story by


Liesel Schmidt

  |  photos by


Zhalman Harris


hen you’re on the beach, 
you naturally expect to fi nd 
restaurants dotting the sand 
whose menus boast fresh 

fi sh and fl avorful seafood. Some present posh 
plates whose price points require you to shake 
the sand off your feet and don buttoned-
up attire that allows nary a glimpse of your 
favorite swimsuit. Others, however, capitalize 
on the surfside location, welcoming guests to 
dine as they are, sandy-soles and all. It’s that 
surfer state of mind that drives the concept 
behind Surf Hut, an open-air eatery whose 
plates aren’t so much about presentation as 

they are about fun, freshness, and fl avor. 

Since opening in 2014, Surf Hut’s self-

proclaimed vision has been to be “the picture-
perfect spot for beachfront dining where 
diners can take in the sunshine, salty air, and 
gorgeous Gulf views right from their table.” 
Under the operation of Saltwater Restaurants, 
Inc., a group whose portfolio of ten 
restaurants located throughout the Emerald 
Coast offering fresh fare that has arguably 
made them iconic, Surf Hut is certainly in 
good company, using that knowledge base 
as a diving point for setting up a dining 
destination for food that has people salivating.   

Offering everything from fi sh to seafood 

such as oysters, shrimp, and crab, Surf Hut 
has everything you’d anticipate on a plate 
when you stroll on in to a place like this. 
But they don’t just stick to the expected. 
Instead, they mix it up by bringing the tide 
inland, adding turf in along with all that surf 
with dishes like house-smoked pulled pork 
barbecue tacos and sweet and tangy sauce-
slathered barbecue ribs. Regardless of what’s 
on order at this casual outpost of shoreline 
cuisine, however, there’s one thing they’re 
never casual about: their ability to develop 
excellent fl avor and their commitment to 
using ingredients whose superior quality help 
bring that fl avor to life.

Sourcing only locally caught shrimp, 

oysters, and fi sh whose availability depends 
on the season, Surf Hut is also a proud 
participant in the Choctawatchee Basin 
Alliance’s oyster shell recycling program, 

56-57 CoastalCuisine - Surf Hut.indd   1

6/26/18   11:14 AM