Tampa, Florida, known for its scenic waterfront views and vibrant culinary scene, offers extraordinary waterfront dining experiences that delight both the eyes and taste buds, leveraging its Gulf of Mexico location.
Tampa’s waterfront restaurants offer stunning views and delectable menus crafted by talented chefs using fresh local ingredients. With options to suit diverse palates and budgets, visitors can enjoy a memorable meal while savoring captivating ocean vistas.
This article presents a curated list of 11 exceptional waterfront dining options in Tampa, Florida, catering to discerning travelers. Selection criteria include ambiance, menu variety and quality, service excellence, and value for money.
This compilation features notable waterfront eateries offering diverse cuisines, ranging from upscale seafood to casual beachside bites, catering to different preferences and occasions. By exploring these recommendations, readers can make informed choices for unforgettable gastronomic adventures against Tampa’s breathtaking coastline.
Ulele, a native-inspired restaurant concept, is located in a meticulously restored 1903 water pumping station in Tampa, Florida.
This distinctive dining establishment is part of the esteemed 1905 Family of Restaurants, which includes renowned eateries like Columbia Restaurants and Cafes, Casa Santo Stefano, Goody Goody Burgers, and Cha Cha Coconuts. Founded in 1905 in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, the original Columbia Restaurant has been owned by the Gonzmart family for over a century.
This waterfront dining venue offers an immersive experience with a blend of indigenous Floridian flavors and contemporary culinary techniques. Their menu features delectable dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood and produces from their own Ulele Spring Brewery.
Diners can expect to savor inventive offerings such as alligator hush puppies, chargrilled oysters, and various preparations of fish while enjoying views overlooking the Hillsborough River.
Ulele offers exquisite cuisine in a captivating atmosphere that seamlessly blends historical roots with modern design. Meticulous restoration efforts have preserved original architectural elements while incorporating contemporary features, resulting in a harmonious balance of old-world charm and present-day sophistication.
With its stunning riverfront views and Native American-inspired cuisine, Ulele is a premier destination in Tampa for discerning palates seeking exceptional waterfront dining experiences.
Rusty Pelican – Tampa
Rusty Pelican, located on the shores of Tampa Bay, is a popular waterfront dining destination known for its seafood offerings. With picturesque views and an inviting atmosphere, it is a tropical hideaway for seafood lovers in Tampa.
The menu offers mouthwatering seafood dishes like Crab-Stuffed Gulf Grouper and Crispy Whole Local Snapper, highlighting the flavors of Florida’s coastal waters. They also serve classic cuts of savory beef, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all tastes.
With friendly and experienced staff catering to each guest’s needs, the dedicated team ensures an exceptional dining experience throughout one’s visit.
Visitors can enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner service at Rusty Pelican with varying hours throughout the week. The restaurant’s prime location on Rocky Point Drive makes it easily accessible for those exploring Tampa’s waterfront attractions.
Offering a memorable culinary journey complemented by stunning water views, Rusty Pelican stands out as a must-visit destination for anyone seeking remarkable waterfront dining in Tampa, Florida.
Hula Bay Club
Visitors seeking a waterfront dining experience in Tampa should visit the Hula Bay Club. This establishment is located along the Tampa Bay waterfront and offers patrons an unforgettable dining adventure steeped in the spirit of island life.
Inspired by Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, this venue aims to emulate his laid-back approach to life through its unique atmosphere, eclectic menu, and exceptional service.
The Hula Bay Club prides itself on delivering an authentic taste of paradise with its carefully curated selection of signature seafood dishes. These culinary delights are expertly prepared using only the freshest ingredients sourced from local fishermen and farmers.
Guests can enhance their dining experience with a selection of tropical cocktails from Duke’s Retired Surfer’s Island Bar. The bar offers a wide range of refreshing libations that pair perfectly with the delicious cuisine and create a relaxing atmosphere, ideal for enjoying the stunning sunset views over the bay.
As one steps into Hula Bay Club’s tranquil oasis, it becomes evident that this establishment has successfully captured the essence and the heart of Duke Kahanamoku’s philosophy: savoring each moment as if riding a perfect wave.
Experience the perfect blend of stunning views, exquisite food, and a serene atmosphere at this hidden gem along Tampa’s waterfront. Whether for relaxation or celebration, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on an unparalleled journey of culinary delight and memorable moments.
Oystercatchers, a renowned waterfront restaurant in Tampa, Florida, has delighted guests for over 30 years with exquisite seafood and a captivating atmosphere. Since 1986, they have built a reputation for using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to ensure the best flavor and quality.
A testament to this commitment is Oystercatchers’ Sunday Brunch which has earned the title of ‘Best Brunch in Tampa’, thanks to its unique spin on classic brunch dishes.
Its splendid location overlooking Tampa Bay enhances the dining experience with a private dock, patio seating, and unobstructed views through floor-to-ceiling windows. No matter where you sit, you’ll enjoy the picturesque beauty of the bay.
This combination of delectable cuisine and breathtaking scenery makes Oystercatchers an unforgettable destination for locals and visitors alike.
Oystercatchers offer convenient hours of operation to cater to different schedules, open daily from late morning until evening on weekdays and night on weekends. Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner at their leisure.
Oystercatchers is a prime choice among Tampa’s dining establishments, offering a memorable meal with loved ones and stunning waterfront panoramas to enjoy while savoring scrumptious fare.
Salt Shack On The Bay
Salt Shack on the Bay is a casual waterfront dining option in Tampa, Florida, known for its gulf-to-table cuisine and tropical cocktails, offering a refreshing alternative to the upscale ambiance of Oystercatchers.
Located at Rattlesnake Point south of Gandy Bridge, it is a new bar and grill set to open in early spring 2019. Developed by Screamin Willy’s LLC and built by Sinclair Group, it offers a rustic beach-bar setting with stunning bay views and delicious food offerings.
It offers freshly caught fish and a wide variety of beverages for patrons to enjoy while taking in unobstructed vistas of Old Tampa Bay and downtown St. Petersburg. With boat parking facilities, it’s a convenient spot for boating enthusiasts to visit.
Operates during the following hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 11 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday: 11 am to 11 pm; Sunday: 11 am to 10 pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Located at 5415 W Tyson Ave in Tampa, FL, Salt Shack on the Bay offers picturesque waterfront dining alongside delectable fare, creating a memorable experience for locals and tourists seeking a laid-back dining option.
The Sail Plaza
The Sail Plaza, located along The Riverwalk and next to the Tampa Convention Center, provides a unique waterfront dining experience in Tampa, Florida. This casual restaurant and bar offers stunning views of the waterways and a diverse menu. With hourly boat docking available, guests can conveniently arrive by watercraft or walk over from the convention center after attending an event.
The plaza hosts weekly live music performances, creating a vibrant atmosphere that appeals to both locals and tourists. This dog-friendly establishment invites four-legged friends to join their owners on the spacious patio for an enjoyable day out.
It offers a wide selection of refreshing drinks at its full-service bar, complementing its excellent food options. Guests can sip their drinks while enjoying breathtaking scenery. With its prime location, the restaurant is conveniently situated near attractions like museums, parks, and shopping centers, adding to its appeal.
The Sail Plaza is an ideal destination in Tampa, accessible via multiple modes of transport. Whether seeking respite or exploration, it caters to individuals looking for a relaxing meal or lively entertainment. With its serene waters and vibrant atmosphere, The Sail Plaza embodies the essence of waterfront dining in Tampa Bay.
Anchor And Brine
Anchor and Brine, located on the Tampa Riverwalk, is a vibrant waterfront dining destination that embraces its natural surroundings. With an upscale ambiance, it offers an impressive array of seafood dishes that perfectly complement the breathtaking water views.
The restaurant’s outdoor terrace features an airy atmosphere with bright décor inspired by the waterfront. The menu presents innovative culinary creations and classic favorites. Start with ceviche or crab cakes, then savor mouthwatering entrées like grilled octopus and seared scallops, making it a haven for seafood enthusiasts with discerning palates.
It caters to non-seafood preferences with options like steaks, salads, and pasta dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The dining experience is further enhanced with thoughtfully selected drink pairings to accompany each dish.
Anchor and Brine offers a perfect blend of relaxed sophistication and welcoming warmth in terms of ambiance. Guests can unwind with friends or family, savoring exquisite cuisine against a magnificent backdrop of sparkling waters, creating a delightful environment.
Watervue Grille- Downtown Tampa- Harbour Island
Watervue Grille, nestled on Harbour Island, offers a unique dining experience in Downtown Tampa. With unparalleled views of the city skyline, guests can embark on an unforgettable culinary journey featuring Florida’s freshest seafood selections.
It combines a serene waterfront ambiance with delectable cuisine, delighting even the most discerning traveler. The inviting coastal interior design instantly welcomes guests, setting the stage for a relaxed and enjoyable dining experience.
Accordion patio doors and oversized windows provide unobstructed views of Downtown Tampa while filling the space with natural light. Patrons can choose to dine alfresco or indoors while still enjoying a seamless connection to their surroundings, making it a perfect spot for both sunny days and balmy evenings.
Watervue Grille takes pride in serving exceptional dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Seafood enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to savor freshly caught fish, prepared using innovative cooking techniques that enhance the natural flavors of each dish.
This restaurant is known for its attentive service staff who ensure every guest leaves satisfied and eager to return during their next visit to Tampa.
Grillsmith – Wesley Chapel
Located in the heart of Wesley Chapel, Grillsmith offers an unforgettable waterfront dining experience for those visiting Tampa, Florida.
The restaurant’s prime location near waterways provides patrons with a serene and picturesque backdrop as they indulge in American comfort cuisine with a modern twist.
With its polished casual ambiance, it creates a comfortable atmosphere where diners can enjoy their meals with ease. It is an ideal destination for gatherings among family, friends, or business associates.
The culinary team at Grillsmith takes pride in combining classic flavors with contemporary ingredients to create an innovative menu that appeals to diverse palates.
Patrons can expect mouthwatering dishes ranging from succulent steaks and fresh seafood to delectable pasta dishes and savory flatbreads.
Grillsmith boasts an impressive assortment of wines, whiskeys, and handcrafted cocktails designed to enhance each dish’s unique flavor profile.
At Grillsmith – Wesley Chapel, guests are treated to exceptional service from the staff, creating lasting memories as they near the end of their mealtime journey.
With its inviting atmosphere, exquisite cuisine, and stunning waterfront views, this premier dining destination is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Whether seeking respite after exploring Tampa’s numerous attractions or simply desiring a delicious meal amidst beautiful surroundings, Grillsmith serves as a beacon of warmth and satisfaction for travelers and locals alike.
Taste Of Boston
Located in the Ballast Point Park, Taste of Boston offers patrons a delightful waterfront dining experience with an authentic touch.
Established over a decade ago and recently revitalized by its new owners, this eatery has earned itself a reputation for serving delectable New England favorites amidst stunning views of Tampa Bay.
As guests dine on the freshest seafood dishes, they are also treated to exceptional customer service that leaves them feeling like cherished members of an extended family.
Boasting an extensive menu that showcases the finest flavors from America’s Northeastern coast, Taste of Boston takes pride in delivering high-quality culinary experiences to both locals and visitors alike.
Patrons can indulge in mouth-watering classics such as clam chowder or lobster rolls while taking in panoramic vistas from the restaurant’s prime location at the beginning of a 600-foot pier.
Those seeking more adventurous options will be thrilled to discover unique additions influenced by regional cuisines.
As one embarks on their gastronomic journey at Taste of Boston, it becomes evident why this South Tampa gem is held dear by so many loyal customers.
The combination of exquisite food offerings paired with unparalleled waterfront scenery creates an atmosphere unmatched by any other establishment in town.
Taste of Boston is a must-visit destination for discerning diners seeking quality seafood in an awe-inspiring setting. With a commitment to authenticity and outstanding service, it stands out as an exceptional choice.
Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi is a distinguished establishment located on Harbour Island in Tampa, Florida. Known for its picturesque waterfront views and exceptional cuisine, this restaurant has become an iconic destination for both locals and visitors alike.
Established in 1997 by chef Jack Campbell, Jackson’s transformed a struggling 20,000 square foot space into a flourishing restaurant. Over the past two decades, it has become a testament to its impeccable dining experience and perseverance.
Jackson’s Bistro offers a diverse menu, from sushi to steaks, catering to various tastes. Its elegant ambiance complements the delectable offerings, creating an unforgettable dining experience with panoramic views of downtown Tampa and its surrounding waterscape.
Events such as Sunday brunches and live music performances further enhance the allure of this sophisticated eatery.
It has played a pivotal role in the transformation of Harbour Island from a shipping area to an upscale residential and commercial hub. Through its presence, it has contributed to the area’s metamorphosis and rich history.
Jackson’s Bistro thrives amidst evolving landscapes, offering excellent cuisine paired with breathtaking vistas. It truly encapsulates the essence of waterfront dining in Tampa Bay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tampa Bay’s most iconic food is the Cuban sandwich, which consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread.
Yes, Tampa has a vibrant food scene and is considered a foodie city. It offers a diverse range of cuisines, from traditional Floridian seafood to international dishes.
Yes, Tampa has a thriving food scene with many restaurants, cafes, and bars offering a variety of culinary options. It has also been recognized as a top food destination by various publications.
Yes, Tampa is worth visiting for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, rich history, and cultural attractions. It offers something for everyone, including outdoor activities, theme parks, museums, and a lively nightlife.