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Top 5 Best Local Restaurants in Panama City Beach

One of the best parts about going on vacation is having the ability to eat just about whatever you want, and however much you want, and nobody can blame you for it! After all, it’s just a vacation and you’re allowed to cheat on that diet a wee bit. Well, there is no better place to allow the foodie to come out unrestrained than the delectable restaurants that can be found in Panama City Beach! Here at Vacations Perfected, we have put together a list of five of the top local Panama City Beach restaurants that you won’t find anywhere else.

Chewie’s Kitchen

There are times when all we want are those typical comfort foods that come from a deli, those mouthwatering sandwiches dripping with mustard with a steaming pile of fries to go with it. Well, for those time that you find yourself jonesing for a thick meaty sandwich, then look no further then Chewie’s Kitchen. They have a wide selection of sandwiches ranging from cheese steaks, to wraps to chicken sandwiches. One of their most popular is “The Chewban,” which is perfect for any meat lover; coming with homemade slow cooked Cuban pork, salami, Virginia ham, pickles, and yellow mustard, this hot sandwich is sure to make any mouth water! Not only this, but they also have a wide variety of salads if you are looking for a healthier option. Best of all, you won’t even need to leave your rental as they offer delivery, making them perfect for that lazy afternoon where one doesn’t quite feel like cooking. So, why not see for yourself why Chewie’s Kitchen has quickly become a popular go to eatery!

Runaway Island

It truly is a wonderful experience to be able to eat fresh seafood while you sip drinks and listen to the crashing waves. However, what else could make such a scene even better? One where there is often live entertainment offered! Runaway Island has all these boxes checked, including a boardwalk that leads directly to the beach. However, there is even more to offer, as it is not only a great place to take a rest and have some good food, but they also offer wedding catering and have two levels of inside dining area and several private dining areas! As well, you will find all your favorites here such as stuffed mushrooms, crab cakes, fish tacos, fish platters, shrimp meals and more! You will even see uncommon types of fish such as swordfish! They even offer a unique starter of shrimp scampi dip for those looking for a unique spin on the classic cocktail dish. So, why not grab a fish taco, listen to some live music, and see just why so many people flock to this seafood eatery each day!

Pineapple Willy’s Restaurant

There are few better experiences than sitting near the beach, sipping upon a cool drink while the sun beats down upon your head and the scent of cooking seafood drifts through the air, dancing amongst the murmuring voices. Well, this is exactly what you’ll experience at Pineapple Willy’s! Not only do they serve frozen daiquiris which are perfect after a day exploring the beach, but they also offer a wide variety of various seafood dishes for you to try. These range from platters and baskets to shrimp and fried oysters. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, make sure you try their alligator! However, if seafood isn’t to your liking, fear not, for they also have a wide selection of chicken and even ribs. Though, for those with seafood allergies, rest easily knowing that they make sure to cook the fish completely separately from the rest of their meats. As well, there are even various salads for the vegetarians amongst us. So, why not grab an ice-cold drink, enjoy some fresh sea food, and see what Pineapple Willy’s has to offer?

The Wicked Wheel: One of the Best Restaurants in Panama City Beach

While we often go to the coast to experience the wonders of coastal life with fresh seafood, fruity drinks, and fun music, at times it’s nice to experience something that brings another culture into the mix. The Wicked Wheel not only has all that you would expect from coastal Panama City Beach restaurants, but they have managed to bring the unique culture and flair of the South. Why not tuck into a bucket of their famous fried chicken or try their New Orleans Style thinly cut catfish? You’ll also find your typical Southern favorites as well, including garlic cheese curds and fried green tomatoes. Of course, there is the typical seafood you’ll find in the area, such as shrimp and flounder, but you will also find a wide variety of chicken options as well, including chicken pot pie, tenders, and breast! They have a host of sandwiches for you to tuck into as well. While you’re at it, make sure to try one of several local craft beers on tap, or even one of their unique cocktails. If you are looking for an evening of music, drink, and seafood, look no further than The Wicked Wheel!


So far, we have talked about restaurants in Panama City Beach whose claim to fame is deli food, Southern meals, seafood, and other tasty oddities. However, we will end our list in the world of elegance and style with the fine restaurant Firefly. They pride themselves on being a place where you can bring a date for a romantic, dimly lit evening, or come with a group of friends and be loud and merry. Serving a variety of seafood and steaks, it is no wonder that they have won several different awards over the years, including OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award 2020, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Best of the Bay Award, and many others! Not only do they provide an ambiance and atmosphere that is homey, cozy, and intimate, but they also offer some of the best of the best ingredients including locally caught fish and seasonal vegetables. They even have a few exotic fish for your tasting pleasures should you decide to try something different. You’ll have the choice of either eating in their main dining area, where you can feast below the watchful gaze of an old oak tree, or you can relax and laugh by the fireplace in there 535 Lounge. Here, one can even grab one of the vintage books which line the shelves and enjoy their drink in the warm and welcoming environment. As well, you will not only be able to choose from a wide selection of fine wines and liqueurs, but they also have a large selection of top-shelf vodkas, bourbons, and even rare scotches. You’re even in luck as they just recently opened their sushi bar! Finally, they offer a rather unique service where-in one can rent a “wine locker” which will have a metal label with their names engraved upon it and will be stocked with the particular owner’s favorites! So, if you find that after spending an evening with them you never want to leave, a part of you may just never have to! So, come and experience the lap of luxury on the beach at Firefly.

If any of these restaurants have your mouth watering and stomach rumbling, make sure to contact Vacations Perfected at (844) 478-2972 or book your rental property online!