#111 of 127 Pensacola Beach Restaurants

Union Public House

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Union Public House: Keeping It Classy With Elevated Southern Cuisine
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Union Public House brings new flair to the concept of southern cooking. This elegant Pensacola establishment boasts some of the region's most innovative and intriguing entrees and cocktails. 

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Classic southern fare takes new heights at Pensacola’s Union Public House, which elevates several of your favorite dishes with fresh ingredients and unexpected twists. 

At this cozy restaurant, modern and rustic elements coalesce to create an inviting environment. The decor and furniture are not nearly as upscale as you might assume based on the restaurant’s distinguished menu, so you’ll want to think twice if you’re on the hunt for a fancy date night location. If, however, culinary quality matters more than fancy surroundings, you’ll find yourself right at home in this friendly establishment.

The decor at Union Public House may not be overly fancy, but the menu is another matter altogether. While many of the restaurant’s staples are based on classic concepts, each dish has taken on a life of its own. A variety of unexpected ingredients are incorporated to great effect, making every meal a true adventure for the palate. While meat dominates the menu, vegetarians should find a wide enough range of options (such as salad and grilled tofu) to be satisfied. 

Don’t forget to order a cocktail with your meal. The options at Union Public House are crafted with care — and surprisingly affordable, given the attention to detail. Whether your favorite cocktail includes gin, tequila, or bourbon, you’ll quickly find something appealing on the drink menu. 

Service is invariably friendly but can be slow on occasion. This is not a restaurant where you want to rush, however. A slower pace allows you to truly appreciate your entree’s unique blend of flavors. Set aside plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely meal.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Fried Oysters and Shrimp Salad
This exquisite salad comes loaded with oysters and shrimp fried in cornmeal and served alongside baby lettuce, corn relish, and pickled peach. Buttermilk ranch dressing ties it all together.

Sloppy Joe
This is not your average sloppy Joe. It replaces the usual ground beef with wild boar, adding crispy onions, fried sage, pickled jalapeno, and red peppers to infuse the sandwich with texture and flavor. 

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken
One of several excellent a la carte meals available at Union Public House, this mouthwatering dish brings a delightful edge to the typical southern fried chicken. Enjoy your choice of two sides; favorites include mac & cheese, sweet potato fries, collard greens, and cornbread. You can also choose one of several delectable sauces, such as tomato gravy, red-eye gravy, or smoked apple butter.

Smoked Pork Butt
Cured to perfection, this hearty dish bursts with far more flavor than you might expect, thanks to the inclusion of sauteed spinach, creamed corn, fried jalapeno, and pickled red onion.

Chimichurri Swordfish
Union Public House offers several excellent options in the ‘By Sea’ category of its menu, but this is one of the most intriguing. It features a memorable blend of summer squash, pickled kumquat, sweet corn, baby tomato, tomatillo, Vidalia onion, and purple potato. 

From classic staples with a twist to truly innovative dishes, Union Public House provides a vast array of options for simultaneously challenging and delighting your palate. Take a risk and order something beyond your usual comfort zone — you’ll be glad you didn’t play it safe.

Insider Tips:
– Reservations are strongly recommended during peak evening hours, although wait times are typically reasonable. Still, given how easy it is to order a table online, this approach is worth taking if you know you’ll be dining at Union Public House in advance. Simply visit the reservations section of the restaurant’s website or use the OpenTable app to book your spot.
– On the first Thursday of every month, the restaurant hosts a popular event known as ‘Claws and Paws.’ For this special occasion, you’re welcome to bring your canine friend, who will receive homemade dog treats. Meanwhile, you can enjoy discounted White Claw, draft beer, or wine.