TOP 10 ROMANTIC DATE NIGHT RESTAURANTS
ON THE EMERALD COAST
Like us, you probably like to go go go all week, then put the “we” back in “weekend.” When you’re looking for a night out to regroup and actually talk to your honey bunny, here are some of our top choices. (Leave the phone at home. Or at least in the car 😉
Restaurant Paradis | Rosemary Beach
Wine, dine, and be sublime in this secret not-so-secret gem in Rosemary Beach. Nestled on the main strip, Paradis has been tantalizing the taste buds of locals and visitors since Danny & Monica Cosenzi opened its doors many moons ago. Chef Mark Eichin takes pride in using locally grown products, and his talented culinary staff creates unique features every night. Naturally, they welcome any personal dietary restrictions.
82 S Barrett Square, Rosemary Beach FL 32461 | (850) 534-4000
Hemingway’s Island Grill | Pensacola Beach
This waterfront gem offers casual dockside dining overlooking the beautiful Santa Rosa Sound. Their deep wine list and Key West influenced atmosphere relaxes even the most stressed out couple of sojourners. Nightly drink and dinner specials make this award-winning restaurant a selfie and Date Night must.
400 Quietwater Beach Rd #16, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561 | (850) 934-4747
Havana Beach Bar & Grill | Rosemary Beach
Speaking of Ernest, Havana is inspired by El Floridita, Hemingway’s favorite haunt in the Cuban capital. Papa Hemingway himself would approve of the hand-carved mahogany bar and comfortable, communal ambiance full of life and steeped in the joy of living. Reserve a table in their vibrant dining room, outdoor veranda, or rooftop lounge, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and Rosemary’s thriving Main Street.
The Pearl Hotel, 63 Main Street, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461 | (850) 588-2882
Jackson’s Steakhouse | Pensacola
Executive Chef Irv Miller runs the show at this Pensacola treasure, located in an 1860s-era building that originally housed H. Pfeiffer & Company Mercantile. Mr. Miller procures only Midwestern grain-fed beef and the local seafood is hand-selected and prepared to perfection. This romantic spot has been placed by the Distinguished Restaurants of North America in the top two percent of all fine dining restaurants in the country.
400 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502 | 850-469-9898
Firefly | Panama City Beach
Voted one of 2017’s Most Romantic Restaurants by OpenTable, Firefly is a classic Date Night choice. And those with pure food indulgence in mind have come to the right place. From start to finish—and even after-dinner cocktails in the Library— Executive Chef Derek Langford’s menu offers the starters, sushi, entrées, desserts, and drinks to keep you returning time and time again.
535 N Richard Jackson Boulevard, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 | (850) 249-3359
Vue On 30A | Santa Rosa Beach
Can you say, “Best sunset ever?!” South Walton’s restaurant by the sea was recently named “Best Waterfront Dining” by Florida Travel + Life Magazine. Part of a private club and golf course, The Vue is open to the public and serves lunch, dinner and happy hour throughout the week, as well as Sunday brunch. Be sure to get there early and make the scene in their ultra-loungey lounge. (Yes, we said that.)
4801 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 | (850) 267-2305
Vin’tij Food & Wine
An Emerald Coast go-to for over 20 years, Vin’tij is now located in the Grand Boulevard Shopping Center at Sandestin. This award-winning restaurant satisfies foodies of all persuasions – carnivores, vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans. Known for their highly acclaimed multi-course winemaker dinners and their impressive wine shop, Vin’tij is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and their weekend brunch is served from 9am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. You and your honey will lo’ve it!
500 Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | (850) 650-9820
As the song goes, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Tim Creehan’s newest creation was voted Best Happy Hour by Emerald Coast Magazine, and one step into this Inlet Beach jewel will tell you why. You and your date will immediately feel at home among the locals who will start a conversation with you before you can say, “I’m new in town.” And oh yeah, the food’s good, too!
30Avenue, 12805 US-98, Inlet Beach, FL 32461 | (850) 909-0111
Emeril’s Coastal Italian | Miramar Beach
Emeril’s flagship restaurant in Northwest Florida, this is another Grand Boulevard bestie. Combining the rich and diverse tradition of Italian cuisine with the bountiful variety of nearby fresh Gulf seafood and local ingredients, Mr. Lagasse’s menu features Italian favorites like house made meatballs, Lasagna Bolognese and other creative flatbreads, as well as specialties straight from the Gulf. The relaxed atmosphere provides a coastal feeling complete with elegant and sophisticated touches.
435 Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | (850) 608-7040
Beach Walk Cafe | Destin
With over 500 5-Star TripAdvisor ratings, it’s tough to find a more romantic Date Night spot between Destin and New Orleans. Bumping up against a nationally recognized state park, the view is stunning, the food is magnificent, and the ambiance perfectly encapsulates romance. Need more convincing? OpenTable voters placed this Gulf Coast sweetheart in the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States. Reserve early, gaze into each other’s eyes often!
Henderson Park Inn, 2700 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541 (850) 650-7100
ALAN ROBERTS, Writer and Business Grower Extraordinaire | EMAIL