#134 of 198 Destin Restaurants

Kenny D’s

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Kenny D’s — Bringing Traditional Cajun Fare to the Shores of Miramar Beach, Florida
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

At this low-key eatery, you can find all your favorites from gumbo to etouffee sent straight from the heart of New Orleans. The chill vibe and friendly service complete the package, making this the top place to go whenever your stomach starts rumbling.  

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

If everyone would stop chattering away about it, Kenny D’s would be the best kept secret in Miramar Beach, Florida. Fortunately, word got out that Kenny himself brought all the spirit and flavors of New Orleans to the beachside when he moved there from Louisiana. Although his traditional Cajun dishes take centerstage, the chill ambiance, friendly service, and live music never fail to impress either.

Upon strolling through the doors, the low-key atmosphere relieves the soul and prepares you for the exceptional dining experience to come. In addition, you can trust that your server will always greet you with a smile, no matter how busy it gets in there. And the place does start hopping, especially on the weekends. But never fear, you will always receive friendly, attentive service and your choice of prime seating, both indoors and out.

You can elect to sit in the eclectic indoor dining room or join the many others in hitting the outdoor patio space. With palm trees jutting through the deck, the patio instantly sets the stage for fun times and a tasty meal to remember. Once your menus arrive, however, you will quickly realize that this place means business. From top to bottom, their menu features all the Cajun dishes you could ever hope to see. Better yet, all are made using fresh, local ingredients and traditional recipes straight from Kenny’s hometown.

Popular items on their menu include:

Cajun Popcorn Shrimp
The Cajun Popcorn Shrimp is a definite must-have dish at every visit. Thankfully, it is available as an appetizer to enjoy before your meal. They lightly bread the shrimp before frying it up golden brown, then serve it with a smattering of zesty buffalo sauce. You can also order these Yankee style, sans sauce if you cannot handle the heat.

Fried Crab Claws
Just when you thought you’ve tried all the fried fare available today, here comes the Fried Crab Claws to make your dreams come true. To create this iconic treat, they beer batter the crab claw meat, then deep fry it to perfection. Once they are done, they pile the claws high on the plate and serve them up with cocktail sauce alongside. If one appetizer order leaves you wanting more, consider picking up the 8-ounce plate instead.

Grouper St. Charles
When you order the Grouper St. Charles, you’ll have just enough time to prepare your taste buds for its sensational flavors. This dish features fresh-caught grouper prepared blackened, grilled, or fried as requested. Over the top, they add a delectable crawfish etouffee sauce plus throw a heaping portion of veggies by its side. The veggies depend on what’s up for the day, keeping this dish fresh and new at each visit.

Gracie’s Shrimp Creole
When Kenny himself sits down for a meal, Gracie’s Shrimp Creole is his standing request. Made just right by his wife, this dish comes with a spicy kick all its own. The shrimp is cooked perfectly every time and served with a tantalizing side of garlic bread.

Beyond all their other fan favorites, the Oyster Chowder has a cult following. Since Ms. Gracie will never, under no circumstance, tell anyone what’s in it, there’s not much to write about. You really just have to try it yourself. Order it up in a cup or bowl for the flavor experience of a lifetime.

Insider Tips:
– If you want to bring Kenny D’s to your next event, simply ask about their catering options and get on the schedule.
– You can bring your pet as long as you are okay with dining in the outdoor patio area.  
– Live musicians come in to play for patrons on occasion, but the restaurant does not keep an official schedule.