Where to eat upscale
Pensacola has a plethora of casual eateries worth checking out, but sometimes it’s good to enjoy the finer things in life.
While there’s certainly no place that requires diners to wear a suit and prom dress, there are a handful of high-end dining establishments that raise the bar.
Below are six Pensacola restaurants that are worth the price of admission.
1504 W. Intendance St.
Alice’s is an elegant, upscale dining experience born out of Alice Guy who ran Joe Patti’s from 1992 to 2002. During her tenure at Joe Patti’s, she introduced a delicatessen, sushi deli and wine boutique .
In 2020, Alice’s won the News Journal’s Best New Restaurant award in its Best of the Bay competition which allowed locals to vote for their favorite businesses.
Alice’s offers comfort food in a more upscale environment, although you don’t need to dress up to enjoy it.
On the menu: Chilean sea bass, swordfish panzanella, New Orleans BBQ shrimp, veal oscar and more.
400 S. Palafox Street
Jackson’s Steakhouse is perhaps one of Pensacola’s oldest fine dining establishments. Founded in 1998, the restaurant is on the ground floor of the revitalized 1860s building where H. Pfeiffer & Company Mercantile operated. Jackson’s was born after a group of entrepreneurs wanted to renovate the building and open a restaurant to commemorate the 1821 event when General Andrew Jackson accepted the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States, and where the American flag was raised in Pensacola for the first time.
The meat Jackson’s uses is grain-fed beef raised in the Midwest. The cut and seafood are all hand-picked and deliver flavors of wet-aged beef.
On the menu: Gulf Coast lionfish, small wood-fired hickory fillet with fried green tomatoes and chunks of blue crab, Americana tournedos and more.
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22 N. Palafox St.
The Iron Restaurant is an elegant, upscale restaurant that offers fresh, local and regional specialties with ingredients from around the world. Much of the food has a southern flair with a contemporary twist, like the truffle parmesan-crusted salmon.
IRON opened in the summer of 2012 at Marcus Pointe Golf Club. It only served lunch at the time but expanded into dinner once word got out. The restaurant moved to its current location in 2014 and has received critical acclaim since its inception.
On the menu: Iron Lyonnaise, Nola BBQ shrimp and grits, Joyce Farms marinated chicken breast.
27 Palafox Square
Global Grill is Pensacola’s only upscale tapas restaurant. Tapas are small plates of food meant to be shared with friends and family. In other countries around the world, it’s quite popular to go tapa-hopping, where you go out with friends and shop around ordering only tapas. Global recreates this experience, but without the jumps.
On the menu: lamb lollipops, pork tenderloin medallions, lobster cheesecake, butcher’s block and more.
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123 Government Street E.
The District is Seville’s upscale neighborhood steakhouse, specializing in dry-aged beef. The district’s aging process includes evaporating moisture from the muscle to create a greater concentration of beef flavor and letting the enzymes in the beef break down the connective tissue so the meat is more tender.
The restaurant occupies a two-story building that was originally built by John Bosnaham, a doctor who owned several other properties in Pensacola, in 1888. The building has changed hands several times since then, but the neighborhood retains its historic , old-world decor with modern, high-end furnishings throughout the building.
On the menu: Hand-cut and dry-aged steaks, steakburgers, dry-aged pork chops, Parmesan-crusted sea scallops and more.
Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano
101 E. Intendance St.
Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano is one of Pensacola’s newer restaurants, but it has a lot of pedigree. Located in the middle of downtown Pensacola and owned and operated by celebrity chef and Food Network star chef James Briscione, Angelena’s offers Pensacola a unique dining experience.
The menu is full of classic Italian cuisine with southern touches sprinkled throughout. There are plenty of seafood options fresh from the Gulf of Mexico and a wood-fired oven that provides a key ingredient for everything from pizzas to meatballs and desserts.
On the menu: Doppio ravioli, rigatoni and meatballs with vodka, sorrentine ravioli, 11 signature pizzas and more.