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Panama City Beach eats [avoid the tourist traps and dine deliciously]

Panama City Beach eats

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Headed to Panama City Beach on your next vacation? Then you need to know where to dine in PCB! Here’s what to order and what to avoid when you visit these 3 Panama City Beach restaurants

Panama City is not the first place that comes to mind for a vacation, but my in-laws live down there, so we find ourselves in Panama City Beach several times a year. For a recent visit, I researched and selected about twenty restaurant possibilities, even though we were only gonna be there for like three days.  Indeed, we only ended up visiting three Panama City restaurants on my list. There’s always next year…

Grand Marlin in Panama City Beach

New in Panama City Beach is the Grand Marlin. Located next to Captain Anderson’s buffet, the real draw is that it is right at the dock so you can see the boats as they come in. I’ve been to Saltwater Grill and despite the upscale decor, I find the food there to be mediocre. So, I had higher hopes for Grand Marlin.

blue marlin panama city beach

Blue crab claws and calamari at Grand Marlin

Cocktails are terrific at Grand Marlin in Panama City Beach.In fact if you just want drinks, they’ve got a decent sized bar and the entire upper level is perfect for cocktails. I’d get the Cucu-tini, made with gin, elderflower and cucumber liqueur. Fried crab claws are a bit pricey at $19 but the calamari is good, albeit augmented with other vegetables, diminishing the quality of the dish overall.

grand marlin restaurant review panama city beach

Grouper Piccata at Grand Marlin in Panama City Beach, FL

There are many seafood options to choose from at this Panama City Beach restaurant. We tried Salmon with sweet potato hash, tuna, Grouper and scallops. The Grouper Piccata dish was the best of all the dishes, with the salmon being a close second. But I wish restaurants in Panama City Beach would get more creative with sides as three out of the four dishes all had mashed potatoes and vegetable medley.

Liza’s Kitchen in Panama City Beach

Next we stopped in on a lazy Sunday at Liza’s for brunch. 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. Hubby’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

Sisters of the Sea in Panama City Beach

Sisters of the Sea, located at the Grand Lagoon in Pirates Cove Marina has been around since 2015 but I love that the new location overlooks the marina. This Panama City Beach restaurant is quite large but I’d expect a wait during peak seasons.

panama city beach restaurant sisters of the sea

Pecan strawberry salad, shrimp and crab cakes at Sisters of Sea in Panama City Beach

The Shanghai shrimp was plentiful and tasty along with the barely breaded crab cakes were perfect for our trio to share. I wouldn’t hesitate to order either again. Rounding out the appetizer portion with a strawberry salad was a good choice too.

I ordered the Sirens’ Song, a bowl of steamed mussels, shrimp and scallops in a light broth. It won the Best of Show at the Mississippi Gulf Coast-based Chefs of the Coast, and I found it quite tasty and sopped up most of that yummy broth with the plentiful bread. If you don’t love seafood, you won’t be disappointed if you get the Brisket Bowl. Smoked brisket is served over taters along with greens. It matched my dish in quality.

seven sisters panama city beach

Panama City Beach restaurant Sisters of Sea dish Sirens’ Song

Pictured above with our appetizers from Sisters of the Sea is their signature dessert, fried strawberries. They won a media people’s choice award in Biloxi, Mississippi, and they were worth the hype. After a bunch of ho hum restaurants in Panama City Beach (see Fishale’s review below), this was a welcome change. Plus, they even offer local craft beer. Get the Twisted Sister Ale, brewed exclusively for Sisters of the Sea by local, Nivol Brewing Co.

Sisters of the Sea website

3901 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach

Interested in food trucks in Panama City Beach? Check out my review of Finn’s Island Style Grub food truck 

Check out these 17 fun things to do in Panama City Beach from our friends at Life Family Fun.

Fishale’s in Panama City Beach

In the last couple of visits to Panama City Beach, I’ve passed Fishale’s about a dozen times. I’ll admit, it was the beer list that attracted me and on that aspect Fishale’s didn’t disappoint, with over 65 beers on tap. I had a pilsner and followed it up with a deliciously red ale. Wish I could remember the names, because that was the best part of dinner.

Our server wasn’t friendly or overly helpful at all. Plus, the calamari we ordered was a joke – half of it was fried peppers. A second appetizer, hummus, was decent and worth the price. One dining companion loved his burger, but the fried shrimp was way over breaded and tasteless, and my grouper (pictured below right) was thin and overcooked. With tip, we were at $140. I was the only one drinking (2 beers) and we skipped dessert, which means that was an incredibly overpriced meal.

Fishale restaurant Panama City Beach review

Fishale’s restaurant Panama City Beach, FL

So, if you’re headed to Panama City Beach, use this as your guide of where to dine (and where not to eat). I travel here regularly with family living there, so please check back as this will be updated with more Panama City restaurant finds!

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About the author

Malika Bowling

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!

1 Comment

  • 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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