17 Best Restaurants in Panama City Beach, FL

Panama City Beach, FL
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I feel nostalgic every time I step into one of Panama City Beach’s fabulous restaurants.

It’s hard not to love the sizzling sensations and the tantalizing smells that waft through the salty sea breeze.

The city has a unique way of blending its vibrant beach culture with some genuinely delicious culinary surprises.

With each bite, I relive precious memories and make new ones.

Trust me, food here is not just a necessity; it's an experience, an adventure!

Stay tuned as I walk you through the best restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional dining establishments that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself

David's New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls

There's nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a Saturday afternoon at David's New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls.

The vibe is always fun and friendly, from the flurry of activity behind the counter to the eager anticipation of customers waiting for their orders.

As a regular visitor, I've tried everything on the menu and have yet to find something I don't like.

I usually start my visit with the shrimp po'boy - the shrimp is always fresh, and the soft, pillowy bread is just the right partner.

But make no mistake, the show's star is the ginormous sno-ball.

Their sno-ball is a work of art - the serving is generous, and the flavors are out of this world.

Of course, there's always room for dessert, and I never miss out on the beignet bites.

They are little chunks of heaven - so airy and delicious!

The café is a comfy nook, perfect for a quick meal or leisurely coffee.

Moreover, the counter-serve style gives it a unique charm, making it a place everyone feels at home.

Each visit to David's New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls is a culinary adventure.

This is a slice of New Orleans in our town.

David’s New Orleans Style Cafe & Sno-Balls · 13913 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Murdy's Sunburn Riviera

When you've spent your whole life in this town, you know where the hidden gems are.

One gem tucked away near the beach is Murdy's Sunburn Riviera.

If you're looking for a place with a friendly and warm atmosphere, outstanding service, and mouthwatering food, let me tell you, Murdy's is the place to be.

It was a regular Tuesday evening when I decided to go for a juicy burger and fries at Murdy's.

The hamburger, complete with all the classic fixings - lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and pickles- was a gastronomic marvel.

Their kosher dill sandwich pickle gave the burger an elevated taste that left me speechless.

And the fries? Delightful and served in plenty.

At around $10, the portion sizes left me satisfied and not cheated.

Besides the great food and service, what I particularly like about Murdy's is its small menu.

Comprising about a dozen items, it makes the decision process uncomplicated.

A burger, a double burger, and wings make up 25% of the menu, making it easy to decide what you want without spending too much time pondering.

The wrap-around bar and patio add to the appeal of the place.

And if you're in the mood for some fun, they even have karaoke.

I am looking forward to my next visit. Murdy's Sunburn Riviera Bar and Grill continues to be a local favorite.

Murdy’s Sunburn Riviera · 13500 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar At Zen Garden

Who knew paradise was just around the corner?

If you're searching for a serene escape from the daily grind, look no further than the Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar at Zen Garden.

Nestled amidst lush greenery, this eatery offers health-conscious meals, a sensory treat for your senses.

Stepping into the Lotus Cafe feels like embarking on a mini-adventure.

You navigate through an enchanting garden with a babbling brook and tranquil spots to pause and soak in the calm.

The restaurant is a quaint little haven, teeming with warmth and welcome.

A glance at the menu might reveal unfamiliar dishes.

Taking a culinary leap of faith here is worth it - the mushroom quesadillas are an absolute delight!

After your meal, browse the attached store.

They proudly showcase a variety of locally made, environmentally-friendly products.

From sustainable to organic, their collection is a testament to their eco-conscious ethos.

The Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar at Zen Garden is where you can indulge in the soothing embrace of nature while savoring delicious, wholesome food.

It's a place you hope to stumble upon, and once you do, you'll find yourself yearning to return.

Not every dish may suit your taste, but such is the price we pay for exploring new culinary territories.

But who knows?

You might just discover your next favorite dish here!

Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar At Zen Garden · 707 Richard Jackson Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Health Food-restaurant

The Grand Marlin

When the sun sets, and the city comes to life, there's no better place to be than at The Grand Marlin.

With a fantastic view of the marina and an even better spread on the menu, this gem has become my favorite haunt.

From the moment I walk in, the ambiance captivates me.

The window-side tables offer a panoramic view of the bay - a perfect backdrop to the culinary adventure that awaits.

For starters, I usually go for the lobster fingers.

Combining the crispy lobster and creamy honey mustard sauce is an absolute treat for my taste buds.

The main course is where the true artistry of The Grand Marlin shines.

I swear by their grouper piccata.

The crust is divine, and the generous portion of spinach and whipped potatoes accompany it making for a hearty meal.

On the other hand, my partner is a fan of their gulf shrimp creamy pesto pasta, though they wish they would throw in a few extra shrimp!

I can't wait for the next opportunity to take my visiting friends and family to The Grand Marlin and introduce them to this culinary treasure in Panama City Beach.

The Grand Marlin · 5323 N Lagoon Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant


A visit to Panama City Beach always leaves me longing for something beyond the usual seafood that the city is famed for.

My gastronomic heart often leads me to the delightful flavors of the Mediterranean offered at CAVA.

It's like a mini vacation to Greece in the Sunshine State.

The restaurant's setup, reminiscent of Chipotle's style, is simple yet functional, with various Greek cuisine on display.

Each visit is a chance to explore the refreshing zest of the Mediterranean.

Their dynamic menu offers an inviting mix of greens, grains, bowls, pitas, and salads.

Every bite teases your taste buds with freshness and authenticity that is hard to match.

The indoor and outdoor seating areas are cozy, and the ambiance is inviting.

Fresh juices complement the delightful food, and my favorite is the Tzatziki dip paired with their crispy pita chips.

Perhaps what sets CAVA apart is its commitment to pleasing all dietary preferences.

On a recent visit, I had a chance to taste their crispy falafel pita wrap.

It's a vegan's delight!

Even the sauces used are dairy-free, adding an extra layer of flavor without compromising dietary needs.

Though not as crispy as traditional options, the falafel itself was still a treat to the palate.

CAVA's delicious offerings and warm atmosphere make it a preferred spot for locals and tourists.

A visit here is an experience that keeps drawing you back for more.

My only regret is not having a CAVA in every city I visit!

CAVA · 15620 Panama City Beach Pkwy Suite 200, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, United States
★★★★★ · Mediterranean restaurant

Juan Taco

Since discovering Juan Taco, my life in PCB has never been the same.

Imagine a vibrant, art-filled counter-serve joint that serves your favorite Mexican dishes like a dream.

The enticing aroma of tacos, enchiladas, and other Mexican staples would greet you as soon as you step inside.

I still remember my first order: a shrimp taco and chicken nachos.

The presentation was impeccable. The portion was generous, and the taste was great!

It was worth every penny of just under $20 I spent, including a bottle of water.

But what keeps me returning for more is their chicken taco with chips and queso.

The quantity is sufficient, and the taste is beyond words.

Plus, it's reasonably priced!

They also have outdoor seating on the pier, which gives a lovely, relaxing ambiance.

It's the perfect place to enjoy good food and catch up with friends.

And talking about catching up, it's not complete without their quart of margarita.

I always take visitors here at least once whenever I have visitors.

After all, what's a trip to PCB without experiencing the incredible food at Juan Taco?

Juan Taco · 9902 S Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Taco restaurant

Diego's Burrito Factory & Margarita Bar

On one of those ordinary weekdays, I happened to stumble upon a hidden gem in my town - Diego's Burrito Factory & Margarita Bar.

The place is a laidback haven for food lovers and those searching for a casual hangout spot.

As I walked through the doors, I was greeted by a colorful setup reminiscent of a Mexican fiesta.

The menu offers a tempting selection of build-your-own burritos, tacos, and other Mexican delights.

I particularly enjoyed the freedom of choosing my toppings, making it feel like constructing a masterpiece of flavors.

What differentiates Diego's is its fresh ingredients that add an authentic touch to every dish.

Every mouthful of the burrito I ordered was jam-packed with freshness and an explosion of flavors.

The portions are hearty enough to leave you satisfied yet craving more.

Moreover, the fact that the place is just across the street from my regular haunt makes the food even more accessible.

After a long day, I often find myself heading there for a quick bite.

The swift service and the bustling atmosphere keep the vibe upbeat and energetic.

But it's not just about the food.

Diego's also offers an impressive variety of margaritas to accompany your meal, each more compelling than the last.

If you're in the mood to unwind, their patio offers a cool, relaxed spot to sip your drink as you watch the world pass by.

And the best part? It's a fantastic place to bring the family.

The kids' meals are priced and sized, proving that Diego's has something for everyone.

A weeknight at Diego's has become a cherished routine, spicing up my everyday life with bursts of Mexican cuisine.

Diego’s Burrito Factory & Margarita Bar · 15514 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Dee's Hangout

One thing about living in Panama City is the flawless fusion of southern hospitality and exotic flavors we can enjoy, and let me tell you, Dee's Hangout is one of those places you should not miss out on.

A cozy spot tucked away in a humble strip mall, Dee's Hangout offers a menu full of Cajun & Creole delights, from mouthwatering po' boys to the intriguing jalapeño oysters.

On a typical Friday night, the place is brimming with laughter, soulful chatter, and the enticing aroma of well-spiced dishes.

Now you'd think, being a regular here, I'd have a go-to order, but the truth is, it's a challenge to pick just one dish.

The blackened fish tacos are a favorite, and the blueberry mojitos are a delightful companion.

But the real star of the show? The hush puppies.

Trust me, once you try them, you'll request, "Hush puppies, please," at every visit.

One of the most memorable experiences has to be when my family and I decided to drop in for dinner on a fairly busy night.

It's not just the food that makes Dee's Hangout stand out – it's the genuinely warm service.

If you're ever in Panama City and looking for a place that guarantees a fun, relaxed environment with food that promises to make your taste buds sing, I highly recommend you check out Dee's Hangout.

But a word of advice – make sure you arrive hungry!

Dee’s Hangout · 529 N Richard Jackson Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Sunnyside Grill

"Home is where the heart is," or the saying goes.

I've found my heart tucked away in a little nook of PCB, warmed by the lively chatter and the sizzling of a sunlit grill.

It’s the Sunnyside Grill, the hub of our community and our town's heartbeat.

Waking up to the smell of roasting coffee and the sound of the grill sizzling, you can't help but feel a warm wave of homey comfort wash over you.

As a cash-only establishment, this charmingly nostalgic twist to Sunnyside Grill harkens back to simpler times.

So, I always make sure to have a few bills tucked away in my wallet when I head there.

When you step inside, you're greeted with the mouthwatering aroma of freshly cooked bacon and baked biscuits.

Breakfast at Sunnyside Grill is a testament to classic hometown cooking.

Whether you choose the fluffy pancakes or the hearty omelets, your taste buds, and soul are in for a treat.

Every dish is prepared with the love and care you'd associate with grandma's cooking.

But what truly sets this place apart is its bustling, vibrant ambiance.

It's where everyone is welcome, where you can pull up a chair next to your neighbor and strike up a conversation as the grill keeps sizzling.

The Sunnyside Grill is more than just a breakfast spot or a beach shack—it's a cornerstone of our local community.

Here, we share not just delicious food but also laughter, stories, and a sense of camaraderie.

It's a gem in our little town of PCB, a testament to the magical blend of good food and great company.

Sunnyside Grill · 21828 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Boricuba Cafe

A little slice of the Caribbean has made its way to our town, which goes by the name of Boricuba Cafe.

Nowhere else in the area can you find such authentic Puerto Rican and Cuban fare.

Every visit to Boricuba Cafe is like a mini vacation to the Caribbean.

The tantalizing aromas of traditional dishes being cooked to perfection fill the air as you walk in.

I've tried several dishes, but the cheese-stuffed yuca and the mofongo have become my favorites.

The mofongo, in particular, has earned a spot in my top five meals.

Besides, it's a clean, well-kept place with ample parking, making it a stress-free dining experience.

One caveat for families, however, is that the menu choices for kids are relatively limited, with options like chicken nuggets and fries.

Also, some music videos playing in the background may not be everyone's cup of tea.

The food and the atmosphere are worth it.

Boricuba Cafe brings the flavors of Puerto Rico and Cuba right to our doorstep, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out on an exotic culinary adventure right in the heart of our town.

Boricuba Cafe · 11206 Hutchison Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Salty Goat Saloon

On a typical Saturday evening, you'll find me at the local biker bar, the Salty Goat Saloon.

Nestled between public beach access 44 and 45, it's my go-to spot for a laid-back vibe and great live music.

There's an indescribable charm to the place until you've had a chance to experience it for yourself.

It's open and welcoming, with an atmosphere that makes you feel like you're part of the action, even if you're just hanging out on the patio.

The band's sound always carries perfectly, creating a buzz that makes the place feel alive and vibrant.

It's not just about the drinks, which are delicious and served promptly — their bartenders are experts in ensuring that you never wait longer than a couple of seconds, even during peak hours.

What surprises many first-time visitors is their extensive pub-grub menu.

I can't count how many times I've seen someone's eyes widen in surprise as they take their first bite of the food.

Another aspect that adds to its charm is its location, sitting just off the beach, allowing a view of the salty waters.

There's nothing like sipping a cold beer while watching the waves roll in.

And let's not forget the people — locals and visitors alike are always friendly and up for a good conversation.

The Salty Goat Saloon is a must-visit if you're ever in town.

It captures the welcoming, laid-back spirit of our community like no other.

Salty Goat Saloon · 13006 Front Beach Rd Suite B, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Nick's Slice Of Brooklyn Pizzeria And Bar

If you're craving a slice of New York while living in our beautiful town, you're in luck!

Nick's Slice Of Brooklyn Pizzeria And Bar is the perfect destination that will transport you straight to the bustling streets of Brooklyn.

It reminds me of the classic New York pizzerias with its whole pies and slices, and not to forget, their patio and full bar add to the authenticity.

Let me tell you about my first visit there.

As I walked in, I was greeted by the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked pizzas.

I was instantly drawn to the delicious Mama Mia pizza – two pounds per slice.

I remember buying the whole pie, and it lasted me for days!

That's the kind of place this is – where the food is incredible, and the people make you feel like family.

Another time, I initially planned for takeout but ended up staying for dinner.

Yes, the prices can creep up if you add more toppings, but trust me, it's worth every penny.

And they charge a little extra if you pay by card, but that's a small price for the quality and experience.

Nick's Slice Of Brooklyn Pizzeria And Bar is not just a restaurant; it's a little piece of New York in our town.

If you haven't been there yet, you're missing out.

Even if you visit just once, I promise it's an experience you won't forget.

Nick’s Slice Of Brooklyn Pizzeria And Bar · 13528 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

The Alibi Beach Lounge & Grill

Every town has its little secret hangout spot; in Panama City Beach, it's none other than The Alibi Beach Lounge & Grill.

The minute you walk in, you're greeted like family, the smell of delicious food fills the air, and the lively atmosphere pulls you in.

I've found myself lost in the rhythm of live music more times than I can count.

The talented local musicians always set the perfect mood for the evening, whether you're there for a quiet dinner or a lively night out.

The menu changes periodically, which makes every visit a unique experience.

On my last visit, the Shrimp Po' Boy was a revelation!

The shrimp were cooked to perfection, bursting with flavor, and the accompanying fries were delightfully crispy.

A notable aspect of The Alibi is their appreciation for veterans.

With their heartwarming shout-outs, they make sure these heroes feel valued and recognized.

But the best part? Karaoke nights!

This is the place to be if you're ever in the mood for a sing-off.

There's something magical about singing your heart out with friends, locals, and tourists alike.

So, if you're ever in Panama City Beach, swing by The Alibi Beach Lounge & Grill.

The Alibi Beach Lounge & Grill · 8010 Surf Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Back Beach Barbecue

As soon as I step through the door of Back Beach Barbecue, the enticing fragrance of slow-cooked meats envelops me, and I know I'm in for a delightful BBQ feast.

The pulled pork and brisket sandwiches here are hearty and generous.

While the brisket can lean on the dry side, its taste still makes up for it.

One thing that stands out about Back Beach Barbecue is their alluring beef ribs, which are only available on weekends.

If you're in town, mark your calendars for Friday or Saturday because these full-flavored, juicy, and oh-so-tender ribs are too good to miss!

They even give it out in takeout cups, allowing me to bring back home a piece of the Back Beach BBQ experience.

Another perk of this place is its deeply air-conditioned interior which offers a sweet escape from the blazing heat.

Back Beach Barbecue serves a satisfying meal that'll leave you feeling full and content.

Trust me, those beef ribs alone are worth the trip!

Back Beach Barbecue · 19714 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32413, United States
★★★★★ · Barbecue restaurant

Other Restaurants Nearby

FINNS Island Style Grub (Panama City)

Every town has little secret hotspots, and FINNS Island Style Grub is ours!

This lively street food-inspired shack has been my go-to spot for a quick bite or a lazy afternoon snack.

The menu offers a myriad of fresh, snacky dishes that are a delight to everyone's palate.

What I love about FINNS is its commitment to freshness.

Whether their tacos, smoothie bowls, or fish dishes. Everything tastes like it's been just caught, picked, or squeezed!

Yes, sometimes it gets a bit busy, and you might have to wait a while.

But trust me when I say it's worth the wait.

Their range of tacos is something you must not miss out on.

Each is a burst of flavors, and I often gravitate toward them.

However, it's not just about the tacos at FINNS.

They've also managed to win over my family with their delicious smoothie bowls - a culinary delight, let me tell you!

Despite the occasional busy days and waiting times, the charm of FINNS lies in its ability to serve delicious, fresh food in a relaxed, unpretentious setting.

It's not just a food shack; it's a place that brings together people, flavors, and stories.

But don't just take my word for it.

So the next time you're out and about, why not swing by FINNS?

You might just discover your new favorite dish!

FINNS Island Style Grub · 7210 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Dat Cajun Place Cafe (Panama City)

You know you've found a culinary gem when even the clamor of a packed house can't drown out the sizzle and pop of Cajun cuisine being expertly prepared.

This is what it's like to step into Dat Cajun Place Cafe, which feels more like a lively party than a conventional restaurant.

As a regular here, I have to tell you that the atmosphere is infectious, brimming with the energy of live music and a packed room of patrons enjoying a great time.

The food here is nothing short of spectacular.

For instance, the Rockefeller oysters are a must-try, juicy, and served in a way that elevates the flavors to a new level.

But the truly adventurous should not pass up on the Lobster/Shrimp Grits or the grouper basket with Cajun potatoes.

The latter is a revelation - the fries are so good you will find yourself eating them plain, savoring the taste of every single one.

As for the service, it's as warm and inviting as the atmosphere.

Even during their busiest hours, the wait for your food is never too long.

So, if you ever find yourself craving some authentic Cajun eats accompanied by good tunes and a friendly ambiance, go to Dat Cajun Place Cafe.

Dat Cajun Place Cafe · 2705 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Cajun restaurant

Schooners (Panama City)

What a night!

There's nothing like finishing a busy day with a trip to my favorite waterfront haunt, Schooners.

You've got to love a place where you can kick back, sink your toes in the sand, and enjoy the mesmerizing Gulf Coast sunset.

This time, my friends and I positioned ourselves at the front bar.

We arrived early, which is always wise if you want to snag the best spot.

Ordering was a no-brainer.

Our go-to, the fish tacos and onion rings, hit the spot every time.

The food here is not just tasty but also light on the wallet.

I've always appreciated that they're not out to make a quick buck off their customers.

One thing to note is the parking can be a bit of a hassle.

If you're nearby, it's worth walking or hitching a ride.

It's a small price to pay for the breathtaking sunsets this place offers.

Schooners isn't just about the food or the view. It's also about the people.

The bar is always buzzing with friendly and entertaining patrons.

Last night, we had a blast with a couple who’d just moved to town.

That's the kind of atmosphere you get here.

It's a community where every person you meet can become a new friend.

The only downside? The service can be a bit slow.

But with the laid-back beach atmosphere and the live music, I hardly notice.

Besides, there’s no place I’d instead be waiting.

So, whether you're a gluten-free eater, a seafood lover, or just someone who appreciates a ripping good beach party, you'll find your groove at Schooners.

If you're wandering around Panama City Beach, do yourself a favor and stop at Schooners.

After all, where else can you find a place that serves up fantastic food, stunning views, and great company all in one go?

Schooners · 5121 Gulf Dr, Panama City, FL 32408, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Final Thoughts

Panama City Beach, Florida, is known for its white sandy beaches, emerald green waters, and diverse culinary scene.

Each spot mentioned brings something unique to the table.

Whether you're here for the breeze, the seas, or the eateries, Panama City Beach will surely captivate you in more ways than one.

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