places to have lunch on the water in destin flIf you’re spending the day on the water in Destin, either on a rental boat or a fishing charter, chances are you’re wondering what to do for lunch. My family always manages to work up an appetite when we spend the day on a boat, and over the years we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what we have found:

Lunch at Crab Island: Floating Restaurants and Mobile Food Boats

If you’re spending at least part of the day at Crab Island during the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day), there are several floating vendors that serve various types of food, as well as larger floating restaurant structures that stay anchored at Crab Island all season long. You can find hamburgers, hot dogs, wraps, BBQ sandwiches, nachos, hot boiled peanuts (a personal favorite), pizza, and even ice cream at Crab Island. The selection varies a bit depending on the day of the week, with the largest amount of vendors on the weekends. Tip: plan to have plenty of cash on hand as most of these vendors don’t accept credit or debit cards.

Crab Island restaurants

Floating food vendor at Crab Island

Crab Island Floating Restaurant

Floating restaurant at Crab Island

Boat Accessible Restaurants

Another option is to pull up to one of the many Destin restaurants that have boat docks and go inside to eat. There are several places where you can do this, but our favorite places are Harbor Docks , Boshamps (both on the Destin Harbor), The Gulf (at Okaloosa Island) and Dewey Destin’s (on the bay) as they are the most easily accessible by boat and the food is consistently excellent. They also have a very casual atmosphere, so no one will frown at you for showing up in your beach attire! I personally recommend the shrimp basket at Dewey Destin’s, crab cakes at Boshamps, sushi, pad thai, or the fresh fish of the day at Harbor Docks, and the tuna at The Gulf. Yum!

Dewey Destin menu

Dewey Destin’s menu

Bring a Picnic Lunch

The best option we’ve found, hands down, for bringing a picnic lunch on a boat is Jim N Nick’s BBQ. They have a menu catered specifically to boaters (which we love!), and offer all the fixings packaged to go. If you’re going out on a fishing charter or will otherwise be away from areas populated by restaurants, where you won’t have the above options, bringing a lunch is a MUST, and Jim N Nick’s knows how to do it! Their award-winning BBQ is certainly a hit with every member of my family. Oh, and I HIGHLY recommend adding the cheese biscuits to your order. Your tastebuds will thank you!

Jim N Nick’s Boater’s Menu


You can’t go wrong with a day on the water, and knowing that you have a plan for lunch makes it that much more enjoyable. So try one of these options while you’re spending your day on the water, and let me know what you think!
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