A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

Caribbean Joe’s Ranks #1

Restaurant Opened in May

I’m an avid user of TripAdvisor when traveling – always in hope of finding that local treasure or hidden gem. Caribbean Joe’s is one of those gems. The little restaurant just opened at the start of the summer season, and by mid-July, restaurant reviewers had skyrocketed it to the top of the rankings – #1 out of the 265 restaurants in Destin, Fl.

We paid a visit to see if the food backed up the ranking. We were very pleased with our late lunch decision. The recipes are innovative and the food is very fresh. Giant loaves of freshly baked bread were just out of the oven when we dropped by after a beach visit.  

I think the positive reviews are also a shout-out to the owners, Brian and Allison, who are pursuing their dream to own a restaurant at the beach. It’s evident the young couple are working hard. Allison says she loves cookbooks and creating special recipes. She will also be your server with a delightful personality. Brian is the man behind the grill and prep counter, putting together the sandwiches, paninis, and salads.


  • What to order? Cuban panini, shrimp panini, tequila-lime steak burrito, or the jammin’ turkey club (turkey club is served on giant slices of the fresh baked bread).  All were delicious with my favorite being the Cuban panini.
  • Which side dish? Jamaican black bean & corn salsa or parmesan peppercorn pasta salad. The black bean dish was my favorite and I was thankful for yummy options that are not chips or fries.
  • What to drink? Mango margarita at happy hour. There is also a nice beer selection and shaved ice for the little ones.

  • Where is it located? The restaurant is in downtown Destin at 517 Harbor Blvd. Look for a bright yellow building with blue trim, across from Gilligan’s.
  • Atmosphere? Think beach sandwich/pina colada shack, but not on the water. Most of the seating is outside under picnic umbrellas.  
  • Hours? Stop by Monday-Saturday from 11-9 p.m. with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 

The two owners are the cooks, bartenders, and servers so you might need to enjoy the slight wait for your order with a smidge of patience. Caribbean Joe’s also offers military and local discounts.


Kendra Veach

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