Panama City Beach Eats

Panama City is certainly not the place I would choose for a vacation or weekend getaway, but Mr. ARB’s parents live down there, so we find ourselves in Panama City about once a year. We were down there last month, and I researched and selected about twenty restaurant possibilities, even though we were only gonna be there for like three days. Yeah, I’m kind of dorky like that. Funny thing is that we only ended up going to one Panama City restaurants on my list. There’s always next year.

Ditching an invite for cereal with the rents, we slept in and stopped in at Tony’s Taste of Ybor City for lunch. It wasn’t on my list, but Mr. ARB picked it and I’m always in the mood for some good Cuban. For a restaurant that boasts Cuban, Spanish and Italian, the menu was really small. We opted to share everything starting with the Ropa Vieja Empanada followed by the Cuban Sandwich. The Empanada was crispy and the filling was juicy and tender. It is served with a small salad, which was a little confusing as it isn’t really a starter but too small to be an entree. For the $4 they’d be better off to serve two of them as a starter. The Cuban sandwich was large, tasty with crunchy bread and sweet ham – plenty enough to fill us both up.

8100 S Thomas Dr
Panama City Beach, FL 32408
850 230 3840

Next we stopped in on a lazy Sunday at Liza’s for brunch. Liza’s is the top rated restaurant in Panama City Beach on UrbanSpoon, not that I based my decision to go there solely on this. The menu looked awesome. Poached eggs topped with Hollandaise sauce over fried eggplant? Yes, please. They don’t take reservations and the place is quite small. You place your order at the counter, pay, and shortly after it is brought to your table. I was worried we’d have a long wait to find a table, but we popped in at the perfect time, easily snagging a table. But by the time we got our food, the line was about 10 deep. We started off with Bloody Mary’s which were superb. They have half portions of some breakfast items but what’s the point? Mine wasn’t huge and I ordered the full portion. Mr. ARB’s Breakfast Burrito, on the other hand was quite substantial. I wouldn’t hesitate to order either breakfast again. They also serve sandwiches.

7328 Thomas Dr
Panama City Beach, FL 32408
850 233 9000
Liza’s Website

Liza's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

That same Sunday, having skipped lunch, we were pretty peckish by early evening. We’d already agreed not to eat the reheated fish Mr. ARB’s parents would no doubt drag out for like the third day in a row. So heading for a “walk on the beach” we made our escape to have a decent dinner. We stumbled upon a bar called Buckaloo’s which sounds like a tourist trap if I’ve ever heard of one, but the live music sounded good, so we thought we’d give it a try.

Starting with some popcorn shrimp with a tangy sauce, dinner was off to a good start. We then split the gigantic half bbq chicken. Tender and moist, served with onion rings we couldn’t have asked for more. Well, I guess a better beer selection if I had my druthers. We shared a $5 pitcher of Yuengling (the best beer available there) and I enjoyed a nice buzz. I felt like a teenager: sneaking out, drinking beer and then sneaking back in. Not a bad stop if you are seeking live music, decent food and cheap beer.

6628 Thomas Dr
Panama City Beach, FL 32408
(850) 249-5270

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!

5 thoughts on “Panama City Beach Eats

  1. Anonymous

    I was lucky to meet the Executive Chef Stacie Vande Wetering. Helped open Rosa Mexican Restaurant in Atlantic Station and worked in the Grill restaurant which is now a platform for Linux.

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