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.
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