Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant & Waterfront Market

Capt. Anderson's Restaurant: Gulf Coast’s Classics in Panama City Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Located on the water’s edge, Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant provides a lovely setting for night out with friends or your significant other. An award winning menu, expansive bar, and desserts you’ll have trouble forgetting make this Panama City Beach classic a can’t-miss.

- The Local Expert Team

Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant has an atmosphere; it’s as simple as that. The warmly-paneled walls, stone fireplace, barn beam ceilings, and gorgeous views of the marina will make you glad to be there – before you even place your order.

This landmark waterfront eatery has been named among America’s Top 50 Restaurants. Southern Living Magazine awarded Capt. Anderson’s with “Best Seafood Restaurant” and Wine Spectator presented them with their “Award of Excellence.”

For the first-time visitor to this longtime seafood establishment, the menu felt a bit overwhelming. Recommendations from the knowledgeable staff helped us select some great menu options. While many of the dishes are familiar, there were some we had never heard of.

Here’s a sampling of what we found (and enjoyed) at Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant:

Scallop Provencal
Each of the appetizers are tempting enough to fill up on. For example, this scallops dish is sautéed with shallots, garlic, white wine, and lemon. We found it light but perfectly seasoned.

Stuffed Mushroom Caps
These mushrooms are stuffed to the brim with crab meat and are oven broiled to perfection. Unless you’re alone, they may seem to disappear from the plate while you’re not looking.

Oven Broiled Breast of Chicken
If you’re not a seafood lover (or even if you are), this chicken breast is marinated to bring out the best of its natural flavor. Served with mashed potatoes, this dish serves as an exquisite version of comfort food.

Cedar Plank Salmon
Take our word for this: it’s Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant’s special seasoning makes this salmon so unbelievably special. After being broiled on a cedar plank, it is flaky, delicate, and unforgettable.

Oven Broiled Stuffed Whole Fresh Gulf Flounder
If you’ve ever looked down at your plate and marveled at the way unexpected combinations of foods have been brought together, you’re going to love this meal. Flounder, generously filled with homemade crabmeat stuffing, is interesting enough to make you chew slowly if only to figure out which flavor you like most.

Greek Style Open Hearth Charcoal Broiled Fish
One of Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant’s big draw is its charcoal-broiled fish. Whether you’re interested in a filet of yellowfin tuna, whole snapper, filet of grouper, or one of the other six charcoal-broiled options, it will be delicious. We’re not sure what it is about charcoal broiling, but it makes everything taste better. 

Feud Cake
It feels nearly impossible to choose the perfect dessert from a menu filled with world-class options. However, after much deliberation, we were able to! Our first choice is called Feud Cake, and although the name baffles us, the texture is as interesting as the flavor. The body of this cake contains standard ingredients, like eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking powder, etc. The special ingredient, the one that gives it texture, is finely chopped pecans. Sandwiched between layers of cake is icing made of heavy whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. The barely-there icing and somewhat heavy cake are absolutely delightful together.  

Peanut Butter Pie
This is perhaps one of the most decadent peanut butter pies you will ever dig into. The thick peanut butter filling is covered with rich, dark chocolate that will tempt you to take “one more bite.”

Sandeman LBV 1994 Dessert Wine
Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant bar is so well-stocked that you’ll have a myriad of options for after-dinner drinks. One of our favorites is this dessert wine with richly concentrated hints of cherry and plumb. It is undeniably sweet and will reward you with a long finish.

Insider Tips:
-Arrive before the dinner rush unless you’re dining off-season.  You will thank yourself for avoiding the rush. 
-If you have children with you (or have a childlike heart yourself) take the opportunity to watch boats in the harbor as they unload their daily catch.