Located at 2810 Thomas Drive on the southern side of Panama City Beach, Paparazzi Gourmet Deli is a must-visit destination for Italian food lovers everywhere.
The families responsible for the gem that is Paparazzi Gourmet Deli, rely on more than 100-year-old recipes that have been passed down through generations as the basis of their menu. Dedicated to using only fresh, natural ingredients, every dish is prepared from scratch. They take their commitment to authenticity so seriously that they make their marinara, Sunday gravy, and mozzarella in-house, every single day.
The exterior is festive and inviting. The two-story building is white with red roofs and pillars. Large red letters along the top of the structure read “Paparazzi,” and a smaller sign sits above the main entrance.
Inside Paparazzi Gourmet Deli, the vibe is casual and relaxed. There’s a full deli counter, with ready-to-go salads, deli meats and cheeses, and a menu of sub offerings. A separate counter offers pizzas and other oven-baked items, while a third displays a mouth-watering display of desserts. Beverage coolers line one wall, and a small number of wooden tables and chairs fill the middle of the restaurant. Diners order at the counter and bring a number to their table so staff can deliver their meals once they’re ready.
While technically, yes, this is a deli, the menu says it’s so very much more. Yes, they offer hot subs like chicken, meatball or eggplant parm, pastrami, sausage and peppers, and a cheesesteak. They also have cold subs like The Godfather, which is a behemoth of meats and cheese, the All American, which is basically a BLT with turkey and ham, and a classic Caprese.
However, that’s just the tip of the menu iceberg. Paparazzi Gourmet Deli serves a dozen pizza varieties, ranging from traditional cheese to the inventive Southpaw cheesesteak pizza. They have customizable calzones and three types of strombolis.
For those seeking something a bit lighter, they offer three types of salads, available in three different sizes, as well as three varieties of soups.
The seemingly endless list of entrees includes a huge number of pasta dishes as well as chicken dishes, sausage and peppers, and stuffed peppers.
In the unlikely event that you have room left for dessert (but seriously, trust us, save room for dessert) they offer nine options ranging from New York cheesecake to banana pudding to cannoli, plus rotating weekly specials.
With such a massive (and delicious) menu, it was hard to choose favorites, but here’s what we loved the most:
You can’t go wrong with a classic, and Paparazzi Gourmet Deli does it very, very right. Delicious sauce and homemade mozzarella are the perfect base for tons of thin, crispy pepperoni. The pie is baked to perfection, and the thin crust lets the bold flavors shine.
While you have the freedom to add whatever fillings you’d like to your calzone, we went with the simple, standard combination of mozzarella and ricotta, and we were not disappointed. Not only was it delicious, but it was also huge. This can easily feed at least two people.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti. Handmade meatballs. Freshly made sauce. What more could you want? Answer: Nothing. If there is such a thing as perfect spaghetti and meatballs, we’ve found it. It’s down here at Paparazzi Gourmet Deli.
For those seeking something a little bit lighter, we recommend the Greek salad. For an Italian joint, they know how to do Greek pretty well. This salad consists of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, and just the right amount of feta cheese. The dressing comes on the side, so you can add the perfect amount.
Did you save room for dessert? We hope you did. Paparazzi Gourmet Deli offers cannoli in small and large sizes, but we opted for the small, which was perfect. The crispy, fried shell combines with the rich, creamy filling to create an authentic Italian dessert that is, in a word, dreamy.
If you’re an Italian food lover and find yourself in the Panama City Beach area, run, do not walk, to Paparazzi Gourmet Deli. Trust us. You won’t be sorry.
-Paparazzi Gourmet Deli caters, so if you can’t get enough of their food, consider using them for your next PCB area special event.
-All pizzas are available on gluten-free crusts, offering options for those who are gluten sensitive or intolerant.
-Pizzas and portion sizes are large, making them great to share with family or friends.