The Boathouse Oyster Bar in Destin, FL claims to be the best kept secret in Destin, and most of their customers would have to agree. If you’re looking for an upscale, fancy place to eat, this is NOT the place for you. They are exactly what the name claims. It is a boathouse and bar that serves oysters. This is your classic hole-in-the-wall restaurant that customers love to return to again and again.
Awesome dive, great oysters and seafood, best hang out spot in Destin, great view, and the best crab and seafood gumbo around are just some of the phrases you will hear to describe the Boathouse Oyster Bar.
Wanda “Mamma Gumbo” Green and Paul “Action” Jackson took over this business in1986 as a small detached building behind the boathouse. Since then, they have added the Boathouse and doubled in size. Even now, this location on a dock in the Destin Harbor is still not a very large establishment. The Boathouse has an extremely comfortable and laid back atmosphere. No one here tries to impress, so come as you are and just be yourself. It is a very simple wood structure and you can even see outside through the walls in some places.
The menu is very simple but delicious. For starters you can choose between shrimp steamed in beer, delicious smoked tuna dip, nachos or their famous Cajun boiled peanuts. A cup or bowl of their award winning crab and seafood gumbo also makes a great beginning to your meal.
Sandwiches, all served on onion rolls, include cheeseburgers, tuna steak, grilled crab cake, mesquite chicken, bbq pork or the fantastic grilled grouper. They even have grilled cheese and hotdogs. The sides are very simple and include potato chips, corn on the cob and cole slaw.
Oysters are one of their specialties and they only serve Appalachacola Oysters when possible. Order your oysters raw, steamed or baked. The Baked Oysters come in two styles. First is the Baked Action variety that comes covered in butter, bacon bits, onions and mozzarella cheese. The second style is the spicier Baked SOB. These are smothered in cheddar cheese and jalapenos and accompanied by cocktail sauce and nacho chips. If you can’t decide between the two, no worries. Just order the Baked Half & Half to get a taste of both styles.
In addition, dinner meals are offered that include the Crawfish Platter. They only serve crawfish fresh from New Orleans. Other choices are Beer Steamed Shrimp, Grilled Grouper, Snow Crab and Steamed Vegetables. They have several choices of ice cold bottled or draft beer, along with wine by the glass, ½ carafe or full carafe.
It’s not a great place for the kids, but if you have to bring them in order to try the great food, be sure to come early. After eight nightly, the live music starts up and things get rolling. It’s pretty simple here. Don’t dress up. T-shirts and flip-flops are fine. The walls in this old building are covered in dollar bills with customers’ names and messages, blow-up dolls and even ladies’ unmentionables. So don’t bring anyone with you who may take offense. The Boathouse Oyster Bar is loved by locals and visitors who are lucky enough to find out about “the best kept secret in Destin, FL!”
Boathouse Oyster Bar
228-B Harbor Blvd East
Destin, FL 32541
If you’ve eaten at the Boathouse Oyster Bar in Destin, Florida be sure to let everyone know what you thought by using the comment form below. To see other great restaurants in Destin, FL check out our list of the best places to eat in Destin, FL.