13 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Northwest Florida You Don’t Want to Miss

December 4, 2023

A trip to Northwest Florida will undoubtedly include plenty of beach time, maybe hitting a few attractions and attending a fun festival, but don’t forget to savor the local flavors during your visit. Whether looking for an open-air cafe on the beach, a local hangout with the tastiest burger, or a fun place serving more than just a kid’s menu, we’ve got the scoop on kid-friendly restaurants from Pensacola to Panama City Beach!


Known as the “City of Five Flags,” Pensacola offers a lovely mix of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences. Beyond the beach, you’ll find many kid-friendly restaurants worth a try.

McGuire’s Irish Pub

A local favorite, McGuire’s Irish Pub is an iconic restaurant well-known for its cozy atmosphere, award-winning food, and extensive beverage selection. No need to look elsewhere for a good filet mignon; McGuire’s steaks have been voted as the “Best of the Bay” for eight years in a row. Expect to find enormous portions and a menu selection that’s anything but ordinary. Pub fare for the adults, an eclectic burger menu for the kids (peanut butter, banana, bacon burger, anyone?), and incredible desserts all around!

Laguna’s Beach Bar and Grill

Beyond delicious food, Laguna’s Beach Bar and Grill also boasts an adventure park and watersports activities! Kids can enjoy burgers, pizzas, and chicken tenders, then ride go-karts or play in the splash pad. Book in advance if you want to parasail or kayak in the calm waters of Santa Rosa Sound. 

Flounder’s Chowder House

With a laid-back vibe, family-friendly atmosphere, and delicious local fare, Flounder’s Chowder House is a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. Select from various tasty eats, including fresh seafood, sushi, choice steaks, and their signature chowder. Kids will love the burgers, sandwiches, and tacos, and you can enjoy it all on their outdoor patio, complete with ocean breezes, scenic views, and live music.


Not only does Navarre provide a peaceful escape from life’s hurried pace, but “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place” offers uncrowded beaches, friendly locals, and fabulous fare. 

Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors Grill

Enjoy the best of both worlds at Juana’s Pagodas and Sailor’s Grill, featuring picturesque views of Santa Rosa Sound and freshly prepared dishes. Savor a seafood platter or fish sandwich while watching the sand volleyball games on the beach just beyond your table. Be sure to request the kid’s meals served on a frisbee, then toss them around in the sand after lunch! 

Dewey Destin’s

Dewey Destin’s offers everything from steamed seafood and fried baskets to sandwiches and desserts, all overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound. “Catch of the Day” specials showcase local favorites, including fresh cobia, grouper, and triggerfish, served grilled, blackened, or bronzed. Order up, take it outside,  and look for dolphins while enjoying your meal. 

Okaloosa Island

Okaloosa Island is an adventurist paradise with surfers, cyclists, walkers, and joggers traversing the three-mile stretch and several excellent restaurants within walking distance.

The Gulf

The Gulf features a chic waterfront experience with indoor and outdoor dining, a full bar, and live music. A seasonal menu means only the freshest will do, and a few of our favorites include the smoked tuna dip, voodoo pasta, mahi mahi tacos, and seafood boil. The kids will love playing yard games in the sand while you sit back and watch the sunset over the Santa Rosa Sound.

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island

The Boardwalk is a beach access point along the Gulf of Mexico, featuring beach shops, ice cream parlors, and eateries. With four kid-friendly restaurants, you’ll find everything from beachside burgers to southern classics to fresh seafood. After dinner, kids can play on the playground in the sand, hit the splash pad, or try their hand at volleyball on the beach. There’s also a spectacular fireworks show every Wednesday during summer!


Known for stunning white beaches, land and water activities, and family-friendly attractions, Destin also boasts world-class restaurants. “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” is renowned for serving fresh and locally sourced fare year-round.


Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Fudpuckers,  the only place in Destin where you can feed and take photos with alligators! This family eatery has a playground, arcade games, and an award-winning kids menu featuring burgers, seafood, kiddie cocktails, and milkshakes!


Lulu’s is always a fun place for lunch or dinner, featuring a scratch-made menu that never disappoints. Start with the fried green tomatoes or Crazy Sista’s crab dip before moving on to a pulled pork sandwich or fried group Po’Boy. The kids won’t mind—they’ll be too busy playing on the ropes course and getting custom hair wraps and henna tattoos!


The communities along 30A are as varied as the cuisine, and seafood is often the star of the show on this sublime stretch of coastal paradise.

Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar

Oysters, shrimp, and crabs are popular menu items at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar, but you’ll also find burgers and chicken wings at this kid-friendly restaurant. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance, indoor and outdoor seating, and gorgeous Gulf views while chilling to the soothing sounds of local bands.

The Big Chill

The Big Chill is a local hangout buzzing with a delightful selection of delicious eats, good vibes, and family fun. Do a little shopping, rent bikes, or just enjoy some smoked wings, fried pickle chips, and an ice-cold beverage while the kids burn off some energy running around the expansive grassy areas.

North Beach Social

Soak in the beauty of the Choctawhatchee Bay at North Beach Social, where you can find good food, great views, and laid-back coastal vibes! From appetizers and entrees to desserts and a great kids’ menu, everyone in the family will enjoy a taste of their offerings. Plus, there’s plenty of outdoor seating where kids can play while waiting for the food to be served. Jam to live music six days a week and get cozy with a bonfire by the beach every night!

Panama City Beach

A delightful mix of crazy fun attractions, beautiful beaches, and family-friendly restaurants brings visitors to Panama City Beach, many returning every year for more fun in the sun.

Pompano Joe’s

Mix some fresh Gulf seafood with Caribbean flavors, and you’ll end up with the delightful dishes served at Pompano Joe’s. Dine on Mahi tacos, garlic-crusted grouper, and Jamaican Jerk chicken on the deck, then walk on the beach and look for seashells. If you miss this kid-friendly restaurant in Panama City Beach, try their sister location in Destin.

Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant

Caribbean nachos, spicy Thai shrimp, and gator bites are just a few ways to start a meal at Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant. This casual, family-friendly restaurant is just steps from the sand and offers a menu with savory pasta dishes, fresh seafood, steaks, and more. The kids can play on the pirate ship playground in the sand while you catch up on your favorite sports teams on the flat screens inside!

Why not make things easy? Stay with Scenic Stays, and you’ll be just a hop, skip, and jump away from all these fantastic kid-friendly restaurants and many more!

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