10 of the Best Seafood Restaurants in St. Pete and Clearwater

There's no better place to try the fresh catch of the day then in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on the west coast of Florida. Not only do these waterfront cities boast a coveted location directly on the Gulf of Mexico, there's a burgeoning food scene for locals and travelers alike. Offering great options for any budget, you'll find a combination of new upscale restaurants and laid-back beachfront mainstays.

Some of the more luxurious dining locales feature well-renowned chefs at the helm and an impressive wine list to accompany a seasonal menu touting organic local ingredients. And others on this list offer down-home seafood dishes prepared simply and deliciously with added bonuses like a waterfront backdrop, great service and live music to sweeten the deal.  

Well-known restaurants located in popular hotels are top dining destinations, but many of the best restaurants are stand alone locales in gulf front locations like Clearwater Beach, Dunedin and Tierra Verde.  

Whether you're looking for fresh oysters, coconut shrimp, tuna tartare, lobster, crispy calamari or finely prepared grouper, dining options run the gamut along the shore. And be sure to mark your calendar for Florida Stone Crab season, which runs from mid-October to mid-May – the best time of the year to try this highly sought after local delicacy. 

Frenchy's Rockaway Grill
Photo courtesy of VSPC

If you're looking for a laid back beach bar with great food and live music, Frenchy's Rockaway Grill in Clearwater Beach is the perfect place for you. This open-air beachfront joint specalizes in locally caught grilled fish, has two bars and...  Read More

Guy Harvey’s RumFish Grill & Bar
Photo courtesy of Rumfish Grill

Guy Harvey's RumFish Grill & Bar at Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort, is located on the island of St. Pete Beach. And while visitors come for the food, the restaurant's main attraction is a 33,500-gallon aquarium built by Wayde...  Read More

Billy's Stone Crab Seafood & Steaks
Photo courtesy of VSPC

Spectacular seafood awaits visitors at this down-home restaurant's waterfront locale on the island of Tierre Verde, located just north of Fort De Soto State Park. Florida natives and tourists alike relish the view of Hurricane Hole harbor as you...  Read More

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

No reservations necessary for this waterfront gem located in laid back Dunedin, located north of the Clearwater area. It was originally a 1930s wooden shack with a loading dock where local fisherman unloaded their daily catches. Walt Wickman...  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

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

Marchand's Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Marchand's

A fitting complement to the glorious Vinoy, this celebrated dining room embodies elegance, with its frescoes, bay views, and accents of marble and mahogany. Its cuisine is in perfect keeping with the refined setting. A menu swayed by...  Read More

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

Executive Chef Kenny Hunsberger and Chef de Cuisine Gavin Pera blend contemporary American cuisine with fresh from the sea selections. While the menu varies weekly, stand-out menu options include marmalade-roasted red snapper, Pacific halibut...  Read More

Sea Salt St. Pete
Photo courtesy of Sea Salt

Located in downtown St. Pete in the Sundial shopping center, Sea Salt features an expansive raw bar, fresh Florida seafood, creative cocktails and 6,000 bottles of wine. With a menu of more than 40 varieties of oysters, this seafood hotspot has...  Read More

Located in downtown St. Petersburg, Locale Market was started by celebrity chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona. There's a culinary marketplace offering fresh artisanal foods, hand-selected ingredients and fine produce, meat and seafood with an...  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

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