Dewey Destin’s has a Taste of Old Florida
January 6, 2014 by Harbor Partin
If you want to know the meaning of “old Florida,” Dewey Destin’s Crab Island location will provide you with a great lesson. Though their harbor-side restaurant is fabulous and more visible, just off the beaten path is Dewey’s original location that captures what Destin was like before the high-rise condos were built and when fishing was the only game in town.
Deweys Destin's is a dockside eatery sits on the edge of Choctawhatchee Bay and consists of only a small shanty, some picnic tables and a simple menu, but you’ll also find fantastic seafood with a view that can’t be beat.
The Destin family once owned one of the most prominent commercial fishing companies in the area, but over a decade ago, the family converted their old commercial property to Dewey Destin’s and it has become a favorite local hang out. When you first pull into Dewey’s you’ll even see some of the remnants of the old business like the industrial cooler houses or the large bundles of cast nets. The old relics are not only charming, it’s a little romantic, especially if you grew up on the coast and are feeling nostalgic.
The restaurant itself sits at the beginning of a dock that extends out in to the bay. Inside you can order at the counter, where you’ll also find fresh shrimp on display that is sold by the pound. The seating area outside along the dock has a perfect view of Crab Island, a shallow sandbar that fills with anchored boats and bathers during warm weather. At high tide, the emerald gulf water fills the bay and it becomes a truly breath taking waterscape. From your table you have a panoramic view of the Bay and East Pass. What you don’t see: condos.
On top of the amazing scenery, Dewey’s seafood is top notch. Their catch of the day is the real deal, fresh and locally caught, served grilled or fried, as a sandwich or in a basket. Some of their baskets are true Florida classics like fried soft shell crabs and fried oysters, served with French fries, cole slaw and the perfect hush puppies. If you don’t know what to get, get the Captain’s Platter and have a little bit of everything. It has fried, fish, oysters and jumbo shrimp on top of a heap of french fries and hush puppies. The appetizer menu includes fried buffalo shrimp, gumbo, crab dip and a superb smoked tuna dip that is savory and perfectly smoky.
Dewey Destin’s is open from 11 to sunset, so there’s no better place to stop for lunch and take advantage of a gorgeous day in Destin. There’s not much that beats a perfect grouper sandwich on a sunny afternoon in one of the most beautiful spots in town.
Be sure to visit the SoWal Dining Guide for more great South Walton area restaurants and food stories!