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Restaurants in Pensacola

The restaurants in Pensacola, Fl., are certainly eclectic, unsurprising for a beach city that has been owned by five different governments in the past: Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. (The city is known as the City of Five Flags.) There are numerous seafood restaurants, southern restaurants, Mexican restaurants, and Latin American restaurants throughout the city, making Pensacola a great place for people who get bored often. To help you narrow down your options, we created this guide to the top places to eat in Pensacola.

Three Downtown Pensacola Restaurants You Should Know

  • 1912, The Restaurant: With its location at the Pensacola Grand Hotel, it’s no surprise that 1912 is, well, grand. Inside you’ll find everything from Biva antique doors, a cast-bronze French-style chandelier, beveled glass windows from 1885, and scalloped-shaped grill work from Lloyd’s of London. Don’t miss the seafood chowder or fried-green tomato BLT.
  • The Fish House: This Pensacola favorite restaurant near historic Seville Square draws more than 500,000 visitors a year. These tourists and locals flock here for the waterfront views, ultra-fresh seafood and sushi, and extensive wine list (more than 300!). Try the grits á ya ya: smoked-Gouda-cheese grits covered in a cream sauce, and then topped with sauteed Gulf shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon, garlic, and shallots.

Jaco's Bayfront Bar & Grille: This waterfront spot draws people in with its marina views, but it keeps them coming back with its consistently tasty food. Do yourself a favor and order up some fish tacos or the salmon BLT. And don’t forget the dog—the patio is dog-friendly and quite busy during sunset.

Spotlight on CJ’s Kitchen and Grille

 

This no-frills breakfast and lunch joint plies hungry diners with American and Southern eats. It’s nothing fancy, but people really love the food and the fast service. Here’s what some of our own customers have to say:

 

  • The pot roast special with merlot gravy was excellent. Very large portions of food. Service was great and quick. Will definitely return! – Lisa W.
  • Excellent food, great prices. Busy, but wait staff still managed to keep up. Will be back soon! – Amy R.
  • Friendly staff, great food, and great prices. Definitely one of our new norms. – Melissa H.
  • Excellent food, fast service and super sweet staff!! Awesome all around experience. I will definitely be back!! Thank You!!!! – Jon A. 
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Happy Taco Truck: The Truck with an Air Conditioned Dining Room  

 

Have you ever seen a taco truck with its own air conditioned dining room? Happy Taco Truck’s owners, the Garcias, knew that adding the 700-square-foot air-conditioned dining room behind their truck was key if they wanted their business to stand out. Customers can even order their tacos via text and have them brought inside the dining room, so there’s no waiting in line on scorching hot days.

Taqueria El Asador Has One of the Best Tacos in America  

 

When Business Insider released its list of the 50 best tacos in the United States, a Pensacola favorite made the top five. Taqueria El Asador took fourth, which probably wouldn’t surprise anyone who has eaten one of the $2 tacos. There’s almost always a line outside of the taco truck, but the tacos are worth the wait. We can’t lie, though; you might find it hard to wait when you get a whiff of the meats smoking on grills behind the truck.

Embrace Your Carnivorous Roots at Rodizio Grill

 

Whenever you’re craving an epic amount of meat, you could easily go to an American steakhouse and splurge on a giant T-bone. But then you’re limiting yourself to one type of meat. So instead, head to a Brazilian steakhouse and gorge yourself on a buffet of different meats. Here’s what you can expect to find:

 

  • Picanha, AKA beef-sirloin cap
  • Fraldinha, AKA flank steak
  • Maminha, AKA tri-tip steak
  • Cordeiro, AKA lamb
  • Linguiça, AKA pork sausage

 

Plus, there will typically be seafood options, an epic salad bar, and numerous desserts. Fair warning: you might want to pack some Tums.

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Get a Spiked Milkshake at The Tin Cow


The Tin Cow delights diners with its creative spiked milkshakes, such as the Irish Cow, with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Irish cream, or the German Chocolate Cake, a mixture of Smirnoff Iced Cake Vodka, crème of coconut, chocolate, and caramel. The chefs’ creativity extends to the food, too, with such options as Gulf Coast lionfish dip and burgers crowned with locally made kimchi.  

 

Downtown Lunch Crowds Love Cottage Cafe

 

This cute, downtown cafe located across from the library focuses on fresh cafe eats, such as curry chicken salad, and housemade treats, including six types of bread pudding . It’s only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekdays, so it’s popular with the lunch crowds, especially those looking to dine outside on the patio.

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Where to Go for Drinks in Pensacola



  • The SandShaker: This Pensacola Beach dive bar is the home of The Bushwacker—Pensacola’s signature drink. Locals and tourists also love hanging out here because of the constant events, from karaoke to car shows.
  • Bamboo Willies: If you’re looking for frozen drinks and beach views, check out this classic Florida beach bar, which also hosts bikini contests and crawfish boils.
  • 5 ½ bar: This is considered one of the best cocktails bars in Pensacola. Bartenders here whip up such concoctions as the Monkey Gland, with gin, absinthe, orange juice, and housemade grenadine, and the Bison Sour, with Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, egg whites, lemon juice, sugar, and freshly grated cinnamon.
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