#35 of 138 Panama City Beach Restaurants

J. Michael’s Restaurant

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J. Michael's Restaurant – Proudly Serving Panama City Beach Since the 70s
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Tons of memorabilia, fish sculptures galore, and a cute slug bug out front work hard to let you know that every visit to J. Michael’s Restaurant will be a lot of fun. What it doesn’t prepare you for, however, is the amazing flavor and tender-loving care poured into all their dishes. With just a taste, you will know that this is definitely the best place to go in Panama City Beach when you want dishes prepared with Creole and southern flair.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Right as you walk up to J. Michael’s Restaurant in Panama City Beach, you will be overwhelmed with their dedication to creating a fun and inviting eatery. With their giant swordfish and painted VW Bug offering you a warm welcome, you will be ready to see all the other interesting memorabilia inside.

As you walk through the doors, the first thing that will strike you is all the dollar bills lining the ceiling, acting as a testament to the love locals have for this place. Then, you can delight in all the license plates, surfboards, and more that set the stage for an excellent dining experience.

After you take in their eclectic décor, set your sights on the menu to see just what awaits your palate. At first glance of the menu, you will see oysters prepared every way imaginable, including baked with cheese and jalapeno peppers. Shrimp galore is also centerstage, grilled, fried, and boiled to perfection. You can even get your fried shrimp piled high on a toasted bun with cocktail sauce alongside for dipping. Alaskan snow crab claws, grouper sandwiches, and fresh catfish keep visitors coming back time and time again as well.

Although seafood is definitely a big reason people come here, their menu goes well beyond the surf, giving you a variety of delicious items to consider. Notable favorites include their roast beef sandwich, smoked pork chops, and chicken and sausage jambalaya.

Their most popular dishes include:

Red Beans & Rice
When this restaurant opened its doors in 1976, their Red Beans & Rice was one of the first menu items, helping pave their way to success. With one taste, it becomes clear just how this dish was the one to help start it all. Their amazing blend of spices elevates the simple ingredients to delight your senses bite after bite.

Seafood Gumbo
Just 36 years ago, the Seafood Gumbo hit the menu, giving patrons, even more, to write home about. The ingredients are kept tightly under wrap to ensure the magic stays in the restaurant always. Despite not knowing just how this dish is made, it will undoubtedly tantalize your taste buds with every spoonful.

Original Shrimp J. Michael
Always served in large portions, the Original Shrimp J. Michael has out of this world flavor that will keep you thinking about it for days. This signature dish features fresh shrimp grilled up right and added to a rich curry sauce. The powerful curry shrimp combo is served alongside rice with a little garlic bread to tie it all together.

No Name Pie
Although the No Name Pie is just a traditional icebox pie at the surface, its amazing ingredients will have you ordering up slice after slice. This pie starts with a delightful combination of whipped cream, caramel, and coconut at its center. Elevating those flavors, even more, are the small pieces of pecans all throughout and poured over the top.

In addition to all their awesome menu items, this restaurant will cook up your fresh-caught fish to your liking. Simply bring in up to 14 ounces of your catch, fully skinned, boned, and filleted, and choose whether you want it grilled or fried. With the grilled option, your fish will come topped with a sautéed mix of onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms along with a corn fritter. Choose fried and your fish will be dipped in a light batter and fried up to a light golden brown. Either way, you have your choice of two sides, including red beans, garlic potatoes, and pepper slaw.

Insider Tips:
– When bringing in your fresh catch to be cooked, only the grilled option is available for oily fish, like salmon.
– Each day, they have a different dish on special, so plan your trip right to get your favorites at a discount.
– Amazing photo ops await out back where you will find a life-size gator sculpture just dying for a quick bite.