Hellas Restaurant & Bakery
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. Tip: Try to save some room for a pastry from the bakery.
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.
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.
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. 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).
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.
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 11-6. 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).
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.
Hog Island Fish Camp
Chef-owned and operated seafood restaurant Hog Island Fish Camp features fresh, locally-sourced seafood with a southern vibe. 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 Keylime Martini.