Discover the best bars and restaurants in Pensacola Florida. Savour delicious fresh seafood, Cajun dishes, and Southern classics from Pensacola’s best restaurants! This restaurant guide is perfect if you only have a few days in Pensacola and want to try a variety of dishes without missing out on the best places to eat and drink.
Disclaimer: My trip to Northwest Florida was sponsored by Visit Florida. As always, all words and opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Best Restaurants in Pensacola FL
Here are just 6 of the best places to eat in Pensacola FL organised by category to help you decide where to book and what to order!
However my recommendation is to go with an open mind and try dishes you normally wouldn’t (especially the fresh seafood). There were at least 5 occasions in Pensacola that I was completely blown away by foods I usually wouldn’t think of ordering, and I sadly would have missed out on!
Best Pensacola Restaurants On the Beach – Casino Beach Bar & Grille
Nestled on Pensacola Beach, this restaurant has island vibes, live entertainment and views of the beautiful white sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle.
The menu is coastal inspired and includes small plates (that are actually quite large!), fresh salads, crafted sandwiches, burgers, and tacos.
There are also plenty of refreshing cocktails and if you visit during the week, make sure you take advantage of Happy Hour from 3-6pm.
Must Try: Fried Calamari and Shrimp and Mango Ceviche – both of these dishes wouldn’t usually be my go to but the seafood was so fresh that I had to try them (and inevitably ended up finishing them!)
Best Seafood Restaurants in Pensacola Florida – The Grand Marlin
This upscale restaurant with waterfront views is an absolute MUST in Pensacola FL.
The seafood is so fresh that the menus are printed daily to take advantage of the local catch, and the chefs are incredibly passionate about offering an ever-changing menu with the highest quality ingredients.
The Grand Marlin in Pensacola is the original location but note that there is also a second restaurant in Panama City Beach, so if you decide to road trip across the Florida Panhandle like I did, you can have dining experience twice! 🙂
Must Try: I’ve picked my 3 favourite dishes of the night, but everything we ate was fantastic!
Blue Angel Chips – This is essentially potato chips covered in blue cheese (which is the only cheese I dislike, but this dish was absolutely delicious and has converted me!)
Fried Brussel Sprouts – I haven’t eaten a Brussel sprout in about 10 years, but devoured these! Note: This dish isn’t officially on the menu but if you ask for it, I’m pretty sure they will accommodate you.
TGM Signature Praline Basket – This dessert was my favourite from my entire week in Northwest Florida, and I can see exactly why it is their signature dish, the pecan praline was incredible.
Best Downtown Pensacola Restaurants – 5 Sisters Blues Café
Located in Belmont-DeVilliers, this area was once a melting pot for music, food, and entertainment in the early 20th century. Today, you can follow the Mississippi Blues Trail right past the historic 5 Sisters Blues Cafe.
This restaurant is perfect for families, and those who want to enjoy Creole-style Southern cuisine such as crab cakes, chicken and waffles, corn bread, pork chops and ribs, pot roast and cobbler.
The restaurant is open daily but I highly recommend the Five Sisters Jazz Brunch on Sundays, with live music and an energetic environment.
Also note, this restaurant is walk in only, so be prepared to line up (it’s totally worth it!). But if you can’t wait for a table they have a Grab and Go menu from Monday to Saturday.
Five Sisters are known for their Southern Fried Chicken (in any form) so I went for the chicken tenders and waffles, but the French toast also looked delicious.
I also recommend ordering the New Orleans Style Beignets for the table, it was my first try of these sugary treats and it won’t be my last.
Best Family Restaurant in Pensacola Beach Florida – Flounders Chowder House
Located on Santa Rosa Sound, this restaurant serves up some of the freshest gulf coast
sushi and seafood. It is decorated with antiques, memorabilia, and even old fishing boats, to really get you in the nautical mood.
There is also live entertainment but as the restaurant is so big, you may not get to experience this. Just make sure you book ahead of time, as it gets VERY busy. Note: Happy Hour is Monday to Friday 4-6pm.
Must Try: The famous Diesel Fuel cocktail which has been around since 1980. It is basically a double Long Island Ice Tea!
Best Casual Places to Eat in Pensacola FL – Union Public House
Union Public House is a crafty southern pub, with lots of hearty feel good food on the menu. I tried at least 10 dishes, I even ate chicken on the bone (which is very rare for me!).
Must Try: Cajun Boiled Peanuts and the Corn Bread with Butter and Honey, both delicious!
Best Restaurant in Pensacola FL for Breakfast – Bodacious Cafe
Located in historic downtown Pensacola on the corner of Palafox & Main Street, this cafe is a great place to pick up a delicious breakfast or lunch and an artisanal coffee.
Think breakfast sandwiches, wraps, açai bowls, and flatbread pizzas.
Must Try: This cafe is unique as it has an oil tasting section, (I tried oil tasting in Bela Krajina Slovenia and was pleasantly surprised and went home with a few too many bottles).
Best Pensacola FL Bars
Both Downtown Pensacola and the beach area have great places to grab a drink or go on a bar crawl.
Best Downtown Pensacola Bars – Perfect Plain Brewing
Located in the heart of downtown Pensacola, this bar is in the original location of Perfect Plain Brewing Company’s brewery and taproom.
There are long communal tables and the 10-barrel brewhouse is exposed within the gathering area.
Must Try: Watermelon Mojito
Best Outdoor Bar in Pensacola FL – Garden and Grain
Located directly behind Perfect Plain Brewing Company, the grounds were once mapped by British officer Elias Durnford in 1742 to serve as a place for a Pensacola family to plant its garden.
Inspired by this, Garden & Grain is downtown’s largest garden bar and specialises in original, uniquely crafted cocktails.
It even includes an active garden that produces ingredients used in the beers and cocktails. Happy Hour is from 4-6pm on weekdays.
Must Try: Coconut Mojito
Best Cocktail Bars in Pensacola Florida – The Well
The Well is a Floridian Lounge that celebrates everything that makes Florida unique. From a flamingo themed bathroom to the curated furniture, it’s easy to see why this is one of the coolest bars in Pensacola.
Must Try: The Punch and Judy cocktail, with Rum, Campari, guava and tea, it is very unique.
Best Beach Bars in Pensacola FL -Bamboo Willie’s Beachside Bar
Lastly, you can’t visit Pensacola and not head to Bamboo Willie’s. It is widely regarded as one of the Best Beach Bars in Florida, and hosts some of the Southeast’s best live musical acts (from classic rock, country, the blues, and modern rock).
The beach bar is located at Quietwater Boardwalk overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound, and is popular for its frozen drinks. From flavoured Margaritas to the famous Pensacola Bushwalker, this is the best place for Happy Hour (weekdays 3 to 6pm).
Must Try: Traditional Bushwacker – A Pensacola Beach Original Creamy vanilla and coconut mixed with rum and chocolate liquor. It basically tastes like a Baileys milkshake!
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