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17 Must Try Clearwater Restaurants

All the top rated places to eat in the city.

Clearwater is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the Tampa Bay area, if you ask me. I love visiting Clearwater and soaking up the Florida sunshine with my feet in the sand. Clearwater and Clearwater Beach are both full of attractions to help you relax and enjoy yourself, but the restaurants are the most enticing, by far. 

Going out to eat in Clearwater, Fl is an experience unlike any other, as long as you know where to go. As a Florida native, I’ve spent a lot of time all over the state, and the first thing I do when I’m in a new city is try to find all of the best restaurants near me. During my travels, I’ve tried a lot of restaurants, both good and bad, and so I thought it might be helpful to share my favorite experiences with my fellow foodies out there. 

group of people having fun at a restaurant in Clearwater

For that reason, I made this list ranking the best restaurants in Clearwater, Florida that I think everyone should check out. You’ll find everything from Italian bistros to seafood places, Mexican restaurants and more. I’ve made sure to include a little something for everyone, so you’re bound to find a restaurant you love! 

Best Restaurants in Clearwater FL

  1. Lenny’s Restaurant
  2. Bait House
  3. Clear Sky Cafe
  4. Columbia Restaurant
  5. Crabby’s 
  6. Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza
  7. Marina Cantina
  8. Salt Cracker Fish Camp
  9. Wildflower Cafe
  10. Bascom’s Chop House
  11. Blinkers Beachside Steakhouse and Lounge
  12. Caretta on the Gulf
  13. Frenchy’s 
  14. Kara Lynn’s Kitchen
  15. Poppa’s BBQ
  16. Ristorante Acqua Alta
  17. Rumba Island Bar & Grill

Lenny’s Restaurant

21220 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-799-0402
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Lenny’s Restaurant is ranked first on my list of Clearwater’s best places to eat. This place has been a longtime fixture of Clearwater and a favorite among locals. This is one of the greatest places to go for breakfast and lunch in the city. 

I have to say that the omelettes are my favorite things to order from Lenny’s, especially Dan’s Famous Gator Omelette made with fresh gator tail. A true Florida delicacy!

Check out Lenny’s Restaurant right next to Magnuson Hotel Clearwater Central and La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Clearwater Central off of US Highway 19. 


Bait House

45 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-446-8134
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Next up is Bait House, easily one of the top Clearwater restaurants when it comes to seafood. This may even be one of my favorite seafood places on the whole West Coast of Florida. They have everything you could ever need. 

Bait House is only steps away from the soft sugar sand of Clearwater Beach inside the massive marina parking lot across from Pier 60 Clearwater. 

My favorite part about Bait House is the seafood (duh!) and I almost always order the clam chowder to start with, but then I finish up with their fresh catch platter with whatever the catch of the day is. 


Clear Sky Cafe

490 Mandalay Ave Ste 1 Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-442-3684
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Clear Sky Cafe is sure to become one of your favorite places to eat near Clearwater once you try it. This seafood restaurant is lively and everything they serve is fresh off the fishing boat, probably caught not too far away. 

They have one of the best grouper sandwiches I’ve ever had here at Clear Sky Cafe, but that’s not all. The Cuban sandwich and the muffuletta are also pretty mind-blowing. It’s the perfect spot to grab lunch while you’re enjoying the beach. 

Look for Clear Sky Cafe off of Mandalay Avenue right next to the Sandpearl Resort. 


Columbia Restaurant

1241 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-596-8400
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Columbia Restaurant is a widely-known, well-loved name that frequents my lists all over Florida, and for good reason. This Spanish restaurant is always an amazing place to eat, no matter where I’m at. 

What I recommend the most from Columbia Restaurant is their paella almost every time, but if you’re not looking for anything with seafood in it, they have a ton of other options as well like roast pork and chicken with yellow rice. 

Head down to Columbia restaurant the next time you’re looking for places to eat near Clearwater with a bit of a hispanic flair. They’re right off of Gulf Boulevard on Sand Key, right next to the Sheraton Sand Key Resort and Sand Key Beach. 


Crabby’s

333 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-608-2065
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Right next to the Beachview Inn Clearwater Beach is one of my favorite places to eat out in Clearwater, Crabby’s. This isn’t their only location, either. You can find Crabby’s Dockside across from Pier 60 Park off of Causeway Boulevard. 

Whichever one you choose, it’ll be delicious. I always come here for the fish n chips and a hand crafted cocktail like a mai tai or a refreshing mojito to beat that famous Florida heat. 

If you like shellfish, then you need to come to Crabby’s. They have a wide range of oysters served in different ways alongside Prince Edward Island mussels and New England middle neck clams. 


Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza

1101 S Ft Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: 727-443-4900
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Heading over towards the mainland, Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza is up next. When it comes to Clearwater restaurants, no one does pizza like Cristino’s. It’s the place I recommend the most for anyone in the mood to grab a slice of pizza. 

They don’t just do pizza, either. Cristino’s has a huge menu with plenty of tasty options like paninis, pasta, salads, chicken parmesan, and more. Of course, coal fired pizza is the specialty. 

I’m old-fashioned, so I usually stick with a classic pepperoni pizza, but when I want to switch it up, I’ll go for something like their white pizza or a margherita pizza. 


Marina Cantina

25 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-443-1750
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Marina Cantina is the place to go in Clearwater for delicious Mexican food in a fun, lively atmosphere with beautiful views of the marina from their rooftop deck, not to mention the tequila bar.

What I recommend you order from Marina Cantina is definitely the po boy, either shrimp or oyster. Either that, or the grouper tacos which are absolutely to do for. 

Of course, what would a Mexican restaurant be without a proper selection of margaritas? Not to worry, Marina Cantina has 9 different kinds to choose from and countless 100% agave tequilas to try. What more could you want?


Salt Cracker Fish Camp

25 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Phone: 727-442-6910
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Right next door to Marina Cantina is Salt Cracker Fish Camp, another one of the greatest Clearwater Beach Restaurants for anyone in search of fresh seafood and great drink deals. 

I am a huge fan of the fried calamari here at Salt Cracker Fish Camp, but another thing that always blows me away is their jalapeno and corn hushpuppies. Those are 2 phenomenal ways to start your meal, but there is so much more that you’ll love. 

The raw bar is also a great reason to visit Salt Cracker Fish Camp. They offer delicacies like oysters on the half shell, peel n’ eat shrimp, shrimp cocktail, and split king crab. 


Wildflower Cafe

1465 S Ft Harrison Ave #105, Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: 727-447-4497
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This next place is called Wildflower Cafe and they are located over off of South Fort Harrison Avenue next to the Summerside Inn, just east of the Belleview Inn and the Belleair Country Club with its sprawling luxury golf course.  

I love coming to Wildflower Cafe for a tasty breakfast or brunch on their outdoor patio on a beautiful day. Sundays are when brunch is served and you can order mimosas, bloody marys, and all your favorite morning cocktails. 

I highly recommend their Mile High Baked French Toast, it’s simply out of this world. They might actually have the fluffiest French toast I’ve tried in a long time. 


Bascom’s Chop House

3665 Ulmerton Rd, Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-573-3363
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This next place is perfect for anyone getting off a plane at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport who might need to treat themselves to a juicy steak after a long flight. Bascom’s Chop House is located right off of Ulmerton Road, south of the airport, in front of the Quality Inn & Suites St. Petersburg Clearwater Airport.

You can get pretty much any cut of USDA Prime steak you can imagine, flame grilled to perfection to the point where it just melts in your mouth. Choose between classics like a bone-in filet mignon to Japanese A5 wagyu striploin and everything in between. 


Blinkers Beachside Steakhouse and Lounge

476 Mandalay Ave, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-754-1757
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Blinkers Beachside Steakhouse and Lounge is another one of the top-rated Clearwater Beach restaurants that I think everyone should try. If you want delicious surf n’ turf, then this is the spot for you, among other things 

Some of my highest recommended menu items from Blinkers include the beef carpaccio and the ahi tuna to start with. I would then order a decent bottle of red wine and indulge in the Prime bone-in ribeye. 

The best part is that Blinkers is already located inside a hotel, The Residences at Sandpearl, so when you get too full to move, just book a room!


Caretta on the Gulf

1738, 500 Mandalay Ave #100, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-674-4171

Caretta on the Gulf certainly lives up to its name. This restaurant is located inside the Sandpearl Resort beachfront hotel and they provide some of the most stunning beach views of any Clearwater restaurant.

You can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Caretta on the Gulf, all while being just walking distance from Clearwater Beach and the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Some of the menu items I recommend the most include the crab cake Benedict for breakfast and the Chilean sea bass. Just be sure to save room for dessert! The dessert menu here features decadent options like creme brulee and cheesecake. 


Frenchy’s 

7 Rockaway St, Clearwater, FL 33767
Phone: 727-446-4844
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Frenchy’s is one of the most popular Clearwater Beach restaurants around, and you’ll immediately see why once you check them out. This seafood restaurant is nestled right in the soft sandy shores of Clearwater Beach, so close that you’re practically eating next to the water. 

What they do best here, if you ask me, are their fried grouper cheeks, but they go quickly so you have to order them while you can. They also have a huge selection of ice cream and other cold, sweet treats to beat the heat during a day on the beach. 


Kara Lynn’s Kitchen

421 Cleveland St, Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: 727-447-2536
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Up next is Kara Lynn’s Kitchen, a health food restaurant that provides some health-conscious dining options for Clearwater residents and visitors alike. I love coming here after a workout or a run when I want to reward my body with food that’s healthy and delicious. 

Kara Lynn’s is located off of Cleveland Street, right next to the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre and right around the corner from Coachman Park. 

When you get there, be sure to check out their quiche options. They even have gluten free selections as well so there’s something to accommodate everyone’s diet. 


Poppa’s BBQ

4890 122nd Ave N, Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-954-8871
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Although many people might forget thanks to all the palm trees and beaches, Florida is still technically part of The South. That means you can get delicious BBQ here, particularly at Poppa’s BBQ.

This classic, counter-serve barbecue restaurant is always one of the first places I stop at once I get to Clearwater. I always grab a jumbo pulled pork sandwich because I cannot get enough of their award-winning, slow-smoked pork. 

Check out Poppa’s BBQ over off of 122nd Avenue North and right around the corner from the Tampa Bay Grand Prix go-kart racing venue. It’s the perfect place to eat after a day on the race track. 


Ristorante Acqua Alta

2454 McMullen Booth Rd suite 205, Clearwater, FL 33759
Phone: 727-303-3403
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Next up is Acqua Alta Ristorante located over off of McMullen Booth Road north of Shady Oak Farms in the Northwood Commons shopping center. 

This place is a delightful Italian restaurant that never disappoints. I really love their spaghetti carbonara, but they have lots of other delicious Italian food like branzino, ravioli dishes, and, of course, chicken parmesan. One dish I recommend the most is the breaded veal scallopini parmigiana style.

If you can, save room for their homemade desserts. The dessert menu here features delectable options like 3 kinds of tiramisu, 10 different gelato flavors, and even refreshing sorbetto. 


Rumba Island Bar & Grill

1800 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-446-7027
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Last, but not least, is a charming Jamaican restaurant called Rumba Island Bar & Grill that’s perfect for a fun night out filled with live music and tropical cocktails from the tiki bar to really get that vacation vibe going, even if you aren’t on vacation!

Look for Rumba Island Bar & Grill off of Gulf to Bay Boulevard east of Crest Lake Park, right across from Papa’s New York Diner. 

When you get here, I highly recommend starting with some jerked smoked chicken wings to kick things off, and then I’d grab a few cocktails, finishing with one of their Island Rice Bowls. I prefer scallops in my bowl, but you can also pick between grouper, salmon, jerk chicken, and more.


Final Thoughts

If the pristine beaches and the clear waters of the gulf aren’t enough to convince you to visit Clearwater, Fl, then this list of incredible places to eat around the city should do it. As you can see, there is no shortage of restaurants near Clearwater, so go ahead and check out a few of my favorites and see what you think!

Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave me a comment and I’ll check it out!

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is from Sanibel Island, Florida, and a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.