I have always found that the best way to get to know a new town is to EAT your way through it. Try every restaurant and local spot that you can, as long as your budget matches. Robert and I do not eat out much – we normally choose to cook at home in order to save money, but when we do go out we always hit up the local spots in town. Here are a few of my favorite places in this charming Gulf Coast town:
- Try some appetizers at the Grand Marlin on Pensacola Beach. I recommend their BBQ shrimp, blue angel chips, and lobster fingers. I loved these appetizers so much that I found myself madly searching Pinterest for copycat recipes as soon as we left the restaurant. I am not even a fan of blue cheese, but the blue angel chips made me a believer!
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with a cupcake from Oh! Snap! When I was living in Washington, D.C., I shamefully hit up Baked & Wired or Sprinkles a few times after work. Oh! Snap definitely satisfies my cupcake cravings here in Pensacola. I recommend the Dalmatian cupcake, a decadent chocolate cupcake with white cream cheese frosting. Yum!
- Chow down for some BBQ at Brother’s BBQ on the way to Perdido Key. I’m a Texas girl and Texans take their BBQ seriously, therefore this little joint had a lot to live up to. However, the large pit smokers positioned behind the building tipped me off that this would be a good spot. They run a daily special of all-you-can-eat meat, so this place is popular with a lot of flight students in the area.
- Schedule a date night at The Global Grill downtown. This beautifully designed restaurant is the #1 rated place on Trip Advisor for Pensacola, need I say more? They serve their food tapas style (Spanish for appetizers). I highly recommend a crowd favorite – the lobster wontons!
- Brunch it up at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille near the yacht club. I’ve been to a few places in Pensacola for brunch, let’s face it there are so many good options and where else do you get a patio view of the yachts docked in the harbor while you drink $2 mimosas?
- Sip some coffee from Keen’s Beans and stroll through the Palafox Market. I am a self-proclaimed coffee fanatic, more specifically an iced coffee fanatic! While I love my Starbs (short for Starbucks), trying out local coffee shops has always been one of my favorite pastimes. Keen’s Beans is special because these folks only have a pop-up stand at the Palafox Farmer’s Market every Saturday. I wish Keen’s Beans had a brick and mortar store but I’ll settle for now. Their coffee beans come straight from a family-owned property in Costa Rica which only adds to the quality. Try their creamy iced coffee the next time you’re strolling downtown on a Saturday morning.
- Buy fresh fish and shrimp from Joe Patti’s seafood market to make dinner at home. Y’all… Joe Patti’s….is the bomb.com. I read about this place from a few Pensacola bloggers and immediately knew that Rob and I had to try it for ourselves. Joe Patti’s a full-scale seafood market with every type of fresh caught fish, shrimp and crustacean that you can imagine. Remember to look at the selection first before grabbing a number for your place in line. On busy days, the line moves fast so you’ll want to know which products you’re taking home before you get to the counter. We usually pick up some fresh salmon filets and gulf shrimp to make honey baked salmon and shrimp alfredo pasta for dinner.
- Gather for a glass of wine at The Wine Bar on Palafox. One of my local friends here in Pensacola tipped me off about this spot. As a wine lover, I can’t resist a glass of Rosé on the patio during summertime. They run happy hour specials throughout the week so it’s the perfect spot to gather with girlfriends and chat about our crazy, fun lives!
I have many more recommendations which I can blog about in future. If you have a question or need suggestions about great restaurants in the area, drop a comment below.