Looking for the best restaurants in Fort Walton Beach Florida? We’ve got you covered with 15+ delicious options!
Hey there, foodies and beach lovers! If you’re craving a delightful culinary adventure that perfectly complements the sun, sand, and surf, look no further than Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Nestled along the picturesque Gulf Coast, this charming coastal town isn’t just a paradise for beach bums – it’s also a haven for food enthusiasts seeking a delectable dining experience.
With a vibrant mix of flavors, ranging from freshly caught seafood to globally-inspired cuisine, Fort Walton Beach boasts a culinary scene that’s as diverse as its stunning coastline. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado, a barbecue fanatic, or someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, this guide has you covered.
Join us as we embark on a gastronomic journey through this hidden gem of the Emerald Coast, exploring 15 must-visit restaurants that promise to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. From laid-back beachfront eateries to upscale dining destinations, we’ve scoured the area to bring you a list that’s sure to satisfy all your culinary cravings.
So, get ready to whet your appetite and dive into the culinary delights that Fort Walton Beach has to offer. From family-friendly joints to romantic date night spots, these restaurants are about to take your taste buds on an unforgettable ride.
Whether you’re a local looking to spice up your dining routine or a visitor eager to experience the flavors of this coastal haven, these 15 eateries are guaranteed to leave you hungry for another visit. Let’s dig in!
15. Magnolia Grill
157 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Italian, American, Seafood | $11 – $30 | Monday to Friday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Saturday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
First on the list of the best restaurants in Fort Walton Beach is Magnolia Grill. It is a family-owned restaurant inside a 1910 Sears mail-order house in the historic part of Fort Walton Beach.
Dining at Magnolia Grill is fun because the decor fits the theme of a quaint 1940s atmosphere. It shines at night with lights that lead to the front patio of this 100-year-old home.
If you go inside the restaurant, the history of Fort Walton Beach and the nearby areas is displayed and draped over the walls. Yes, the Magnolia Grill restaurant is also a museum where you can learn about the area’s history before or after eating delicious food.
The prices here are reasonable for a regular spot, but it’s still fantastic for a special meal out because the food is excellent, and you get a good amount.
From their menu, you will love the New York Strip. It’s soft, rich, and has a good chew and bold, beefy tastes and notes. It will undoubtedly sweep you away!
Meanwhile, the prime rib sandwich can be as good as a great prime rib dinner. It has a decent cut of prime rib, veggies, Cole slaw, and crunchy French fries. It also comes in large portions, which is a bonus.
We loved everything about the place, from the decor to the service to the food. Also, there is even a live pianist to make the atmosphere more relaxing. It’s hard to pass up this place!
14. Bay Cafe
233 Alconese Ave SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | French, Seafood, European | $11 – $30 | Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Next on this list is the Bay Cafe. It has been around since 1983 and has a pleasant, casual atmosphere for a romantic date.
Locals have visited this restaurant for years because it has daily deals and a wide range of wines. Of course, you can also get the best French treats in Fort Walton in this place.
Chef Julien Lorant mixes French dishes with his style of rustic European cooking. The French food is delicious and straightforward, and the comprehensive wine list makes it easy for everyone to find something they like.
Also, the beautiful decor has a rustic touch, and the patio looks out over Choctawhatchee Bay. It makes this restaurant not just a place to go but also a restaurant for people who live nearby.
Moreover, Bay Cafe has an extensive menu with traditional French food like croissants, fresh fish, salads, grilled and roasted meats, signature cappuccino, and delicious desserts.
But the unique favorites like the Sea Bass, Steak Au Poivre, and Grouper Wellington will keep you returning year after year. Each one has excellent flavors and generous portions.
The Chicken Piccata is another excellent option. It is great and tastes even better with the onion soup. This dish also has Escargot which is equally delicious.
Undoubtedly, Bay Cafe is one of the best places in the area to eat seafood and enjoy the atmosphere. It is “the hidden gem of the Emerald Coast” and the best French restaurant in Fort Walton Beach, with its classic dishes and seasonal specials.
13. Soi Bistro
234 Miracle Strip Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Japanese, Sushi, Asian | $11 – $30 | Monday to Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Looking for the best Asian restaurants in Fort Walton Beach? Sushi is the trendy food right now, and if you think sushi in Fort Walton Beach must be pretty fresh and tasty, we have to inform you that you are right, especially if you try the sushi at Soi Bistro in Fort Walton Beach.
Soi Bistro is an Asian restaurant open at different times each day of the week, and the food will make you think about it long after you’ve gone home.
Any way you look at it, the interior doesn’t have the same old-fashioned charm as the outside. Instead, it has high ceilings, lively walls, and floors that look like tile and wood.
Apart from that, lotus flower pendant drapes hang over the bar, giving it an Asian touch. Sushi chefs and servers who smile add to the amiable atmosphere inside.
As mentioned, the specialty of this restaurant is sushi, but there are other great things on the menu. You can find other Asian-style meals here, and even if you don’t like raw fish, you’re sure to come across something cooked that will make your mouth water.
As a first course, we recommend old favorites like spring rolls, wontons, and new specialties that will surprise and please. Don’t skip the squid salad either because its simple blast of flavors will surprise you.
Also, you can go for the daily highlights, which include sashimi, sushi, katsu, and yakisoba. Each order comes with miso soup and a preference for salad and costs a very reasonable amount.
This restaurant has a lot more to offer. So, head to this place whenever you want to sample the best sushi in Fort Walton!
12. Rockin’ Tacos
1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options | $11 – $30 | Monday to Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Looking for the best taco restaurants in Fort Walton Beach? The Rockin’ Tacos restaurant on Fort Walton Beach is a local favorite. It serves spicy food from the American Southwest. And, if you don’t visit at least once, your vacation won’t be as fun as it could be.
You might not expect to come across a neon cactus so close to the water, but it’s the best way to find the Mexican haven that will soon become your new favorite place.
Furthermore, Rockin’ Tacos is bright, exciting, and tastes like other places. The patio outside lets you enjoy another beautiful day, and the inside is almost as good as you imagined it could be.
Tacos are highlights here, but there are so many different kinds that we can’t even count them! From the simple fish tacos of Baja to the exotic lobster tacos of the Caribbean, your favorite recipes will end up in a taco.
And if you want to try something new, we recommend the Gator Taco. Rockin’ Tacos puts Cajun-seasoned alligator meat in their homemade tortillas with green onions, house slaw, and chipotle aioli for a unique and tasty treat.
But Rockin’ Taco has more to offer than just tacos. You can also get enchiladas with seafood and scorching fajitas in different flavors.
Also, the Rockin’ Tacos Classic Burger is perfect for gringos who don’t like things to be too spicy. But when you want to live on the edge, the Rockin Burger adds chorizo, queso, and pico de gallo for a tangy treat you’ll fall madly in love with!
11. Al’s Beach Club
1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Bar, Gluten Free Options | $11 – $30 | Monday to Thursday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Al’s Beach Club is one of those places where the good times, beautiful views, and tasty burgers will do more than satiate your cravings.
This indoor and outdoor restaurant is a spot to enjoy and not take yourself too seriously. Colorful and open towards the white sand beaches just outside the back door, you can tell it will be a fun place as soon as you walk in.
Also, one of the best things about Al’s Beach Club is that you can always count on getting excellent service whenever you go there. Service here is known for being friendly, and the atmosphere is warm.
In fact, as soon as you walk in, you’ll feel like you’re part of the family, and all the tasty food options are just the icing on the cake.
Regarding the menu, this restaurant is as simple as the food it serves. Al’s Beach Club cooks focus on making juicy and perfect burgers and sandwiches.
Our favorites include a tasty chicken sandwich, a fresh and hot tuna burger, and numerous salads for those who like to eat healthier.
However, you don’t have to worry if you have kids with you because there is a children’s menu too! We recommend getting them a burger, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, or chicken tenders. Doing so will enable you to view the smiles on your angels’ faces afterward!
Besides that, Al’s Beach Club also offers a full bar. There, you can sip the numerous alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available!
10. Fokker’s Pub
215 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, German, Bar | $11 – $30 | Monday and Tuesday 10:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Wednesday to Friday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fokker’s Pub has been a hit in the area since it opened in 2006. The German pub food it serves fills the stomach and the soul, and your time at this friendly place will be great.
More so, this restaurant is made of red brick and glass and has a style that could be called “Florida country,” but the inside is all Germany!
This place will soon be your favorite, from the beer steins above the bar to the banner ads and signs advertising. Add the smell of boiled brats and sauerkraut preparing food on the grill, and Fokker’s will be a home away from home!
In line with that, Happy Hour is available in this spot every weeknight from 3 to 7 pm, so if you want to save money on food and drinks, come early!
As for the food, the menu mixes the best German, Italian, and American dishes. It gives guests more choices and more chances of finding something they like.
We recommend ordering a plate of schnitzel with your stein of lagers, an Italian pie with a glass of red wine, or a meaty burger and fries while you drink a soda.
Or if you go on Saturdays and Sundays, an extensive brunch menu is available, and we suggest the old favorites like eggs benedict and pancakes. But Fokker’s Bubba Slammer will make a meat eater’s heart race!
This large dish consists of two buttermilk biscuits, two country-fried steaks, eggs, sausage gravy, and homemade potatoes. You will love it!
9. Ali’s Bistro
171 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Italian, American, Pizza | $11 – $30 | Tuesday to Thursday 3:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ali’s Bistro is where you will want to go when your inner Italian comes out during your unforgettable trip to Fort Walton Beach.
This restaurant treats its customers like family, and the warm environment and friendly vibe go well with the classic Italian food.
Ali’s Bistro is simple to locate in a sea of nondescript buildings because it is on the first floor of a three-story office building that looks like an old plantation house. Large windows are by forest green shutters, which go well with the white walls.
Also, a small outdoor dining area with a green awning protects you from the sun, even on the hottest summer days. Inside, the bright reds of their handmade sauces go well with the casually elegant decor.
Ali’s Bistro Salad is a fantastic salad option. It has a grilled chicken breast, sauteed mushroom, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and a gentle balsamic vinaigrette topping. And with so many components, you can already make it a complete meal!
You can also choose seafood! We suggest the fish of the day that tastes sweet even after grilling.
Aside from that, you can also get food with carbs, protein, and gooey cheeses, like stone-baked pizzas with your favorite toppings, chicken and veal dishes, and pasta that would make life so much less enjoyable if you didn’t have them.
For dessert, the cannoli here does not disappoint!
Not only do the dishes extraordinary, but so does the service. Ali’s Bistro is a great place to eat if you want to have a great time.
110 Amberjack Dr, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options | $11 – $30 | Monday to Wednesday 6:00 am – 12:00 pm, Friday to Sunday 6:00 am – 12:00 pm
If you are looking for a breakfast spot with a casual setting, then the following site is for you!
Asiago’s Skillet is the best place to get breakfast on Okaloosa Island. It is especially true for people who want breakfast late or after a night out.
At Asiago’s Skillet, you can order healthy and unhealthy versions of classic American breakfast foods that are all delicious.
Some healthy options are an egg cooked to order, an egg-white omelet, or a bagel with yogurt. You can partner them differently with delicious fresh fruit, English pastries, and yogurt.
On the other hand, hearty skillets will fuel you for the day ahead or right after a night out. We suggest trying the shrimp and grits skillet, the seafood skillet, or the country-fried steak skillet.
More so, decadent omelets are available with homestyle potatoes and your preference for ham and cheese, sirloin steak, seafood, or chorizo.
You can also get traditional buttermilk pancakes or French toast with a twist, like bananas foster French toast or cinnamon French toast.
Besides that, biscuits, sandwiches, and breakfast are also in a bread bowl on the menu at Asiago’s Skillet.
Our favorites include the country bowl, the King of Biscuits, or the biscuit breakfast sandwich. Meanwhile, the breakfast burrito, the crab cake, eggs Benedict, and the steak and eggs are all fantastic.
7. The Shack
104 Miracle Strip Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Bar, Seafood | $11 – $30 | Monday to Sunday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
The most popular place to eat in Fort Walton Beach has been a casual waterfront seafood place where the beverages are cold, the crabs are flavorful, and the dress code is flip-flops and board shorts. And the Shack is one of the more popular places like this.
The Shack appears like most seafood places in Fort Walton Beach from the outside. This restaurant is of wood planks and has a patio on the water, but the true beauty of this place is the view and, of course, the tasty meals!
Also, there is a full bar with drinks for everyone: cold beer, elegant wines, and the sweet, fruity tropical drinks that everybody loves when they vacation in Florida.
And as you might expect from a place called “The Shack,” most of the food on the menu is seafood.
Our favorite appetizer on the menu is the “Bangin’ Shrimp.” If you are there for lunch, you cannot go wrong with the “Lobster Crab Cake Sandwiches,” and for the main course, the “Steamed Crab” will satisfy you.
There is also a kid’s menu if you are with your little ones. The Shacky fried fish and fried shrimp meal are among the best, but if your little “crabby” isn’t ready for seafood, there are also the usual burger, chicken, and corn dogs.
On the dessert menu is Key Lime Pie, a Florida specialty. We’ve had several key lime pies, but The Shack’s is one of our favorites.
Oh, and before we forget: if you don’t start your meal at The Shack with their specialty Shack Seafood Gumbolaya, your life will always miss something.
75 Eglin Pkwy NE #126, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly | $11 – $30 | Monday to Friday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Clemenza’s at Uptown is one of the best restaurants you should not miss. It serves good Italian food at prices that aren’t too high. And it could easily be one of the best parts of your trip to Fort Walton Beach because it is genuine and welcoming.
Inside is a warm, colorful design that takes you to an Italian villa. Rustic walls are with the lids of oak wine barrels, and brick arches lead to small rooms with comfortable seating.
The outdoor meanwhile is of brick and stucco and has a painted tin roof. It is a popular place when it is cooler outside.
Aside from that, the staff is friendly and knows how to predict your needs without hovering. There are also spacious dining places for large groups, so groups of all sizes can enjoy a meal.
Moreover, you can’t make a wrong choice with the dishes you pick here. From bruschetta to crepes to pizza and pasta, every bite at Clemenza’s shows that the chefs can create fantastic Italian food!
Try the fresh seafood crepes for lunch, the veal piccata for dinner, or a homemade cannoli filled with chocolate chips or pistachios whenever you visit.
At Clemenza’s at Uptown, all the main dishes are sure to please you but don’t forget to finish your meal with one of the tasty side dishes like the Italian sausages.
Of course, compliment your meal with one of the numerous wines on offer.
Overall, Clemenza’s at Uptown is among the must-visits in the area!
102 Santa Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Seafood, Gluten Free Options | $31 – $60 | Monday to Sunday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Another seafood place to visit is the Old Bay Steamer. It is on Okaloosa Island, known for its fresh, tasty seafood steamed and served immediately.
Moreover, this restaurant is owned and run by locals. It means that you and your guests will get the kind of care for detail, freshness, and flavors that can only come from people who live in the area and know where to find the best seafood and how to prepare it well.
When you come here, you can start with appetizers like crab-stuffed mushrooms, black mussels or clams, crab cakes, blue crab claws, seafood nachos, jumbo sea scallops, royal red shrimp, gumbo, or raw, steamed, or baked oysters.
From there, you can choose from many mouth-watering main courses.
The Steamers can feed two people and come with your selection of Maine lobster tails, king crab, royal red shrimp, Alaskan king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, oysters, mussels, or clams, along with corn on the cob and potatoes on the side.
Other delicious dishes include jumbo sea scallops, grilled tuna, crab cakes, and pasta like mussels Josephine and shrimp alfredo.
Besides that, the restaurant also has quality cuts of filet mignon, New York strip, and more for people who don’t want or like seafood or who want the best of both worlds with surf and turf entrees.
Furthermore, you can order lobster tail, snow crab, a crab cake, Dungeness crab, or a king crab leg and claw separately if you only want those things. You can even order them individually and eat them with one of the restaurant’s delicious meals; we won’t judge!
This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Fort Walton Beach for super fresh seafood!
573 Santa Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Bar, Pub | $11 – $30 | Monday to Sunday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Crab Island Café and Manatee Tiki Bar, a local favorite, is the next stop on your Fort Walton Beach food tour. We will warn you, though: the food here is addicting, and the drinks at the Tiki Bar can make you want to quit your job and move to paradise.
The outside of Crab Island Café is of tan and beige stucco, which doesn’t give much away about what’s inside. But you’re not here to look at the decor; you’re here for the food and the atmosphere.
Inside, it’s open, bright, and warm, with wood tables and chairs that are easy to sit in. The decor is simple, and the smiling staff helps make everyone feel like they are part of the family instead of just restaurant guests.
On the other hand, the Manatee Tiki Bar is primarily about the beverages and the people, but it has a few tasty treats by the pool. So, order your preferred tropical drink and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere with a few appetizers. And when it’s time for dinner, head toward the Crab Island Cafe.
The crab dishes are our highlights here. They are fresh and taste great because they use seafood from the water just outside the building.
Further, this café is known for its seafood gumbo, and a cup is a great way to start any meal here. If you’re not too hungry, you can order a bowl and focus on how magical and delicious each spoonful tastes.
You’ll never be wrong with this place, especially if you are into crabs and seafood!
1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL | American, Bar, Seafood | $11 – $30 | Monday to Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Floyd’s Shrimp House is on Okaloosa Island and, as you might guess from the name, serves delicious shrimp. The restaurant has a casual, family-friendly vibe.
This restaurant is a short walk inland but has a water view. It has a rustic and cozy environment that’s great for people of all ages. And, if you’re going to Okaloosa Island for the day, it’s an excellent place for you and your guests.
More so, the restaurant also has a stage where live music is playing so you can get entertainment while you eat.
Several starters are hard to pass here. It includes fried gator bits, shrimp and corn chowder, smoked tuna dip, fried popcorn shrimp, raw and baked oysters, Rockefeller oysters, and coconut shrimp.
From there, Floyd’s Shrimp House’s famous shrimp dishes do all the talking, whether you choose shrimp alfredo, bacon-wrapped shrimp, coconut shrimp, or the restaurant’s renowned shrimp boat, which comes with two sides and shrimp cooked just about every way you prefer.
Meanwhile, there are many more other great entrees that you can find on the menu. Our favorites include the pound of snow crab, shrimp po’boys, grouper tacos, baskets of fried seafood, and some surf and turf choices.
But this place is just as well-known for its wide selection of tasty drinks. From classic dishes to unique cocktails made by hand, this place makes it easy to treat your taste buds in style.
Specialty drinks are always available in a souvenir glass, which makes the experience more fun and gives guests something to take home with them. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Fort Walton Beach for a full experience!
201 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE B, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Quick Bites, Mexican, Southwestern | Under $10 | Monday to Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Next on this list is Burrito Del Sol. This is certainly one of the best restaurants in Fort Walton Beach for Mexican food!
Burrito del Sol is on Miracle Strip Pkwy. It has a laid-back, colorful atmosphere and serves fresh, tasty Mexican classics.
In the center of Fort Walton Beach, Burrito del Sol serves coastal, Baja-style Mexican food that combines fresh seafood from Florida with the bold flavors of Mexico.
More so, this family-run restaurant in Destin, Florida, which started as a food truck, is now proud of its high-quality food and excellent customer service.
Also, you will find whatever Mexican delicacy you crave in this spot.
You begin by deciding if you want a burrito, quesadilla, taco salad, or nachos. From there, you can add chicken, steak, tempeh (a soy-based food suitable for vegetarians), grilled shrimp, or grilled fish.
You can also choose to have your meal made Baja style with pineapple salsa and Baja sauce, southwest style with corn and red salsa, chipotle style with red salsa and chipotle sauce, or barbeque style with barbeque sauce and pineapple salsa.
Lastly, for a small fee, you can add queso, have your burrito squeezed, or “make it fat” by stuffing it with more good stuff. You can drink soda, tea, beer, or an iced margarita with it. All the guacamole, sauces, and salsas are handmade from scratch and made fresh every day.
After eating delicious food from the south of the border at Burrito del Sol, you can access many other attractions. We highly suggest spending time at Ross Marler Park and Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, both great places near the restaurant.
427 Racetrack Rd NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL | Seafood, Gluten Free Options | $11 – $30 | Monday to Thursday 10:30 am – 8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 10:30 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday 10:30 am – 8:30 pm
A few miles from the coast, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty is a casual restaurant where tourists and locals go to eat fish from the area. This is definitely one of the best local restaurants in Fort Walton Beach!
Sam’s Oyster House is a family restaurant in the area, and Stewby’s Seafood Shanty is a branch of it. Here, the atmosphere is more cozy and laid-back, and there is an intimate dining room and a drive-through for your convenience.
The drive-thru is excellent if you want to eat delicious seafood without cooking it yourself in the privacy and comfort of your vacation rental.
Moreover, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty is known for its signature dish of locally sourced fish, hearty sandwiches, and seafood gumbo. Specials change daily, including colossal shrimp, mutton snappers, sheepshead, local mullet, and smoked fish dip.
Not only that, but the restaurant also serves grilled or fried fish, like soft-shell crab, shrimp, oysters, or the “fish of the day.” And if you don’t want to try the fresh seafood that Stewby’s offers, you can always get a landlubber’s meal with fried or grilled chicken.
Some of our favorite main dishes are calamari, fried shrimp, jumbo grilled shrimp, oysters, fish, soft shell crab, and chicken. We suggest you try them as well for their tastes and portions.
For sides, we like cheese grits, fried okra, hush puppies, barbeque beans, fried onion petals, coleslaw, potato salad, and French fries.
There are many to try in this place, and you can’t go wrong with anything you order. So, if you are nearby, don’t think twice about visiting Stewby’s Seafood Shanty!
As you can see, there are different kinds of food in Fort Walton Beach. It is a city with many places to eat, from elegant fine dining establishments to unique local bistros that serve traditional American dishes and other cuisines worldwide.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If so, try any places on this list of the 15 must-visit restaurants in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to access the area’s best dining spaces. We are confident that you will have a good time no matter which one you choose.