Harbor Docks

Harbor Docks Restaurant: Southern-Inspired Seafood with a View of the Destin Harbor
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Serving a variety of Gulf-to-table dishes, Harbor Docks Restaurant exemplifies Destin's seafood tradition while also bringing several unique elements to the local culinary scene. You'll come away pleased not only by the quality of your meal, but also by the friendly atmosphere and the remarkable views.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Dining on the Destin Harbor should be a memorable experience — and it will be if you hit up the beloved Harbor Docks Restaurant. As its name suggests, this popular establishment is conveniently situated right on the harbor. Due to its proximity to several local charter companies, Harbor Docks is a favorite spot among adventurous types, who enjoy reliving their recent parasailing or boating excursions over a hearty meal.

The diverse menu at Harbor Docks focuses on seafood but also integrates several unexpected elements. Many of these meals incorporate southern staples such as grits. Freshness is guaranteed, especially if you order the catch of the day.

The restaurant prides itself on providing Gulf-to-table meals so fresh, they just might swim off your plate. In addition to seafood, the restaurant serves egg-based burritos and sandwiches for breakfast and several delightful Thai plates at lunch.

If nothing else, the Harbor Docks Restaurant is worth visiting for the scenery. Lovely views may seem a dime a dozen in Destin, but this restaurant is special. You won’t simply overlook the palm trees and emerald waters you’ve come to expect from the region — you’ll see boats on the harbor and even athletic types paddle boarding. Few Destin restaurants offer a better view of the sunset. Order a mixed drink and take it all in as you make a toast to your dream Destin experience.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Fried Green Tomatoes
Start your Harbor Docks experience off right with this classic southern staple. While fried green tomatoes are ideal as an appetizer, they can also form the basis of a full meal, especially if you add fried oysters or crawfish tails.

Chef’s Platter
There truly is something for everyone with this platter, which includes two delectable stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon, sweet potato hash browns, lump crab cake, and the Harbor Docks catch of the day.

Shrimp and Grits
Another classic southern dish, Harbor Docks’ take on shrimp and grits is decidedly unique. Smoked gouda stone-ground grits and Gulf shrimp serve as the foundation for this satisfying meal, which also includes mushrooms and a Caribbean butter sauce. A toasted baguette comes on the side to complete this enjoyable take on the southern culinary experience.

Blackened Fish of the Day
Harbor Docks’ catch of the day is available in several forms, but blackened is your best bet if you’re looking for a southern-inspired meal with a twist. Grouper, red snapper, amberjack, and swordfish are common varieties you can expect to find, with the grouper being the most popular and plentiful fish in the area. Each take on the catch of the day comes with a unique side; if you opt for the blackened approach, you’ll enjoy grits with your grits.

If you like seafood and southern cuisine, you’ll have no trouble finding something tasty on the Harbor Docks menu. You’ll enjoy your meal, of course, but you’ll be just as impressed by the restaurant’s classy, yet comfortable atmosphere and memorable views.

Insider Tips:
-Parking spots can be tough to come by during the lunch and dinner rush hours, but valet parking is available. Lines can be long during peak dinner hours, so don’t expect to get in and out of the restaurant in a hurry.
-While dining on the docks, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, which will occasionally leap out of the water to get a better look at what their human friends are enjoying for dinner.
-If you love fishing as much as you love eating seafood, you’re in luck: Harbor Docks hosts the kickoff events and award dinners for some of the area’s most beloved fishing tournaments. A significant portion of the proceeds from these events are dedicated to the annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, which provides a memorable experience for kids who don’t typically get to witness the area’s beautiful waters up close.