Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Panama City dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Panama City Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.
This popular Panama City eatery serves up a full menu of favorites from its perch on the beach. Try the Jack Daniels-basted BBQ ribs (Pineapple Willy's is famous for 'em) or the traditional-style seafood specials. The place's friendly staff and casual ambience combine to serve up a good night on the town, especially for sightseers and families looking for a great meal at a very reasonable price. (850-235-0928)
For more than 35 years, this popular and critically lauded family-style seafood restaurant has been a key stop for beachcombers thanks to its fire-grilled specialties. Try Capt. Anderson's "Famous" grilled Bay shrimp, oven-broiled stuffed Florida lobster with crab meat dressing, or flavorful tenderloin of grouper. If seafood is not your thing, order one of the delicious, cooked-to-order steaks. There is a separate children's menu and an extensive wine list. Be sure to visit the on-site market for fresh seafood, souvenirs and cookbooks. (850-234-2225, 888-878-6750)
Angelo's Steak Pit
Angelo's is a critical and local fave for hickory pit-grilled USDA Choice steaks. Indeed, residents say you haven't had real food until you make the trip to this casual restaurant. The succulent, seared menu also features pit-broiled chicken and seafood favorites. If you go the red meat route, be sure to sample their signature sauce. Try your main course with a salad and your choice of chowder or potato, or pick and choose from the a la carte menu. Add a bit of class to the meal with a glass of wine, and be sure to save room for slice of their sinful Key lime or French silk pie. (850-234-2531)
Be sure to check out the giant 25,000-gallon tropical aquarium at this Panama City eatery that's earned a great reputation for its food and festive ambience. Dine in the Café or the Mermaid Room. No question, lobster stars here, but other fresh fish and seafood dishes are also worth trying – macadamia-encrusted grouper or grilled mahi mahi, for example. Those looking for something beyond seafood will find excellent steaks and prime rib. Be sure to hang around and sing along to the piano music each Tuesday through Saturday. (850-230-2739)
Boar's Head Restaurant & Tavern
This relaxed eatery serves up fresh local seafood dishes as well as a few ditties that let diners explore the wilder side of the culinary spectrum. Try the baby back ribs, a tender veal medallion or succulent prime rib for a deliciously hearty meal. Marine appetites find nothing but smooth sailing thanks to dishes like crab-stuffed grouper. Of course, the more adventurous can go all out and order a combination that takes char-grilled or blackened venison and pairs it with stuffed quail. (850-234-6628)