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Panama City Beach eats – dine deliciously at these fabulous restaurants

Panama City Beach eats

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 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

The best special occasion restaurant 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 and they certainly delivered!

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 the magnificent and a generous portion! Plus the exquisite lobster has a fantastic vanilla sauce to go with it!

grand marlin best restaurant in Panama city beach fl

Fried lobster tails and crab claws at the Grand Marlin

Grand Marlin upscale restaurant Panama City Beach Roamilicious

Grilled Oysters at the Grand Marlin

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.

The Pancakery PCB

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Mangomosa (Pancakery exclusive)

If I don’t have one fabulous brunch on vacation, I’m not a happy gal. So thank ful there’s the @thepancakerypcb serving up brunch EVERY DAY! Their brunch is killer! I started with their signature drink of the Mangomosa (yes it is made with a special mango liqueur). Not too sweet. I’ve not had anything like it and was so pleasantly surprised to have a cocktail with flavor AND the booze, not the sugary sweet junk at most of the tourist traps in PCB. Another outstanding drink was the breakfast mule. Think of a Moscow mule just serviced with juice so you can feel good about drinking it at brunch. It tastes wonderful too and of course, it is served in a copper mug!

pancakery-brunch-restaurant-panama-city-beach

Chorizo Burrito and Avocado Omelette

Love that most meals here come with a 3.of their perfectly cooked sand dollar pancakes ? I had the seasonal pumpkin ? ones of course. But another in our party had the traditional buttermilk and they were quite tasty too. You can tell these are made from scratch and taste absolutely fantastic.

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We were a group of omelet lovers with crab, Avocado and western all being delicious! There was one lone chorizo breakfast burrito ? and it was a hit. I’m totally getting that next time.

Tucked away in a strip mall bit of a drive from the beach, I had no idea the treat I was in for!

American Charlie

Patriotic restaurant in Panama City Beach

Patriotic restaurant in Panama City Beach

This sports bar is about as patriotic as they come. And we are so glad they are here. Skip their cocktail creations and go for more standard drinks like an Old Fashioned which they do well.

Panama city beach bar - roamilicious

A basket of onion rings is a super way to kick off your meal. These are hearty and huge and will certainly feed a crew. Surprisingly, the Grouper which the city is known for, was not as tasty as the Blackened Redfish, which we would love to have a gain. The restaurant also has weekly specials like a burger for $10 on Thursdays and a fish and chips on Fridays. Note, it is quite loud in here in the evenings. If you prefer a quieter experience, come for lunch.

473 Richard Jackson Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

americancharlie.com

Liza’s Kitchen in Panama City Beach


Stop in on a lazy Sunday in Panama City Beach 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. You might have seen something like this on a cooking TV show using a VPN to watch Selena and Chef.

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

Juan Taco Panama City Beach Florida

Is this a taco spot or a speakeasy?

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I know, I know, it sounds crazy but finding this popular spot was rather difficult. You see, this Panama City Beach taco joint is located at the base of a huge condo building that is gated. So as you can imagine we were a bit surprised when our GPS led us here. The security at the front was kind enough to let us in on the location. So once you enter you’ll park in the deck and walk over to Juan Taco. Protip: go at an off time because this place is so popular, it will be very crowded. Even late afternoon when we arrived like around 5 pm it was very busy and we had to wait in a line outside.

Get the shrimp tacos and the barbacoa if available those are the best. And Juan Taco fills their tacos full of meat, not all filler. Two were plenty enough to fill me up! Make sure to get a margarita to wash it all down too!

Dat Cajun Place in Panama City Beach

We visited Dat Cajun Place on Memorial Day weekend. Boy where they busy and they handled the rush so well. Though we waited 1.5 hours for a table it was worth the wait. We ate delicious oysters – sorry we were so hungry we gobbled them up before I had a chance to share a picture. Though they have lots of fried dishes at Dat Cajun Place, I opted for the Redfish topped with shrimp. It was lovely and I would definitely get that again. I wish were had been able to hear some live much as i know they have it on some nights at this Panama City Beach beloved restaurant.

Guru’s Pizza in Panama City Beach

gurus pizza panama city florida pizza to go

Guru’s Pizza – Great pizza to go in PCB

If you are looking for pizza out of the ordinary when you are in Panama City Beach, FL, look no further than Guru’s Pizza. You can get almost any kind of pizza you want. There are traditional kinds like pepperoni, sausage and other classics. But the gem of this place is the Indian fusion pizza. Think tandoori chicken with a butter sauce base. Don’t forget to get a Mango Lassi and samosas to kick off your feast!

Guru’s Pizza
7806 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
(850) 588-5055
guruspizza786.com

The Egg and I in Panama City Beach 

The only time we went out for breakfast / lunch, we stumbled upon the Egg and I. It kind of reminds me of a more upscale IHOP. One of the things that I really liked was that most breakfast platters like pancakes or waffles come with your choice of meat (bacon, sausage). So many breakfast places make you choose: carb or meat. My Spinach, Bacon and Cheese Frittata was quite yummy as was my dining companions’ Reubens. While there are cheaper places to have a meal, this was tasty and efficient.

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

I love food trucks and thrilled with how far the food truck movement has come in Atlanta. Sampling many tasty treats for cheap prices? What’s not to love?

Before the five hour drive back to Atlanta, we decided we’d fill up on tacos at Finn’s Island Grub. Besides tacos, Finn’s Island Grub serves burritos, quesadillas, salads, nachos and even Ceviche. They make bold claims about their Ceviche being “The Best You’ve Ever Had” so a sampling of that was in order too.

The Ceviche at Finn’s Island Grub was delicious. There were large chunks of rare Tuna and the onions, tomatoes, and cilantro were extremely fresh. And our tacos, Blackened shrimp and grilled fish were filled to brim and yummy.

Totally stuffed and as ready as we could be for the drive home, I was really happy we’d chosen to stop at Finn’s Island Grub for our last meal. The only criticisms that I have is that given that it was a food truck, the food took a really long time to be prepared and that the pricing isn’t what you’d expect from a food truck. The portions are more like a restaurant meal rather than a small taste. So, the pricing was more.

Having said all that, I wouldn’t hesitate to eat there again. I’m just glad I know what to expect. If you find yourself in the Panama City Beach area and craving some tasty tacos, definitely plan to hit up Finn’s Island Grub.

So, if you’re headed to Panama City Beach, use this as your guide of where to dine. I travel here regularly with family living there, so please check back as this will be updated with more Panama City restaurant finds!

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!