Top 5 Top Rated Restaurants In Panama City Beach for 2024

Top 5 Top Rated Restaurants In Panama City Beach

Top 5 Top Rated Restaurants In Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a paradise for food lovers, offering an eclectic mix of culinary delights that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado, a lover of Southern cuisine, or someone who enjoys a fusion of international flavors, this vibrant coastal city has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take you through the top 5 top-rated restaurants in Panama City Beach for 2024, ensuring you have an unforgettable dining experience.

Top Rated Restaurants in Panama City Beach

1. Firefly

Firefly Panama City Beach

Firefly is renowned for its romantic ambiance and exceptional cuisine. This award-winning restaurant is perfect for a special night out. The menu features a variety of gourmet dishes, including their famous She-Crab Soup and delectable Grouper Piccata. The cozy atmosphere, complete with twinkling lights and a tree centerpiece, creates a magical dining experience that you won’t forget.

Why Firefly Stands Out

Firefly is not just about great food; it’s about the experience. From the moment you walk in, you’re greeted with an elegant setting and impeccable service. The chefs use fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are both innovative and delicious. Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as this popular spot fills up quickly.

2. Captain Anderson’s Restaurant

Captain Anderson's Restaurant Panama City Beach

A staple in Panama City Beach for over 50 years, Captain Anderson’s Restaurant offers a classic seafood dining experience. Overlooking the Grand Lagoon, it provides stunning waterfront views, perfect for a sunset dinner. Known for their fresh seafood, particularly the Shrimp a la Newburg and Broiled Florida Lobster, Captain Anderson’s is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts.

Signature Dishes at Captain Anderson’s

The Seafood Platter is a highlight, featuring a variety of the freshest catches of the day. The restaurant also has a seafood market where you can purchase fresh fish to take home. Captain Anderson’s commitment to quality and tradition has earned it numerous awards and a loyal following.

3. Runaway Island

Runaway Island Panama City Beach

For those looking to enjoy a meal with their toes in the sand, Runaway Island offers a laid-back beachfront dining experience. This two-story restaurant provides breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. The menu features a mix of seafood and American favorites, including their famous Crab Cakes and Island Burger.

Dining at Runaway Island

With both indoor and outdoor seating, Runaway Island is perfect for any occasion. Live music and a relaxed atmosphere make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Don’t miss their signature cocktails and extensive beer selection, which complement the menu perfectly.

4. Saltwater Grill

Saltwater Grill Panama City Beach

If you’re in the mood for a spectacular dining experience, Saltwater Grill is the place to be. Known for its stunning 25,000-gallon tropical saltwater aquarium, this restaurant provides an unforgettable ambiance. The menu is equally impressive, with dishes like their famous Pan Seared Red Snapper and Surf & Turf.

Unforgettable Ambiance at Saltwater Grill

Dining at Saltwater Grill is like stepping into an underwater paradise. The aquarium serves as a mesmerizing backdrop as you enjoy your meal. Their extensive wine list and decadent desserts add the perfect finishing touches to a memorable evening.

5. The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach

The Grand Marlin Panama City Beach

The Grand Marlin offers a refined yet relaxed dining atmosphere with stunning views of the Grand Lagoon. Specializing in fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks, their menu is a blend of innovative and traditional dishes. The Lobster Fingers and Grouper Piccata are crowd favorites.

Why The Grand Marlin is a Must-Visit

With a spacious dining area and outdoor seating, The Grand Marlin is perfect for both casual and special occasions. Their commitment to quality and sustainability ensures that every meal is not only delicious but also responsibly sourced. Make sure to check out their daily specials and extensive drink menu.

Ready to explore the culinary delights of Panama City Beach? Book your dining experience today and savor the best of what this coastal paradise has to offer!


Panama City Beach is home to some of the best dining experiences in Florida. From romantic dinners at Firefly to the beachfront vibes of Runaway Island, there’s something for every palate. Each of these top-rated restaurants offers a unique ambiance, exceptional service, and dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these dining spots are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Key Takeaways

  • Firefly: Romantic ambiance, gourmet cuisine, and exceptional service.
  • Captain Anderson’s Restaurant: Classic seafood dining with stunning waterfront views.
  • Runaway Island: Laid-back beachfront dining with live music and great cocktails.
  • Saltwater Grill: Spectacular aquarium backdrop with an impressive menu.
  • The Grand Marlin: Refined dining with fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks.


What is the best time to visit these restaurants?

The best time to visit these restaurants is during the evening for dinner, especially around sunset to enjoy the beautiful views. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

Are these restaurants family-friendly?

Yes, all of these restaurants are family-friendly and offer menus that cater to a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.

Do these restaurants offer vegetarian options?

Yes, most of these restaurants offer vegetarian options. It’s always a good idea to check the menu online or call ahead to ensure they can accommodate your dietary needs.

Can I make reservations online?

Yes, most of these restaurants offer online reservation services through their websites or popular reservation platforms like OpenTable.

What is the dress code for these restaurants?

The dress code varies by restaurant. Firefly and The Grand Marlin have a more upscale, business casual dress code, while Runaway Island and Saltwater Grill are more casual. Captain Anderson’s has a classic, slightly dressy casual vibe.

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