Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 17th 2017

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The Chef vs. The Foodie: Pensacola Beach Tour

One of us is a Chef and the other a Foodie. One of us is a local, the other is new to town. One of us was raised on the beach, the other in the mountains. But we both absolutely love food and talking to anyone who will listen to us about it.

Thankfully, after spending years annoying our friends and family with our never-ending opinions on texture, taste, décor, etc… we found each other. After many meals and debates, we decided to start writing it down and Inweekly agreed to publish it—anonymously, of course, because that’s how all good critics do it.

So here we are using this column as the ultimate excuse to eat everything we can, everywhere we can and then tell you all about it—the good, the bad and the meh.

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Pensacola Beach Tour

For our first official column (since ranting to your friends doesn’t seem to count as a legitimate critique) we have chosen to start at the beach. Because why not?

Whether you’ve been here for 25 years, just moved from across the country or are visiting for the weekend, these suggestions will help you avoid the tourist traps, get the right dish and enjoy the ambiance you were promised by those Instagram photos of white sands and umbrella drinks.

The beach definitely has your ever-present tourist options—think chain restaurant vibes even if they aren’t national brands—and we’re definitely not about that. We expect something either with a modern twist or an overly cheesy pirate feel, nothing in between will do. Here are our favorite restaurant recommendations and what you should get at each. There’s nothing too crazy expensive and that wasn’t an accident. We were aiming for your more casual options—you know, somewhere where you don’t have to wash your hair after swimming and sandy feet are always welcome.

Fried Food
Peg Leg Pete’s
Dish: Grouper Nuggets, Stuffed Shrimp, Fried Oyster, Shrimp Basket
Opinion: The above compilation of plates is just the right mix of everything you could want from a southern seafood restaurant and is perfect for two to share. And as always, it comes served with an extra side of beachy vibes.

Fresh Food
Casino Beach Bar and Grille
Dish: Poke Bowl, Ahi Tuna Nachos, Plantain Chips
Opinion: If you’re looking to steer clear of your typical fried seafood, this is the place to go. Their take on Asian fusion gives the menu a wide variety of fresh options.

Outdoor Vibes
Landshark Landing
Dish: Chicken Wings
Opinion: Don’t want to leave the sand for lunch? You don’t have to here. Enjoy lunch or dinner under an umbrella, then siesta on a hammock afterward. The chicken wings are both crunchy and saucy and come paired with crisp veggies, which allows you to fill up and cool down.

Non-Beach Food
Spyros’ Gyros
Dish: Pork Gyro, Ground Lamb and Beef Kebab, Mixed Dip Sampler
Opinion: Just because you’re at the beach, doesn’t mean you have to eat beachy food. This is our newest pick for fresh flavors on the island. Their made-in-house dips are so full of flavor, store-bought hummus cannot compete. We could have walked away happy only having the sampler. For a great to-go item try their Traditional Pork Gyro, which comes smothered in Tzatziki sauce with fries inside.