#9 of 138 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Dat Cajun Place

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Dat Cajun Place – Where Flavor Meets Fun Times in Panama City
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you have a hankering for truly flavorful dishes and the spicy atmosphere to back it up, you will absolutely adore everything that is Dat Cajun Place. Designed to always make you feel at home, this innovative eatery easily brings everyone together over plates of delicious food. They keep the live music and other fun happenings going on in the background, creating the perfect atmosphere for dining in style.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

When you want to fill your belly with delicious homecooked food and laze about listening to live music, Dat Cajun Place is definitely where it’s at. At this quaint eatery, everything they do reflects their Cajun roots and nostalgia for their old stomping grounds. Upon having to evacuate New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the owners, Jan and Trudy, ended up in Panama City Beach, ready to recreate their home in a new locale.

With their passion leading the way, they achieved their goal, creating a space that celebrates everything there is to love about their hometown. Their dining area is New Orleans all the way, as is their quality service, which makes everyone feel right at home in an instant. Upon arrival, you can choose between cozy seats right up at the edge of the bar or the many tables across the rest of the restaurant space.

No matter where you sit, your servers will always send a warm greeting and friendly smile your way. They know just when to return to your table and when to let you dine in peace, providing the perfect balance of service and solitude at every visit. That way, you can focus on the meal before you, as it is definitely the star of the show.

Even though many of their dishes are a unique twist on traditional recipes, they all give nod to all the unique culinary influences behind downhome Cajun cooking. As you browse through the menu, you will love their take on crawfish cakes, blackened chicken breast, and po’boys galore.

Their most popular menu items include:

Boudin Balls
Cajun dining experiences are never complete without fried Boudin Balls to start everything off. They make this classic appetizer using pork and rice mixed with a truly authentic spice mix. Then, they roll the mixture into balls, coat in batter, and fry them to a rich golden brown. Their signature Voodoo Sauce brings it all together, making it a truly memorable dining experience.  

Gator Bites Po’boy
When you want something a little outside the norm, the Gator Bites Po’Boy is definitely calling your name. This sandwich starts with hearty chunks of fried or blackened alligator piled high on French bread. On top of that, they add mayo, lettuce, and tomato before drizzling the whole lot with a generous scoop of house-made remoulade.

Crawfish Etouffee
The Crawfish Etouffee is another authentic dish that will satisfy your craving for something truly exceptional. This dish centers around crawfish tails cooked to perfection in a roux and tomato-based sauce. Garlic and spices highlight the rich flavors of the crawfish, while a side of bread balances everything out.

Fried Catfish
Although it might seem like a simple thing, their Fried Catfish will have you telling all your friends about it for years to come. The catfish is always pure perfection, as it is breaded by hand, then fried to a light golden brown. They serve the fried fish with two sides of your choice from the many available, which include potato salad, fries, and coleslaw.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
As this one wins awards on a regular basis, they keep their Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo ingredients list close to their chest. All you need to know, however, is that it is delicious as all get out and is made from scratch daily. They serve the generous scoops in a small or large bowl of your choosing over a bed of perfectly-cooked rice.

More often than not, the owners welcome local talent to come in and jazz the crowds as they dine on Cajun deliciousness. They tend to have musicians arriving at least five days a week to strut their stuff and keep the restaurant jumping.

Insider Tips:
– When the musicians arrive onsite, the restaurant can get plenty loud. So, if you want a quiet dining experience, come in during the early afternoon, as most acts start after 4 pm.
– Every week on Friday and Saturdays, they host an iconic seafood boil from 5 pm to 10 pm.