The 10 Best Panama City Beach Restaurants You Must Visit On Vacation

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Panama City Beach, Florida, is a popular vacation destination that boasts stunning beaches, exciting attractions, and a shop-till-you-drop atmosphere. But what if you’re craving something to eat? Panama City Beach has some of the best restaurants in the state. Whether you are here on business or making a trip with the family, enjoy some of the top restaurants in the area.

In this guide to Panama City dining, we’ll take a look at some of the top-rated restaurants that you should absolutely visit during your stay.

1. Pineapple Willy’s: A Fun Beachfront Eatery

Located right on the beach (just off Front Beach Road), this Florida hotspot has been serving up delicious food and drinks since 1984. From BBQ ribs to daiquiris, there’s something for everyone at Pineapple Willy’s.

The atmosphere is lively and inviting, with a pier area that serves as the restaurant and bar. The menu features a wide range of seafood dishes and Caribbean flavors, including their famous ‘Nawlins Po’ Boys and Willy Baskets. 

Make sure to try their signature drink, the Pineapple Willy! It’s a delightful blend of Myers Platinum Rum, Hawaiian pineapple juice, gold rum, and coconut cream that will refresh and delight your taste buds. The restaurant also offers a kids’ menu, making it a perfect spot for family outings.

Pineapple Willy’s is more than just a restaurant – it’s an experience. With live music playing every night, you can enjoy your meal while taking in the beautiful views of the beach. It’s the perfect spot for a night out with friends or family.

2. Dee’s Hangout: Casual Seafood with a Southern Twist

Dee’s Hangout is a casual seafood restaurant with a Southern twist, offering a laid-back atmosphere and mouthwatering entrees. This casual family-owned restaurant serves up authentic Southern-Coastal-Cajun cuisine that will have your taste buds singing. Located at 529 Richard Jackson Blvd, Dee’s Hangout is open and ready to welcome you with its warm hospitality.

Dee’s Hangout offers an extensive menu full of classic dishes with a twist. You can enjoy a mix of seafood dishes, such as Shrimp and Cheddar Grits, and Southern classics like Fried Chicken and Gumbo. Don’t miss their signature dish – the Seafood Mac and Cheese, a decadent combination of Tasso cheese, Bay scallops, crawfish, shrimp, and Panko breadcrumbs.

The best part is the staff – always ready to chat, crack a joke, and make sure you have the best experience! Whether it’s a quick bite or a leisurely dinner, they strive to make sure each customer leaves happy and satisfied.

3. Firefly: Fine Dining with a Romantic Ambiance

Are you on the hunt for something a bit more upscale? If you are in town for a date or looking to impress someone special, Firefly is the perfect place. This award-winning restaurant offers fine dining with an intimate and romantic ambiance. With rave reviews from locals, tourists, and food critics alike, it’s no surprise that Firefly was the recipient of a Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award in 2018.

When you arrive at Firefly, you’ll be welcomed by a warm atmosphere and attentive staff. The menu features dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and imported delicacies. You’ll love every taste and texture, from the signature She Crab Soup to their famous Stuffed Filet. Firefly also offers an extensive wine list, so you can choose the perfect pairing for your meal.

4. Runaway Island: Beachfront Dining and Live Entertainment

Nothing says PCB like dining with a view of the gulf. Located on the Gulf of Mexico (we mean RIGHT on the Gulf), this beachfront restaurant and grill offers two floors of local seafood specialties, live entertainment, and frosty drinks with a breathtaking view.

The menu at Runaway Island features fresh takes on seafood favorites and an array of craft beers and signature cocktails that will quench your thirst after a long day at the beach.

There are live music events throughout the week featuring local bands, DJs, and more. Plus, there’s plenty of outdoor seating so you can soak up the sun while enjoying your meal or drinks.

5. Bayou on the Beach: Authentic Cajun Cuisine

Located at 11115 Hutchison Blvd., Bayou on the Beach Cafe & Oyster Bar is a must-try for anyone who loves seafood, Cajun specialities, and Southern cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes, from fresh-shucked raw oysters to their famous Who Dat Shrimp. 

All of the dishes are made from scratch daily, so you can be sure that you’re getting the freshest ingredients possible. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, making it perfect for a night out with friends or family.

Bayou on the Beach also has a full bar and cold beer selection – plus live music on select nights which adds to the fun atmosphere of the restaurant.

6. Hook’d Pier Bar & Grill: Fresh Seafood and Stunning Views

This locally owned restaurant, situated on the white sands of PCB, offers an incredible variety of freshly caught seafood in a casual beachfront spot. It’s even dog friendly! 

The menu at Hook’d Pier Bar & Grill features a variety of seafood dishes, including Baja Grilled Fish Tacos, Mahi Mahi, and Crab Cakes. You can also build your own burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with their fresh ingredients.

Enjoy the full bar and live music on the weekends, whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a fun night out with friends. You can enjoy stunning beachfront views while dining on delicious seafood dishes with both indoor and outdoor seating options. 

7. Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant: Casual Dining with Live Music

Sharky’s is located right on the beach and serves up fresh gulf seafood and an amazing ocean view. The restaurant has been around since 1986 and is famous for its delicious food and the world’s largest Tiki hut. The menu includes a variety of seafood dishes such as shrimp, crab cakes, grouper sandwiches, and more. They also offer an array of appetizers, salads, and desserts.

Sharky’s is not only known for its food but also for its entertainment. They have live music from local bands and DJs playing all your favorite songs every night. You can even enjoy a cocktail or two at their full-service bar while watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

Sharky’s is a family-friendly restaurant, offering a kids’ menu and a fenced-in playground area for the little ones to play while they wait for their meals. This makes it a great spot for families looking for a fun and casual dining experience on the beach.

8. Bayou Bill’s Crab House: A Unique Oyster Bar Experience

Bayou Bill’s Crab House is a unique oyster bar that offers a wide variety of seafood dishes in a fun and lively atmosphere. This local favorite, located on 4748 Hwy 98W, this restaurant is sure to satisfy your seafood cravings with its locally sourced fish, shrimp, oysters, and the Choctawhatchee Blue Crab.

The atmosphere at Bayou Bill’s is warm and inviting; the perfect spot for a romantic date night or a family dinner. The menu features classic dishes like fried oysters, shrimp po’boys, and crab cakes, as well as more unique options like alligator bites and Southern-style seafood gumbo. No matter what you choose, you can be sure that it will be fresh and flavorful.

For those who are feeling adventurous, Bayou Bill’s also offers a special Crab Feast that includes Alaskan snow crab legs, steamed shrimp, mussels, clams, and potatoes. It’s the perfect way to sample some of the best seafood the area has to offer!

Bayou Bill’s Crab House hosts live music events, creating a lively atmosphere for diners. Enjoy the sounds of local artists while dining on delicious seafood dishes and sipping on refreshing drinks.

9. Pier Park: A Variety of Dining Options in One Location

At Pier Park, savor from a range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, crafted to cater to every palate. Some favorites in this shopping/dining area include: 

  • Margaritaville: A tropical-themed restaurant and bar offering a variety of seafood dishes, burgers, and cocktails.
  • The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House: A seafood restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere, offering a variety of fresh seafood dishes and oysters on the half shell.
  • Dave & Buster’s: An entertainment venue and restaurant offering a variety of American fare, as well as arcade games, billiards, and more.
  • Hofbräu Beer Garden: A German-inspired beer garden offering a variety of German beers, sausages, and pretzels.

Best of all, you can enjoy shopping and entertainment like the Skywheel Ferris wheel and mini-golf before or after dinner. Pier Park is an excellent spot for families, couples, and friends looking for a fun night out.

10. Bayou on the Beach Café and Oyster Bar: Southern Comfort Meets Seafood

Bayou on the Beach Café and Oyster Bar offers a unique dining experience that combines Southern comfort food with fresh seafood. With a laid-back atmosphere and a menu full of delicious dishes, this restaurant is a must-visit for anyone craving a taste of the bayou.

The menu at Bayou on the Beach Café and Oyster Bar features a variety of Cajun and Creole favorites, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée. Pair your meal with a cold beer or a refreshing cocktail for the ultimate bayou dining experience.

In addition to its delicious food, Bayou on the Beach Café and Oyster Bar also offers an oyster bar and live music events. Enjoy the sounds of local artists while dining on fresh oysters and other seafood dishes.

A few more favorites…

These top 10 restaurants aren’t all PCB has to offer. Other local favorites in this gulf coast town include Dat Cajun Place, Schooners, Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant, Saltwater Grill, and The Grand Marlin. 

Make Your Stay Unforgettable with Florida CFY

The hardest part of any PCB vacation is knowing which amazing restaurant to pick! And once your day is done, coming home to a comfortable, clean, and well-equipped vacation rental is the ultimate way to enjoy your stay.

Florida CFY is the perfect place to stay for your next vacation in Panama City Beach. Offering a wide selection of beachfront rentals and luxurious condos, Florida CFY provides its guests with the best accommodations and amenities on the Emerald Coast. 

We hope you have a wonderful time on the Emerald Coast, and don’t forget to visit some of the amazing dining options listed above. Bon appétit!