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On The Bay Front at Sunset Bay Café in Sandestin

May 31, 2016 by Sarah Robertson

Sunset Bay Café is one of the few waterfront restaurants on the bay in South Walton. After about a year since opening, the Cafe' celebrates the spirit of "old Florida" with it's freshly prepared breakfast and lunch, locally-sourced seafood and produce, tikki bar, and is now serving dinner in the beautiful bayside setting at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Sunset Bay Café owner Bryce Jarvis is living his dream. In February 2015 opened bayside near the Linkside Conference Center. The casual restaurant is on the shore of the Choctawhatchee Bay with a newly updated indoor dining space and an outdoor patio that is hard to beat. Featuring incredible bay views and a Tiki bar complete with live music now open for the season, this is a waterfront dining option to check out!

With a career spent in the culinary industry and involvement in every aspect from fine dining to general management, Bryce feels more than prepared for this opportunity. When the space became available, it was perfect timing and Bryce says they are 100% focused on serving quality, local, and fresh food.

The Sunset Bay Cafe team extensively tested hundreds of dishes and if the end result didn’t “floor” them, it didn’t make the menu. “We wanted to have a mix of familiar items as well as creative takes on the classics” he explains. They also put quality first and use only premium ingredients like certified Angus beef for their burgers and poboys.

Try the Hillbilly Benedict. Forget the English muffin for this tasty version. They take cheesy grits studded with peppers, coat them in panko breadcrumbs, and griddle them until golden. That yummy grit cake becomes the vehicle for a perfectly poached egg, house made Hollandaise and, get this... fried chicken! It’s everything you want in a Benedict with a twist of decadence.

Another twist on a familiar favorite is their Shrimp Grilled Cheese. A blend of five flavorful cheeses layered with gulf-fresh shrimp and spinach elevates this traditional sammy to a whole new level. This beauty is served with their herbaceous homemade tomato bisque for dipping.

At Sunset Bay Café, there is love poured into each dish. “We make all of our sauces from scratch, as well as salad dressings and jellies” says Bryce. The rotating jelly selection depends on the seasonal fruits available. And speaking of love, his wife Miranda’s business, Holy Cakes, also operates out of the restaurant preparing delicious baked good confections on the spot. Daily selections of scratch-made cupcakes, cookies and muffins are available on the menu as well as special occasion cakes and treats created to order.

Bryce grew up in Destin in a family of respected restaurateurs and locals. He truly appreciates the magic of the Emerald Coast and says “I love what I do because in all these years, not one day has been the same as the last.” He’s witnessed our rapid growth and seen many childhood friends eventually move away. “I can’t imagine why, he mused, we literally live in paradise.”

Sunset Bay Café is in an incredible location – so spread the word! Property owners and guests of the Sandestin resort are already loyal regulars here. Turn north off Hwy 98 and the guard gate will issue you a pass. Once inside, go straight for a half of a mile and the restaurant is on your right. There is plenty of parking and takes mere moments to arrive from Hwy 98. Catch live music with Al Alvarado and Zack Rosicka on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 til 8:00 p.m. Weekends are for music on the deck all summer long.

Sunset Bay Cafe is already known for it’s spectacular views, excellent service, perfected breakfast and lunch favorites and innovative twists on the classics. The Cafe serves an innovative dinner menu (Thu-Sat during Summer season only) drawing from the finest in locally sourced ingredients including fresh seafood delivered daily from the docks in Destin, Florida. Menu items include homemade spinach and artichoke dip, beer braised pork belly, lemongrass Yellowfin Tuna and a number of sweet desserts made daily. 

“We’ve had amazing success with breakfast and lunch, but we don’t want that to become all we are known for,” said Bryce Jarvis, owner of Sunset Bay Cafe. “We are excited to offer a variety of dinner options made with the same commitment to locally sourced ingredients and sustainable seafood.”

Open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Sunset Bay Cafe offers a full bar, outdoor dining, poolside Tiki bar open 12:00 p.m. to sunset, and “grab and go” options. Dinner is now served Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:00 p.m. til 9:00 p.m. (dinner service ends August). Follow Sunset Bay Cafe on Facebook for updates, live music and great food shots! See menus at sunsetbaycafesandestin.com

Keep up with all food and dining news and places at our SoWal Dining Guide and let us know your tried and true favorites! Get the inside scoop at SoWal Community Forums - the food and dining forum has all the latest local food buzz by locals, restaurants, visitors and many SoWal Beach + Food Lovers.


Sarah Robertson's picture

After years of May and October visits to South Walton, Sarah Murphy Robertson and her husband and young son made the leap to become locals in March 2011. Along with long lazy days spent beachside, Sarah also loves watching documentaries, voracious reading, spinning a witty pun, and homemade bread just out of the oven.

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