Great dining around Pensacola
November 28, 2008 2:05 PM   Subscribe

I want to give a gift of the best dining experience in Pensacola (or within a 50 mile radius of Pensacola). Great food and great atmosphere. Where do you suggest?
posted by Jandasmo to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The best food I have ever eaten in this area was at the bowling alley in Foley, AL.


Really good home cooking and fresh seafood. Plus, bowling!

I've eaten at some nice places in Fairhope and around Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, and none of them hold a candle to the Gulf Bowl in Foley. Also, downtown Foley has (at least, used to -- I haven't been there in a few years) a pharmacy with a fully restored turn-of-the-century ice cream shop and soda fountain. Excellent hot fudge sundaes.

Probably not what you're looking for, though.

Wintzell's Oyster House in Mobile is fun and tasty, but not "fine dining", and it's probably out of the 50-mile range.

There's surely some great places in Pensacola, but I'm not that familiar with the area. I know this, though -- don't bother with Jackson's. I've been there, and it's very pricey and very average. (YMMV)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:19 PM on November 28, 2008

Here's a link to a similar question on Chowhound
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:38 PM on November 28, 2008

Wolf Bay Lodge... great seafood... fish camp type of place!
posted by HuronBob at 7:12 PM on November 28, 2008

I dunno but George Bush Senior ate at a restaurant on Scenic Highway back when he was president. (The motorcade passed my house. Twice.) Can't remember the name of the restaurant, though. It's been years since I have lived there so they might have something nice now but the only thing I can think of is McGuire's Irish Pub and that's probably not what you had in mind.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:57 PM on November 28, 2008

Pensacola is not famous for its great restaurants, it's true, but just an hour down the road in Destin, Commander's Palace has opened. It is in the Emerald Grande by the Destin bridge. If you're not familiar with Commander's Palace, it's been in operation in New Orleans for 120 years and is arguably one of the finest restaurants in the nation. Paul Prudhomme and Emeril both got their start at Commander's Palace. You will have a world-class meal, guaranteed. Fodor's gives it five stars. It's still so new there aren't any reviews up at, yet, but there are many for the New Orleans location and it's the same operators. Also, if you come for Sunday brunch, you'll get great Dixieland jazz to accompany your meal.
posted by wsg at 8:31 AM on November 29, 2008

Pensacola has decent restaurants. No, the best food is not at a bowling alley, no matter what anyone tells you.

Dharma Blue is in the seville area. Great atmosphere, good food.

I haven't eaten at Jackson's, but I've heard good things about it and it's in a beautiful building downtown.

Skopelos is a seafood restaurant off scenic highway on the bay that's been around a long time and many people love it.

Jamie's use to be a wonderful french restaurant but I believe is now closed.

A louder restaurant but with decent food is Mcguires Irish Pub.

A more casual place but local and very good if you like cajun food is Jerry's Cajun Restaurant.

There are other newer restaurants, especially near downtown that are quite popular, but I haven't made it to them yet.
posted by justgary at 10:14 AM on November 29, 2008

I guess I should have said I'd pick dharma blue as the easiest choice. Great location, good atmosphere, and local (unlike say, commanders palace, which I love in new orleans, but will be a pale comparison in destin).
posted by justgary at 10:19 AM on November 29, 2008

Adding to justgary. Fishhouse is pretty good food and waterfront atmosphere.
posted by Rolandkorn at 4:22 PM on November 29, 2008

Commander's is unrivaled anywhere around here. The view alone of the Destin Pass is almost worth it. No, it doesn't have the old New Orleans feel. They've gone with a very modern, contemporary interior design.

Dharma Blue is the best of the ones justgary mentioned and it's good, but I thought you were talking about a really special dining experience, and if that is the case, Pensacola has very little to offer. The Fishhouse is average on a good night.
posted by wsg at 1:13 AM on November 30, 2008

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