Beach Conditions

2024 Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Restaurant Week

The Emerald Coast Open Restaurant Week, taking place May 10-18, is an event hosted by Destin-Fort Walton Beach during the week leading up to the Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament. This event provides an opportunity for local restaurants to put their spin on a lionfish special while educating their customers about the impact of this invasive species. In turn, our mission is to encourage restaurants to include lionfish on their menu on a regular basis to help promote lionfish removal efforts.

How to Participate

To encourage your participation, approximately 20-25 lbs. of lionfish fillets will be provided at no cost to you. Each night, one participating restaurant will have an opportunity to showcase their dish. In exchange, Destin-Fort Walton Beach, the Emerald Coast Open, and its partners will promote your restaurant as the exclusive location. We encourage you to price your dish as if you paid market price ($5.00/lb.) for whole lionfish. We also recommend you prepare a small dish such as an appetizer to increase the number of dishes served. In previous years, each restaurant has sold out before the nights end, highlighting the value of lionfish on your menu!


Secret judges will visit your restaurant on its night to see how you chose to promote and present the dish, the how you chose to educate your customers about the impacts of lionfish, level of promotion for the Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament and Festival, and general knowledge about the lionfish invasion. Don’t worry, we will provide information about the tournament. More information about lionfish can be found at the link below.


The winning restaurants will be given a spot in Restaurant Week highlighted on Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s social media, and included in numerous other media opportunities throughout the year. Remember, this is just a friendly competition to promote lionfish awareness.

Click here to learn more about lionfish and their impact.