#13 of 175 Destin Restaurants

Pompano Joe’s

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Pompano Joe’s - Beachside Seafood Fresh from the Gulf
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Pompano Joe’s dishes up freshly caught seafood in a festive beachside shack. The brightly colored place is a favorite of both locals and tourists, combining great food with an even better location. Come for a meal, and plan on staying to spend some time in the sand.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Pompano Joe’s is a beach bum’s perfect eatery, and you’ll likely find at least a few beachgoers dining here no matter when you visit. The restaurant has long been a local favorite, and it’s also garnered attention from national publications as one of the world’s best beach restaurants.

While the menu at Pompano Joe’s has enough variety to suit all tastes, it definitely favors a mariner’s diet. Appetizer, lunch and dinner options feature many seafood dishes, and the seafood is brought in fresh daily so everything tastes great. If it swims in the Gulf of Mexico, is safe to eat and tastes good, there’s a good chance you’ll find it on the menu.

As for how the seafood is prepared, many dishes draw on inspiration from The Islands. Those are the Carribean Islands, of course, and you’ll find lots of coconut, Jamaican and spicy selections.

Landlubbers who prefer something without fins can choose from chicken, steak, cheeseburgers and the like. There are also vegan dishes, such as veggie pasta and a fruit-avocado salad, as well as gluten-free items.

Drinks include an array of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, including beers, wines and mixed drinks.

All of these menu items are served up in a fun atmosphere that’s directly on the bach. While tables are only inside or on the deck, diners are welcome to go down to the beach before or after their meal. 

With lots of fresh Gulf seafood and many other menu choices, this is a beachside eatery that everyone can enjoy. After all, who doesn’t love enjoying a delicious meal and then playing in the sand? 

A few of our menu favorites at Pompano Joe’s include:

Seafood Gumbo
The Seafood Gumbo is a local legend and three-time winner of the Sandestin Gumbo Festival, You won’t find a better version until you hit the Louisiana border.

Seafood Sampler
Don’t know which of the many seafood options to get? Go with the Seafood Sampler, and enjoy mahi-mahi, Gulf shrimp, scallops and oysters.

Grouper
Grouper is one of the area’s most well-known and sought-after fish, and it’s simply delectable when expertly prepared. Choose how you’d like yours made (blackened, fried or chargrilled), and be ready for a treat.

Garlic Crusted Grouper with Lobster
Perhaps the only thing that could make Gulf of Mexico grouper better is Maine lobster (one of the few kinds of seafood not from the area). This combination comes with a half of a lobster tail and garlic-basil cream sauce for dipping.

Margarita or PJ’s Punch
For an adult beverage, skip the usual beers and wines. While good, nothing can beat a Margarita or PJ’s Punch while you’re at the beach.

Insider Tip:
Make sure to check the weather before coming to Pompano Joe’s. As good as the food is here, a huge attraction of the restaurant is its beachside location. You’ll want the weather to be pleasant enough that you can dine on the deck and wander along the sand beach afterward.