Pensacola is one of the oldest cities in the United States, initially settled by the Spanish in the 1600s.
Pensacola is nicknamed “The City of Five Flags” because five separate governments have controlled the area in the city’s history.
Still an important port city, Pensacola is home to the Naval Air Station and the famous Blue Angels, a skilled team of pilots who offer airshows to the community.
Pensacola is situated along the Gulf Coast and adjacent to the beaches of South Alabama. With the military community and the beachside attractions, thousands of people move to and visit Pensacola constantly.
Fresh Seafood and traditional Southern cuisine blend beautifully at many of Pensacola’s restaurants. Pensacola dining spots have lovely views of Pensacola Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Grand Marlin of Pensacola Beach
- The Oar House
- Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille
- Casino Beach Bar
- Shaggy’s Pensacola Beach
- Peg Leg Pete’s
- The Flora-Bama Yacht Club
We happily visited Pensacola to review the best waterfront restaurants in the area to create this comprehensive list to help you plan your next visit.
400 Pensacola Beach Blvd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
The Grand Marlin of Pensacola Beach is adjacent to the Pensacola Beach Road Bridge and is nearly on top of Santa Rosa Sound.
Guests can view sunsets over Pensacola Bay and delicious daily specials from the kitchen of Chef Gregg McCarthy.
The restaurant is open daily from about 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, with extended hours for brunch on the weekends.
When I visited the Grand Marlin, I enjoyed Oysters Rockefeller and the Louisiana Shrimp Roll with poached Gulf Shrimp, Lemon-Herb Dressing, Brioche Roll, and Crab Seasoned Fries.
The most popular item here is the Grouper Piccata, with sauteed spinach, whipped potatoes, crispy capers, and brown butter. Try the Island Chicken & Waffle with Jerk-Marinated Chicken and a Coconut-Pecan Waffle for brunch.
1000 S Pace Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32502
The Oar House is near Sanders Beach by the Pensacola Yacht Club. The restaurant has an island vibe with a tiki-style thatched roof and incredible views of Bahia Mar Marina.
The Oar House opens at 11:00 am daily and serves lunch and dinner. Usually, the restaurant hosts live music, and the bar offers daily happy hour specials.
The menu is filled with delicious items like Flash Fried Gator Bites, Crab & Artichoke Dip, Smoked Tuna Dip, and Key Largo Shrimp.
My favorite menu bite is the Grouper Po’Boy, but the Ahi Tuna platter is a close second. Be sure to order a slice of the Key Lime Pie!
997 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille offers waterfront views with lots of docked boats and a unique across-the-waterway view of Admiral Fetterman Field in the Vince J. Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park.
Jaco’s is known locally for its incredible Sunday brunch. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Try the Blackened Mahi Reuben with House-Made Sauerkraut, Thousand Island Dressing, and Provolone Cheese on Wheat Bread, or the Scallop Risotto with Seared Scallops, Pesto and Asparagus Risotto, and a Lemon Beurre Blanc.
For brunch, I recommend the Blueberry French Toast! For a tasty cocktail, try the Fresh Fruit Mojito!
41 Fort Pickens Rd, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561
Casino Beach Bar is a laid-back restaurant adjacent to the beach. The bar has a pier with beach recliners and live bands.
The restaurant opens at 11:00 am daily, and the outdoor seating area has small showerheads that keep guests misted and cool in the warm summer sun. It’s a fun place for a group lunch or dinner!
I enjoyed the Ahi Tuna nachos with avocado, soy glaze, flour tortilla chips, and tobiko wasabi aioli.
Try the Tropical Salad with pineapple, strawberry, mandarin orange, avocado, grape tomatoes, and candied pecans on top of mixed greens.
701 Pensacola Beach Blvd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Shaggy’s Pensacola Beach is a waterfront bar and grill with a laid-back vibe and vast outdoor seating located on Little Sabine Bay in Pensacola Beach.
The menu offers lots of seafood options and tasty frozen daiquiris. The restaurant is open from 11:00 am to 8:00 am daily.
I enjoy Shaggy’s Nachos with queso, cheddar cheese, jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, fresh jalapenos, and nom nom sauce with shrimp.
Other popular menu items include fried pickles and coconut shrimp. Try the New Orleans-Style Shrimp Po-Boy with fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickles on a french bread hoagie for a heavier entree.
1010 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Peg Leg Pete’s is a bustling restaurant with a pirate theme. The menu primarily serves seafood and has a full raw bar.
Live music is a regular occurrence, and guests can take a picture with a giant pirate statue by the front entrance. Peg Leg Pete’s is open daily, beginning at 11:00 am.
Order the clam strips and the grouper nuggets for an appetizer! I also enjoyed many of the entree options like stuffed shrimp, cajun fried catfish, and chowder.
For lunch, try the Grouper BLT. Be sure to try a Shipwreck cocktail–you even get to keep the souvenir glass when you are finished!
17350 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL 32507
The Flora-Bama Yacht Club is a relaxed, open-air restaurant on the beach with creative seafood dishes, cocktails, and live music.
It is across the street from the Flora-Bama nightclub on the Florida side of the state line. Boats can pull directly up to the shore in front of the yacht club. It is a perfect spot to relax on a beautiful summer day.
Try the smoked tuna dip or the crab and parmesan hush puppies for appetizers. I also enjoyed the shrimp platter and the Mahi Mahi Reuben.
Try the key lime pie or the peanut butter pie for a sweet bite. Try the peach bellini or the bushwhacker–both delicious frozen drinks.
Pensacola is an exciting location along Florida’s Gulf Coast. From downtown breweries to waterfront restaurants, craft beers and seafood dishes are available for everyone to enjoy.
With various bays, inlets, and beaches, there are no shortages of great places to grab a drink or bite to eat in Pensacola.
If you’re planning on a trip to the nearby Panama City, you should check out our picks for the best places to eat in the city.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Or have you visited one of these waterfront restaurants in Pensacola? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!