#3 of 138 Panama City Beach Restaurants

Runaway Island

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Runaway Island: Your Panama City Beach Destination For Tasty Seafood And Beautiful Views
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Runaway Island makes the most of Panama City Beach waterfront dining with a beautiful patio while also providing a wonderful inside experience with its 12,000-foot facility. The service, views, and cuisine are all delightful, making for a thoroughly satisfying culinary journey from start to finish.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Escape for an afternoon or evening to the ultimate waterfront restaurant: Runaway Island, where you will be whisked into a beachy paradise. This vast restaurant spans 12,000 feet, providing plenty of space to stretch out and relax as you enjoy the best of local seafood. If you really desire a memorable experience, however, you’ll head straight for the patio, where you can gaze in awe at the Gulf.

When you’re not staring dumbfounded at the gorgeous scenery on display, you’ll be regarding your meal with the exact same mix of surprise and appreciation. Chef Chris Hein knows a thing or two about seafood, as you’ll quickly discover if you order one of the restaurant’s signature entrees. Most feature fish, crab, lobster, or shrimp, although several delicious seafood-free meals are also available. If you manage to save room, you’ll definitely want to order a piece of pie before you leave.

Young visitors will be just as pleased with the food as their older counterparts. The children’s menu includes chicken tenders and other essentials, plus popcorn shrimp and fried fish. 

Runaway Island’s charm lies not only in its beachfront location and amazing seafood, but also in its penchant for local yarns. Storytelling can comprise a major element of the Runaway Island experience, so don’t hesitate to get friendly with the restaurant’s servers.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
Pairing New Orleans flavors with local Gulf shrimp, this dish works as both an appetizer and a light meal. The shrimp are simmered in white wine, as well as a delectable Worcester butter sauce featuring Cajun seasoning. Toasted French bread completes the dish.

Runaway Salad
The signature salad at Runaway Island comes chock full of your favorite veggies and toppings. The salad’s base consists of romaine and seasonal greens. These are tossed in a sweet onion dressing and topped with everything from goat cheese crumbles to fresh berries — and even bacon. Smoked salmon or blackened chicken can be added for a small additional charge.

Blackened Chicken and Andouille Fettuccine
Take your favorite pasta dish to the next level with flavorful Andouille sausage and chicken, which are simmered in a rich Alfredo sauce. Spinach Fettuccine noodles add extra flavor and color to an already enticing meal.

Baja Tacos
This take on fish tacos come loaded with fried fish, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, cabbage slaw, and chipotle cream. These tacos can be served with a variety of sides, including black beans and rice, fries, or the vegetable of the day. If you arrive after 4 pm, you’ll definitely want to order your tacos with gouda grits, which are only available during the evening.

Islamorada Platter
If you have a strong appetite, feel free to order this hearty platter. You’ll receive a huge portion of the restaurant’s catch of the day, plus shrimp and bay scallops made with a signature breading and fried until they’re the perfect shade of golden brown.

From seafood classics to innovative recipes, Runaway Island provides something for everyone. Stop by to discover for yourself why this restaurant is so highly regarded throughout Panama City Beach.

Insider Tips:
– If you visit without reservations, be prepared for a wait. Despite the restaurant’s size, it sometimes struggles to accommodate the crowds that descend on it during the dinner hour. To avoid a lengthy wait, reserve your table in advance. A simple reservation system can be found online, but you’re also welcome to call.
– If you regard patio dining as a key element of the PCB culinary experience, consider checking out the Runaway Island webcam in advance. This will help you determine if you actually want to eat outside, based on current conditions.