My son and I were recently invited to hit the road and travel north to Panama City Beach. As part of our trip, we met up with other travel mom bloggers and their children. It was a memorable vacation, and I want to share EVERYTHING you need to know to plan your trip to Panama City Beach! As a native Floridian, it was an awesome experience to visit a new beach and try their best restaurants and attractions. I have to admit, their sandy shores and gorgeous water rivals the beaches I’m used to! Follow along with this Florida travel series, and get ready to discover everything that Panama City Beach has to offer.
Before you head to a chain place for a meal on your next Panama City Beach vacation, give one of these famous eateries a try.
Panama City Beach Restaurants
Thomas’ Donut & Snack Shop
Much more than your average donut shop, this restaurant serves up lunchtime fare like hot dogs, fried catfish sandwiches, burgers, and BBQ. But there’s a reason “donut” is in their name: they make 16 different types of donuts and an additional 11 different kinds of filled donuts!
They’ve also got a wide variety of muffins, and they serve delicious Amavida coffees and espressos.
The Grand Marlin Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Leave the kiddos with a sitter so you can enjoy this tranquil and relaxed dining experience for all it’s worth!
The restaurant overlooks Grand Lagoon and features the best-stocked oyster bar in the region. The menu changes daily so you can ensure that you are eating the freshest food available. We started with oysters and blue crab claws, and we were not disappointed!
As for main courses, you can choose from ahi poke, crispy lobster fingers, Caribbean conch chowder, grouper piccata, and filet mignon among many other options. Our party ordered shrimp and grits along with sea scallops. Each was plated beautifully and no detail went unnoticed.
They’ve got an 80-plus bottle wine list and the famous North Drop Bar, where you can try signature cocktails, like the Mandarin Mango Mojito. You can’t wrong with a frozen cocktail either.
P.S. Don’t forget dessert!
Ocean’s Bar & Grill at Edgewater Resort
This private, gulf-front dining option is perfect for either a date night or family dinner. Soak in breathtaking views as you dine! Serving new American fare, you can order anything from nachos and wings to mango habanero chicken and baby back ribs.
There are plenty of casual options, as well as surf and turf, so everyone in your party will be happy. There’s live music seasonally, and a tiki bar that serves tons of drink options. (Save your souvenir cup for a discount on your drink next time!)
Andy’s Flour Power Café & Bakery
This highly rated café has everything you can imagine for breakfast. The owner is a third generation chef from New York City that values high-quality ingredients and changes up the menu from time to time. You’ll find egg, cheese, and tomato croissant sandwiches; skillets and omelets; biscuits and gravy; Belgian waffles; muffins and walnut raisin bread; as well as a full lunch and kids’ menu. There’s even live jazz on the weekends!
Spinnaker’s Paradise Grill
Another fabulous option for waterfront dining is inside the Spinnaker complex. Spinnaker may be known for nightlife and live music, but Paradise Grill’s new “Coastal Southern Cuisine” menu boasts items like shrimp & brisket mac n’ cheese and crab & collard dip.
Try fresh seafood from the gulf or their 100% Black Angus Burgers. Sit in the air-conditioned dining room, or under covered beach-side dining areas, or in an open-air setting on the Waterfall Deck. You’ll get beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico no matter where you dine! After your meal, take a stroll on the beach thanks to the restaurant’s direct beach access.
Pompano Joe’s Seafood House
With one visit to Pompano Joe’s, it’ll be easy to see why the Travel Channel named it the Ultimate Beach Snack Shack. They’re known for affordable Gulf seafood made with Caribbean flair. They’re also known for their award-winning seafood gumbo and are a three-time winner of the Sandestin Gumbo Festival. (Try the Reggae Rolls while you’re at it!) You can’t miss the brightly colored building located in Pier Park.
What kinds of restaurants do you like to enjoy when you’re traveling? Do you look for local offerings or stick to familiar chains?