10 of the best seafood restaurants in Panama City Beach

Courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach

Gourmets (of the sea), rejoice! Fresh, local seafood is close by almost everywhere you walk in Panama City Beach, Florida, also known as the “Seafood Capital of the South.” Thanks to the city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, its restaurants get their daily catch directly from the source (in some cases, just a few meters away). Of course, this means that no vacation here is complete without sampling some of the best seafood restaurants and local specialties, like the famous Gulf shrimp or oysters. If you don’t know where to start, do like the locals and head to these gems for dishes you’ll want to come back to time and time again.

When it comes to embodying the quintessential Florida vibe, she doesn’t get any more laid back than Dee’s. It’s (literally) the go-to place to eat after you’ve had your fill of the beach, or even before you go. Dee’s specializes in Cajun-style Gulf seafood, such as catfish, oysters or shrimp po’boys (served on bread baked by the original inventors of the po’boy) and dip varieties. smoked tuna (original or ranch jalapeño), a local specialty Dee is known for. You can even buy the smoked tuna on its own to create your own version of their dips at home, if you’re looking to work out your culinary muscles.

Courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach

Schooners call themselves “the best place on the planet” and with its laid-back beach menu, volleyball, and proximity to the surf, honestly, they might be right. It’s a local tradition to gather on the beach behind the club to count until sunset and fire it up (yes, really), and that’s where the party really starts. Between dancing, live music, the full bar, and dining options ranging from light fare – think grouper bites, lobster flatbread and salads – to more hearty dishes like redfish fillets, ahi steak. seared and seared crab cakes, we won’t blame you if you want to stay overnight and the next day too.

Once you have the experience of dining while watching the sunset, you will never want to dine again otherwise (trust us). Take in some of these spectacular views and refreshing sea breezes at Hang Five, one of the city’s newest spots, while indulging in a Gulf Coast paella with scallops, shrimp, crayfish and mussels; pan-fried grouper; or okra with fresh seafood. There’s also live music by local bands on Friday evenings, so once you’ve stocked up on their dish, have a drink in their moody wooden bar and listen on the sand.

The restaurant Capt. Anderson’s has been a Panama City staple since 1967, and for good reason. This waterfront restaurant is located directly on the dock, so we recommend that you request a seat by the windows so you can watch the fishing boats unload their cargo. In fact, the owners work so closely with local fishermen that they even help build artificial reefs and preserve the natural oyster beds in Apalachicola Bay. The result is good seafood, because Capt. Anderson’s has won numerous accolades over the years, including Southern Living’s Best Seafood Restaurant and Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and has been inducted into the Florida Trend Restaurant Hall of Fame. Must-haves include pan-seared sea scallops, giant Gulf shrimp, and Florida lobster thermidor, all caught fresh in the Gulf, of course.

Courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach

Finns pride themselves on keeping things simple, fresh and delicious, and it shows clearly in their dishes, with no deep fryer or microwave in sight. Mexican-inspired cuisine, which you can eat at picnic tables in the sun, is so popular that the restaurant has expanded to three locations. Local favorites include the endless summer tacos, which can be stuffed with ahi tuna, shrimp, or grilled fish for seafood lovers, and pork or steak for meat lovers. They also have a choice of burrito bowls, quesadillas, and wraps, so there’s something for everyone on your team. Grab a few lunch orders to hit the beach for a real PCB-style picnic.

You can’t really experience the flavors of the South without delving into authentic Cajun cuisine, and Bayou on the Beach is where you’ll find them in PCB. Here you can munch on staples like fried alligator mixed with Buffalo sauce (a regional favorite), fried catfish, ‘marsh cakes’ (fried green tomatoes topped with chunky crab and béarnaise sauce. ), or boiled Gulf shrimp and Louisiana crayfish. Of course, Bayou on the Beach is also an oyster bar, and with preparations like Oysters Rockefeller, Imperial, and even Baked Four Cheese, your taste buds will never be bored.

When you need to stock your beach house kitchen, Buddy’s is your go-to. This is a take-out seafood / steam bar retail market, so whether you’re in the mood to grill your own fresh catch or grab one of their award-winning steamed dishes at take to the beach (we recommend the seafood okra with a side of new potatoes and corn on the cob) you can do both at Buddy’s. The market specializes in wild American shrimp and local daily catch options like scamp, red and black groupers, snappers, and yellowfin tuna, but their menu changes daily so there’s always a new one. to taste.

Overlooking the Grand Lagoon, the Grand Marlin is the kind of place where you can enjoy dishes from an award-winning executive chef without changing your flip-flops. Their well-stocked oyster bar serves Apalachicola and East Bay varieties, and entree options include grilled lime lobster tail, Maryland-style chunk crab cakes, and yellowfin tuna at the ginger and soy. This is the perfect place to make your appointment and score tasteful points.

Courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach

Once you’ve parked your blanket and started soaking up the sun, getting off the beach can seem like it’s impossible. But, thanks to Hook’d, you don’t have to travel far once your stomach starts to growl. Just take a few steps off the beach and grab one (or more) of their signature dishes, like fried baskets (small Gulf shrimp, bay scallops or grouper fingers); lobster or shrimp tacos; their famous Pow Pow shrimp; or go for the seafood platter if you can’t decide which Pescatarian delight you want to eat. And let’s face it… who can really decide on one?

Every good vacation includes premium dining, and Saltwater Grill should be yours. Their 25,000-gallon tropical saltwater aquarium with its own reef gives off a sense of calm as you dine on options like Imperial Grouper, Pontchartrain Snapper, Pepper Tuna, or Seared Scallops. Once you’ve had your fill, head to their newly designed bar for some tropical drinks to end the night on a sweet note.

No matter which way you turn, delicious seafood is always on hand in Panama City Beach. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is how many different restaurants you can pack on one trip… and also which variety of Gulf oysters is your new favorite.

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