Top 7 Panama City Beach Waterfront Restaurants With the Best Views

Panama City Beach’s location on the Gulf of Mexico makes the city a prime spot for fresh seafood and expansive water views. One of the best ways to experience both is by visiting the area’s top restaurants and enjoy a meal with loved ones. While the city has dozens of restaurants located on the beach, we rounded up a few of our favorites. See which places we picked as the top Panama City Beach waterfront restaurants.

Panama City Beach Waterfront Restaurants: Enjoy Views, Fresh Food

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Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant

For over 50 years, Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant has welcomed guests to its waterfront dining location. This award-winning spot offers outdoor dining on North Lagoon Drive, and guests even see boats dockside. The family who owns and manages the restaurant also work with local fishermen to ensure fresh catches.

Capt. Anderson’s opens for dinner and offers an upscale atmosphere. Find Gulf favorites such as lobster, flounder, salmon and fried options. In addition, the restaurant serves fresh broiled fish such as snapper and mahi mahi. For a break from seafood, try a salad, pasta dish or Angus steak. The menu also offers over a dozen gluten-free items.

Need a date-night or anniversary spot? Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant has an award-winning wine list and offers to-go for those who prefer to dine at home.

Harpoon Harry’s

On Front Beach Road — a main strip in Panama City Beach — find Harpoon Harry’s, a casual spot with a deck that overlooks the Gulf. Choose from outdoor seating with or without umbrellas, or grab a seat at the bar.

Harpoon Harry’s opens for lunch and dinner. Seafood options include grouper, shrimp and crab cakes. However, the most popular item may be the seafood bucket, a huge collection of crab legs, shrimp clams, sausage, scallops and red potatoes. In addition, Harpoon Harry’s also has a large selection of burgers and ranks as a top spot for lunch in Panama City Beach.

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Hook’d Pier Bar and Grill

Hook’d Pier Bar and Grill sits across the street from Pier Park, a lively shopping and entertainment district in Panama City Beach. Many visitors also enjoy that the restaurant’s location includes a pier, tackle shop and water views for miles.

Everything on its lunch and dinner menus have been “hook’d” up. Find salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos and hearty entrees. Dinner plates feature catch-of-the-day, shrimp, fried oysters, steaks and chicken. Vegetarians also have several options, such as vegged out tacos and fried avocado slices.

Hook’d Pier Bar and Grill can get pretty busy, so expect a wait during peak times. Dogs are welcome at the restaurant, but please don’t feed the birds.

Pineapple Willy’s

For over 30 years, Pineapple Willy’s has provided a fun-loving, causal atmosphere. The restaurant sits on South Thomas Drive and houses a covered deck that extends over the sand and overlooks the Gulf. Picnic-style tables offer shaded seating as visitors grub on their favorite foods.

As with most restaurants in Panama City Beach, Pineapple Willy’s serves a large selection of seafood. However, its menu also includes po boys, raved-about ribs, hearty sandwiches and salads. Kids have a sizable menu as well. In warm-weather months, the restaurant also hosts live music and events. Many people also enjoy chilling beach-side with cocktails and taking in the view.

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Runaway Island Beach Bar and Grill

One of the newer Panama City Beach waterfront restaurants is Runaway Island Beach Bar and Grill on Front Beach Road. Find two floors of spacious dining rooms complete with an outdoor deck that overlooks the Gulf. The deck even includes a boardwalk that leads to the beach for a walk after eating.

Runaway Island opens for lunch and dinner, and serves a variety of entrees with meat and seafood. Try the grouper, swordfish or catch of the day. Steaks, burgers, pasta and tacos are available. For a lighter option, try a Runaway salad made with seasonal greens. In addition to great food paired with beach views, Runaway also offers karaoke nights, trivia night and special events.

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Schooners Beach Club

Schooners Last Local Beach Club sits directly on Panama City Beach on Gulf Drive. This local hangout has long welcomed visitors to play volleyball, splash and watch waves while enjoying a casual collection of dishes. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Order from seafood selections ranging from shrimp and seafood combos to crab cakes and grouper sandwiches. Land lovers will find jerked chicken, the Schooners’ burger and sandwiches. Don’t forget to start with an appetizer, including crab claws, calamari and wings.

During or after dinner, head to the beach to watch the sunset while listening to live music. Schooners offers places to spread out and regularly hosts bands and events.

Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant

Big umbrellas and beach views are what to expect at Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant. Its location on Front Beach Road offers waterfront views and plenty of people-watching options. Sharkey’s houses a 15,000-square-foot area for dining with a special dance floor under a tiki hut.

Lunch and dinner menus showcase seafood favorites such as grouper, oysters, crab and shrimp. Or try the jaco tacos made with fresh seafood and pico de gallo. Other items include salads, burgers, sandwiches and pastas. The Keys platter also ranks as a popular option with Gulf shrimp, crab cakes and crab legs.

Sharkey’s provides access to an onsite playground for kids, plenty of beach space and hosts live music. Other fun things to do include bingo, karaoke and trivia nights.

Taking a spring break in Florida? Check out these Panama City Beach spring events and book a Gulf-front rental.