Expert Tips


Best Beach Restaurants in St. Petersburg / Clearwater

Beach Restaurant Favorites - A Choice Between Casual or Chic

No matter what your culinary inclination, St Petersburg and Clearwater have developed a vivid foodie scene over the past few years, unveiling a plethora of dining options - both indoors and out. Not only will you discover the freshest seafood, you'll be treated to a host of other appealing options - often with beautiful sunset vistas thrown in.

If you want something casual, be sure to check out Jimmy B's Beach Bar with its laid-back ambiance, tasty fresh seafood and fun atmosphere, both indoors or out. Yet another casual vibe offering a mix of seafood and comfort food can be found at the historic Hurricane Seafood Restaurant.  

For something more upscale, you can't beat the chic Sea Porch in the historic Don CeSar Hotel, where you'll uncover an ample menu along with a classy ambiance, or at the exotic Castile in the Kimpton Hotel Zamora.

And while you're at on St Pete Beach, be sure to check out the recently renovated Harry's Beach Bar inside the Sirata Beach Resort. The menu has also changed but you can still sip on their legendary Harry Navel while viewing the spectacular sunsets.


Paradise Grille Upham Beach
Photo courtesy of Michelle da Silva Richmond

Set on Upham Beach, one of St Pete Beach's best "swimming holes," this casual, walk-up counter offers an amazing selection of tasty breakfast and lunch treats throughout the day. On weekends, you'll even get live music! Start your day with a range of breakfast options featuring egg platters, breakfast sandwiches, French toast and buttermilk pancakes accompanied by bacon or sausage. Lunch-goers will enjoy shrimp, fish and chips, salads, sandwiches, wraps and what's often described as the "best burgers in town." Refreshing drinks include sodas, beer, juices and smoothies. A pleasant patio dining area offers umbrella-shaded picnic tables with easy access to the beach.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: In addition to good basic food at reasonable prices, it's the perfect spot in which to unwind at the end of the day.

Michelle's expert tip: If you're to go to the beach in addition to dining here, be sure to arrive early as the metered-parking spaces fill up quickly.

Read more about Paradise Grille Upham Beach →

St. Pete Beach
Jimmy B's Beach Bar
Photo courtesy of The Beachcomber Beach Resort Hotel

One of St Pete Beach's most popular restaurant-bars, Jimmy B's, located in the Beachcomber Hotel on St Pete Beach is a self-styled "Mecca for surf, sun and fun" and whether you're young or simply young at heart, this is the place to capture good times along with scenic sunsets. Food is served daily from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. with a menu ranging from shrimp cocktail, quesadillas and burgers to salads, pizzas, paninis and chicken or fish platters. Desserts are decadent and the kids' menu is varied enough to please the smallest visitor. A wide selection of canned and craft beer, specialty drinks, designer cocktails, frozen blends and wine keep the party going. Popular local bands are featured nightly.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: The food is good and the beach is divine. It's been around a long time and is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Michelle's expert tip: Kick back and enjoy the beach experience and try to be there at sunset. It's something you won't soon forget.

Read more about Jimmy B's Beach Bar →

St. Pete Beach
Billy's Stone Crab
Photo courtesy of VSPC

Since 1972, Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant - has been garnering acclaim for its laid-back, rustic Key West vibe. The self-styled "Old Florida seafood house" is well known for its reasonably-priced menu boasting a wide range of fresh seafood, which includes its signature stone crab as well as shrimp, oysters and lobster along with a variety of fish and steak. Its location on the natural harbor, Hurricane Hole adds a special dimension to the dining experience. At lunchtime, Florida natives and tourists alike clamor for light bites such as grouper nuggets and a host of burgers and sandwiches, tacos and seafood platters. The evening menu offers hardier fare including pasta dishes, seafood, chicken, steak and more.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: You'll find a welcoming atmosphere and some of the freshest seafood on the beach.

Michelle's expert tip: Weekends, as you would expect tend to be crowded, so try to plan accordingly.

Read more about Billy's Stone Crab →

Hurricane Seafood Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

What started in 1977 as a small family beach bar built on the site of a 1912 bath house offering a modest 10-item menu, has blossomed into a popular dining experience, drawing not only locals, but visitors from around the globe. Started by the Falkenstein family from Baltimore who brought neighborhood favorites to their new venture, the Hurricane has since morphed into three stories - including a top floor boasting 360 degree views - and two distinct dining venues. Lunch and dinner are served on the ground floor - the original Hurricane - geared more to families. Options range from light bites, sandwiches, soups and salads to hardier seafood platters, pasta and more. Level two offers an "upscale" dinner experience with tasty treats such as gator bites, lobster ravioli, snow crab, the popular "Mom's 1945 crab cakes," and a host of other favorites.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: You can't beat the food, the beachfront setting and sunsets!

Michelle's expert tip: Be sure to try their specialty, the fresh Gulf Black Grouper, fried, blackened or grilled. Also, "Mom's 1945 Crab Cakes Melt," "back home" Baltimore recipe prepared daily.

Read more about Hurricane Seafood Restaurant →

SHOR American Seafood Grill
Photo courtesy of VSPC

Sweeping ocean views in a chic ambiance are the perfect perch from which to savor the delicious array of Coastal American dishes offered at the Hyatt Regency's SHOR. An open kitchen invites diners to view the preparation of fresh, healthy dishes - creating an "inter-active" twist to the dining experience.The varied breakfast menu features basic comfort favorites as well as "responsible" choices such as the tasty goat cheese and asparagus omelet. For lunch you can select from salads, soups, tacos, quesadillas and burgers. Oysters, scallops, tuna and other seafood choices lead the list of dinner options along with meat choices including steak, chicken, pork tenderloin and more. An ample wine list and tasty desserts are an added "plus." A special menu for kids is sure to please every small palate.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: The view is one of the best in town, and the food is delicious!

Michael's expert tip: For even more spectacular ocean views, grab a table on the outdoor patio.

Read more about SHOR American Seafood Grill →

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

This popular restaurant located at Guy Harvey Outpost - a Trade Winds Beach Resort - dishes up tasty food throughout the day. Breakfast is well stocked with the usual favorites, while lunch and dinner showcase salads, sandwiches, salads and burgers as well as a fresh roster of seafood selections. An varied choice of pasta, meat and poultry complements the well planned menu. The "late night" menu offers a surprising selection of other options. Decadent desserts such as molten lava cake and key lime pie are an added attraction, while "liquid desserts" feature chocolate cream pie or bananas foster martinis! While the food is the obvious draw, 33,500-gallon aquarium covering one wall is a unique touch.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: Not only is the food excellent, but the huge onsite fish tank adds an interesting dimension to the dining experience.

Michelle's expert tip: The restaurant offers visitors a unique "Swim with the Fishes" snorkeling experience in their 33,500 gallon fish tank. The experience includes a behind-the-scenes tour highlighting eco-initiatives and tank management.

Read more about Guy Harvey's RumFish Grill & Bar →

St. Pete Beach
Photo courtesy of The Zamora Hotel

No matter when you go, this Spanish-style restaurant tucked into the Hotel Zamora is sure to titillate your palate with its tasty contemporary fare with Spanish, Mexican and Mediterranean touches. Breakfast offers typical favorites, while lunch showcases tapas, sandwiches and salads and dinner serves a variety of seafood, chicken, beef and pasta. Weekend brunch offerings run the gamut of traditional treats to more exotic choices such as Nutella stuffed French toast, New England lobster rolls, croissant sandwiches and more. You'll find an ample list of designer cocktails, martinis, wines and beer, sure to satisfy every mood. When night falls, slip up to the 360° Rooftop for lighter fare, frosty drinks and stunning panoramic views.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: This chic, boutique hotel is a "must" for anyone in search of good food in a sophisticated venue with vistas of the sea - and beyond.

Michelle's expert tip: Sunday brunch is legendary. While you're at it, don't miss out on the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Read more about Castile →

St. Pete Beach
Harry's Beach Bar
Photo courtesy of Sirata Beach Resort

Following Sirata Beach Resort's $15 million renovation, guests can now enjoy more perks at their popular Harry's Beach Bar with its open-air bar space and breathtaking ocean views and sunsets. The new coastal casual design offers comfortable seating highlighted by soothing hues of blues and yellows to underscore the beachy décor. Sea-themed accents throughout enhance the new dining menu, which still features their famous tropical cocktails such as Harry's Hurricane and the Harry Navel. An extensive beer selection and craft beer is also on tap. Menu highlights include Harry's signature Avocado Mango Tango burger, sandwiches, salads and Harry's famous wings, said to be the best on St Pete Beach. Live music adds to the pleasing experience.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: It's sporting a new look, décor and menu and is the perfect place in which to unwind at the end of the day.

Michelle's expert tip: Go at sunset to catch one of Mother Nature's most impressive displays.

Read more about Harry's Beach Bar →

Sea Porch Café  - Don CeSar
Photo courtesy of Sea Porch

Whether you decide to stop by this beautifully appointed restaurant tucked into the luxurious Don CeSar for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can't go wrong. The unrivaled beach views and lush garden ambiance combine with excellent service and tasty food to assure the perfect dining experience. Breakfast stands out with delicious cinnamon Monkey Bread, coconut pancakes, Cuban bread French toast and other "staples" with which to kick-start your day. The brunch menu pairs breakfast favorites with sandwiches and salads, while lunch and dinner dish up tasty choices including pulled pork quesadillas, fish tacos, tuna tostadas, sizzling NY strip, seafood, crisp salads and lots more. Signature cocktails and decadent desserts complete the delectable experience.

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: One of the only restaurants on St. Pete Beach where you can dine beachfront while enjoying an a la carte brunch (including the signature Monkey Bread).

Michelle's expert tip: All seats are good, but ask for one on the loggia. There you'll have great views of the historic Pink Palace, its pools and beach and of course, great people watching!

Read more about Sea Porch Café - Don CeSar →

Clearwater Beach
Caretta on the Gulf
Photo courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Named for the area's logger-head turtles and tucked into the award-winning Sandpearl Resort, Caretta on the Gulf is Clearwater's only AAA Four Diamond restaurant. Indoor-outdoor seating serve as the perfect perch from which to view the Gulf of Mexico, setting the stage for a delectable dining experience. Sunday Brunch is a favorite with brioche French toast, topped with candied orange cream and maple syrup leading the list of choices which includes - among other things - freshly baked pastries, eggs, pancakes, omelets and more. The smoked salmon station is always a crowd-pleaser and the weekday breakfast buffet invites children 12 and younger to eat for free. Lunch and dinner menus offer a host of options - including a sushi and raw bar - along with typical favorites ranging from salads, soups, sandwiches, seafood and more. Desserts are over-the-top!

Recommended for Beach Restaurants because: Tucked into the posh Sandpearl Resort, it's one of the classiest restaurants in town and promises a memorable visit.

Michelle's expert tip: The Sunday buffet is legendary with carving stations, made-to-order omelets, sushi and other treats, sure to satisfy every craving.

Read more about Caretta on the Gulf →


Meet Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. 

She has written hundreds of articles...  More About Michelle