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LocalEats® Names the Best Restaurants in Florida’s Emerald Coast for 2013

LocalEats®, a critically acclaimed iPhone and iPad app, online dining guide (, and the publisher of the Where the Locals Eat series of dining guides, has released its 2013 list of the best restaurants spanning the Emerald Coast of Florida.  For years, LocalEats has focused primarily on major metropolitan areas and the most populous cities. But the dining guide is now turning its attention to popular smaller markets boasting a higher percentage of excellent restaurants per capita: coastal towns, mountain getaways and vacation destinations of all sorts. In this spirit, they have canvassed Florida’s Panhandle coast, spotlighting the best locally owned restaurants from Pensacola to Panama City Beach with stops in Destin, Apalachicola, Santa Rosa Beach along the way. From beachfront oyster bars and seafood shacks to steakhouses and upscale Gulf Coast dining, LocalEats has chosen restaurants beloved by tourists and locals alike. Whether upscale or down-home, these restaurants compose the distinct dining fabric of the Emerald Coast.

All selections are made by the LocalEats editorial staff, who research local media and relevant dining blogs, monitor social media, survey food-savvy locals and travelers, and take into account their personal dining experiences. There are no national chains listed, and restaurants cannot pay for inclusion. Unlike many restaurant apps and websites that rely on user comments and contributions, LocalEats is one of the only curated restaurants guides.

“The caliber of restaurants we feature shows that the Emerald Coast has much more to offer than typical surfside vendors and beach bars,” says LocalEats editorial director Pat Embry. “We’ve attempted to capture the diversity of this ever-evolving dining scene, and we’re proud to present our picks for the best independently owned restaurants from Pensacola to Panama City.”

A sample of Emerald Coast, Florida winners:

Jackson’s Steakhouse Best Steakhouse, Pensacola, FL
“Named for our nation’s seventh president — the building overlooks Ferdinand Plaza, where the Spanish ceded Florida to Old Hickory in 1821— Jackson's Steakhouse is known for its classy digs, aged steaks and Gulf seafood preparations from co-owner and executive chef Irv Miller.”

Bud & Alley’s, Seaside, FL
“Tucked into the dunes and looking out onto the Gulf, longtime Seaside seafood standout Bud & Alley's features entrees such as crab cakes, grilled black grouper, lobster Tagliatelle, and the whole fish of the day. Not to be overlooked are the always-hopping pizza bar and taco bar.”

Boss, Apalachicola, FL
“The Apalachicola River Inn's Boss Oyster ranks as one of the top oyster bars in what is one of the nation's most renowned areas for producing the tasty bivalves.”

Picolo’s & The Red Bar, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
“Locals and tourists consistently pack The Red Bar and its restaurant Picolo’s from affable Belgian-born chef-owner Olivier "Oli" Petit's Grayton. This funky and fabulous restaurant/bar is known for serving up some of the best, impossibly dense crab cakes in these or any parts — available Friday and Saturday nights only — as well as local fish specials.”

For a complete list of winners Emerald Coast restaurants:


George's at Alys Beach

Caroline's River Dining
Tamara's Cafe
Up The Creek Raw Bar

Spring Creek Restaurant

AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar
The Back Porch
Beach Walk Cafe (at Henderson Park Inn)
Bistro Bijoux
Buster's Bar & Grill
Cabana Cafe
Camille's at Crystal Beach
The Crab Trap (also, Pensacola)
Cuvee Bistro
Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant &
    Dewey Destin's Harborside
Donut Hole
Fisherman's Wharf Seafood House
Harbor Docks
Harry T's Lighthouse
Lin's Asian Cuisine
Louisana Lagniappe
Marina Café
Marlin Grill
McGuire's Irish Pub
Ocean Club
Pompano Joe's
Rick's Crab Trap
Vintij Wine Boutique & Bistro

Caffe Italia
The Crab Trap
Pandora's Steak House

Nick's Seafood

Aegean Breeze

Stinky's Fish Camp

Ed's Hometown Seafood and Steaks & Sports Bar

Hunt's Oyster Bar – Best Seafood

Andy's Flour Power Cafe & Bakery
Angelo's Steak Pit
The Back Porch
Boon Docks
Capt. Anderson's
David's New Orleans Style Sno-Balls
Dee's Hang-Out – Best Oysters
Dusty's Oyster Bar & Eatery
Firefly – Best Contemporary
FishaleTaphouse & Grill
Flamingo Joe's Grill & Seafood
Hook'd Pier
Jeannie's One Stop Diner – Best Breakfast
Liza's Kitchen
Mike's Cafe and Oyster Bar
Oishi – Best Thai
Pineapple Willy's
Reggae J's Island Grill
Saltwater Grill
Thomas Donut & Snack Shop
Wicked Wheel Bar and Grill

Atlas Oyster House
Blue Dot Barbecue
Chet's Seafood
The Coffee Cup – Best Breakfast
The Crab Trap (also, Destin)
Dharma Blue
The Fish House
The Global Grill
Jackson's Steakhouse – Best Steakhouse
Jerry's Drive In
Joe Patti's Seafood
McGuire's Irish Pub
O’Zone Pizza Pub – Best Pizza

Peg Leg Pete's – Best Seafood

Indian Pass Raw Bar

Cowgirl Kitchen
Edward's Fine Food & Wine
La Crema Tapas and Chocolate
Onano Neighborhood Café
Restaurant Paradis
Summer Kitchen Café

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Since 1995, "Where The Locals Eat" and LocalEats dining guides have featured locally owned restaurants across America. From the finest steakhouses and sushi bars, to classic burger joints and roadside barbecues, LocalEats recommends unique restaurants to suit every taste and price range. More
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