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Eating at The Gulf Restaurant was one of the highlights of our recent trip to Okaloosa Island in Florida. We enjoyed the food and ambiance so much that we ended up staying for hours until after the sun went down.
My daughter found this place on Google and asked to go. I have not been compensated in any way for writing this review. I can honestly say that I loved the restaurant. The food was great, but the experience is what makes it so memorable.
Where Is The Gulf Restaurant Located?
The Gulf Restaurant on Okaloosa Island is located in Fort Walton Beach, close to Destin, Florida. They also have a sister restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama. (Map below shows both locations.)
And since it sits on the water, you can arrive by car…..or boat!
What Is The Gulf Restaurant?
Made out of shipping containers and salvaged building materials, the restaurant has an upscale warehouse feel to it.
Although there’s indoor seating, most of the dining area is outdoors, where you’ll find palm trees, sand, and grass, giving it a laid-back vibe.
You won’t have any trouble parking as the lot is huge with plenty of space.
The Gulf Restaurant Menu
The menu is focused on seafood with a few other options that change daily.
If you’re not a seafood fan, you should be able to find something to order like the Black & Blue Burger or Fried Chicken that was on the menu when we were there.
Regular seafood dishes include Crab Cakes and Crispy Shrimp Tacos, as well as soups and sandwiches.
We enjoyed the Blackened Mahi Tacos which came with mango salsa, sweet chili aioli, and purple chips.
Pro-tip: The menu is a bit pricey for how little the waiters check on you. Once you get your food, you are left alone for most of the night. I liked it, though, as I felt like we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted with no rush for them to fill our spot with other customers.
The Bar at The Gulf Restaurant
You can hang out at the bar and enjoy a housemade cocktail or sip on a craft beer or glass of wine by the water.
They even have happy hour drink specials.
The Vibe At The Gulf Restaurant
It feels like you are attending a laid-back party when you’re at The Gulf.
There are various seating options like tables, couches, or benches, all situated in sand or grass. And there’s plenty of sun covers for hot days.
It’s the perfect place to hang with friends and family for hours. And don’t forget the dog, they’re welcome too.
It’s beautiful at night when the hanging lights that cover the trees turn on.
Pro-tip: Some of the tables are communal, and you may be sitting next to strangers.
Taking Pictures At The Gulf Restuarant
Bring your camera; you’ll have the perfect photo-op for taking pictures in the daylight or as the sun goes down.
My daughter and her friend had a blast taking pictures of each other in front of the water. I relished taking pictures of the lights on the harbor after sundown.
Have Your Special Event At The Gulf Restaurant
Since they host all kinds of events, including weddings, you should be able to snap some wonderful memories with the gorgeous sea as your backdrop.
The Gift Shop
While you’re waiting for your food, you can browse the gift shop where you’ll find luscious-scented candles, beachy t-shirts, cute mugs, and trendy decor.
It was the ideal spot to pick up gifts for my daughter’s 18th birthday bash.
And as you’re walking out the door, pick up a locally made Swell Pop. I can’t tell you if they’re good because we didn’t try one, but flavors like Strawberry Lemonade and Mango Pineapple sounded tempting.
They even make a Pupsicle with fresh bones for your furry friend.
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