#17 of 175 Destin Restaurants

The Back Porch

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The Back Porch – A True Gulf Coast Classic with Fresh Seafood
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

From its Gulf Coast location to the freshest seafood available, The Back Porch is a tradition for many Destin visitors. Nothing is better than the oysters – baked, raw, or served in several other options, except perhaps the fresh snapper and crab served alongside it. The chef has high standards and it shows in the craftsmanship and beauty of each dish.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Some would say The Back Porch is a must-visit experience, and one they’ve gone to year after year. The original location was a small, A-frame building nestled right on the Gulf Coast beach. It was built in 1974 and quickly grew in popularity. Over time, it’s expanded, adding a second location and far more amenities. The original Destin location stands (though it’s quite modernized now) and offers a wide range of fresh seafood to enjoy.

What stands out here, besides the good food, are the views. It’s easy to spend a summer night relaxing on the porch overlooking the water. It’s not just a typical bar scene, though. Rather, it’s a restaurant first with options such as its Amberjack sandwich. The company claims this sandwich made it famous. It’s a tasty fish that’s not readily found on most menus. You can choose to have it blackened (a popular option), bronzed, chargrilled, or fried.

The family-friend Back Porch has a huge seafood menu, most of which is freshly caught that day or in the day or so prior. The crab legs are another delectable choice and are served in several varieties. Because of the variety here, it’s easy to come back several times on a trip to Destin and dive into another dish for a brand new flavor choice. Stuffed shrimp, blackened grouper, Mahi Mahi, and grits are some of the best choices.

All the food made here is authentic Southern cuisine. Grits, greens, mashed potatoes, and green bean medley are common accompaniments. For a more authentic choice, consider the pineapple rice. It offers a hint of spice and sweetness wrapped into one.

There’s a full and versatile kid’s menu available. The location also offers a gluten-free menu. The Florida Sunshine Cake is by far the best dessert on the menu, though some would say the Ultimate Chocolate Cake, with its homemade brownies and rich chocolate mousse wins them over every time.

Overall, The Back Porch is an excellent, family-centric location. It’s full of fresh food, and although it can be very loud and packed by 8 pm most weekend nights during the summer, it is a hot spot to be.

The Destin location of The Back Porch sits right on Scenic Highway 98 with the beach right out in front of it. It’s near to the Henderson Beach State Park and The Track.

Check out these menu favorites:

Back Porch Oysters
Known for their oysters, The Back Porch offers a number of plating options. A favorite choice is the Back Porch Oysters. The oysters are baked and then topped with a combination of cheese and crabmeat for a dig-into-it dish you won’t want to share.

Snapper Paradise
This dazzling dish is bright and full of flavor. It features blackened gulf red snapper with a skewer of grilled, seasoned shrimp on top. It’s served with two sides – the Southern corn medley is a favorite choice. The fresh fish makes this dish.

Crab & Spinach Dip
This heaping serving of crab dip is served with the claws nestled into a bed of goodness. With fresh crab, spinach, and plenty of herbs and spices, this dish is a tempting appetizer. It is lightly toasted and served with fresh chips to dig right into it.

Insider Tips:
– Check out the schedule of live performances here. Plan a visit when the live piano will be playing for added entertainment and special treatment.
– Visit just before sunset to enjoy drinks, incredible food, and the sun setting over the Gulf. It’s possible to ask for a table overlooking the water if you arrive early.