Destin, Florida is known for its great beaches, emerald colored water, and of course fresh seafood. Afterall, it is nicknamed “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” But it’s a family vacation destination, and that means before you make your way down to the beach, you need to make sure you find breakfast. And Destin has several great breakfast options.
One thing to note about breakfast restaurants in the area is that most generally close at 2pm. It’s not the kind of town where people hang out for fancy brunch with mimosas all day. Afterall… the amazing beach awaits. Here are some of the best breakfast spots in Destin.
The Donut Hole
The Donut Hole is easily one of the best breakfast spots in Destin. I especially love their corned beef hash with large chunks of the corned beef and a side of hollandaise. But the daily specials can be great and of course the donuts are worth grabbing some to go.
There is a line most mornings during the busy season (the line for the restaurants is on the left and if you just want donuts to go you can go to the right) but the line moves at a reasonable pace so it’s well worth the wait.
Mama Clemenza’s European Breakfast
Although Mama Clemenza has retired from day-to-day duties, partners Billy Dee and chef Giovani Filippone now run Mama Clemenza’s European Breakfast and continue to make it one of the best spots around.
Chef Gio appeared on the season 5 of the tv show Hells Kitchen where he showcased his kitchen skills and appeared again on an all-stars season, before becoming the executive chef here at Mama Clemenza’s. Of all the breakfast places in the area, this likely pushes the boundaries of breakfast recipes the most with items like the duck confit and waffles and white chocolate French toast (which is almost like a bread pudding). But my favorite is the eggs benedict served over prosciutto and a Yorkshire pudding muffin. Although not located in Destin, it’s just next door in Miramar Beach and is one of my top breakfast picks in the area.
East Pass Coffee Shop
You wouldn’t think a coffee shop in an old motel with only a few food items on the menu would have the best breakfast in Destin. But the breakfast sandwich at East Pass Coffee puts them in the running. With multigrain bread, egg cooked over easy (they haven’t overcooked the egg once in my many times here), bacon, cheddar, arugula, and the secret ingredient hot pepper jelly makes this one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had anywhere. They also have good WiFi, which is rare in this town, and oh yeah…. great coffee!
It doesn’t have the large breakfast menu for the whole family that other places do, but this is a must stop when in town.
Crackings is a family owned breakfast restaurant with a second location in Stanta Rosa Beach. Their not exactly low calorie cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing and croisseignets (just as it sounds – a cross between a croissant and a beignet) are fantastic. They have all the other typical dishes for the area, but also a Maque Choux Benedict (maque choux is a traditional Louisianna dish made with corn, onion and red pepper). And they have their own non-traditional take on huevos rancheros which just might be my favorite thing on the menu.
If you (or your kids) like pancakes, then it should be no surprise that a place called the Pancakery is the place to go. They have several types of pancakes with various toppings. Or you can build your own form a list of fresh fruit, compote, and candies such as M&Ms, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. But they also have a full menu with several types of omelets and benedicts for those of us that want to stray.
The Little Griddle
This is one of the spots that I didn’t find by Google, Facebook, or even word of mouth. Rather, I stumbled up on this food truck it while I was looking for coffee. And what a find!
It’s a husband and wife owned breakfast food truck parked in a small lot in downtown Fort Walton Beach. Grab a quick breakfast with some 90’s hip hop playing in the background and then head a few doors down to Maas Coffee Roasters for a great cup of coffee.
The problem with having McGuires on this list, is that it’s also on every other list… best bar, best dinner, best for live music, etc. They only serve brunch items on the weekends. And the fact that this small brunch menu seems to be an afterthought and yet I’m still listing it on this list shows how great everything else is here. Brunch comes with a loaf of the delicious bread with honey butter and then each entre comes with a complimentary side of beignets or hot or frozen Irish coffee. I like both, but make sure to try the frozen.
Hidden over on Okaloosa Island, this is a gem worth crossing the bridge for. It’s a low key breakfast spot tucked away behind AJs Oyster shanty. They have a whole section on the menu for skillet prepared dishes, including shrimp & grits, country fried steak, or my favorite the seafood skillet. But they also have omelets, pancakes, and all the other typical breakfast options.
Other Places for Best Breakfast in Destin
I feel like this is a place that is often forgotten but is worth stopping by. In addition to a full coffee menu, it has a substantial breakfast menu with several types of waffles, pancakes, and the typical egg dishes.
Great little Italian owned coffee shop. The breakfast sandwiches are served on a croissant, and you have the option of adding speck or prosciutto.
The Local Market
Great all-around quick breakfast spot from the owners of Harbor Docks and Camille’s. They offer things like breakfast tacos, burritos, and a honey butter chicken biscuit. Plus, you can grab some mimosas to stay, or wine & beer to take with you.
At night, Camille’s has a one of the best dinners along scenic Rt 98 upstairs in their restaurant. But during the day the ground floor is a cafe with a small menu designed for quick food service and coffee. But they also have some fun daytime cocktails, so it’s pretty common to see people stop in for some vacation drinks.