#112 of 196 Destin Restaurants

AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

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AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar – Beach Bar and Nightclub on the Harbor Boardwalk
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

With a prime location on the Destin harbor boardwalk, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar is a huge dining and entertainment complex offering multiple dining options, several bars, and a variety of stages to accommodate nightly live music. Its water views and festive atmosphere make it a fun family destination by day, and a must-visit party spot by night.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Situated on the Florida Gulf Coast, the flagship location of AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar has been called the iconic Destin Harbor Boardwalk home since 1984. The multi-level complex offers sweeping harbor views, making it a prime spot to grab a drink, watch the boats, or enjoy a brilliant sunset.

The multiple floors of AJ’s offer indoor and outdoor dining areas furnished with wooden tables and stools or wooden chairs. Several bars provide unique spots to post up for a quick meal or refreshing frozen drink. The vaulted beam ceilings give the place an airy feel, and the décor leans hard into a playful, beach bar aesthetic, with buoys and sculpted fish hanging from the rafters. Large outdoor dining areas and balconies are the perfect spots to see and be seen on warm days. If you’re feeling particularly festive, be sure to check out Tiki Village, a unique, tiki-themed area of the restaurant, complete with a dedicated bar and stage.

While this place has a huge and impressive menu, which we’ll get to momentarily, we first must note the extras that make a visit to AJ’s special. While waiting for your table, be sure to head to AJ’s mercantile to peruse their impressive line of merchandise, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, small souvenirs, and even AJ’s own hot sauces. When you’re done dining, check out AJ’s Water Adventures, which offers dolphin sighting cruises and sunrise boat rides. If you visit in the afternoon or evening, stay to take in the live music from three different stages scattered throughout the property, and be sure to visit the attached nightclub. From a morning boat cruise to a late night at Club Bimini, it’s easy to make this an all-day destination.

But let’s get back to why we’re here… the food. Living up to its name, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar offers fresh-caught raw oysters, as well as half a dozen cooked oyster dishes. From soups and salads to tacos, burgers, fried seafood baskets, Cajun specialties, and southern favorites, there’s something on this menu for everyone. As if this isn’t enough, they also offer a full sushi menu.

With so many options, it can be difficult to choose! Here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

Firecracker Shrimp Tacos
What do you get when you pack a flour tortilla with sweet and spicy shrimp, bright jalapeño corn salsa, spicy chili lime slaw, and cool cilantro sour cream? A uniquely balanced and delicious taco that left our mouths happy and our taste buds wanting more.

Seafood Gumbo
If you’re looking for some Cajun flair, be sure to order a cup or bowl of AJ’s award-winning gumbo. Full of a variety of fish, shrimp and scallops, this gumbo nails the flavor without overdoing it on the spice, creating a tasty and memorable dish that works as an appetizer or a main course.

AJ’s Shrimp Orleans
One of AJ’s signature Southern favorites, this pasta dish combines white wine, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, shrimp, Cajun spice, and linguine to create a colorful, hearty, and flavorful masterpiece. Be prepared for your whole party to steal a taste of this one.

AJ’s Bimini Bash
AJ’s riff on a rum punch, this drink mixes fruit juice with a whopping five kinds of rum. As delicious as it is potent, this thing is so easy to drink that there’s a three per person limit. When we say it packs a punch, we’re not joking!

Insider Tips:
-The in-house nightclub, Club Bimini, charges a $10 cover to enter on most evenings. However, this is waived if you dine in the restaurant before entering, or if you have a Florida license or military I.D.
-If you go fishing on one of AJ’s boats, they will cook fish you’ve caught and serve it to you in the restaurant with fries and hushpuppies. How cool is that?
-Parking can be difficult and pricy in the Destin Harbor Boardwalk area. Lots fill up quickly, and pricing varies. On busy days, it might be worth taking rideshare to save time and avoid the hassle.