#2 of 138 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Firefly

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Firefly: A Fine Dining Experience Like No Other in Panama City Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

In Panama City Beach, you'll find every type of seafood establishment imaginable. The beachy city is home to rowdy oyster bars, kid-friendly eateries, and romantic restaurants. Firefly definitely falls in the latter category. There, you'll find a refined menu and a sophisticated, yet relaxing environment. While Firefly tends to be a date night favorite, it's also popular among groups of friends or family members looking to step it up for an evening.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

In 2018, Firefly was the recipient of an acclaimed Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award. The restaurant regularly receives rave reviews from locals, tourists, and critics, all of whom appreciate the friendly service, the upscale vibes, and, of course, the delicious seafood. The meals are both delectable and beautifully plated — perfect if you’re as picky about your Instagram meal photos as you are about the actual cuisine.

As a seafood restaurant, Firefly is definitely pescatarian-friendly and definitely not vegetarian or vegan-friendly. If you’re a picky eater or deal with diet limitations, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this particular restaurant.

If you’re willing to eat seafood, chicken, or beef tenderloin, you’ll find a range of entrees to your liking on the Firefly menu. Prices may seem a bit higher than what you’d find at other Panama City Beach seafood restaurants, but the cost clearly reflects the quality, the plating, and the elegant environment.

Date night calls for a glass of wine or a cocktail. The drink selection at Firefly is excellent, so don’t hesitate to order an alcoholic beverage — or two. If you reserve a spot and arrive early, you can enjoy a cocktail as you wait.

Because Firefly offers a fine dining experience, you shouldn’t expect to be in and out of the restaurant quickly — even if you make a reservation. Waits can be particularly lengthy if you visit at the same time or shortly after a large group. Thankfully, the ambiance — and drinks — can make longer waits seem surprisingly enjoyable.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Pan-Seared Crab Cakes
These crab cakes are incredibly satisfying, as are the creamy mashed potatoes with which they’re served. Like all Firefly entrees, the crab cakes are also served with your choice of a house salad or the soup of the day.

Cajun Pasta
If you’re craving carbs, you’ll find plenty to love about this mouthwatering pasta dish, which features crawfish tails, andouille sausage, and sauteed shrimp. The penne pasta is served in an amazing Cajun cream sauce.

Oven-Roasted Chicken
Not all who visit seafood restaurants actually enjoy seafood. Thankfully, Firefly accommodates picky eaters with a handful of dishes that don’t include anything resembling fish or crab. The oven-roasted chicken may be your safest bet; accompanied by baby carrots and roasted potatoes, it’s sure to please.

Bread Pudding
One of several delectable desserts featured on the Firefly menu, the bread pudding is definitely worth trying if you manage to save room. The recipes are seasonal, so you could order bread pudding on multiple occasions and never receive the exact same dessert.

Insider Tips:
-If you arrive before the typical dinner rush, consider ordering the early bird special, which provides some of the best value you’ll encounter for fine dining in the Panama City Beach area.
-Firefly has been known to host benefits for great causes, such as the Rock the Kids Benefit for Anchorage Children’s Home. Firefly also supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, with young participants introduced to proper dining etiquette. Keep an eye on the restaurant’s Facebook page to learn more about upcoming charitable efforts.