If you were to ask me a year ago if there was anything that the Okaloosa Island area could use I would have told you that they were in need of some better restaurant choices and somewhere on trend to hang out at. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to introduce you to THE GULF Okaloosa Island, and it is everything we have ever wanted and needed here.
About The Gulf directly from their Website:
“We are passionately committed to offering the freshest, seasonal menus of locally focused ingredients, with a concentration on Gulf seafood and sourcing from our neighboring regional farmers. Our menu changes daily.
The Gulf is a casual yet chic seaside hideaway. Where the sun, sand and lush beachside setting complement the tasty food, beverages and friendly casual service. Recline with your toes in the sand, have a seat at the bar or at a communal table, or meander about, and enjoy the magical vibes, views and tunes.
Our design is centered around shipping containers and includes recycled, reclaimed and salvaged building materials. At The Gulf, we make a concerted effort to practice sustainability and to reduce our carbon footprint.”
When you walk in you will see their gorgeous chalk board menu that changes daily so that they can offer the freshest seasonal choices, giving you the opportunity to try something new each visit. They seem to always offer a Burger and Chicken Sandwich choice along with some small plate choices and then their featured entrees. For bar choices, you actually go and order directly from the bartender. My husband is a huge fan a good IPA and decided to try one of the local craft beers that they offer so he went with the Destin East Pass Ipa and loved it. I am not a huge fan of IPA’s but even I enjoyed that one.
The bar itself is very well thought out and comfortable and they have a nice assortment of everything from several different craft beers to some amazing Mojitos. I opted for a Coconut Mojito and it was unlike any that I’ve had. It was a cool creamy mixture of Coconut with a hint of Key lime and just the right amount of mint thrown it. It was seriously like a dessert in a cup!
When we visited it was during a week night and before 5pm so we beat the normal dinner rush. I was really glad that we decided to go then rather than on the weekend when it would have been more crowded because I wanted to be able to get lots of great photos for this post. We seriously lucked out because we almost had the whole place to ourselves. I don’t know if you get to seat yourself when they are busier but we were allowed to choose our own seating. They offer several different types of table and seating arrangements which I really like. We tend to have lots of company in town visiting us and this will be a great spot to bring family and friends, even when you have a large party.
The fun, eclectic atmosphere here combined with a relaxed waterside vibe is all you need for great night out. Then mix that with the amazing food and drink choices and you have yourself a clear winner all around. We could not decide on what to have for our first visit there so we just went with burgers (Because how can burgers ever be a bad idea?) I chose the Pimento cheese burger with Bacon Jam and my husband just had a regular Cheeseburger.
Their hand cut fries are a french fry lovers dream and the burger was one of the best I have ever had. It was cooked perfectly to my liking, super juicy and that Pimento Cheese mixed with the Bacon Jam was something that I wasn’t sure I would like when I ordered. But oh my, it is such a flavorful combo and makes the burger even that much better. I have actually been dreaming about that burger ever since I ate it (Fat Girl Problems) so I have got to go back when they put it on the menu again!
I cannot wait for Fall so that I can go enjoy the little fire pit areas once it starts cooling off here a little more. But out of all the areas to sit, the wicker sectional couches have to be my favorite. I could so imagine having a girls night out and everyone lounging around on them while drinking one of those amazing Mojitos. The Gulf is a perfect place for a fun, family night out as well. The adults could lounge by the water on the sectionals while the kiddos play in the sand. So there are plenty of different reasons why you should definitely check out The Gulf next time your in town.
We throughly enjoyed everything about our first visit there from the food, to the decor and festive coastal vibe, to the warm and welcoming employees. And as a huge fan of shopping, I really loved their adorable gift shop too. They have so many fun and unique gifts so I will be definitely be doing some Christmas shopping there for sure. I am so happy that they decided to put The Gulf in our little town and cannot wait to go back with some family and friends.