10 Best Restaurants for Foodies in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater Area

While it may be famous for its sugary sand beaches and stunning sunset vistas, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area has a burgeoning food scene. Whether you're looking for fresh Gulf seafood or authentic ethnic dishes, dining options run the gamut. 

Ranging from family-owned eateries and authentic markets, to upscale restaurants with nationally acclaimed chefs at the helm, there's truly something for everyone's tastes and budget. While locally sourced seafood caught straight from the Gulf of Mexico is the star of most menus, there's also an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine and organic ingredients.

A key time of year for this coastal region is Florida Stone Crab season, which runs from mid-October to mid-May. This is when you'll find the local delicacy offered in many of the finest seafood establishments located along the shoreline. 

Waterfront restaurants in Clearwater Beach and Dunedin are top locales, but the bulk of the list stems from historic-turned-trendy, downtown St. Petersburg. Here, the dining scene boasts many new original restaurants nestled along charming Beach Drive and beyond. And, of course, hotspots serving a triple threat package of excellent food, great service and killer views are must-visits for any traveler to the area. Ready to dig in?

Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market
Photo courtesy of Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market

No reservations necessary for this waterfront gem located in laid back Dunedin. It was originally a 1930s wooden shack with a loading dock where local fisherman unloaded their daily catches. Walt Wickman transformed the old structure into...  Read More

St. Pete Beach
Maritana Grille
Photo courtesy of Loews Don CeSar Hotel.

Located at the iconic Loews Don CeSar Hotel, a.k.a. the Pink Palace, the Maritana Grille is a AAA Four Diamond award-winner. And it's the perfect place for a romantic night out on St. Pete Beach. Executive Chef Kenny Hunsberger and Chef de...  Read More

St. Petersburg

A must-visit locale in the St. Pete dining scene, Chef Zack's Z Grille is an eclectic eatery with lots of personality. Decorated with skateboards and tattoo-inspired artwork by Evil Don, the restaurant has an ambiance that can't be...  Read More

Mazzaro Italian Market
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

Featuring fine ingredients and Italian favorites, Mazzaro's offers everything from fresh roasted coffee to gourmet baked goods as well as unique wines and speciality cheeses. This one-of-a-kind Italian market carries hundreds of pastas, but...  Read More

St. Petersburg

A trendy restaurant located on downtown St. Pete's infamous Beach Drive, BellaBrava offers a creative twist on traditional Italian cuisine. Enjoy a chic and upscale atmosphere and settle into one of the restaurant's cozy booths indoors or...  Read More

Clearwater Beach
Carreta on the Gulf
Photo courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Located on Clearwater Beach, Caretta on the Gulf is Sandpearl Resort's AAA four-diamond restaurant. Perched above the sand, this elegant eatery offers indoor/outdoor seating and a private dining room. The restaurant also features a ceviche bar,...  Read More


A celebrated downtown Dunedin staple, Casa Tina's is a family-owned Mexican eatery specializing in fresh, healthy and authentic cuisine. Stop by anytime and you'll likely run into owners Tina and Javier. The couple personally decorated the...  Read More


A NYC-style cafe located in an undescript Clearwater locale, Cafe Ponte is a fine-dining New American restaurant by Chef Christopher Ponte. Having studied under culinary greats like Daniel Boulud, Chef Ponte's talent runs the game and all of...  Read More

St. Petersburg

Reviving a community tavern style atmosphere, Urban Brew and BBQ is all about two simple things: an impressive rotating selection of craft beer and slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone American BBQ. Sit outside at one of only five large picnic...  Read More

Located on Beach Drive in laid back downtown St. Petersburg, Birch & Vine offers globally inspired fine dining dishes crafted by Chef Jason Cline. The restaurant's main dining room is situated inside The Birchwood, a boutique hotel in a...  Read More


Meet Kara Franker

A purveyor of the coastal life and a self-admitted beach addict, Kara is a travel writer obsessed with all things Florida. A former NFL cheerleader turned lawyer, Kara ditched the courtroom for...  More About Kara