#132 of 160 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Leon’s Donuts

Leon’s Donuts – A Morning Mainstay for Sweet Treats
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Leon's Donuts is a mainstay in Panama City, one with big flavors and humble origins. Tourists and locals alike are typically drawn in by the sign for fresh donuts, and they keep coming back for the quality, selection, and friendly staff. 

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Leon’s Donuts has been around for decades in Panama City. A humble hut serving hungry patrons, its coffee and baked goods are a staple for anyone looking for a sweet snack. Located on the side of the road, it’s a favorite for anyone on the hunt for donuts, donut holes, apple fritters, etc. 

What customers love about this place is that it’s as unassuming as it is delicious. The sign advertising fresh donuts is particularly appealing to road trippers who have been out on the road for hours already. Few things are more satisfying than a pick-me-up that will keep you fueled for the rest of the journey. 

Desserts Made Fresh  
The place might not look big enough to host a whole bakery, but the donuts are all made fresh on location. Today, Leon’s Donuts are made with the same recipe as when the stand first got its start, and the commitment to quality is what keeps people coming back. Frequent visitors to Panama City and locals are used to passing Leon’s Donuts when they’re out and about. This place opens at 5 a.m., and the early birds get the first pick of what’s on deck. 

Treats for Everyone
The menu at Leon’s may not look the same every time you stop in, but one thing that remains the same is the staff’s creativity. Here, you’ll find specialty donuts made with breakfast favorites like maple syrup and bacon. You’ll also find more traditional recipes, like chocolate frosted and old-fashioned. 

Staples like plain glaze are available every day but don’t be surprised to find a key-lime-filled or coconut-covered pastry. It’s a good place to go if you’ve got plenty of people in tow with very different tastes. The shack also includes a dessert bar, which can include anything from cupcakes to tiered cakes. 

Plus, if you happen to have a special request, like a favorite frosting flavor, the friendly staff might just be able to accommodate your order. (If they’re not busy serving long lines of customers, they’ve been known to whip things up when they have time.)

When you’re here, try the following treats:

Apple Fritters
Apple fritters may not have a hole in them (or any filling), but they are still considered donuts. Made with apples and a sugar glaze on top, it’s the cinnamon that gives them each bite a little extra dimension. 

Cinnamon Rolls 
For anyone in the group who doesn’t want a traditional donut, cinnamon rolls are a great way to start the morning or grab a boost of energy in the early afternoon. If you’re going to be surfing the waves in Florida, you’ll appreciate this specialty at Leon’s. 

Donut Holes 
Perfect for snacking on road trips, any of the donut holes here are perfect if you’re on the go. Whether you’re taking a walk or passing them to the backseat of the car, they’re just a little more portable (plus, they’re the perfect bite-size portion).

The specialty coffee drinks at Leon’s are the perfect complement to pretty much everything else on the menu. The combination of the bitter and sweet is a tantalizing sensation, particularly when you’re shaking off any grogginess from the night before. 

Bacon Maple Long John 
The texture of the bacon maple long john is enough to tempt people into trying it out. Studded with bacon in a sea of maple frosting, it’s the best of breakfast in a single bite. 

Stopping by Leon’s for a donut or a dozen is something of a rite of passage in Panama City. There’s a reason why this place has been around for as many years, and it’s not solely because of its convenient location for road-trippers. 

Insider Tips:
-Road is divided by a median but parking is typically not difficult and parking spaces are not hard to find. 
-Staff may be able to accommodate special requests (e.g., frosting flavors, etc.) if the lines are not too long.