Landmark Restaurants in St. Pete/Clearwater

Savor the area’s best-loved culinary landmarks that have delighted diners for decades. 

Six dinners eating at Casa Tina restaurant in Dunedin. The wall is red and decorated with multiple portraits.

In the heart of Dunedin, delicious Mexican fare and ornate décor make Casa Tina a true dining destination.

1

Mykonos, Tarpon Springs

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Andreas Salivaras moved to the U.S. from Greece more than 60 years ago and ran several other restaurants in Tarpon Springs before “coming home” to his roots at Mykonos. This Tarpon Springs culinary landmark within sight of the Sponge Docks prides itself on its traditional Greek cuisine and a truly family-friendly atmosphere (meaning: you are treated like family).  

Established: 1992
Don’t-Miss Menu Highlights: Start with the saganaki (flaming cheese) appetizer and move on to moussaka or lamb shank. Save room for dessert (creamy custard Galaktoboureko anyone?).

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2

Casa Tina, Dunedin

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Casa Tina isn’t a chow-down-and-run kind of place. It’s a place to slow down, relax and savor the authentic Mexican dishes that owners Javier and Tina Avila have been offering lucky Dunedin diners for nearly 30 years. Long-time staff - and even Tina - wait on tables, providing insights into the delicious items on offer. Expect an eclectic, colorful environment with Day of the Dead decor.

Established: 1992
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlight: Try Chiles en Nogada, a specialty of the house: poblano peppers filled with picadillo and decorated with pomegranate seeds and a walnut cream sauce. 
 

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3

Bob Hielman’s Beachcomber, Clearwater Beach

A mix of tasty-looking cocktails from Bob Heilman's Beachcomber restaurant in Clearwater Beach.

Order a refreshing cocktail from the menu at Bob Heilman's Beachcomber, a Clearwater Beach mainstay.

Sure, modern decor and creative “fusion” restaurants are hot - but when you’re looking for a memorable dining experience, consider this throwback to a bygone era, one that was classier and well, even a little bit glamorous. Consider the appetizer menu at the Beachcomber, for example, which features Clams Casino and Escargot en Casserole. Move on to a filet mignon or the restaurant’s famous “Back to the Farm” Fried Chicken. Drinks tend to run to the traditional, too, so order a classic martini or a Harvey Wallbanger and settle in for a nice evening.

Established: 1948
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlights: You don’t actually have to order it (it comes with the meal), but the relish tray with cottage cheese, applesauce and corn relish is a tradition locals look forward to when they visit.

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4

Frenchy's Original Cafe, Clearwater Beach

A grouper sandwich with a little flag on top.

Frenchy's original grouper sandwich is legendary! This mild, flaky white fish is caught daily from Frenchy's own boats.

Colorful and beachy-casual, this small restaurant owned by Michael Preston (aka “Frenchy”) has earned itself a big name - and spawned four offspring restaurants, including the very popular Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, right on the sands of beautiful Clearwater Beach. Any of the locations are great places to go for a laid-back Florida vibe, a tropical drink and Frenchy’s famous grouper sandwich. 

Established: 1981
Must-try: The grouper sandwich is Frenchy’s claim-to-fame, but the secret-recipe creamy She Crab Soup is also a local favorite.

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5

Palm Pavilion, Clearwater Beach

After Sunset view of the beach and a beach bar with palm trees on the beach with a beautiful colorful sky

There's nothing like savoring a cocktail at a beach bar right on the sand, shimmering Gulf waters before you, as local music and friendly chatter waft through the salty air.

Originally opened as a snack concession with lockers and bath houses, the Hamilton family purchased Palm Pavilion in 1964 and adapted it through the years. Today, its location right on the sands of Clearwater Beach, as well as its huge wrap-around dining deck, make this a local hot spot, especially around sunset. The menu is American, with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

Established: 1926
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlights: Try the crispy fried grouper cheeks or the fish tacos with lemon crema cabbage slaw.

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6

Friendly Fisherman, Madeira Beach

A nice spread of fish and other seafood at Friendly Fisherman restaurant in Madeira Beach

Choose from a daily fresh-catch menu - and ask for your seafood anyway you like it (fried, grilled or blackened), then enjoy a fun atmosphere with views of the marina.

This place isn’t fancy, and that’s just the point. When you’re in the mood for fresh seafood in a rustic waterfront location, this is just the ticket - and it has been since 1978, when the Friendly Fisherman opened as the first restaurant at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk. Sit outside at the Dockside Lounge and watch seabirds, dolphins and fishing boats.

Established: 1978
Don’t-Miss Menu Highlights: Fresh grouper is served in a variety of delicious ways. Don’t miss the corn fritters. 

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7

El Cap, St. Pete

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At this true neighborhood joint, the star of the show is the “World Champ” cheeseburger - a thick and juicy beef patty laden with onions, mayo, cheese, tomatoes and pickle spears. Accompanied by crispy onion rings or golden tater tots and a cold beer, it’s a deeply satisfying meal. The decor runs to the nostalgic with St. Pete newspaper clippings and baseball memorabilia, making the place interesting to the eye as well as to the palate.

Established: 1964
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlight: The burger is the mainstay here, but you’ll also find somewhat unusual menu items such as cod fish sticks and a liverwurst sandwich.

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8

Harvey’s Fourth Street Grill, St. Pete

dinner plates at Harvey's Fourth Street Grill in St. Pete

This locals' hotspot on busy 4th Street in St. Pete has been around for decades. Expect a friendly crowd and expertly prepared dishes.

Not only does this St. Pete culinary icon serve delicious grouper and steaks, it’s an entertaining place to eat, with a friendly crowd and an eclectic decor (some of which came from historic St. Pete hotels such as the Albemarle and the Vinoy). Everything is fresh at Harvey’s and the grouper comes from local boats. The Sunday Brunch menu is extensive and definitely worth the trip.

Established: 1984
Can’t-Miss Menu Items: The grouper reuben is a deliciously fresh take on the classic. Be sure to order the broccoli bites appetizer.

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9

Lorene’s Fish House, St. Pete

Lorene Office and her family run this locally famous fish house in St. Pete’s historically Black Deuces Live neighborhood. Known for a warm welcome and some of the best fried fish around, this unpretentious restaurant offers landlubbers some great choices, too (the Big Boy burger and Lorene’s fried pork chop dinner come to mind). 

Established in: 1994
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlights: The garlic chicken wings have folks lining up. Be sure to order sides such as the collard greens and mac-and-cheese.

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10

Munch’s Sundries, St. Pete

This breakfast/lunch place was made famous with a visit by Guy Fieri for his Food Network Show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” but it’s been a favorite spot for locals since 1952, when Dean and Clariece Munch opened a sundries store and starting selling sandwiches from their car to local workers. Their son, Larry, still runs the place, joined by a cadre of long-time waitstaff whom regulars know by name. This is classic diner fare: hot meatloaf sandwiches, burgers, sloppy joes and country fried steak dinners. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m. (gossip is served up all day).

Established: 1952
Can’t-Miss Menu Highlights: If you’re there for lunch, order Munch’s famous fried green tomatoes.

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11

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, South Pasadena

Fish platter and cold beer at Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish

At Ted Peters, it's all about the fish. Expect no frills, but do come early for delicious smoked seafood along with old-fashioned sides.

Lovers of unadorned, good food will want to head to Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, in the very-same rustic building since 1951. Five generations later, the family is still pleasing crowds with a simple menu done well. Featured in Southern Living, The New York Times and Food Network’s popular “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show, the restaurant serves up 2,000 pounds of fish on busy weeks. This cash-only restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

Don’t-Miss Menu Highlights: Why, the smoked fish, of course. Start with the smoked fish spread and saltines, then order a smoked fish dinner (salmon, mahi-mahi, mackerel or mullet) accompanied by cole slaw and the family’s German potato salad recipe.
 

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12

Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, Pass-a-Grille Beach

A gorgeous view of sunset at Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

The Hurricane (both the restaurant and the drink of the same name) is legendary. Can you really say you've been to St. Pete Beach if you haven't been to the Hurricane?

A Pass-a-Grille landmark run by the Falkenstein family since 1977, Hurricane Seafood Restaurant (known as “the Hurricane” by locals) is one of the area's most popular restaurants to watch the sunset. Check out Stormy's, the open-air bar on the top deck, for a great view of the beach any time of day. Interestingly, the three levels of the restaurant offer different menus (try level two for a more upscale experience).

Established: 1977
Don’t-Miss Menu Highlights: Order the Ultimate Fresh Grouper Dinner, or Mom's 1945 Crab Cake Melt, a favorite for three generations of Falkensteins.

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