#39 of 130 Pensacola Beach Restaurants

Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille

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Jaco's Bayfront Bar & Grille in Pensacola: Crowd-pleasing Eats & Solid Service Right on Pensacola Bay
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

An awesome location along the Pensacola harbor would make Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille a draw alone, but the place ups the ante with its fresh seafood, burgers, flatbread pizzas, and other crowd-pleasing grub, plus solid service. Oh, and the sunsets ain’t bad, either.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Kick back on the Palafox Pier Marina overlooking Pensacola Bay and enjoy some sturdy fare and service at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille, which does right by its location with plenty of seafood goodies included on the wide-ranging menu.

Don’t expect a crab-shack vibe here: Jaco’s has more of a pseudo-bistro atmosphere going. You’ve got your choice between the inside dining room (which includes bar seating) or the patio outside with its right-on-the-harbor views. The service is warm, friendly, and attentive—and, all things considered, pretty consistently so. Another nice element of the dining experience is the rotating artwork, which spotlights a different local artist or photographer each month.

Jaco’s is the kind of place with a little something for just about everybody, cuisine-wise. As you’d expect, there’s a healthy spread of seafood on offer, including catch-of-the-day plates featuring freshly caught fish in crispy-baked form, plus such favorites as scallop risotto, seafood stew, fish tacos, and some especially good fish sandwiches and seafood appetizers that we’ll be highlighting below.

Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille also serves a solid burger and various land-based entrees, including an impressive filet mignon with garlic truffle mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies as well as the vegetarian-friendly Bella Mushroom Stack and Caprese Lasagna Roll. There’s also a varied lineup of signature flatbread pizzas, from the pared-down Margherita and Classic (with sausage, pepperoni, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, and onions) to the shrimp- and crab-enhanced Island Style Flatbread.

Brunch at Jaco’s includes everything from Blueberry French Toast and Steak & Eggs to the decked-out Fried Green Tomato Stack and the jam-packed Bloody Mary Burger, not to mention selections from the usual lunch menu.

Those who come armed with a sweet tooth have such dessert concoctions as Deep Fried Oreos (yep), Drunken Berries (orange-liqueur-marinated berries with whipped cream), and the house-made Key Lime Pie. The bar turns out an array of specialty cocktails—the Old Fashioned is especially good—as well as wine and beer.

The Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille Happy Hour is the “Sunset Special” deal on select adult beverages, offered on weekdays from 3 to 6 PM. Speaking of sunsets, they’re superb here—and best appreciated from the patio!

Here’s a look at some of our favorites on Jaco’s menu…

Bayfront Baltimore Crab Cakes
These Jumbo Lump crab cakes—prepared either oven-baked or Southern-fried and served with Old Bay Aioli, crumbled feta, lemon-kissed arugula, Florida mango, and cherry tomatoes—may just be the all-around best thing on the menu.

Blackened Mahi Reuben
This seafood sandwich, which dresses up the fish with house-made sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and provolone cheese, is delish, and it’s no stretch to say the Jaco’s fries that come with it (and the other burger/sandwich options) are just as worthy of mention as the main course.

Calamari Trio
Another irresistible item, the Calamari Trio gives you lightly battered and flash-fried calamari rings and tentacles in Traditional, Kung Pao, and Garlic Parmesan preparation served with a tomato-basil dipping sauce.

Tender Blue Flatbread
If you’re a fan of blue cheese, strongly consider the Tender Blue Flatbread, which includes steak strips, mushrooms, asparagus, and caramelized onions as well with a balsamic reduction.

Whether you’re tucking into a full-bore brunch, lunch, or dinner, or just toasting a Pensacola Bay sunset with some share-able small plates, Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille combines fantastic views and waterside ambiance with good food and great service.

Insider Tip:
– Check the schedule of the Blue Angels as you figure out when to drop by Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille: When the pilots are practicing, the restaurant often provides front-row seats to the fast-flying action