Grouper Sandwich Hot Spots

Jimmy Buffett may sing the praises of a cheeseburger in paradise, but everyone knows you haven't lived until you've had a fresh grouper sandwich in the Florida sunshine. This tender-but-hearty white fish is a mainstay on menus throughout the St. Pete/Clearwater area, and the number of ways to serve it is constantly growing. The most common are grilled, blackened or fried, but all of our local restaurant hot spots put their own twist on the dish. If you're a newbie to this flaky fish, these restaurants will give you the best base to judge all future grouper sandwiches. And, if you've sampled your share of the sandwiches before, these spots will make you reconsider what you thought was a great grouper sandwich.

Check out Grouper Week

1 Beachside Grouper at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill

Frenchy's Rockaway Grill

No mention of grouper sandwiches would be complete without talking about Frenchy's Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach. This tropical beach hut, located right on the shores of America's #1 Beach (named by TripAdvisor in 2018 and 2019) screams paradise with its bright, hand-painted tables of red, orange, blue and yellow fish and island music playing to the beat of the open-air fans while beachgoers walk by in bathing suits and flip flops. You'll even see wakeboards propped up against chairs by diners who walked up from the beach. As one of four Frenchy's restaurants in the area, the Rockaway Grill receives its grouper fillets fresh daily from Frenchy's own fishing fleet. The grouper sandwich is usually so juicy that you may wind up ditching the bun and condiments and just eating the fish with your hands (hey! It's on the beach, you can rinse your hands in the ocean later).

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2 Fashionable Grouper at Guppy's on the Beach

To the south of Clearwater Beach sits a quiet neighborhood restaurant where locals dine al fresco under golden umbrellas and oak trees. Open since 1992, Guppy's on the Beach sits across the street from an Indian Rocks Beach access and draws a casual crowd, albeit with shirt and shoes. The grouper sandwich done up in a beer batter at Guppy's is found alongside menu items such as lobster salads and mushroom caps stuffed with crab meat. Families and fashionable singles mingle at the bar and inside tables, while many locals opt for carry-out that can be taken to the beach for a picnic.

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3 (Shoes Required) Grouper at the Salt Rock Grill

For diners looking to take a grouper fillet to the next level, be sure to visit Salt Rock Grill. From its vantage point high atop towering limestone rocks, the restaurant overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway at Indian Shores. This popular spot offers grouper chowder as an appetizer and its menu of fresh fish from the Gulf changes daily. The restaurant also offers a good amount of "turf" for those not fond of the "surf" menu.

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4 El Garoupa - Grouper Gets a Latin Makeover at The Columbia Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant - Clearwater Beach

Experience grouper Cuban-style at the Columbia: seasoned and grilled and topped with fresh lump blue crab meat, drizzled with lemon butter and served with yellow rice and asparagus. In fact, try it a variety of ways: the Columbia offers multiple grouper options for lunch and dinner. Pair the dish with Columbia's 1905 salad (named for the year the original restaurant opened), and you'll be properly introduced to the seasonings that make The Columbia a must.

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5 Sunset Grouper at The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

One of the best things about beachside dining is the mix of casual and fine dining. The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, in the Pass-a-Grille neighborhood of St. Pete Beach, offers the best of both worlds at its three-story eatery overlooking the Gulf. The first floor has a takeout window and casual sit-down cafe for beachgoers looking for the fabled grouper. In addition to the traditional sandwich, there's a Grouper Po Boy served on a hoagie roll with Chipotle sauce, as well as Grouper Tacos, served with mango salsa, lettuce, cheese, cilantro and spicy mayo. Come dinner, the second floor welcomes fine diners, and after dinner, everyone is invited upstairs to the rooftop deck to catch sunset.

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6 Grouper Catch of the Day at Trophy Fish

Step off Central Ave to this "bait shop chic" restaurant dedicated to serving the freshest local fish (brought in daily), prepared simply, all while sipping on nautical inspired cocktails. Come early so you don't miss out on their "first come first serve" catch(es)-of-the-day. If you’re lucky, they’ll have grouper on the menu that you can enjoy one of four ways – tacos, sandwich, salad or a plate.

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Frenchy's Rockaway Grill

City: Clearwater Beach

Address
7 Rockaway St.
FL

Phone: 727-446-4844

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Guppy's on the Beach

City: Indian Rocks Beach

Address
1701 Gulf Blvd.
FL

Phone: 727-593-2032

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Salt Rock Grill

City: Indian Shores

Address
19325 Gulf Blvd.
FL

Phone: 727-593-7625

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The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

City: St Pete Beach

Address
809 Gulf Way
FL

Phone: 727-360-9558

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Trophy Fish

City: St. Pete

Address
2060 Central Ave
FL

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