Tampa's Waterfront Restaurants Feed the Belly, Lift the Soul

Tampa features a host of dining options that offer views of the City's many waterways. Whether located on the Hillsborough River, downtown's Garrison Channel, or the open waters of Tampa Bay, these restaurants will feed the belly while lifting the soul. After considerable and pleasurable research, 10 Best has developed a list of the ten best options for waterfront dining in Tampa.

Options run from sophisticated and upscale to flip-flops and finger food, so there is a spot for everyone to enjoy to views. Oystercatchers offers wonderful panoramic views Tampa Bay coupled with the best prepared and freshest seafood in town. With a location situated to catch the brilliant sunsets, this is the perfect spot for intimate dinners and celebrations.

On the other end of the spectrum you'll find Rick's on the River. Views feature the lively waters of the Hillsborough River enjoyed from a large and casual outdoor patio. The seafood is still fresh, it's just more simply prepared and less expensive. A must-try is their "Jacked-up Oysters." Locals love this spot and it's very popular with boaters thanks to the adjacent boat ramp and docks.

If you're looking to experience a taste of Tampa's ethnic history while enjoying the views, try the Columbia Cafe adjacent to the Tampa Bay History Center. A downtown version of the famous Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, this restaurant carries on the tradition of serving expertly prepared Spanish and Cuban favorites.



The Riverwalk Café occupies a choice spot on the downtown riverfront affording unparalleled views of the University of Tampa minarets, the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa skyline. Located in the Tampa Museum of Art, the decor reflects the...  Read More



Yacht Starship sails from Tampa's Channelside neighborhood and is billed as America's first three diamond rated dining yacht by AAA. Perfect for an intimate night out or a group celebration, Yacht Starship provides a three-course dinner while...  Read More



If you want to get off the beaten path, try Rick's on the River. Located on the Hillsborough River just north of downtown, Rick's is a popular local hangout catering to the boating and fishing community. Amenities include a boat ramp and marina...  Read More



Set slightly away from the downtown bustle, Jackson's Bistro features a large and sophisticated menu with dishes ranging from hand-rolled sushi to an oak-grilled NY strip steak. They are also known for their extensive wine list. The setting is...  Read More

Rocky Point
Photo courtesy of Armani's


Armani's is an award-winning restaurant located on the 14th floor of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. This popular local eatery is best known for it's sophisticated ambiance and panoramic views enjoyed through floor to ceiling windows. For the first...  Read More

Harbour Island


Quiet, casual, romantic; Café Dufrain represents all the qualities that make Harbour Island seem worlds away from Tampa's bustling downtown area. Set among high-rise condo and apartment developments, this award-winning restaurant quietly serves...  Read More



The Columbia Cafe is a picturesque dining spot located at the Tampa Bay History Center on the downtown waterfront overlooking Garrison Channel and the Riverwalk. The Cafe is part of the Columbia Restaurant Group with the original Columbia...  Read More

Tampa Heights


Ulele is a popular restaurant located on the northern end of Tampa's Riverwalk. The menu is inspired by the indigenous people of Florida and brings together fresh and local ingredients in unique flavor combinations. While the menu is changed...  Read More

The Heights Public Market
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


The Heights Public Market is a 22,000 square foot food hall featuring over 15 local and innovative food vendors. Dining options run the gamet from bar-b-que to baked goods suitable for any meal of the day. Beverage options are just as varied...  Read More

Airport Area


The first thing you notice as you enter Oystercatchers is the amazing view. This seafood restaurant, nestled among lush, tropical landscaping, takes full advantage of its location at the edge of Tampa Bay. Inside, the decor is bright, simple and...  Read More


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye