The 2019 Guide to Downtown Pensacola
There’s more to Pensacola than the beach- if you’re planning a vacation or traveling for Spring Break 2019, don’t skip downtown Pensacola! After Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Katrina a year later, many of the businesses in downtown relocated or simply shut down, but in the past couple of years the area has had a complete revival! From new restaurants and breweries to boutiques and bakeries and even a cycling studio, there’s something for everyone. You can even catch a minor league baseball game in the BEAUTIFUL Blue Wahoos stadium located right on the water. So here's our SDD complete guide of what not to miss when visiting Downtown Pensacola!
The Fish House: An absolute staple. This spot has been hopping long before Dylan started flight school and it's still here because of delicious food and a bay front view. Wednesday is ladies night and who doesn’t love $2 drinks. The “Glass of Sunshine” (champagne mixed with vodka and limoncello and topped with fresh strawberry puree) is a personal favorite.
Urban Swinery: This is a new restaurant that recently opened and it mixes, you guessed it, pork dishes with a huge wine selection. They have elaborate (but affordable) meat and cheese plates you can get to accompany wine from all over the world, and their “swinery fries” are amazing. I’ve never had something bad to eat (or drink) here.
Pot Roast and Pinot recently moved from Pensacola to downtown proper, and you can sit outside in the breezeway and enjoy everything from cocktails to tapas to a full meatloaf dinner. They also have delicious and unique desserts (s'mores made with homemade marshmallows and chocolate ganache? yum!)
The District Seville Steak and Seafood: If you’re looking for a more upscale eatery, the District is the place to be. Upstairs is a lounge area where you can sip a martini and listen to live piano music while the breeze blows in through the open doors, and downstairs you can feast on some of the best steak and seafood the south has to offer. The menu is all ala-carte and the sides are intended to be shared, so it’s easy to try a lot of things and share some food and laughs with your family and friends. Check out the history behind their beautiful building here!
Historic Pensacola Village: The beautiful historic homes of downtown do not disappoint. Definitely worth a stroll!
National Naval Aviation Museum: Okay, so not technically downtown, but just a 25 minute ride will get you a massive air conditioned hanger full of historic naval planes and helicopters. This place is so much fun for military and non-military alike. Perfect place to bring kids.
Gallery Night: Gallery Night takes place downtown on the 3rd Friday of every month. The streets close down and fill with artists, food and alcohol vendors, live music, street performers and more. You can walk around, listen to the entertainment, enjoy a snack and a beverage, and check out all the art galleries and local artists selling their work.
Pensacola Bay Brewery: This cute spot has tasty beers and a friendly staff, after an afternoon of viewing historic homes you can pop in for a frosty cold beer.
Perfect Plain and Big Top Brewing Co: Both of these are new breweries in town, and both are awesome! Perfect Plain sits right off Palafox St and is great for people watching (and it’s dog friendly!) and Big Top Brewing Co has an excellent food menu to accompany their original brews.
The Wine Bar and Casks and Flights: Although I think Urban Swinery has the best wine list, both of these are great options for the wine lovers out there. Wine Bar has a ton of outdoor seating and is great for people watching along Palafox. Casks and Flights is new and has a different approach to wine tasting. When you enter you get a card you can use to taste over 70 wines “on tap”- you just enter the card into the machine, select the wine you want and the number of ounces, and enjoy! It’s a fun and cheap way to taste lots of different wines. They also have several different types of Mead to sample from Swan Neck Winery and Meadery.
McGuire's Irish Pub : All the Irish pub food you can eat and all the booze you can drink. You must order an Irish Wake complete with souvenir glass. And you'll definitely want to snap a photo of the nearly 2 million dollars worth of one dollar bills hanging from the ceiling... Hope they are insured.
Seville Quarter: Can't do a post about downtown without mentioned the good ol' Seville Quarter. This place IS Pensacola nightlife. It's always packed and if you want to shake your tail feather [do people still say that!?] or watch some killer dueling pianos, this is your spot.