#27 of 138 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Pompano Joe’s

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Pompano Joe's: Seafood With a View
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

A vast seafood selection and a beautiful view await at Pompano Joe's, where you can enjoy a relaxed dinner on the patio as you gaze at the beach.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Pompano Joe’s boasts one of the best restaurant locations in Panama City Beach. Situated right across from a beautiful stretch of sand, the restaurant is the perfect place to catch a picture-perfect Emerald Coast sunset. 

Colorful and casual, Pompano Joe’s provides the ultimate beach-inspired atmosphere. Unfortunately, perceptions of the restaurant’s service seem to vary based on who you ask. Some visitors report prompt and courteous service, while others complain that the waitstaff makes mistakes or behaves rudely at times. 

Seafood is clearly the main attraction; at Pompano Joe’s, you’ll find everything from tuna dip to crab cakes and even seafood-inspired nachos. If you’re not a huge fan of seafood, you can also order a chicken tender basket, smothered chicken, or a cheeseburger.

Pompano Joe’s is unique among local seafood restaurants in that it has a gluten-free menu, which includes a variety of grilled entrees and sides. As a vegetarian, however, you’re going to struggle; if you don’t eat seafood, poultry, or red meat, you’ll be limited to just one appetizer and a handful of sides.

As with service, feedback on the food tends to vary from one visitor to the next. While most are satisfied by the restaurant’s flavorful seafood dishes, some have complained of meals being served cold. This is particularly important to keep in mind if you visit during peak dinner hours.

Don’t hesitate to order a drink with your meal. At Pompano Joe’s, you’ll find a decent selection of domestic beer, fine wines, or mixed drinks. Visit during happy hour to take advantage of excellent drink specials.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Reggae Rolls
Sometimes a fantastic appetizer can become a meal all by itself — as evidenced by the one-of-a-kind reggae rolls at Pompano Joe’s. A staff favorite, these delectable creations feature jerk seasoned chicken, corn, cheese, tomatoes, black beans, and jalapenos.

Coconut Shrimp
This signature dish features jumbo shrimp hand-breaded in a delightful coconut mix and fried to achieve that perfect golden brown shade. The shrimp is served with a delicious mango-papaya chutney. You’ll also receive mouthwatering hush puppies, a vegetable medley, and your choice of side. Options include Caribbean black beans and rice, twice-baked potatoes, and French fries.

Mahi Pier Park
Pompano Joe’s certainly doesn’t skimp on the portion sizes, which is evident the moment you see the server bring out your Mahi Pier Park entree. You’ll need an active appetite to take on this pan-seared mahi-mahi, which is covered in crab meat as well as a unique sun-dried tomato butter. 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Not in the mood for seafood? No problem. If you order this beloved chicken dish, you won’t feel as if you’re missing out on the seafood selection. Enjoy a tender chicken breast grilled with special jerk seasonings. Your chicken will be served alongside a refreshing Caribbean fruit salsa.

Price tends to be the biggest complaint at Pompano Joe’s; visitors aren’t necessarily disappointed with the food so much as they are with the quality relative to the cost. This can be mitigated by arriving early to take advantage of lunch and happy hour specials. While reviews of some dishes may be mixed, the Reggae Rolls are almost universally acclaimed, and therefore always a safe bet.

Insider Tips:
-It typically doesn’t take too long to be seated at Pompano Joe’s, but it might be worth your while to make a reservation. The restaurant’s menu page has a reservation tool powered by OpenTable, which makes it easy to reserve your table online. Select your preferred time and opt in for a text reminder.
-As one of several dog-friendly establishments in Panama City Beach, Pompano Joe’s allows you and your four-legged friend to enjoy your meal together on the patio.