Sometimes there’s just nothing like sitting on the coast line, maybe enjoying a drink with your significant other or some friends, and watching the sunset reflect off the calm waves. Lucky for us Tampa folk, there are number of waterfront restaurants where we can do just this and enjoy some of the best food and drink Tampa’s got to offer. Here’s a few of our favorites.

Jackson’s Bistro

Jackson’s is the place for an upscale dining experience overlooking the beautiful Tampa Bay. Open since 1997, Jackson has been serving Downtown Tampa natives and guests alike a wide variety of sushi, inventive seafood dishes, steaks, and much more.

The great thing about Jackson’s is that it doubles as a nightclub after the sun goes down. Jackson’s Fridays provide a diverse array of music in the different rooms throughout the premises. Enjoy 80’s and 90’s music in the lounge, the top 40 hits of today on the waterfront terrace, and house music in the Bistro Bar.

Café Dufrain

Café Dufrain is an award-winning restaurant ("Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Restaurant" & "Best Outdoor Dining" – Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay) situated on Harbour Island overlooking Tampa Bay.

Focused on American regional and sustainable cuisine, boutique wines, and seasonal craft beers, Dufrain is a restaurant created by and for quality food lovers. Enjoy an eclectic variety of small-plate new American dishes like pork cheeks with fried green tomato, and sweet onion bacon marmalade; or larger entrees like the Dufrain favorite, chicken and waffles with organic chicken, eden’s nectar spiced honey, smoked bacon braised collards, and buttermilk waffles.

Rick’s on the River

Admittedly, both the aforementioned places are a bit on the pricey side. The quality is likely worth all the money and more, but sometimes you just want some cheap eats with your beautiful, waterfront scenery. That’s where Ricks on the River comes in.

Situated on the Hillsborough River in the heart of Tampa, Ricks serves up raw oysters, tasty drinks, and a variety of menu items including wings, sandwiches, wraps, and seafood  entrees. If you’ve got a boat, you can pull right up to Rick’s and enjoy all it has to offer before sailing away.

Bahama Breeze

Enjoy the waterfront scenery of Tampa Bay while sipping on a cocktail or enjoying delicious Caribbean cuisine at Bahama Breeze. Their diverse menu includes a variety of island-themed appetizers, entrees, and deserts.
Nibble on some wood-grilled chrorizo sliders - served on toasted brioche buns with caramelized onions, ballpark mustard and melted Manchego cheese – before diving into an entrée like jerk chicken pasta - sliced jerk chicken breast, fresh asparagus and mushrooms tossed in a rich parmesan-herb cream sauce with bow-tie pasta – or fresh, pan seared salmon pasta - passion fruit cream sauce with fresh spinach, basil, tomatoes, mushrooms on bow-tie pasta.

The Rusty Pelican

Drink and dine with elegance at the Rusty Pelican on Pelican Island overlooking the bay. Their menu includes a variety of American-inspired cuisine including fresh seafood, juicy steaks and more.

The bar includes an award winning wine list as well as a variety of beers, flavored vodkas, and tropical drinks.

Enjoy Rusty Pelican dinner staples from blackened swordfish - served over Mango and Kiwi Coulisse, with Roasted Plantain Garnish – to Gorgonzola strip steak - topped with Gorgonzola cheese and served with port wine sauce.