The best fishing holes tend to be unassuming places that are known only to locals, and the best places to eat fish are no different. The Fishing Hole Restaurant doesn’t look like a lot from the outside, for it sits in a rather nondescript strip mall, but inside the atmosphere is fine and the food even better.
While there are a few entrees for people who’d prefer a non-pescatarian dish, the menu here heavily favors things that have fins (or at least used to). Fish Dinners is perhaps the largest menu section, and fish selections account for over half of the Sandwiches. There’s also a Specials board that usually has multiple fish options and a fish choice on the Kids’ Menu.
The fish selections themselves venture far beyond the generic white fish or fish of the day, and each menu choice lists a specific species that swim in the waters near Pensacola. Grouper, Mahi Mahi, and Tilapia are always good choices, but so too are the Red Snapper, Trigger, and Flounder. If you don’t know what to get, ask your server for a recommendation or try whatever fresh special catch the boat brought in today.
If you do want to eat something that didn’t have fins or scales, the menu still has a sufficient number of choices. Salads, Chicken Tacos, and two kinds of pasta are available. Additionally, you can add a fried filet to any of these as an A La Carte item if you’d like just a little piece of fish.
Drink options here include common non-alcoholic beverages, as well as beer and wine. The Kids’ Menu has classic children’s favorites like Chicken Tenders and Grilled Cheese in case young ones in your party want something familiar.
As for the atmosphere, the establishment clearly qualifies as fine dining once you step past the threshold of the front door. Don’t be put off by the term “fine” if you’re looking for a relaxed setting, though. In a beach town like Pensacola, pretty much anything beyond a swimsuit is considered dressed up. Jeans and shorts are certainly welcome.
The Fishing Hole Restaurant looks like a place that you’d easily drive past if you didn’t know any better, but don’t make the mistake of doing so. This is the place locals go when they want a nice seafood dinner, and their recommendation won’t lead you astray. The ambiance is pleasant, and the food is absolutely delicious. You won’t find a fresher or better catch unless you actually get on a boat.
A few of our menu favorites at The Fishing Hole Restaurant include:
At a place where everything is good, go for the entree that has it all. The Seafood Basket combines fish, shrimp, oysters, and hush puppies into one delicious feast.
Triggerfish aren’t common because they’re smaller than many other species, but this is one catch that’s well worth trying. The fish’s white meat is clean, sweet, and almost evocative of crab in its texture. Get it grilled so you can appreciate the meat on its own, and enjoy the hush puppies that also come with the Trigger Dinner.
If you prefer shellfish to finned ones, the Oyster Dinner comes with a dozen freshly caught oysters that are fried and served alongside a salad, hush puppies, and one side. There’s plenty of food, and the oysters are particularly delectable when in season.
-Like all good local hole-in-the-walls, the restaurant can become crowded during peak hours. Try to arrive early before the dinner rush or wait until after it’s over to get the speediest service.