Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant by the beach or an upscale, romantic meal out, Panama City Beach has a wide variety to places to choose from. Known for its fresh, local seafood, this laidback town offers everything from crab stuffed mushrooms and smoked tuna dip to colourful drinks featuring mini-umbrellas. 

    No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, there’s something for you in Panama City Beach. This list shows you the best things to eat in Panama City Beach.


    Fresh crab at Bayou Bill’s Crab House

    A casual, beachfront restaurant

    Seafood in Panama City Beach is exceptionally tasty and fresh, and the crab at Bayou Bill’s Crab House is no exception. This casual seafood eatery offers classic dishes and is famous for its Crab Feast, served with your choice of Alaskan snow crab legs, blue crabs, and Alaskan Dungeness crab. Pair it with corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, or steamed veggies. 

    Aside from being easy-going and light on the wallet, Bayou Bill’s is also home to one of the best desserts in Panama City Beach: classic key lime pie.

    Location: 23100 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 850-235-1010


    Seared tuna at Saltwater Grill

    A huge, panoramic saltwater aquarium provides the backdrop for this upscale seafood restaurant, located in the heart of Panama City Beach. Offering local seafood sourced from the Gulf, Saltwater Grill is a must for visitors looking for great food and a charming atmosphere. 

    Try their signature Sesame Seared Tuna, paired with jasmine rice, vegetable slaw, ginger dressing, and a sweet soy glaze. Grab a drink at the onsite bar and watch exotic sea creatures swim along the colourful tropical reef nearby.

    Location: 11040 Hutchison Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 4 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 850-230-2739


    All-American Breakfast at Jesse’s Place

    Popular comfort food breakfast cafe

    For those looking for a hearty and filling breakfast, there is no better place than Jesse’s Place. Despite its rather hidden location, this local favourite draws a huge crowd with its superb food. 

    Jesse’s is a daytime eatery serving classic American comfort food - its chicken and dumplings are always perfectly cooked. Pair this generously-sized dish with biscuits, grits, or sausage. Get there early to snag a table as there is usually a waitlist by 8am.

    Location: 7008 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 850-708-1356


    Famous pastries at Andy’s Flour Power

    Popular pasty and breakfast eatery

    One of the best cafes in Panama City Beach, Andy’s Flour Power serves a delicious breakfast every day until 2 pm. Aside from their famous muffins, pastries and croissants, this colourful eatery is known for their savoury 3-egg rolled omelette topped with just about anything from mushrooms and onions to feta and roasted tomatoes. 

    It’s cooked crepe thin and served with your choice of toast: white, wheat, rye, biscuit or walnut raisin. Visit on a weekend morning to enjoy their live jazz shows.

    Location: 2629 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to 2 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 1 pm

    Phone: +1 850-230-0014


    Barbecue ribs at Pineapple Willy’s Restaurant

    Casual barbeque eatery with live music

    Panama City Beach is also known for delicious barbeque ribs and there’s nowhere better to try them than at Pineapple Willy’s Restaurant. Located just a few blocks south of Long Beach, this seaside family restaurant serves some of the best ribs in town.

    Cooked for over 8 hours and basted with BBQ sauce infused with Jack Daniel’s, the ribs are rounded out by a hearty side of baked beans, pineapple coleslaw, and garlic toast. Ask for a table outdoors for views of the Gulf as well as live music on select nights.

    Location: 9875 S Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 850-235-0928


    Healthy eats at Lotus Café & Juice Bar

    Healthy eatery and juicery

    Lotus Café offers a health-conscious menu using all-natural and organic ingredients. Located in a beautiful garden setting, Lotus’ menu includes juices, smoothies, seafood, chicken, vegetarian and vegan options, salads, and wraps. Visit early in the morning to try their detoxifying V-12 juice, made with celery, lemon, kale, and cayenne pepper among a laundry-list of other healthy ingredients. For those looking for a heartier meal, the lotus wraps are a must-tries.

    Location: 707 Richard Jackson Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 850-234-1651


    Shaved ice cones at David’s New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls

    Family-owned shaved ice stand

    A suitable option for families with young kids, David’s New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls is where most of the locals opt for a sweet post-dinner treat. David’s is known for their Stuffed Sno-Balls which features creamy soft-serve ice cream in the middle of your favoured shaved ice flavour. 

    With over 50 to choose from – including sour apple, peppermint, and pink lemonade – there’s bound to be a flavor that everyone in the family will enjoy.

    Location: 13913 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 850-236-1998


    Seafood appetisers at Runaway Island

    Family-friendly seafood restaurant with ocean views

    Want to try a little bit of everything? Opt for seafood appetisers at Runaway Island. Try their hand-breaded coconut shrimp, spicy shrimp crab dip, or lightly breaded calamari, but be sure to make room for their all-famous Secret Harbor Tuna. 

    This delightful appetizer features yellowfin tuna, seared rare and sliced thin, presented on baked wontons with ponzu (citrus-based sauce) and wakame (edible seaweed) salad. Head for an early dinner and catch a classic Florida sunset.

    Location: 14521 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +1 850-634-4884


    Seafood gumbo at Pompano Joe’s Seafood House

    Casual eatery with the best gumbo in Florida

    You can’t visit Panama City Beach and not try gumbo at Pompano Joe’s Seafood House. This laidback family restaurant is often lauded as the best place for authentic gumbo. 

    Located steps from the beach, this Cajun-inspired dish boasts a strong flavour and is a 3-time champion at the Sandestin Gumbo Festival. This popular winter event dates back to the 1980 -restaurants from all over Florida battle for the best gumbo trophy at the 2-day cook-off.

    Location: 16202 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 850-233-1790


    Shrimp sandwiches at Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant

    Seaside eatery with live entertainment

    For amazing seafood and an amazing view of the Gulf of Mexico, head to Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant. Sharky's is known for seafood and local favourites. You can enjoy live entertainment on the restaurant’s massive seaside deck. 

    Order their popular Shrimp Po-Boy sandwich: a generous portion of fried popcorn shrimp on a hoagie roll served with lettuce & tomato. Pair it with their Shark Attack speciality drink for a truly delightful meal.

    Location: 15201 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, USA

    Open: Open daily 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 850-235-2420

    Fiorella Bertola | Contributing Writer

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