#56 of 160 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Buddy’s Seafood Market

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Buddy's Seafood Market: Super-Fresh Seafood To Go
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

A convenient stop for locals, as well as visitors who want to spend a night relaxing with fresh, cooked to order seafood, Buddy's Seafood Market offers raw and cooked seafood by the pound alongside tasty fixings to round out your meal.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Panama City Beach is the perfect place to unwind and play it casual, and Buddy’s Seafood Market is a great option for an equally chill place to pick up some eats. If you’re not up to having a full night on the town, but still want some super fresh seafood, Buddy’s has you covered. From fresh fish to several varieties of shrimp, as well as some delicious sides, it’s perfect for throwing together an easy, but totally memorable dinner at the beach!

If you’ve never been to a seafood market and typically shop at the counter of your grocery store, take a moment when you arrive to get your bearings. While the staff is friendly and helpful, Buddy’s is also a popular destination, so it’s great to have your order ready when you approach the counter.

Not sure what will catch your fancy? Buddy’s offers clearly labeled displays of fresh shrimp and other seafood selections, along with the price per pound. Choosing to steam your choices will cost a little extra, but we found it totally worth it to leave with freshly cooked seafood in hand.

It’s essentially a great medium option between purchasing items from the grocery store and going full out for a meal at a restaurant. The seafood is fresher and tastier than the offerings at nearby Publix. Also, when you choose to have everything steamed in house, you’ll save yourself the time and mess of cooking in your vacation rental!

On a recent trip to Buddy’s, we decided to pick up fixings for a medium sized group of seafood lovers. Buddy’s is a great spot for picking up lunch or an early dinner, but note that their hours are closer to a traditional grocery store or market than a restaurant, and their steam bar does close 15 minutes before the market closes. We selected a mix of seafood options and sides, then took our meal to the beach with a blanket and plenty of napkins. What better way to enjoy seafood than while looking out at the sunset?

The menu at Buddy’s Seafood Market is fairly limited, but the whole point is to choose some fresh seafood, prepared simply and well.

We enjoyed the following items during our beachfront feast:

Smoked Tuna Dip
Rich, smoky flavor and surprisingly light on the mayo, this is an instantly addictive snack that made us understand the loyalty that Buddy’s inspires in Panama City!

Royal Reds
These bright, red shrimp were salty and sweet, and we requested them steamed with lemon, butter and chopped scallions. Fresh and delicious!

Big Daddys
Good sized, easy-to-peel shrimp, we ordered these boiled in crab boil seasoning and served up with hot sauce and butter. Decadent and nicely spiced, though the salt in the boil may be too much for some palates.

New Potatoes
Not just your basic boiled potatoes, these came covered in Parmesan cheese and some fragrant seasonings that made them more than a side to soak up our seafood. While we didn’t sample any on this trip, the Corn on the Cob also looked tasty, and would have made for a nice addition to our meal.

Strawberry Key Lime Pie
While this part of the country is flooded with Key Lime pies, we were excited to try this variation, which was creamy, sweet, and had just a touch of tang. A great final note to the easiest, arguably tastiest meal of our trip!

Buddy’s is a no-fuss spot that doesn’t offer seating or tons of menu options. Instead, Buddy’s Seafood Market keeps it simple, and serves up fresh seafood with just the right extra touches to make it an awesome to go meal for the beach or your very own balcony. Enjoy!

Insider Tip:
Call ahead if you’re planning to purchase a large quantity of oysters. While enjoying a little shucking party with friends on your balcony sounds like a fine time indeed, oysters at Buddy’s are usually only sold in smaller amounts, so call to check inventory before you plan a soiree!