#77 of 196 Destin Restaurants

La Paz

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Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Destin is lucky to have La Paz Restaurante & Cantina, especially since they have been at it since 1993. When you come here, you can chow down on your favorite Mexican dishes, which are all prepared with Tex-Mex flair. Save room for dessert though, as their sopapillas are made fresh and taste as heavenly as they look.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Right along Gulf Shore Drive, you can find La Paz Restaurante & Cantina, an excellent place to get your fill of Tex-Mex goodness. This low-key eatery has been serving the Destin region since 1993, setting the standard on what great Mexican food should be.

They make everything on their menu with a Tex-Mex flair using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible. Their team seeks out the catch of the day at the Harbor Docks Seafood Market to perfect their gulf seafood dishes. They also source their shrimp from a local family, the Amison’s, ensuring they can provide their guests with the highest-quality ingredients.

In addition to all their awesome food, they also have many excellent drinks to try, including top-shelf margaritas. They also have a wide variety of local and craft beer along with cocktails and wine galore.

They go beyond simply cooking up excellent food and serving tasty drinks to providing the optimal dining experience. Their restaurant has plenty of comfortable indoor seating, including big tables and stools at the bar. They have incredible service to match, keeping everyone feeling at home while they are dining in their restaurant.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
The Bacon Wrapped Shrimp will take you on a wild ride through all its complex and delightful flavors. This flavorful delight is made with grilled gulf shrimp wrapped in jalapeno cured bacon and slathered in tamarind barbecue sauce. Before serving, they cover the bacon-wrapped shrimp in mango salsa to complete this dish.

Cowboy Nachos
In a bid to make their already-tantalizing chips to the next level, La Paz brings you their Cowboy Nachos. On top of a plate of their chips, they pile on the cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, grilled chicken, and tamarind barbecue sauce. Then, they up the ante with tomato, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and a side of chile con queso.

Pina en la Playa
Pina en la Playa starts with the fresh catch of the day, which could be cobia, red snapper, or another delicious variety. They cover the fillet of fish in jerk seasoning and then grill it to perfection. Then, they serve it with lime cabbage, pineapple-jicama salsa, and calabacitas, which serve to elevate the rich flavors of the fresh fish even more.

Smoked Pork Belly Tacos
The Smoked Pork Belly Tacos pack a powerful one-two punch of flavor with every bite. These tacos are built on two fresh corn tortilla tacos and then filled with smoked pork belly. On top of that, they add tamarind barbecue sauce and pineapple-jicama salsa. The tacos are served with black beans and seasoned rice to create a truly memorable meal.

1993
Named after their opening year, and the price of the dish, 1993 brings you all the most iconic entrees served at this restaurant. When ordering this plate, you will get a chicken enchilada, pork tamale, and crispy beef taco. They also give you refried beans and seasoned rice in large enough portions to share, though it is so good, you likely won’t want to.

Although you might be full enough after downing their generous dinner portions, make sure that you do not skip dessert. Do yourself a favor and save enough room to have a couple of their sopapillas, which come in a basket of six. These sweet and airy delights will tantalize your taste buds and leave you dreaming about coming back soon.

Insider Tips:
– Every Tuesday, they bring in a live musician to entertain guests while they eat.
– In creating their margaritas, they frequently bring in seasonal flavors to celebrate everything there is to love about the Destin region.
– If you really love their tortilla chips, ask to buy an extra bag for the road. They even let you pick up cheese sauce to go with your crispy chips.