Spring has sprung here in lovely north Florida! College students from the distant frozen north are just beginning to trickle down, starting the official Panama City Beach “Spring Break season.” If you’re planning to head down to the beautiful Emerald Coast, you’re probably asking yourself, “Can healthy eating habits survive in the land of fried grouper, french fries, and hushpuppies?” Fear not, my friend, I’m here to help.
Warm sun, white sand, and hot (sometimes not-so-hot) bodies are some of the things for which Florida’s Panama City Beach is famous. Once a haven for pirates trolling for booty (and it still is, if you trade the word “pirate” for “Spring Breaker,”) PCB is a modern city with something to satisfy nearly every appetite.
From world-class fine dining cuisine to glorious never-ending fried seafood buffets, temptations to blow your healthy New Year’s resolutions abound. But, other than a limp garden salad available at most restaurants, what’s for the veggie loving crowd?
Here’s a few of my tried and true favorites, and yes, all of them have meat options for any fellow diners you’d like to bring. Try one of these great spots, which are all personal favorites of mine. You won’t be disappointed.
The Lotus Cafe n Fluid Lounge is located in the “Zen Garden.” They have wonderful organic juices, salads, hummus, falafel, fresh veggies, smoothies, teas, tonics, and coffees.
Oishi Thai Sushi Bar & Restaurant
Oishi Thai has a great vegetarian Thai menu with many dishes including a great veggie Pad Thai. On the sushi menu, they have California sushi rolls and a fantastic mango sweet sticky rice for dessert.
Flamingo Joe’s Grill and Seafood
Flamingo Joe’s is a cute little beach shack that has been a local favorite & PCB institution for 19 years (and counting). They have fantastic veggie burgers, pitas, and smoothies.
Mellow Mushroom, Panama City Beach
With an assortment of handmade pizzas, salads, soups and cheese breads, the Mellow Mushroom is perfect for those comfort food cravings. It has late night hours till 11 pm, family friendly, and great parking.
Tiny, cute, and located right across from the beach, Liza’s Kitchen prides themselves on their extensive made-from-scratch menu, even their mayonnaise is homemade! Salads galore, daily soup specials, and fresh ingredients makes Liza’s a “must visit.”