Panhandle dining--Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City
Going on a whirlwind tour of the Panhandle in a few weeks and wondering what the best bets for dining were over there? Must eats , off the beaten path and waterfront dining in particular. Thanks!
In Destin, Louisiana Lagniappe. Commanders Palace opened up a place in Destin last year (haven't been yet).
In Grayton Beach, the Red Bar. A must!
In Seaside, honestly, not much to recommend. Every place is mediocre and colossally overpriced. Bud & Ally's might be worth a stop for a drink and the view. Drink too many and you'll feel the pain (financially).
Seagrove Beach, Seagrove Village Market for grouper sandwiches.
The panhandle is a big place!
If you are going between Pensacola and Panama City Beach (Destin, 30A, South Walton Beach, Seaside), please check out my blog posts from my last two long visits to Destin and environs:
We enjoyed a nice time at Commander's in Destin this year - the Happy Hour deal is nice. Louisiana Lagniappe is a "hospitality group" place (ie - upscale chain) - people seem to love or hate it. We've never been and aren't so inclined.
For waterfront in Destin - my fave remains Harbor Docks for lunch and dinner, and Silver Sand in the same premises for breakfast. Followed closely by Dewey Destin's, which is both off the path and waterfront. Callahan's had been off our list for a couple of years, but we re-discovered the love this year and recommend them.
On 30A going East from Destin - Stinky's Fish Camp (if it's reopened; it is switching buildings with The Lake Place - also recommended if it has opened) and Cafe Tango (not off the path or waterfront - but fabulous) are favorite.
Nick's on the Bayou in Niceville has the most amazing boiled crabs and other simple, fresh, delicious fish and seafood, including very tasty alligator.
Red Bar has not entirely endeared itself to us - but is definitely worth checking out. Bring cash or your ATM card - no credit.
La Botana in Seaside - go for the early or late happy hour for half price glass or buy 2 glasses at reg price get the bottle happy hour, with happy hour priced nibbles (they are a little expensive outside of happy hours) or go to Hurricane Oyster Bar or Enzo's.
Senor Mojitos at the foot of the 331 bridge was cool for happy hour, but we didn't eat a meal there. I wanted to - it could be fun. We sampled some delicious oysters on the half shell ($5/dozen) there.
The MOST off the beaten path awesome food in this neighborhood is available Sunday on Fort Walton Beach: The Thai Charity Food Court is open 9am-3pm every Sunday at the Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple at 741 Mayflower Avenue (turn left off of Lewis), FWB, (904) 863-2906. Awesome locally prepared authentic Thai food.
In Panama City (the city, not the beach), my new all time favorite place is Hunt's Oyster Bar- never seen so many shuckers working so fast in such a small place- those oysters are good!