Fish Out of Water: Fresh from the gulf and the oven

By Pam Windsor
June 12, 2023

WATERCOLOR – Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, Fish Out of Water offers a unique dining experience so close to the beach, you can come in and dine while wearing flip flops and cover-ups.

Located within the WaterColor Inn and Resort, “FOOW” as it is sometimes called, is known for Southern Coastal cuisine and stunning views.

Fish Out Of Water
Fish Out of Water’s Dos Fish Tacos.

True to its name, Fish Out of Water has a few locally sourced seafood dishes specially prepared by its world class culinary team. You might want to try the Gulf Oysters, Shrimp & Grits, or the popular Dos Grouper Tacos. Those tacos are made with blackened grouper, avocado, cabbage, salsa, cilantro, and lime.

FOOW is a family-style restaurant that strives to offer something for everyone, so there are non-seafood favorites, as well. 

The FOOW Burger comes with an array of fixings, but guests can also add an egg, bacon, or avocado to suit their tastes. There is also the fully loaded signature BLT with smoked turkey breast, avocado, Cajun aioli, applewood bacon, tomato, farm greens, served on its famous made-from-scratch sourdough bread.

“The BLT is a very popular item for us,” explained Matt Moore, corporate director of projects and concepts for The St. Joe Company, which owns FOOW.) “We make our own sourdough bread and, in fact, make about 30 to 40 loaves every day. People often ask, ‘Where do you get this bread?’ We’re able to say, we don’t get it, we make it here, fresh.”

Moore said that’s one just example of the extra steps taken at FOOW to make both the food and the experience shine. He credits that to the dedicated culinary team and hospitality staff determined to keep guests coming back.”

“A lot of restaurants serve similar things in this area, but we add a little uniqueness to what we serve. Guests might not always be able to put their finger on exactly what makes it special, but it’s there. And a lot of it has to do with the people we hire. They become family, they care, and that translates to the dish at the end of the table.”

Fish Out of Water
Fish Out of Water’s WaterColor French Toast.

The restaurant has become a hot spot for brunch. And while there are many brunch items to choose from, like the WaterColor Omelet with baby Arugula, tomatoes and Swiss cheese; or the Avocado Toast, FOOW’s version of French toast is a big draw.

“Our French toast has been a staple for us,” Moore said. “Everybody comes to Fish Out of Water for brunch, including myself, for the French toast.”

Specialty desserts are also a big deal at FOOW. Make sure to save room to sample the ice cream sandwich, key lime pie, or Dirt Road Anthem (also known as Mississippi Mud Pie).

Adults may want to try one of the bar’s creative specialty cocktails, with whimsical names like Swim to the Second Sandbar, Beach Hair Don’t Care, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

And whether you’re dining here with family, friends, or a special date, you’re sure to enjoy it with that up-close view of the water.

“You get the Gulf view here,” Moore said. “We’re only one of about three restaurants that really has a true Gulf-front seating view in the 30A area.”

FOOW added more seats during renovations several years ago to make sure guests have less of a wait during peak dinner hours.

Fish Out of Water is at 34 Goldenrod Circle in Santa Rosa Beach. Open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., reach them by phone at 850-534-5050, or visit