Fort Walton Beach Restaurants.

5 Best Fort Walton Beach Waterfront Restaurants

Written by Boatsetter Team
January 17, 2023

Tucked along Florida’s Emerald Coast, you’ll find the hidden gem of Fort Walton Beach. Fort Walton Beach is a calm, family-friendly vacation spot with many foodie opportunities. Here’s our guide to the five best restaurants on the water in Fort Walton Beach:

  1. AJ’s on the Bayou
  2. G.I. Jade Tiki Bar & Bistro
  3. Rick’s on the Island Pizza
  4. The Gulf on Okaloosa Island
  5. The Shack

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1. AJ’s on the Bayou

AJ’s on the Bayou, Fort Walton Beach.

AJ’s on the Bayou is a great, casual spot to dock and dine on Fort Walton Beach. Sample savory southern flavors when you try the highly-praised Shrimp & Grits or a classic Po Boy sandwich. Locals love AJ’s oysters and make a point of coming back to try them all. So, if you’re only in town for a little while, we recommend trying the Oyster Sampler.

Dine outside on the deck where you can kick back, enjoy daily live entertainment, and watch a spectacular Florida sunset across the water.

  • Address: 200 Eglin Pkwy NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
  • Hours: Mon Closed, Tue–Thu 11am–10pm, Sat 11am–12am, Sun 10am–10pm
  • Reservations: Not Available
  • Type of Food: Fresh Seafood
  • Dockage Available: Yes

2. G.I. Jade Tiki Bar & Bistro

G.I. Jade Tiki Bar & Bistro, Fort Walton Beach.

Soak up some island vibes under the shade of a classic tiki hut at G.I. Jade Tiki Bar & Bistro on Fort Walton Beach. Their menu carries a little bit of everything, underlined with Caribbean inspiration. We recommend trying the signature G.I. Jade Pizza, Grilled Fish Tacos, or Chicken Empanadas during your visit!

Pro Tip: Stop in between Thursday and Sunday to enjoy live music!

  • Address: 38 Miracle Strip Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
  • Hours: Mon –Fri 11am–11pm, Sat–Sun 11am–12am
  • Reservations: Available
  • Type of Food: Casual, Caribbean-Inspired American
  • Dockage Available: Yes

3. Rick’s on the Island Pizza

Rick’s on the Island Pizza, Fort Walton Beach.

Rick’s on the Island Pizza is a casual restaurant on the water in Fort Walton Beach. Their outdoor bar and deck are perfect for a relaxed dining experience. Watch the water roll by, enjoy live music, and sip on a signature Key Lime Colada.

To start, order the famous Cajun Queso with blacked shrimp and crawfish tails. While Rick’s pizzas are an obvious choice, if you’re in the mood for a true taste of the gulf, branch out and order a Fried Seafood Platter or a Seafood Poboy sandwich.

  • Address: 1318 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Okaloosa Island, FL 32548
  • Hours: Wed – Mon 11am–10pm, Tue Closed
  • Reservations: Not Available
  • Type of Food: Seafood, Pizza, and Cocktails
  • Dockage Available: Yes

4. The Gulf on Okaloosa Island

The Gulf on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach.

Drift across the water on the southern edge of Fort Walton Beach and dock and dine at The Gulf on Okaloosa Island. This restaurant is built out of shipping containers and recycled materials, giving it a casual elegance that creates the perfect laid-back ambiance for a relaxed afternoon.

The Blackened Mahi Tacos served with sweet, house-made chili aioli and the Shrimp & Lobster Roll are tourist favorites. And if you’re looking for something super fresh, order the Chef Special, Fresh Catch, prepared how you like it!

Pro Tip: The size and sleek design of the Gulf on Okaloosa Island makes it a perfect event venue. If you’re planning a wedding, corporate event, or party, inquire about large reservations.

  • Address: 1284 Marler Ave, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
  • Hours: Sun – Thu 11am–8pm, Fri – Sat 11am–9pm
  • Reservations: Available
  • Type of Food: Seafood & Cocktails
  • Dockage Available: Yes

5. The Shack

The Shack, Fort Walton Beach.

The Shack on Fort Walton Beach is a relaxed waterfront restaurant offering fresh seafood, beautiful panhandle views, and specialty drinks. Try a Shack Sunrise, flavored with peach and mango, or the Spicy Shackarita with house-made jalapeño simple syrup for a kick!

The Crab Dip and Shack Hushpuppies are must-try appetizers. For your entrée, you can’t go wrong with a Shack Seafood Platter. If everything looks too good to choose, just order a Shack Combo Platter so you don’t miss out.

  • Address: 104 Miracle Strip Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL32548
  • Hours: Mon–Sun 11am–8pm
  • Reservations: Not Available
  • Type of Food: Seafood Plates & Steamed Crab
  • Dockage Available: Yes

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