Clearwater is blessed with fantastic local restaurants that are almost as famous as the city's pristine white sands and crystal-clear aquamarine water. You’ll find places to eat along the whole waterfront, but the last thing you want to do is end up paying an arm and a leg only to end up disappointed and hungry.

    One of the best things about travelling is sampling the best local cuisine. To help make your decision easier, we’ve done the work for you to help ensure your satisfaction while sampling the best local restaurants in Clearwater.

    1

    Columbia Restaurant

    A traditional Latino restaurant and local chain dating back to 1905

    • Food
    • Budget

    Columbia Restaurant has been owned back the same family for well over a century. One of Florida’s oldest restaurants, it was founded by Cuban immigrant, Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. in 1905. All locations are owned and operated by 4th- and 5th-generation members of the founding family.

    A place that’s been referred to as a “once in a lifetime” experience, enjoy the garden-like setting, exceptional service and standout dishes like the “out-of-this-world” 1905 salad, the Cuban sandwich, and stuffed piquillo peppers with a chilled beer or mojito. Be sure to save room for the mango mousse cake.

    Location: 1241 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 727-596-8400

    Map
    2

    Bait House

    Dockside fish shack with an upscale menu of fresh local seafood

    • Food

    Bait House is a locally owned restaurant at the end of Clearwater Marina on beautiful Clearwater Beach. This dockside eatery not only offers a picturesque view, but also some of the freshest fish and seafood around.

    Enjoy a cold local beer or the Key Lime cider while watching the boats go by, paired with dishes, like the popular Drunken Shrimps or Fresh Catch of the Day. All are expertly prepared and enjoyed in a fun atmosphere with friendly service. As there are less than a dozen tables, you may have to wait, but it’s worth it.

    Location: 45 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 727-446-8134

    Map
    3

    Ristorante Acqua Alta

    An authentic Italian restaurant in Clearwater

    • Food

    Ristorante Acqua Alta specialises in authentic Venetian main courses as well as classic Italian sandwiches and snacks. The owners, Paolo Polo and Patrizia, come from Venice and do a great job of transporting you to the famous ‘Floating City’ by taste.

    They use Italian cooking techniques with locally sourced ingredients served in a casual atmosphere. Some of the favourites include Venetian recipes like baccala (cod), homemade pasta, risotto, calamari and fried shrimp. The to-die-for burrato caprese Italiana uses Italian burrata imported from Puglia with Roma tomatoes topped with pesto.

    Location: 2454 North, McMullen Booth Rd #205, Clearwater, FL 33759, USA

    Open: Monday–Wednesday 4 pm to 9 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 727-303-3403

    Map
    4

    Bascom’s Chop House

    Celebrate a special occasion with steak and seafood

    • Food

    A staple in Clearwater for around 20 years, Bascom’s Chop House offers fine dining in a traditional steakhouse. The menu focuses on fantastic steaks, chops and fresh seafood. Served in an elegant, yet unpretentious atmosphere, its focus is on American Mid-Western beef aged to specifications that ensure the most flavourful, tender steaks you’ll find anywhere in town.

    The menu also includes hand-cut veal, lamb chops and pork, all prepared to perfection, along with fresh seafood delivered daily. Dishes can be complemented with a superbly hand-selected wine list. Bascom’s Chop House prides itself in serving hormone-free, organic meats and locally grown produce.

    Location: 665 Ulmerton Rd, Clearwater, FL 33762, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 11.30 am to 9 pm, Friday from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm, Saturday from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 727-573-3363

    Map
    5

    Big Storm Brewing Co.

    Enjoy house-brewed craft beers and hearty bar food

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Group

    Big Storm Brewing Co. serves tasty comfort food and brews its own award-winning beer, named after the storms which frequent the Gulf Coast in the summer. Sample the Gold Medal Oktoberfest Marzen Lager or the Silver Medal Belgian Single alongside delicious eats with a full menu of casual entrees and inventive appetizers.

    It goes way beyond your typical bar food. Things like beer-infused grass-fed beef sliders along with boneless wings, 4-cheese flatbread with wilted kale and the Perfect Storm nachos with house-made beer cheese.

    Location: 12707 49th St N, Clearwater, FL 33762, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday 11 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 727-201-4186

    Map
    6

    Lenny’s Restaurant

    All-day breakfast and a New York diner ambiance

    • Food
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Lenny’s Restaurant serves all-day breakfast and lunch with a fabulous New York dinner ambience. It’s always packed with locals, with the menu focus on mouth-watering comfort food in portions large enough for 2. A staple here since 1958, the service is in true Southern style form, as sweet as the delicious pies.

    Many call Lenny’s the very best place for breakfast in Clearwater, with favourites including the western omelette, steak-and-egg special, waffles loaded with fruit and whip cream, and cinnamon rolls. The interior is eclectic, with fun mementoes and knickknacks to check out while you wait for your meal.

    Location: 21220 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33765, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 727-799-0402

    Map
    7

    Clear Sky Beachside Cafe

    A restaurant with an unbeatable bird’s-eye view

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Clear Sky Beachside Café is a simple beachside café, but the menu is fantastic – in fact, it’s been voted 'Best Dining Any Time of Day' in Clearwater. Meals are served with an upscale twist and a seafood focus, including some of the freshest ingredients on the beach.

    Enjoy a bloody Mary or mimosa with your breakfast, before coming back later in the day to enjoy its extensive and award-winning menu. It features everything, from Asian, Mexican and French to Italian and classic American fare. Must-tries include the signature paninis and burgers, lobster ravioli and seafood jambalaya. 

    Location: 490 Mandalay Ave, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767, USA

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 7 am to midnight, Sunday–Thursday from 7 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 727-442-3684

    Map
    8

    Salt Cracker Fish Camp

    A great place to dine on the water

    • Food
    • Families

    Enjoy fresh food and waterfront views with 3 levels of outdoor dining at Salt Cracker Fish Camp. It’s long-been ranked among the top seafood restaurants in Clearwater, thanks to its excellent food and the service.

    For breakfast, enjoy Southern comfort foods like chicken and waffles or shrimp and grits. The Lowcountry seafood boil and grouper cakes are great choices for lunch or dinner. If you’ve just come back from a day of fishing, the staff at Salt Cracker Fish Camp can even prepare and serve your catch for you. 

    Location: 25 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 727-442-6910

    Map
    9

    Kara Lynn’s Kitchen

    Cosy eatery with a tasty healthy menu

    • Food
    • Families

    It’s hard to beat Kara Lynn’s Kitchen for delicious, healthy fare in Clearwater. Nearly every health-conscious local heads here for meals, which are all made from scratch and packed with rich nutrients. The proteins are grass-fed, wild-caught or pastured, while fruits and veggies are mostly organic.

    Instead of standard sugar, Kara Lynn’s Kitchen uses natural sweeteners like honey or coconut palm sugar. All dishes are non-GMO, gluten-free and grain-free, while dairy is rarely used.  Everyone should save room for the Keto mocha cheesecake dessert. Live music is hosted on Fridays, adding to the casual ambience.

    Location: 421 Cleveland St, Clearwater, FL 33756, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 727-447-2536

    Map
    10

    Marina Cantina

    Mexican fare served on a roof deck with marina views

    • Food
    • Budget

    At Marina Cantina, you can dine on its rooftop (the largest in Clearwater Beach) for stunning ocean and sunset views. On weekends, enjoy live entertainment and brunch with bottomless margaritas, bloody Marys, and mimosas. The menu is upscale Mexican fare that includes fresh-caught seafood from the restaurant's own fleet of boats.

    Favourites include casa ceviche, carne asada, and grouper del sol (stuffed grouper). You can pair your meal with sangria, one of Marina Cantina's unique margaritas like the smoky pina, or a shot from the tequila bar.

    Location: 25 Causeway Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 727-443-1750

    Map
    K.C. Dermody | Contributing Writer

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