Destin is a well-known destination thanks to its seafood, gorgeous beaches, and down-home welcome. International dining options might not come to mind as one of the biggest draws to Destin’s sandy shores. But the truth is, you’ll find an impressive array of restaurants here, many of which offer authentic cuisine from around the world.
Have a hankering for some authentic risotto, pad Thai, or a fresh-from-the-border burrito, perhaps? You’ve got options. These are some of the local favorite restaurants featuring distinctly non-American cuisine.
979 US-98 Ste. 5, Destin, FL 32541
Visitors and locals alike are practically unanimous in their praise for Mimmo’s, an upscale eatery serving well-loved authentic Italian dishes. The atmosphere makes it a great spot for a date, without being too fussy; the interior manages to feel upscale but casual thanks to the industrial-chic decor. Favorite dishes include pasta with house-made vodka sauce, stuffed manicotti, chicken parmigiana, and their famous garlic knots. A well-stocked wine list, excellent servers, and top-notch desserts (definitely save room for tiramisu!) complete the experience. Mimmo’s dining room fills up quickly, especially on weekend evenings; making a reservation is a good idea.
775 Gulf Shore Dr, Destin, FL 32541
Louisiana Lagniappe is an upscale waterfront venue that offers exceptional Louisiana-style seafood–arguably the best you’ll find outside of New Orleans. Choose from indoor or outdoor seating, and prepare to enjoy a lovely dining experience; this isn’t a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon but takes things up a few notches in terms of service, decor, and atmosphere. The lobster tails, steaks, fresh grouper, and hushpuppies are all fan favorites, but it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu.
4618 Opa-Locka Ln, Destin, FL 32541
This hidden jewel serves up enchiladas, fajitas, chilaquiles, and tacos to die for–but it’s easy to miss. Burritacos is partially hidden behind a gas station, so don’t judge a book by its cover when you first arrive. Burritacos offers some of the most authentic Mexican food you’ll find in Destin. Although the service is prompt and friendly, keep in mind that dishes are made to order, so don’t expect fast-food speed. Expect generous portions and high-quality ingredients every time.
36178 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541
Pedro’s might sound like just another Mexican food joint, but they boast an incomparable atmosphere and top-notch Mexican food with flair. Expect fast, friendly service, excellent margaritas and house-made salsas, and an impressive menu of traditional Mexican food favorites, from street tacos to fajitas. Prices are very reasonable given the portion sizes and food quality, and the atmosphere is fun and casual–great for a date or for a family outing.
5. Tuk Tuk Thai
4237 Legendary Dr, Destin, FL 32541
Located in the Destin Commons, it’s easy to overlook Tuk Tuk Thai–but Thai food lovers would be amiss to pass this place up. Tuk Tuk Thai boasts that it serves up authentic Thai street food to the Destin, Florida crowd–and they do just that. Whether you’re in the market for pad thai, drunken noodles, or a mouthwatering curry, you’ll find it here. And it’ll be served up quickly, with a warm smile and unforgettably good service. Great for dine-in or take-out service, you won’t regret a stop at this underrated eatery.
4447 Commons Dr E #103, Destin, FL 32541
If Tuk Tuk is the place to go for Thai street food, Thai Basil might be the best spot for a wide array of traditional Thai dishes. Dig into the mango sticky rice, spring rolls, fried rice, and crispy garlic chicken. Although recent visitors have reported somewhat spotty service, you can expect consistently fresh, thoughtfully plated meals that are bursting with fresh flavor. Like many Thai restaurants, you can expect dishes to be prepared to order–this isn’t the place to go if you’re in a time crunch.
Clearly, Destin has more than just freshly caught seafood to offer! These are just a few of the most recommended restaurants on Destin’s global food scene. Whether you’re looking for familiar favorites or want to try something new during your visit, chances are good you’ll leave feeling refreshed and satisfied.