13 BEST Restaurants in Panama City Beach (from a local)

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This is a list of the best restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida. We own property in Florida near Panama City Beach so I’m very familiar with these restaurants! We visit them all the time.

For Family travel, one of the most beautiful and fun destinations in Florida is Panama City Beach. PCB is known for family activities such as world-class fishing, waterparks, and high-quality shopping destinations. With an average of 320 days of sunshine, you and your family will enjoy the sun and relaxation that comes with the atmosphere in PCB. But when on a beach vacation, fresh seafood and great restaurants are a must.

The top restaurants in Panama city beach, Florida from a local

Panama City Beach boasts of many wonderful restaurants of all different cuisines. Since we own property on the Emerald Coast and are semi-locals to the area, we have tried most of the restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Listed below are the best Restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida:

1. SALTWATER GRILL

This restaurant offers a fine dining experience serving dishes of seafood, steaks, and pastas, and many appetizers such as lobster rolls. lobster bisque, and smoked tuna dip. The atmosphere is upscale and they have a large aquarium in the main seating area of the restaurant. This is my favorite ‘date night’ type restaurant and a must-visit when we are in Panama City Beach. Don’t miss their lobster rolls, they are the best!

2. SCHOONER’s RESTAURANT

Schooner’s is located directly oceanfront so this restaurant offers BOTH great food and a fun atmosphere. We loved the fish sandwich, fish and chips, and the desserts were a repeat-worthy experience.

3. DAVID’S NEW ORLEAN’S STYLE SNO-BALLS

David’s Sno-balls is known for its New Orleans-themed food, from Po boys to beignets, This is a reasonably priced family stop. Their frozen desserts, which include ice cream-filled snow cones, will be enjoyed by kids and adults.

4. THOMAS DONUT AND SNACK SHOP

Thomas’s has been a part of the Panama City Beach lifestyle for many years. I remember family vacations to PCB as a child which included a visit to Thomas Donut and Shack Shop. The donut menu changes daily and they usually sell off early! But the restaurant not only serves incredible donuts and breakfast items but also hamburgers and various types of sandwiches and seafood platters.

Thomas Donuts Photo of Thomas' Donut and snack shop in Panama City Beach, Florida

5. SALTY SUE’S RESTAURANT

Salty Sue’s is a true local favorite. It was highly recommended to me by our realtor when we purchased a condo in Panama City Beach. We love their Reuben sandwich and fresh seafood. Their menu is several pages long, which provides many options for even the pickiest family member.

6. C – LEVEL BAR AND GRILL

If you love crab cakes, C Level serves some of the best in Panama City Beach. C Level is located on the east end of PCB on Front Beach Road. There are heavy crowds at this restaurant which is always a good sign of good food. The grouper sandwich and prime rib are highly recommended.

7. FIREFLY RESTAURANT

Firefly Restaurant is located on the east end of Front Beach Road and offers a “casually elegant” dining experience with high-quality seafood, pasta, and steak options. It is a popular dining choice and is usually packed, but they do seasonally offer an early dining option that is moderately priced. The dining area is unique as it has a live oak tree on display in the middle of the room. This is a perfect date night option!

Inside Firefly Restaurant Photo of Firefly restaurant in Panama City Beach, Florida

8. CAPTAIN ANDERSON’S RESTAURANT

Captain Anderson’s is a classic restaurant in PCB. There is so much history and tradition in this landmark restaurant. Captain Anderson’s is located on the waterfront on Grand Lagoon off of Thomas Drive and has earned numerous awards including being named one of America’s top 50 restaurants and Best Seafood Restaurant from Southern Living Magazine.

When visiting PCB, it is a treat to visit this restaurant while the fishing fleets are unloading their fresh catches for the day. Their menu includes many seafood, steak, and pasta options, in addition to wines and desserts.

9. THE GRAND MARLIN RESTAURANT AND OYSTER BAR

The Grand Marlin offers “a casual, comfortable, top-notch restaurant on the Gulf, serving the finest seafood”. My family has eaten at The Grand Marlin many times and it is fantastic every. single. time. We love the grouper piccata for the main course, followed by key lime pie for dessert. My favorite appetizer in PCB is their Lobster tails, they are fried to perfection and served with a tasty dipping sauce. I highly recommend this restaurant!

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10. SCHUCKUM’S OYSTER PUB

Schuckum’s is known for its oysters but they also serve seafood sandwiches, platters, burgers, and more. The atmosphere is unique because the walls are covered with dollar bills. It makes for a unique place to eat and take pictures.

Inside Schuckum's Restaurant Photo taken inside Schuckum's Restaurant in Panama City beach, Florida

11. PINEAPPLE WILLY’S

Pineapple Willy’s is the place to be! It offers a one-of-kind touristy type atmosphere and it is one of the most popular stops in PCB. It is located directly on the beach and they sell adorable T-Shirts. Some of their most popular dishes are their ribs and the smoked tuna dip. My take on Pineapple Willy’s is that it’s geared toward tourists and their T-Shirts make a great souvenir.

However, I give the food 3/5 stars. The benefit of visiting Pineapple Willy’s is that is on the beach.

12. POMPANO JOE’S SEAFOOD HOUSE

Pompano Joe’s is part of a chain restaurant which also includes The Back Porch, among others. I love to visit this restaurant for their chicken rolls and hot wings appetizer. Their food and appetizer menu changes regularly so check their website before going.

They have happy hour from 2:00 to 5:00 and serve appetizers and specials at discounted prices. You can dine outside on their patio which is directly across the street from the ocean. We also enjoy walking around Pier Park while we are there.

13. DAT CAJUN PLACE CAFE

The Dat Cajun Place Cafe is a casual hangout for eating all of your Cajun food favorites. They have many options from seafood, burgers, fried pickles, and oysters, just to name a few. They also have nightly music and daily happy hours.

PCB has a wide variety of places to dine, and so many options for fresh seafood that it can be hard to decide where to eat. I hope this list helps you narrow down your choices!

13 Top restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida

Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite restaurant in PCB. I would love to hear from you!

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