If you are visiting the Florida Panhandle, you will be pleasantly surprised at all there is to do. This little beach town has a lot of neat attractions and is very LGBT friendly. There are a ton of specialty stores as well as a shopping mall.
Many people do make it a point to head over to take a tour of the Pensacola Lighthouse which is 150 years old. Because this is a coastal town, you can enjoy a lot of different water activities to cool off during those hot summer days. This is a great place to visit for those that are on a budget or just don’t want to splurge on a vacation.
There’s an assortment of nightlife here as well and plenty of great restaurants to eat at. Whether you are wanting a lighter breakfast, a hearty dinner, an interesting lunch, decadent dessert or drinks in the afternoon, you will find it all here.
There are so many tasty restaurants to enjoy, and many of them are LGBTQ friendly! If you are ready to indulge in some of the most tasty food that The Panhandle has to offer, check out our guide on where to eat below.
If you are looking for LGBTQ friendly breakfast spots in the Panhandle, then you are in luck. There are plenty of places to eat whether or are just looking for something light like coffee and a bagel or a more hearty breakfast like bacon and eggs. There definitely isn’t a shortage of breakfast spots!
East Past Coffee in Destin has fresh coffee and plenty of breakfast options. It’s the perfect place to go if you are wanting to grab a quick bite to eat before heading out for the day. It’s known for its smoothies and acai bowls. A local favorite is the avocado toast. It will provide you with healthy options that’s somewhat filling before you start exploring the area.
Definitely better than paying a premium price at a certain coffee chain that always spells your name wrong.
You may not be much of a breakfast person or are just in the mood for something lighter. After all, you will probably be spending a lot of time in a bathing suit and want to look your best! The Leisure Club in Pensacola was voted one of the best coffee shops in Pensacola.
It has a retro vibe and is very LGBTQ friendly. They serve a variety of offerings like pastries, smoothies and parfaits. They do have other options like the Belgian Breakfast Press. It’s basically a waffle that’s topped with cheese, eggs and bacon. It might leave you so full that you just want to skip lunch!
If you are looking for a LGBTQ friendly restaurants that really takes pride in the ingredients that they use, visit the Black Bear Bread Co. It is a neighborhood bakery in Santa Rosa Beach that features naturally leavened bread that’s baked fresh each day.
This restaurant uses seasonal produce in many of their dishes. Favorites include the bagels and lox and the banana tartine. If you aren’t sure what to try, just ask! The staff here is very friendly and can help you figure out what to get in order to satisfy your palette.
Don’t worry vegans because there’s a great LGBTQ friendly breakfast spot in Pensacola for you to enjoy as well. End Of The Line Cafe has become an area staple for their vegan brunch since 2002. This isn’t your boring vegan fare, and they’ve received a best choice award because of it.
Favorites include the Jammy Sammy which features vegan cream cheese and jam and the house made hummus served on a warm pita with roma relish and cucumber. The food tastes so good that you might want to visit here more than once.
Feeling hungry and ready to try some of the best restaurants in The Panhandle? If so, then you’re in luck. There are all sorts of different restaurants to try while you’re here. You can enjoy everything from pizza, to sandwiches, to jambalaya. Here are some of our favorite lunch spots to eat at.
You can’t beat the pizza at Fat Clemenzas in Miramar Beach. It was voted the best pizza and restaurant of the Emerald Coast. They have a pretty expansive menu that features brick oven pizza, calzones, sandwiches, pasta, salads and soups. They also serve domestic, Italian and craft beers to go with your meal.
Don’t miss the handmade Calamari Fritte and the Chicago classic, Italian Beef Sandwich.
If you are looking for lunch with a view in Destin, head over to Camille’s at Crystal Beach. It’s located right on the water and was voted the best restaurant and cafe.
They feature a variety of different sandwiches like the Triple Grilled Cheese. That’s right, triple grilled cheese. It comes with provolone, cheddar and Havarti on white bread. You can add on avocado, tomato, bacon and onion as well. Yum! If you want to wash all that food down, they also serve daiquiris and smoothies. It’s always five o’clock in Florida.
Something For Everyone
In Santa Rosa Beach you can find a variety of different fair at Chanticleer Eatery. It’s LGBTQ friendly and has quite a few delicious options to choose from. If you do eat here, make sure you try the triple pork nachos or the shrimp and grits.
The jambalaya is also amazing and consists of a concoction of different ingredients like chicken, sausage, shrimped, rice and plenty of veggies. If you will be having little ones in tow, they do have a pretty expansive menu just for the kids that has everything from pasta to chicken tenders. This restaurant really does have something for everyone!
Who couldn’t use a good drink after spending the day exploring The Panhandle? We’ve got you covered! Head over to Flip Flops Pool Bar at Sheraton Panama City Beach to enjoy a drink poolside at Santa Rosa Beach. This is a casual restaurant, so you don’t even have to change out of your bathing suit if you don’t want to! House favorites include the fish tacos and margaritas. This poolside restaurant is a great place to kick back, and enjoy some drinks with a view.
Don’t spend your evening in your hotel room no matter how tired you are. You really should head out to one of the area’s favorite restaurants. Many of them are very LGBTQ friendly, and there are a lot of great options no matter what you are in the mood for. You certainly won’t be disappointed.
The Panhandle is known for its seafood. If you are wanting to try some award-winning crab cakes or cocktail claws, head over to Uncle Ernie’s Bay Front Grill in Panama City. They have a variety of different dishes to try. They also have other options for those in your party that aren’t in the mood for seafood. These include entrees like quesadillas and burgers. You might want to get a bunch of different dishes for your entire party to share.
Do you like Oysters? If so, then head over to The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach. This highly-ranked Oyster bar is located right on the water. This will allow you to enjoy dinner with a view! Make sure you try the barbecue oysters or the crispy lobster fingers. You really can’t go wrong with either one!
You may feel like getting all dressed up for your night on the town. Don’t worry because Destin has the perfect restaurant for you. Beach Walk Cafe at Henderson Park Inn was voted the area’s best restaurant. The ambiance here is fabulous as it’s directly located on the water. It’s known for dishes like lemongrass crusted tuna or the jumbo lump crab meat and eggplant medallions appetizer. You’ll come hungry, and you’ll leave stuffed. Take your time to eat so that you can soak everything in.
It’s not surprising that you can enjoy some good ole’ southern cuisine in Tallahassee. Cypress Restaurant is LGBTQ friendly, and it features southern food with a sophisticated flare. This restaurant has a casual yet metropolitan feel. They use local produce and only the freshest ingredients. Not sure what to get? Go for the creole chicken pasta. It’s a favorite among the locals!
Something For Everyone
If you are looking for a restaurant on Santa Rosa Beach that has something for everyone, The Bay South Walton won’t disappoint. It was voted best restaurant, and it features a variety of different options like sushi, steaks and sandwiches. Still stuffed from lunch and not feeling that hungry? They also have small plates like crab cakes and Vietnamese style wings as well. With so many different dishes to try, you can rest assured that everyone in your party will be happy with this restaurant choice.
You really can’t miss out on the dessert in the Panhandle. It makes for the perfect afternoon snack or a simple treat after dinner. They are a couple of different options that will satisfy your sweet tooth. You have maybe even seen one of them on TV before!
As Seen On TV
You can taste some of the best cupcakes in the country by visiting Smallcakes in Destin. It was featured on both Cupcakes Wars and the Food Network. They have a lot of different flavors to choose from including lemon, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter and vanilla. No matter what kind of cupcake you are looking for, you can probably find it here. Most of their cupcakes are made using delicious buttercream icing and decadent fillings. A word of warning though. If you eat a cupcake from here, cupcakes from other places will never come close to how good these are!
The locals in Panama City rave about Gypsea Crepes. After you eat here, you’ll see why! This highly-ranked restaurant features both sweet and savory crepes. Their sweet crepes feature toppings like peanut butter, whipped cream, strawberry or yogurt. You can get them with up to four different fruits. If you’d rather have a savory crepe, you’ll find plenty of them here as well. Toppings include cheese, tomatoes and spinach.
Visit The Panhandle For The Attractions While Enjoying Some Delicious Food Along The Way
There’s just so much to love about The Florida Panhandle. In between visiting the beach and all the numerous attractions, you really need to make sure that you indulge in as much food as possible. Skip counting calories, and enjoy as much food as you can.
We hope that this guide gives you some great options when trying to figure out where you want to eat while you are visiting the area. There are a plethora of different restaurants available, and many of them are LGBTQ friendly. There are so many amazing things to see, do, and eat here that you may need to extend your trip a day or two in order to get it all in!
Looking for more amazing eats in the Sunshine State? Check out our Visit section here.
***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.