St. Andrews is a salty little bayfront community where the commerce, restaurants, and nightlife thrives on a combination of local and tourists alike. The main street stretches from 15th Street along Beck Ave to the corner where it turns east along U.S. Business 98 toward the heart of Panama City. Restaurants, eclectic shops, coffee houses, and juke joints are easy to spot, each with their own “salty” charm that lingers from the days when St. Andrews was the center for fishing and seafood in the area.
There are so many great dinner offerings in St. Andrews! All the restaurants are within walking distance of the public parking area located behinds Hunt’s Oyster Bar on 13th Street. Hunt’s is known for its fresh oysters and local seafood. Los Antojitos offers Mexican and lively back deck seating along Lake Ware. Uncle Ernie’s features an Italian menu with a St. Andrews flair and the best sunset overlooking the bay. If you are all about the food, Alice’s on the south end of Bay Street will not disappoint. So many choices make picking one for tonight the hard part.
Along the sidewalks of Beck Avenue, you’ll find little shops worth taking a few minutes to explore. The funky Little Village on 13th Street features art, jewelry, and eclectic stuff plus live music on the weekends and FINNs for easy dining. The old bank building on the corner of Beck and Business 98 was converted to the Taproom, offering a wide selection of craft beers, live music, and a boutique.
Don’t miss a walk along Bay Street and the marina at twilight! The docks are slowly returning, but the sights and smells allow you to look back on a time when St. Andrews was a fishing village. A place where crabbers and shrimpers worked their nets and long-liners would stop chasing swordfish for a night ashore. The little town still has a salty feel, and they intend to keep it that way.
Ten Excursions to Take in St. Andrews
- Take a historic journey into the printed past of Panama City at the Panama City Publishing Museum. Make your own creations on a working vintage printing press at the original home of Panama City's first newspapers.
- Take a stroll through Oaks by the Bay Park. Admire the intricate details of a towering Chad Gainey chainsaw sculpture and relax with a picnic near the calming cool waters of the St. Andrews Bay just down the boardwalk.
- Turn happy hour into happy hours! Spend an afternoon at Little Village dining, drinking, and relaxing in a lakeside palapa, and perusing quaint huts and a large indoor shopping area filled with boutique fashion and local jewelry creations.
- Explore your artsy side at Floriopolis. Paint, craft, and form your own creations at Art on the Spot and Art in Action classes, and take advantage of art, music, and storytelling events for all ages. Become a part of the St. Andrews landscape and take a selfie in front of Floriopolis outdoor public art display made by local artists and volunteers.
- Saturdays are sweeter at The Market at St. Andrews. Homegrown fare and creative wares line the boardwalk near St. Andrews Marina on Saturday mornings, offering a family-friendly, pet-friendly experience for all ages. Shopping, eating, and hands-on activities make for a great start to the weekend!
- Take in the sounds and flavors of St. Andrews nightlife. Live music greets your ears, exceptional dining curbs your late-night cravings, and local brews treat your palette at indoor and outdoor favorites Tap Room, Los Antojitos, and Salty Hobo.
- #KeepStAndrewsSalty with trademark artisan shopping. Beck Avenue is lined with shops and boutiques that showcase the creativity and quirkiness small business owners have poured into their passions. Find kayaks and outdoors staples at Sunjammers, the latest fashion at The Trendy Side, and gifts and souvenirs at Native Spirit Museum and Gallery.
- Enjoy a unique family-friendly experience at Papa Joe's Bayside. Spend a day on the water with convenient on-site pontoon rentals and deep-sea charter excursions. At the end of the day, savor the sunset with outdoor live music, lawn seating, and tasty food trucks.
- Catch a signature St. Andrews sunset. Sunsets are what Panama City is made of, and St. Andrews Marina paints a perfect picture of relaxation with a sprinkling of sailboats extending across a gorgeous setting sun.
- Don’t miss the Walking Tour of St. Andrews. Led by a sixth-generation St. Andrews native, this is a glimpse into St. Andrews’ past. The stories are wonderful. Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 pm.
Hunt’s Oyster Bar
Down-home seafood restaurant doling out oysters plus lots of fried fish for more than 45 years, delivered daily from Tarpon Dock Seafood Market.
Every Thursday, Los Antojitos features one of the best steaks in town. Get there early and enjoy the band on the back deck. Just looking for something light? Try their ceviche and chase it with Dos Equis. Enjoy the back deck overlooking Lake Ware.
Finns Island Style Grub at Little Village
Inside Little Village, you’ll find Finn’s restaurant, more like a food truck only permanent, and still serving one of The Best Fish Tacos.
For that “special night,” arrive at Uncle Ernie’s early for a cocktail at the Martini Bar upstairs, then grab a table on the deck for dinner at sunset.
Alice’s on Bayview
Alice’s serves the best crab cakes, plus Alice always stops by to check on things. After a few visits … you’re family.
***** SIDEBAR: *****
St. Andrews Feels Like Home
"One of the happiest aspects of living in St. Andrews are the people I have come to meet and know. St. Andrews might call itself 'salty,' but to me, the people are as 'sweet as iced tea.' I guess good people are drawn to St. Andrews because it has a special quality. It is a place where people are welcoming and greet you with a ready smile, where people truly care about you and your loved one, where every day seems like a blessing. It has been said that 'home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.' Well, for me, 'St. Andrews feels like home.'” – Tim W.
LOCALS' TIPS: *****(with headshots)*****
"Don't underestimate the power of the events that happen in St. Andrews!" – Brad S.
"Weeknights in St. Andrews is one of the best-kept secrets." – Heather P.
"My favorite place to listen to live music is the Tap Room at the Hub on Beck Ave. – and they have great food trucks." – Donna G.
"Little Village is a great place to enjoy live music, meet up with friends, indulge in good food, have a few spirits, and spend an afternoon with loved ones." – Irene F.