Eating Your Way through Clearwater Beach
Everything tastes better when you’re eating by the beach, and everything already tastes pretty great in Clearwater Beach. Here’s our guide to eight eateries you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) miss during your next visit.
Reviews are typically giddy about the breakfast at this Clearwater diner, which features inventive twists on classic dishes, like omelets and Eggs Benedict that features crab, chicken and waffles (really), and alligator, all served in massive portion sizes. Just get there early, and be prepared to stand in line, because this is more of a community icon than a hidden gem.
Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber
A classic Florida haunt, the Beachcomber has been serving up absurdly large plates of red snapper, grouper, and crab claws since 1948, all accompanied by homemade bread and gingerbread cupcakes for every meal that reviews rave about. The outdoor patio is ideal for watching the rush on Mandalay Avenue, too.
Tate Island Grill
When you walk out of this restaurant, you’ll exit either right onto the sand of Clearwater Beach or the edge of Sandpearl’s zero-entry pool. This is casual beachside dining at its best, down to the bell rung each night when the sun first touches the Gulf at sunset and the nightly beachside fire pit. Light fare composed of salads and sandwiches is balanced – even outweighed – by a wide selection of frozen and beach cocktails.
Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill
Live music and rum runners put you in the right mood to enjoy lunch or dinner at this funky and bright beachfront spot that specializes in inventive takes on local seafood. Start with the grilled avocado stuffed with tuna steak or a spicy Cajun conch chowder, then split the Four Kings with someone else hungry enough to tackle the mound of grouper, shrimp, clams, and crab cakes.
Caretta on the Gulf
The decor is all subdued white linen, earth tones, and plush chairs, but your eyes will be drawn to where they belong: your food. From brunches that feature brioche French toast with candied orange cream and maple syrup to dinners with local catches like black grouper with risotto and Parmesan foam, the meals here are as much eye candy as they are gastronomic delights.
Don’t get us wrong, the continental cuisine aboard this luxury yacht is pretty great, but it’s the prospect of watching the sunset from the Gulf and dancing off your stuffed shrimp and filet mignon to live bands that make this dinner cruise worth singling out. If you’re willing to brave the evening chill (perhaps with the help of a cocktail or two), the top deck will give you the best views of the ocean and Clearwater.
Swank yet accessible, this upscale café serves acclaimed versions of American classics that include short ribs rubbed with espresso and sea bass served with a colorful array of Asian vegetables. The prix fixe experience lets you taste four courses and a dessert for $35.
Located inside the newly opened luxury Opal Sands Resort on the southern end of Clearwater Beach, this ocean-hued, stylish restaurant offers Italian food colliding deliciously with a sea-to-table ethos with dishes like pan-seared hogfish and grilled wahoo.