#93 of 198 Destin Restaurants

Gulf Coast Burger Company

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Gulf Coast Burger Co. in Destin – Big Burgers and Titanic Shakes
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The newer second location of a business launched in Panama City Beach, Gulf Coast Burger Co. in Destin Commons offers some creative gourmet burgers and over-the-top 32-oz. milkshakes as its main specialties, though there’s plenty else on the menu to eat and drink. The service can be hit-or-miss and this is a pricier-than-average burger joint, but it’s worth checking out at least once to see if it jibes with your tastes.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Opened in 2019 to expand on the original location in Panama City Beach, Gulf Coast Burger Co. in Destin Commons provides another handy lunch or dinner option for mall-goers. It’s far from your cheapest choice in the area for a burger, but then again it’s a self-proclaimed gourmet burger joint, and the portions are hefty as well.

That very much applies to the other signature menu item at Gulf Coast Burger Co. besides the burgers themselves: the “Category 5 Milkshakes.” The hurricane reference in the name reflects the monster size of these somewhat ridiculous beverages: 32 ounces of sweet, frozen decadence. Take the Sugar Rush, for example, a vanilla shake topped with cotton candy, Airheads Extremes, a Nerds Rope, Big Sucker, and Fruity Pebbles, plus cherry and whipped cream. The Chocolate Supreme, meantime, has Mini M&M’s, Kit Kats, a brownie, pretzel sticks, chocolate syrup, and (of course) whipped cream. These things aren’t messing around, in other words.

But back to the burgers for the moment. Gulf Coast Burger Co. serves five Signature Burgers, cooked medium to medium-well. They’re named after different Gulf Coast states—Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas—and stuffed with regionally evocative ingredients. The Louisiana, for example, served on a brioche bun, includes Andouille sausage, remoulade, and holy trinity peppers along with pepper jack cheese, and comes topped with mini corn dogs. The Texas, in turn, has chili, fried jalapeños, BBQ sauce, and tobacco onions among its flavorings has a pork-skin topper and is served on Jalapeño Texas Toast.

You can also build your own burger, choosing your protein (from beef and bison to fish and veggie patties), your style, and your toppings, plus sides such as tater tots, mac-n-cheese, onion rings, and fried green tomatoes. 

Besides burgers, the restaurant serves several fried baskets—grouper, shrimp, and chicken tenders—plus a Smothered Chicken dish and a Seafood Platter featuring fried grouper, shrimp and clam strips.

Those monstrous Category 5 Shakes aren’t all you have to drink here (thankfully). There are also more reasonably sized and stocked vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry shakes, plus floats and sodas. On the adult-beverages front, Gulf Coast Burger Co. serves a variety of spiked shakes (including a rum-enhanced Key Lime Pie flavor) as well as various cocktails, draft beer, and wine.

Now let’s have a look at some of the more popular items on the Gulf Coast Burger Co. menu:

Alabama Burger
This is a standout of the Signature Burgers: a patty gussied up with pimento cheese, fried green tomato, Alabama white sauce, and slaw, served in a brioche bun, and stuck on top with a chicken wing for good measure.

Seaside Fries
The tastefully (and tastily) seasoned fries at Gulf Coast Burger Co. are actually among the better things on the menu, definitely worth choosing as a side.

If you’re looking for a boozy frozen treat, consider the Dreamsicle, which combines Three Olives Orange Vodka and Pineapple Whipped Vodka with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. A grown-up’s milkshake!

Don’t come to Gulf Coast Burger Co. with a small appetite—or, if you do, make sure you’ve got some friends or family members to help you finish. A Signature Burger and a Category 5 Shake here are definitely a roll-up-your-sleeves (and loosen-the-belt) combo!

Insider Tips:
– Service at the Destin Commons location of Gulf Coast Burger Co. can be decidedly hit-or-miss—sometimes great, sometimes well short of that—and it sometimes takes quite awhile for the food to come out.
– If you want a reliably cheap and speedy burger, a fast-food chain is your better bet. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give this “gourmet” alternative a go when you have some time and dollars to spare.