#70 of 196 Destin Restaurants

Big Red Cafe

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From The Big Red Truck to the Big Red Cafe
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Big Red Cafe has proudly been born from the Big Red Truck and the work of Casey and Jami Jones to bring Destin a traditional, yet creative place to enjoy fresh fare. Visit this location, situated in a renovated train car, for a fabulous meal you won’t soon forget. 

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Located on the corner of Airport Road and Highway 98 in Destin is the now renovated Historic Destin Diner, the restored historic “train car” Big Red Cafe. Here, you can enjoy breakfast all day for breakfast, lunch, or both! The dining options you will find at Big Red Cafe vary and are primarily based on traditional concepts with some creative flair thrown in the mix. 

When visiting, keep in mind that this establishment does change its hours based on the season. So, make sure to check their hours before making your way there. Breakfast is available all day and is one of their known specialties, or you can begin ordering their delicious lunch options at 11 am. You can also enjoy beer and wine daily.

Owners Casey and Jami Jones might seem familiar as they began their culinary journey on the Emerald Coast in the Big Red Truck and then at the Wharf 850. Today, you can visit them at the Big Red Cafe retro-themed diner with bold red chairs, spacious booths, interesting colorful signage, and neon accents.

Private parties are welcome upon reservation for family or business gatherings. You can host your function at the Big Red Cafe on any day of the week. In addition, guests can order take-out and enjoy their packaged meals instead of eating inside. The Big Red Cafe is committed to giving guests a top-notch experience, whether they enjoy their meal inside or take it to go. 

While the options to enjoy when visiting the Big Red Cafe are numerous to be sure, they specialize in amazing breakfasts as mentioned above as well as lunch favorites like fish tacos, salads, Philly Cheesesteaks, grilled lettuce wedges, daily BBQ specials, and decadent desserts. As inspired by its name, the Big Red Cafe offers red-plate specials as well instead of the traditional blue-plate variety. 

The Destin Diner, which is the original owner of the space that Big Red Cafe now calls home, was opened in 1992. The most recent resident of the diner was Mary’s Kitchen. Casey and his wife saw an opportunity to move their food truck fare into the Destin area when the property went up for sale. The couple lives in Destin and wanted to take the opportunity to open a cafe in Destin, providing a local eatery and a fresh place to eat. They still own and operate The Wharf 850 in Niceville. 

When visiting the Big Red Cafe in Destin, make sure to try the following specialties:

Breakfast
In a place where you can get breakfast all day, you can expect a variety of fabulous dishes. Some guest favorites include the omelets, which come with many options and are served with breakfast potatoes and toast. There is also avocado toast or the Berry Bills yogurt bowl if you are trying to go a bit lighter. The Waffle Burger, Texas Patty Melt, and Breakfast Burrito are other notable options. Of course, you can also enjoy classic southern favorites like biscuit and gravy, or shrimp and grits. 

Appetizers
If you want something to get your lunch started off right, you can opt for the appetizers. Choose from several options including fried pickles, cheese curds, or fried green tomatoes. You can then choose from a chicken Caesar salad, garden salad, or soup du jour. 

Baskets
The delicious baskets are served with hand-cut fries and sweet slaw. You can choose from shrimp, chicken or fish. 

Burgers and Sandwiches
All options are served with hand-cut French fries. You can choose from the Shrimp Po’ Boy, the Cafe Club, Paul’s Meatloaf Melt, Cheeseburger, and much more. 

Big Red Tacos
No visit to the Big Red Cafe would be complete without trying the Big Red Tacos. Choose from the Gulf Shrimp Tacos, the Asian Chicken, Fish Tacos, BBQ Pork Tacos, or Vegan Tacos.

Insider Tips:
-In addition to all the choices you have on the menu, you can also enjoy Red Plates served with a roll and a choice of strawberry or banana pudding. Options include the country-fried pork chop, bacon-wrapped tenderloin, meatloaf, and gravy, or chicken and dumplings. 
-There are also daily specials that change and include additional varieties. BBQ Ribs, Brisket Shepherd’s Pie, and Slow Smoked Chicken with Alabama white sauce are just a few options. 
-While there is ample seating inside, you can choose to enjoy the delicious fair outdoors at one of the brightly colored red picnic-style tables with umbrellas.