Great Outdoor Dining in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor and Dunedin

A female employee dressed with red apron and cap serving a greek pastry from Hellas Restaurant in Tarpon Springs

Situated along the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, Hellas Restaurant serves up delightful Greek delicacies.

Perfect Florida weather and delicious dining: It's a match made in heaven! Check out our top picks for outdoor dining in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor and Dunedin.


 

TARPON SPRINGS

This charming little city on the Anclote River celebrates its Greek heritage through food, events, shops and its traditional sponge-diving industry. Tarpon Springs also happens to have some of the best outdoor dining in the area.

Hellas Bakery & Restaurant

The Karterouliotis family has operated this Tarpon Springs landmark since 1970, sharing treasured family recipes with locals and visitors alike. Dine outside with a view of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Try This: Order the Saganaki (flaming imported Greek cheese) for a visual and culinary feast you won’t soon forget. Other traditional Greek dishes include Avgolemono soup, Moussaka and leg of lamb. Try to save some room for a pastry from the bakery.

 

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill

There’s fresh – and then there’s fresh. Dine on the waterfront deck at Rusty Bellies with views of Lake Tarpon and the restaurant’s fleet of shrimp and fishing boats, which just returned to the dock with your dinner. Find this family-owned and -operated restaurant on the historic Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs. Try This: If you’re having a hard time deciding what to order, go for the E. Sea Rider – grilled skewers of shrimp and scallops paired with a fillet of mahi, grouper, red snapper or salmon. Ribeye steaks, Cuban sandwiches and blackened chicken tacos are among the non-seafood options.
 

Tarpon Tavern

While Tarpon Springs is famous for its Greek culture and food, this English-style pub is a worthy contender for lunch or dinner. You’ll find it downtown in a 1925 building on the Pinellas Bike Trail. Dine outside on their cobblestone patio under the shade of umbrellas. Try This: You can’t go wrong with a local craft beer (the offerings change frequently) and an order of the blackened gorgonzola chicken wings. 

 

H’ours Creole Smokehouse

Got a hankering for gumbo or étouffée? Dig into these and other Creole favorites prepared with a modern twist at H’ours Creole Smokehouse in downtown Tarpon Springs. Grab a seat on their front porch or patio (or head inside) to enjoy fresh seafood, meat and locally grown produce in a laid-back atmosphere. Try this: Order Shrimp, Crawfish and Alligator Andouille Étouffée or Smoked Half Chicken Jambalaya, accompanied by a pale ale from a Tarpon Springs brewery and followed by (if you have room!) Bourbon Pecan Pie.


 

 

PALM HARBOR

Palm Harbor has a low-key, Old Florida feel and some fun, independently owned restaurants with great outdoor seating. It's perfect for a laid-back lunch or dinner outside.

 

Fireside Pizza Cafe

Downtown Palm Harbor is as cute as a button - and this tiny neighborhood pizza joint is, too. Dine outside under large umbrellas (you can bring your pup along for the fun). With traditional, whole wheat and gluten-free dough options, you’ll be sure to please the whole crew. Try This: All of their wood-fired pizzas are delish, but the Bianca and the Milano are especially good. Indulge yourself and order some truffle parmesan fries along with your pizza.

a sign of a mermaid outside Molly Goodheads restaurant in Ozona

Molly Goodheads is a casual place with a menu focused on fresh seafood.

Molly Goodheads

For the love of a mermaid, get yourself to Molly’s for some kitschy fun along with an impressive oyster bar and fresh-catch menu. You’ll find the restaurant in a 170-year-old Florida Cracker style house in blink-and-you’ve-missed-it Ozona, a bit southwest of Palm Harbor. Try This: Oyster shooters, oysters on half shell, fried oysters… you can even order just one oyster! Try their famous grouper sandwich (it’s black grouper, which they say is tastier than the red variety). 

 

White plate with fried grouper sandwich with fries at Ozona Blue in Palm Harbor

Enjoy a fried grouper sandwich at Ozona Blue in Palm Harbor.

Ozona Blue Grilling Co.

Set in a marina in Palm Harbor, Ozona Blue is absolutely family friendly, but with its cocktails and varied menu, everyone will walk away happy. Ask for a table overlooking the pool so the kids can burn off energy while you wait for your food. The outdoor seating – most covered, some not – is truly expansive. Try this: This close to the Gulf, the Bimini Stuffed Grouper – grouper stuffed with shrimp, crab, scallops and mushrooms in a lemon white wine sauce – is calling your name. Save room for a twist on a classic: Apple Walnut Upside Down Pie, served with vanilla ice cream, of course.

 

Thirsty Marlin

This bright blue, Old Florida-style restaurant is just a good time waiting for you to arrive. Have a cold beer or a Bloody Mary at the tiki bar, or settle in at one of the outdoor tables for a tasty meal and some good-vibes live music. Try This: The Wonton-Poke Tuna Nachos appetizer is a deliciously spicy mix of flavors and textures. Up next: order from the sushi menu or choose from a selection of burgers, fish sandwiches and wraps. Finish with a cool slice of JJ. Gandy’s Key West Lime Pie.


 

DUNEDIN

Dunedin is a sweet little town with a big Scottish influence. It has outdoor dining options aplenty, and you'll find it's a very walkable place, too. After your meal, check out one of the local breweries, such as the Dunedin Brewery, Florida's oldest craft microbrewery.

 

Casa Tina

Craving fresh, healthy, authentic Mexican food? Head to family-owned and operated Casa Tina’s, where Tina Marie may well take your order. Dig into your enchiladas verdes at a sidewalk table along Dunedin’s lively Main Street or inside the highly decorated red-and gold interior. Try this: Javier and Tina’s secret-recipe sangria is a great accompaniment for Javier’s black bean soup (served with chorizo and onion sides) and Pescado a la Veracruzana’s vibrant flavors. After a few bites, you’ll appreciate why this unassuming spot has won so many local awards.

 

View of Bon Appetit Restaurant's waterfront patio and St. Joseph's Sound

Book a table at Bon Appétit in Dunedin for fine dining and amazing waterfront views.

Bon Appétit

Celebrate your next special occasion, date night or just Saturday night at this splurge-worthy waterfront institution. Every table, inside or outside on the spacious patio, offers unmatched views of St. Joseph’s Sound, especially at sunset. Sip on a craft cocktail at the outdoor bar, accompanied by live music on weekends. Try this: On this seafood-focused menu, the Lazy Man’s Lobster (no shell cracking required), Surf & Turf and Bouillabaisse are popular choices. Start with Baked Snails, and finish with Tiramisu or Crème Brulée, served with fresh berries.
 

Eli's BBQ

Why do people queue up and wait patiently at this little red-and-white restaurant on the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin? It’s simple. Tiny place, BIG flavor.  Sit under the oak trees and enjoy pulled pork, ribs, beans, coleslaw and more. Note that Eli’s is only open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Try This: Come early if you want the “burnt ends” - they go fast!

 

Happy's Bayou Bites

Got a hankering for Cajun food? Head to Happy’s to peruse the weekly specials on the chalkboard, then dig into a satisfying meal under the trees (sometimes with live music). This casual spot offers everything from po’ boys to boudin balls and ‘gator tail. Try This: Poutine, crab cakes, gumbo - it’s all good. They even offer vegetarian options (red beans & rice and a veggie muffaletta).

a woman squeezing a lemon on top of a plate of grilled fish, sauteed greens and mixed veg at Hog Island Fish Camp in Dunedin

Come as you are to this super-casual Dunedin restaurant with delicious seafood.

Hog Island Fish Camp

Chef-owned and operated seafood restaurant Hog Island Fish Camp features fresh, locally-sourced seafood with a Southern vibe. Try this: Enjoy whole fried snapper, hogfish sandwiches, Po Boys and more. If you're not a fish fan, don't worry, there's also burgers, salads and chicken. Don't forget to order a signature cocktail, such as the Pinellas Paloma, Cucumber Basil Smash or Key lime Martini.

 

The Living Room on Main

This downtown Dunedin favorite not only has a large dog-friendly patio, it even has a menu for dogs! Whether or not you’re visiting with your pooch, you’ll enjoy their eclectic menu of “New American” small plates as well as sandwiches and full entrees. Try This: Seafood fans won’t want to miss the Coconut Curried Mussels; fans of pasta should try the Truffled Ricotta Gnocchi.