A meal with a great waterfront view is simply unbeatable, and there is no better place to be than Tampa Bay for exquisite food with an astounding view. It’s one of the many perks that come with a city being located directly on the water.
Thanks to Tampa’s close proximity to the Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, there are tons of restaurants with great waterfront views, so the only hard part when you’re visiting, or even if you live here, is finding out which ones are the absolute best for that romantic sunset dinner or the next sunny Sunday brunch.
Looks aren’t everything, however, and we know that the quality of the food is just as important as the view, so we only picked restaurants along the water that serve the freshest seafood and highest quality meats like prime steak to really complete the experience.
2900 Bayport Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
Oystercatchers is a fixture of Tampa Bay, and definitely a top contender for the best waterfront restaurant.
Locals and visitors alike flock to Oystercatchers not only because of its scenic view of Old Tampa Bay, but because it’s also home to some incredible prime steaks as well as seafood that’s so fresh you might think the chef walked out to the water and caught it right there.
Oystercatchers is located hidden away in the mangrove forests off of Bayport Drive next to the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. For even more amazing places to eat like this, head over the bridge into Clearwater and check out the dining scene there!
700 Harbour Post Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
We absolutely adore Downtown Tampa for a night out by the water, and Watervue Grill is one of the main reasons why.
Watervue has a very upscale and highly contemporary atmosphere inside, but the outside seating is where you can truly get one of Tampa’s best views of the bay.
We always start with a charcuterie board here at Watervue, and then we work our way to their delectable macadamia crusted mahi.
Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi
601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602
Harbor Island in Tampa Bay has several waterfront restaurants that are all great, but Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi really has it all.
Enjoy your meal with a gorgeous view of the heart of Tampa’s waterways here at Jackson’s on their massive riverside outdoor patio or head inside to bask in the cozy, chic atmosphere and enjoy your waterfront view in some air conditioning.
We love Jackson’s the most for their amazing Sunday brunch, but be sure to make a reservation due to the high volume of guests on those days.
1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Ulele has to be the best restaurant on the water in Tampa Bay for family fun to go along with fantastic food.
Directly adjacent to Ulele is Ulele Spring Waterpark, one of Tampa Bay’s many beautiful, natural springs that flow into the hillsborough river where you can come to see manatees and other Florida animals.
Ulele serves classic Floridian cooking, including all the best kinds of fresh fish and prime steak available.
2545 N Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
Julian Restaurant is simply breathtaking in every aspect from the scenic view of Old Tampa Bay to the strikingly modern and charmingly classy ambiance inside, and the food is even more impressive.
Julian Restaurant is located off of West Courtney Campbell Causeway on the Rocky Point Peninsula in Tampa Bay, so it doesn’t get much more waterfront than this.
The menu here at Julian is small and simple but sure to please. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week, so you can eat here all day long.
707 Harbour Post Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Cafe Dufrain is located off of Harbor Post Drive and Channelside Walk Way on Tampa Bay’s beautiful Harbour Island, so it offers a lovely view of the Garrison Channel and Downtown Tampa while you enjoy your meal.
It’s a lively, fun atmosphere here at Cafe Dufrain that will make you want to relax with a cocktail in your hand.
They offer a wide range of global cuisine at Cafe Dufrain, but our go-to is their Cuban sandwich, a true Tampa Bay staple.
The Sail Plaza
333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
The Sail Plaza is one of Tampa Bay’s best restaurants for waterfront dining when you’re in the mood for some casual, outdoor fun by the river.
The Sail Plaza is located directly adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center downtown, and serves food from the well-known and well-loved Big Ray’s Fish Camp, so you already know it’ll be delicious.
When you’re done eating here at Sail Plaza, you can walk down to the pier and rent a water bike, stand-up paddle board, or even a boat to continue your fun day in the sun.
Blufin Waterfront Grill
3050 N Rocky Point Dr W, Tampa, FL 33607
Inside the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa on Rocky Point, Blufin Waterfront Grill is serving up some phenomenal food in an upscale atmosphere, making it one of the best destinations for dining along the water in Tampa.
Blufin is stunningly modern on the inside, and the food is just as gorgeous as it is tasty.
We recommend the pesto-crusted half chicken when you visit Blufin, but everything on the menu is truly delicious, and the experience is made even better when you eat while enjoying an amazing view of the water.
Hula Bay Club
5210 W Tyson Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
Hula Bay Club is the best restaurant on the water in Tampa Bay for when you need to feel like you’re on a tropical vacation somewhere in Hawaii.
The view of Old Tampa Bay here at Hula Bay Club is unbeatable, and so is the food.
They offer things like sushi, poke, steak, seafood, sandwiches, and much more, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
200 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
River’s Edge is a sophisticated, hotelbound restaurant with gorgeous waterfront views of Tampa Bay’s Hillsborough River.
Located inside the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel, River’s Edge is unique in that they serve only breakfast and lunch, but they do them better than almost anyone in the city.
The lobster mac’n’cheese made with smoked gouda and a white truffle crust here is incredible and it’s something we can just never seem to pass on.
2425 N Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
The Rusty Pelican is one of the most popular restaurants in Tampa Bay, and with views of the water like they’ve got, it’s no surprise.
There is no better place in Tampa than the Rusty Pelican to host a large event like a wedding or birthday party with dining along the water and a scenic view of the Howard Frankland Bridge.
The dinner menu is mind-blowingly gourmet here at Rusty Pelican, but we favor them for their amazing brunch every Saturday and Sunday.
If you like this Tampa favorite, then head across the bridge to Largo for more restaurants just like The Rusty Pelican!
Anchor and Brine
505 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602
Anchor and Brine is located off of Water Street and South Harbor Island Boulevard, inside the Tampa Marriott Water Street, and when you go there, you will see exactly why it’s one of the best restaurants in Tampa to eat on the water.
They offer lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends here at Anchor and Brine, and you’re going to want to experience all three of those if you’re looking for exquisite food and waterfront dining.
Our absolute favorite things to order when we head to Anchor and Brine have to be either their seared scallops or their pan-seared snapper.
Salt Shack on the Bay
5415 W Tyson Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
Salt Shack on the Bay is located off of West Tyson Avenue, and it’s one of the best spots in Tampa for a breathtaking view of Tampa Bay’s Gandy Bridge.
It’s all outdoors and open-air here at Salt Shack, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a delicious meal on the water and a nice Florida sea breeze.
Salt Shack has great food, but we think this is really the best place to come for some refreshing cocktails.
7627 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, FL 33607
Aqua is an extremely elegant and vibrant restaurant here in Tampa Bay that serves gourmet, upscale cuisine that you don’t want to miss out on when you’re in the city.
They offer all kinds of delicacies like prime filet mignon, butterscotch-braised short ribs, lamb osso buco, and many more.
They also offer a wide variety of fresh-caught seafood and an expansive raw bar, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, they’ve got you covered.
Whiskey Joe’s Bar and Grill
7720 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, FL 33607
Whiskey Joe’s Bar and Grill is a casual beach restaurant situated right off of West Courtney Campbell Causeway, directly on the pristine Ben T. Davis Beach, but if you want more great restaurants like this, you’re going to want to cross over the Bay into Dunedin.
It’s a perfect spot for a nice fun day soaking up the sun on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with a nice meal and a cocktail while the kids play in the sand.
There is lots of indoor seating here at Whiskey Joe’s, but we think it’s much better to eat and drink outside under a palm tree umbrella with our feet in the sand.
Best Waterfront Restaurants in Tampa Bay
- Watervue Grill
- Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi
- Julian Restaurant
- Cafe Dufrain
- The Sail Plaza
- Blufin Waterfront Grill
- Hula Bay Club
- River’s Edge
- Rusty Pelican
- Anchor and Brine
- Salt Shack on the Bay
- Whiskey Joe’s Bar and Grill
Being by the water is the absolute best feeling when you’re in Florida, especially in a beautiful city like Tampa Bay where there are so many delicious restaurants to eat at right along the water.
We think there really is no better way to enjoy a meal than outside in the fresh air, listening to the waves. All you have to do to capture that feeling next time you’re in Tampa Bay is follow this guide to finding the best waterfront restaurants in the city.
Looking for something else? Click here to check out Tampa Bay’s best Thai restaurants!
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