#186 of 198 Destin Restaurants

The Shack – Original Waterfront Crab Shack

Dine at Family-Owned The Shack in Fort Walton Beach for Top-Notch Seafood and Great Views
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Plan a visit to The Shack on Fort Walton Beach for an unmatched sunset view and exceptional food and service. You may end up making repeat visits to The Shack to sample more dishes on the menu and to see more of the famous view of the water.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Whether you call it The Shack or The Original Waterfront Crab Shack, this restaurant and marina remain popular more than 20 years after opening. The flavorful seafood dishes and view from the back deck create an ideal place to relax while watching the sunset at the end of a day of fun around Fort Walton Beach.

The Shack maintains its popularity as a family-owned restaurant due to its policy of 100% satisfaction for all its guests. With two full-service bars, a team dedicated to ensuring quality guest experiences, and great food, the restaurant will likely continue its years of operation as a staple of the Fort Walton Beach dining scene.

Two things draw people to The Shack and keep them coming back – the view and the food. A large patio offers ample space for tables to have perfect views of the water and boats. Proximity to the marina also makes it possible for boaters to dock nearby and enjoy a meal at The Shack.

The other main draw is the food at The Shack, which receives rave reviews from diners and critics. Fort Walton Beach has numerous places to find seafood, which makes the awards won by The Shack even more impressive. This restaurant’s menu and food regularly meet and exceed visitors’ expectations. With varied dishes that take inspiration from cooking styles throughout the South, The Shack has something for everyone on its lunch, dinner, and kids’ menus. This variety includes po boys, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp and grits.

Menu standouts at The Shack include the following favorites of previous diners:

Shack Seafood Gumbolaya
The signature soup of The Shack is its Gumbolaya. This dish blends the flavors of soup-like gumbo with the rice dish jambalaya. You enjoy a hearty bowl of fish, sausage, shrimp, vegetables, and rice that perfectly pairs with any entrée or serves as a light meal on its own. The restaurant and previous diners highly recommend this signature dish as an appetizer in a cup or for heartier appetites in a bowl.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Lobster Topping
Almost everyone who orders the Fried Green Tomatoes with Lobster appetizer does not feel disappointed. The kitchen staff deep fry breaded green tomatoes to a golden brown and topped them with a volcano lobster combination. The spicy lobster topping does not overpower the flavor of the crunchy coated tomatoes. Even avowed tomato haters loved this dish.

“Bangin’ Style” Shrimp Po Boy
A po boy sandwich uses simple ingredients of fried seafood piled into a roll. Due to the simplicity of the dish, the quality of the ingredients is essential to the overall experience. The Shack’s version of the Shrimp Po Boy includes fried shrimp piled into a hoagie roll with cocktail sauce on the side. However, most visitors recommend ordering this sandwich “Bangin’ Style.” The shrimp on this upgraded version of the sandwich comes with the spicy volcano sauce of the restaurant’s Bangin’ Shrimp or Crawfish appetizer. You get extra flavorful shrimp in every bite with the right balance of flavor and spice. Shrimp po boys, like all sandwiches, come with your choice of rice, coleslaw, or fries. Most people choose fries and enjoy the curled variation of standard french fries.

Snow Crab Legs  
Visitors often come to The Shack for the generous servings of snow crab legs. The snow crab meal gives guests one pound of snow crabs with new potatoes, corn, coleslaw, and drawn butter. Previous diners have noted that they didn’t need butter with the sweet crab legs, which had whole pieces of meat come out of the legs.

Don’t miss your chance to eat while enjoying one of the best sunsets views over the Santa Rosa Sound. Dine at The Shack for outstanding seafood dishes and beautiful views.

Insider Tips:
-Request a table outside. During the day, you’ll get to watch boats traveling on the water. In the evening, you will have a front-row seat to see a beautiful sunset.
-Take some time to feed the fish with food from the pellet dispenser at the end of a designated pier. Have quarters on hand to buy fish food pellets from the machine.