Not Your Regular Southern Eats

Yes, Milton, Florida is very much a laid-back Southern town, as is Navarre Beach, but that doesn’t mean the dining is all barbecue, biscuits-and-gravy and fried chicken. Navarre Beach features a range of cuisine styles that some people might find unexpected. Our visitors enjoy the variety.

Here’s a few:

Papa Nalu Aloha Grill
That’s right, you can eat Hawaiian fusion food in the Florida Panhandle. Conveniently located in a roadside mall in Gulf Breeze, Papa Nula serves an array of “pupu’s” (Hawaiian for appetizers), bowls, wraps, sandwiches and salads. Specialty plates are highlighted by Hala Kahiki Ribs (with pineapple) and Huli Huli Ribs (native Hawaiian, sweet and spicy. Komo I Ka (enjoy).

3499 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL
(850) 932-4837
PapaNalu.com

Boomerang Pizza Kitchen
This homey place doesn’t take you Down Under, but Up North. Boomerang’s specialty is New York-style pizza made from scratch, along with the usual pastas and calzones. The restaurant doesn’t ignore its Southern-ness, though. For dessert, try the Bread Pudding a al Mode. For a sweet-tooth snack, Boomerang’s offers cinnamon-glazed nuts and different types of fudge. Oh, and they have Cheerwine sodas.

5227 Willing St, Milton, FL
(850) 564-1465
Facebook.com/boomerangpizza

Blackwater Bistro
If you suddenly get a craving for Tender Aged Beef Wellington and a bottle of red wine — or something else fancy — this is the place. Blackwater Bistro has a big menu that also includes stuff like baby-back ribs, burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Located in a quaint house with a front porch, folks love the Sunday brunch. The comfy place is located a block away from the Blackwater River.

5147 Elmira St., Milton, FL
(850) 623-1105
BlackwaterBistro.com

Nikko Japanese Steakhouse and Wasabi House
These are is the places for sushi — and more. The Nikko menu has around 85 choices, from your basic California Roll to Baby Octopus Nigiri (sliced raw fish over pressed vinegared rice). Nikko also offers a lively Hibachi table and other Japanese specialties. The restaurant is located in Pace, seven miles southwest of Milton. (4510 Highway 90, Pace, (850) 994-1295) Pace loves its sushi. Less than a mile east you’ll find Wasabi House, which also serves Thai, Chinese and Japanese hibachi.

797 US 90, Milton, FL
(850) 994-9068
NikkoJapaneseSteakhouseSushiBar.com
WasabiHousepace.com

The Slippery Mermaid
This waterfront sushi bar, located in a bungalow, has a bit of Jimmy Buffet-style flair. Its slogan is “Let’s Roll a Fat One.” The Sushi is supposed to be awesome. Indoor and outdoor dining.

8779 Navarre Pkwy, Navarre, FL
(850) 621-2119
Slipperymermaid.com

La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
This family-owned and operated restaurant has two locations, one in Milton and one in Pace. Think of La Hacienda as authentic, slightly upscale Mexican, but without the upscale prices. The ample menu has 54 entrees, and a generous selection of appetizers, sides and desserts.

6471 Caroline St. (Hwy 90), Milton, FL
(850) 623-2558

4601 US-90, Pace, FL
(850) 995-8414
LaHaciendaRestaurant.us

New Jay Garden
If you head to north county, just south of the Alabama line, stop in at this small, no-frills Chinese place in Jay (pop: 650). New Jay Garden has one of those long, numbered menus with all the Chinese basics. One Yelp reviewer wrote, “This place is tiny, but the food is AMAZING!”

3968 FL-4, Jay, FL
(850) 675-5551