One of the great perks of living in the Tampa Bay area is that we're surrounded by natural bodies of water from seemingly all directions; the Tampa Bay, Hillsborough River, the Gulf of Mexico. You'd almost think we were an island if you've never looked at a map.
Therefore, Tampa is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the country, and whether you want a low key, casual beachy vibe, family-friendly restaurant, or a more sophisticated dining experience, Tampa's best seafood restaurants are serving up great seafood all year round! Seafood restaurants abound in the bay area, but these are the ones worthy of distinction.
Big Ray's Fish Camp- Chef Raymond "Nick" Cruz grew up watching and learning about fishing from Grandpa Cruz at Ballast Point Pier. The long and hot summer days at the Pier would eventually turn into a personal passion to serve some of the best and freshest seafood in South Tampa. Some of their specialty seafood menu items are conch fritters, a grouper Ruben and grouper cheeks.
Bonefish Grill- If you're looking for a local seafood restaurant in Brandon, specializing in market-fresh seafood & fish cooked over a wood-burning grill, you'll find Bonefish at the top of the list. Bonefish is known for their Wood Grilled Fish dinners like the George's Bank Scallops and Shrimp or the Carribean Cobia, which is a delicacy from the Carribean. They also have seafood specialties like Dynamite Shrimp or the Pecan Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout. Stop by for dinner tonight to taste some of the freshest seafood, straight out of the bay!
Eddie V's- In search of delicious, expertly prepared seafood and steaks? Look no further than Eddie V's Prime Seafood Restaurant! Located near International Plaza and Bay Street, they promise to deliver a vast array of fresh seafood, like raw oysters and a Pacific Ahi Tuna, made from the freshest ingredients prepared with you in mind.
Harpoon Harry's- If you find yourself in Downtown Tampa craving a fresh plate of firecracker shrimp, the only palace to go is Harpoon Harry's. This location just opened in February, but they are already becoming a local staple because of their fresh seafood and delicious cocktails. The Harpoon Harry's Famous Seafood Bucket is quite the hit! Check it out tonight if you're in the mood for seafood.
The Lure- If you went to the Sushi Battle, then you already know that The Lure has some of the freshest seafood in the bay. As someone who doesn't usually love sushi, they changed my mind with their Spicy Tuna Roll and The DTSP. The DTSP was made for their original location in St. Pete, but it's fabulous on either side of the bay. The DTSP is a sushi roll made with salmon, pickle, cream cheese and asparagus. However, extraordinary sushi is just the beginning. They've created a fun, friendly and laid-back atmosphere with five-star taste sensations and service too!
Ocean Prime- Though many people consider Ocean Prime a steakhouse, it's prides itself on the great local seafood is brings to the customers. Their goal is to give you a dining experience that immerses all of your senses in a classy and intimate atmosphere. What's classier than sushi and a raw bar? Nothing if you're eating at Ocean Prime! Try their Maine Lobster or Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs for a taste of somewhere else, that you'll think came right out of the bay.
Pinchers- Fresh is everything to a seafood restaurant, especially at Pinchers! Local fishermen and crabbers leave the shores of Tampa Bay daily and guide their boats out into the Gulf of Mexico to fish on behalf of Pinchers. Talk about the catch of the day! The fishermen return each night with the freshest seafood the Gulf has to offer. Pinchers pride themselves on having local and fresh seafood like their vast selection of crab and pincher platters.
Roy's- Roy's restaurant serves Hawaiian cuisine & seafood with a taste of Asian, French & Pacific Rim. So if you want fresh seafood with a twist, Roy's is where you should make your first reservation! Their lobster potstickers with a hint of red curry are supposedly one of the most frequently ordered items on the menu. Some of their best seafood entrees are the Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, Jumbo Tiger Prawns and Hibachi Grilled Atlantic Salmon.
Shells- Shells is the seafood staple in Tampa because they started here and have expanded all throughout the southeast. They're known for having the most affordable fresh seafood all across the bay. With five locations all throughout the bay, a Shell's location is never more than 20 minutes away. I've heard that they have the best snow crab and king crab legs in the bay!
WTR- If you want seafood with a view, check out the WTR Pool and Bar! It's located on the Courtney Campbell Causeway with a fabulous view of the bay so put on your cutest bikini and grab some fresh golden calamari rings, Carribean coco shrimp or tuna poke.
Mitchell's Fish Market - Housed in Westshore Plaza, Mitchell's is the place for an upscale seafood experience in Tampa. "Fish any fresher would still be in the ocean" reads their slogan, so you can bet you're getting the utmost best when it comes to quality seafood here. Enjoy an assortment of entrees and appetizers including raw oysters, Sam Adams beer-battered fish and chips, and garlic shrimp scampi.
Oystercatchers - Located in the Grand Hyatt, Oystercatchers will do you right if you're looking for a beautiful bay view in a modern, upscale environment. Oh yeah, the delightfully innovative and fresh seafood isn't too bad either. Lobster macaroni and cheese? They've got it here and it's supposedly divine. Other menu highlights include seafood mixed grill, black grouper, and whole roasted snapper.
Charley's Steakhouse and Market Fresh Fish - If you want a classy, seafood dining experience, Charlie's will provide. Charley's is unique in their method of preparing fresh seafood and steaks as they use a wood pit that heats up to well over 1,000 degrees. Seafood entrees include yellowfin tuna, Chilean sea bass, and Atlantic swordfish oak-grilled, blackened, or bronzed to your liking.
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