drop Bar

Ready to reel in amazing seafood, creative cocktails and an easygoing Caribbean vibe? Welcome to the Grand Marlin Restaurant and North Drop Bar. Here the finest oysters, from Apalachicola and East Bay to more exotic locales, are shucked to order at the raw bar. For those in the mood for landlubber delights, steaks, burgers and chicken are delicious options. At the restaurant’s North Drop Bar, you can kick back and order an ice-cold North Drop Ale, the best Mandarin Mango Mojito under the sun or a glass of carefully curated wine. This casual, comfortable bar makes a great observation point for sunlight dancing across the Santa Rosa Sound, sunsets over Pensacola Bay and the twinkling lights of Pensacola Beach at night.

Grand MarlinPhoto by @chef_erica_nicole

Red Fish Blue Fish

Known for having the best "backyard playground" on the beach, Red Fish Blue Fish is a fun and quirky restaurant the whole family can appreciate. The huge, grassy outdoor area (with two sandy beaches) overlooks the Santa Rosa Sound and lives up to its playful reputation with fire pits, a volleyball court, outdoor games and a bar. The building itself is creatively eco-friendly, with sustainable building materials such as reclaimed wood, repurposed shipping containers and solar panels. From the menu, take your pick of seafood, poultry, burgers, fried baskets, taco plates and po’boys – “sauce on your elbow style,” as the menu boasts. Oysters from the raw bar and even a gift shop round out the ways you’ll be hooked by Red Fish Blue Fish.

Red Fish Blue FishPhoto by @johnnydena

Crabs - We Got 'Em

Located right on the Gulf you’ll find Crabs - We Got 'Em. Flaunting a blazing red roof and oversized crab at the front door, it’s a restaurant that beach-goers cannot miss. Grab a Crab's Voodoo Juice or Crabwacker frozen cocktail while you enjoy breathtaking views and fresh salt air breeze. If it’s Sunday, order the Rockefeller Benedict during brunch on the back deck and patio. As you might guess, the crab platters are popular and plentiful, and if you’re feeling extra hungry, the Seafood Tower will fill you up with three levels of steamed crabs, raw oysters, steamed shrimp, new potatoes and corn on the cob. There’s also a beachside playground for the kids, making Crabs a win-win for the whole family.

CrabsPhoto by @slyman_92

The Fish House and Atlas Oyster House

Overlooking Pensacola Bay, and just a short stroll from historic Olde Seville Square, The Fish House and Atlas Oyster House are like the Ginger and Mary Ann of dockside restaurants in Pensacola. The more upscale Fish House treats you to fresh-daily seafood specials, house-smoked steaks, sushi and an extensive wine list of some 300 vintages. The famous Grits à Ya Ya is an unforgettable concoction of smoked Gouda cheese grits, sautéed Gulf shrimp and applewood-smoked bacon. Don’t miss happy hour on the 3,500-square-foot deck, complete with fire pit and live music.

The Atlas Oyster House – the more casual of these sister restaurants – is a seashell’s throw away from The Fish House, and is known by locals and visitors as "the place" for raw, baked or steamed oysters harvested from Apalachicola Bay and East Bay.

Fish HousePhoto by @fishhousepensacola

Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille

Jaco's Bayfront Bar & Grille is a charming bistro known for its outdoor patio overlooking Pensacola Bay and the Palafox Pier Marina. It’s the perfect spot to admire beautiful yachts and fishing boats, watch the sunset or catch a summer fireworks show whenever our Blue Wahoos baseball team plays at home. Locals come for both the small and large plates, especially the diverse array of flatbreads like the Tender Blue (steak, caramelized onions and blue cheese) and Rustic Veggie (roasted corn, avocado, spinach, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and black bean garlic spread). Jaco’s is a hot spot for happy hour. If you’re feeling feisty, kickstart your evening with a Hot Ruby, Milagro silver tequila infused with fiery jalapeño sage syrup and a splash of tangy grapefruit juice.

Jaco's viewPhoto by @courtneydiane15

The Oar House

What could be better than crawfish etouffée followed by award-winning crab cakes or The Fork Lift, a fish sandwich smothered in provolone? Not much, except maybe an expansive open-air ambience overlooking the Bahia Mar Marina. Fortunately, The Oar House has both: fabulous seafood and tranquil views of boats cruising by as you sip a Reef Wrecker, The Oar House’s version of a tropical rum punch. Soak up the sun as you dine, or stay shaded beneath the wide tiki roof. Either way, when it comes to blissful waterfront dining, The Oar House has you covered.

Oar House
Photo by @whatwereeating

Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Known as one of Kenny Chesney’s favorite hangout spots, the Flora-Bama Yacht club offers causal waterfront dining accompanied by live music and breathtaking sunsets over Ole River. This iconic dining experience is one that doesn’t need to be missed. With everything from Firecracker Calamari to Greek Shrimp Nachos, the menu is sure to satisfy any craving. The restaurant can be accessed by car or boat, so bring a smile and an empty stomach and get ready to dig your toes into the sand while enjoying some of the best food on the key.

Flora-bama Yacht ClubPhoto by @rgreenwade

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