Over the years, I’ve seen Clearwater Beach grow and change and attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. In fact, when friends come to visit, this is usually one of the first places I want to take them! But with so many new places to eat in Clearwater Beach, opening up around every corner, it can be tricky to keep up with what’s actually worth your time and what’s not so much. Lucky for you, there’s people like me, who’ve been to Clearwater Beach more times than I can count and am more than happy to share with you my experiences, reviews and opinions.
You can always skip eating out all together and bring your own food, however if you opt for that choice I have a word of advice : watch out for sea gulls. Seriously.. watch out for sea gulls! Especially if you have kids! Those mean and obnoxious birds from hell are on standby just waiting for that split second when you aren’t looking and they will snatch that sandwich straight out of your hand, calling in their friends, their family, their in-laws and before you know it you are surrounded by the great crowd of birds leaving you without a single potato chip to your name.
Consider yourself warned.
However if you’re interested in trying out the local spots (why else would you be reading this?) then here’s a few places I think you should most definitely consider!
This is the recently upgraded, three story building right at the heart of Clearwater Beach. It’s also my new favorite place to satisfy the belly when roaming these areas. Crabby’s Dockside has amazingly, delicious, fresh dishes that will have you drooling in no time.
Freshly caught fish (sold at market price) local brews (I had my first pomegranate beer here, it was surprisingly delicious) and award winning pies, all enjoyed with a beautiful view of the pier.
Tip on parking : you can park by the marina, which is right next to Crabby’s. The meters say “30min limit” however if you walk to the marina parking office, you can purchase a parking pass ($2 for 2 hours!) Just make sure to tell them you’re going to Crabby’s.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill (there’s also Saltwater Cafe and South Beach Cafe but the Grill is the best in my personal opinion) sits right on the beach, north of the roundabout, giving you a view of the beach as you enjoy your meal.
It offers a yummy selection of seafood and burgers or salads as well as some unique brews all at a reasonable price. It also offers daily live music to really get that beach vibe going. They do not take reservations, but if you end up waiting on a table, they can send you a text when they’re ready to seat you, so you can stroll down the beach to kill the time!
This is another place that’s always hopping. If you’re out on the beach and hear a band playing some jazzy tunes, there’s an 80% chance it’s coming from Palm Pavilion. (My statistic is based on personal judgement, not scientific research)
It’s also located right on the beach, across from Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, but unlike Frenchy’s has a more bar scenario. It can get a little loud and it is smoker friendly. So if you’re a social butterfly looking to mingle with some new people, this might be the spot for you!
This is a newer place that recently opened up on Mandalay Ave (right next to Surf Style) and its pretty snazzy! I really enjoyed their food and beer and the service was excellent! Though it doesn’t offer a view of the beach, they do have live music and a chill and laid back atmosphere.
Jimmy’s Crows Nest
A rooftop bar located at Pier House 60 Marina Hotel. You won’t get a great meal and a super attentive waiter, but the drinks are good and the view is what’s really worth it! They count down the minutes till the sun sets, hand out shots and ring a big bell. It doesn’t get better than that!
Once that fun is over and the game is on, they do have a projector which lets you watch the game on the side of the building.
This place is the least eventful however I think it’s worth mentioning because who doesn’t love a great pizza? It’s like my friend Bekah put it “If you’re looking for authentic Italian, look somewhere else. If you’re looking for some good pizza with a hint of mediterranean flavor, this is your spot!”
They also have greek specialties and subs.
I imagine this list is one that will grow as Clearwater Beach is consistently evolving and expanding. New places open up and as the bar climbs, the older spots step up their game to meet the competition. It’s been interesting to watch this place change over the years and even be voted the number one beach in the United States! But Clearwater Beach has so much more to offer than just delicious food. Check out my article on all the tips for planning a trip to one of Tampa Bay’s best spots. If you ever come around, I hope you find these helpful!