Sometimes there’s just nothing like sitting on the coastline, 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 a number of waterfront restaurants in Tampa where we can do just this and enjoy some of the best food and drink Tampa’s got to offer. Here're a few of our favorites.

WTR Pool & Grill

Located next to the Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas in Tampa and on the waterfront of Tampa Bay, WTR Pool & Grill is a 20,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue featuring three bars. It's casual chic waterfront dining. 

American Social Tampa

American Social is a place where friends come together and good memories are made! It's a place where cravings are satisfied through all-American comfort foods in an upscale, yet casual dining experience. 


Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

From their fresh in-house homemade bread to their decadent desserts, Marriott Waterside Hotel in Downtown Tampa provides Tampa foodies a local place to dine morning, noon and at night along Tampa's Riverwalk, on award-winning food and drinks.  Winner of the Best Bloody Mary in Tampa there is no better place to sit, relax and unwind over a perfect waterside meal than the Tampa Marriott Waterside! 

Jackson’s Bistro

Jackson’s is the place for upscale waterside dining in Tampa while overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay. Open since 1997, Jackson's 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. One of the top waterfront restaurants in Tampa, we feel sure you will love it as much as we do!

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 or take The Pirate Water Taxi from a stop in Downtown Tampa. Mosey on up the river, explore the waterfront, stop at Rick's then Taxi back!  To experience our last ride on the Pirate Water Taxi read  Performance Inspired, the New Pirate Water Taxi is Delightful.

Bahama Breeze

When looking for the best restaurants on the water in Tampa a must try is Bahama Breeze. Enjoy the waterfront scenery of Tampa Bay while sipping on a cocktail or enjoying the delicious Caribbean cuisine at Bahama Breeze. Their diverse menu includes a variety of island-themed appetizers, entrees, and deserts. Nibble on some wood-grilled chorizo 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.


Enjoy beautiful sunsets over Tampa Bay while dining on the water at this trendy upscale yet casual restaurant offering an array of fresh seafood, live entertainment during sunsets in the lounge and a sumptuous Sunday brunch. Reservations are recommended. You can dine inside or out, sip cocktails and relax as an award-winning kitchen does the work and cleans up for you.  The menu is exquisite at this, one of Tampa's premier restaurant destinations on the water in Tampa, Oystercatchers.

Sunset Grill

Enjoy casual waterfront dining in the Southshore and Ruskin areas at Sunset Grill. Chow down lunch or dinner on rare seared and sliced Ahi tuna over a bed of greens with a trio of sauces as an appetizer, and my favorite Gouda cheese grits topped with blackened shrimp sauteed with peppers and onions.  They have Wings, Handhelds like their lobster roll, authentic Cuban, or two fried soft shell crabs dipped in tempura batter served on Cuban bread with lettuce, tomato, and sriracha wasabi sauce. From soups and salads to battered Grouper and Grouper Oskar they are sure to have something to delight everyone in your party outside of the spectacular views!

The original Malio's Steakhouse opened in 1969. Malio Iavarone, whose immigrant parents owned and operated their own restaurant since 1945 taught their sons the importance of striving to provide customers with a valuable experience.  On the river in Downtown Tampa, Malio's is the perfect place for everything from a business lunch to a romantic night on the town. In my book, Malio's has THE BEST bread and butter in town! They boast crafted cocktails and an extensive selection of steaks and seafood along with Italian favorites. A masculine yet sexy spot to dine, Malio's, will be sure to make you shine!

One of the newer restaurants from the Columbia Restaurant Group, Ulele features native-inspired foods and spirits on the river in historic Tampa Heights where they use Ulele Spring to feed their craft beer brewery on site.  Love oysters? THIS is the place to go! I am not going to spill the secret, you just gotta go! Grab the Pirate Water Taxi from any of their stops in Downtown Tampa and head up to Ulele for dinner. If you do not already have a reservation the captain will call ahead for you, (read more about the Pirate Water Taxi in Performance Inspired, the New Pirate Water Taxi is Delightful.

The Sail Pavilion at the Tampa Convention Center along Downtown Tampa's Riverwalk, provides cool beverages, snacks, and respite to strollers, joggers, dog walkers, boaters, bicyclists, conventioneers, hotel guests, Riverwalk explorers, and residents of Harbor Island and Downtown Tampa. Casual by nature, expect burgers and fries, and great pub like food, at the pavilion, one of many waterfront restaurants in Tampa to accommodate your pup.  Read more about the pavilion in Dog-Friendly Bars in Tampa | Drinking With Man's Best Friend.

Circles Waterfront Restaurant

Circles offers a peaceful casual, waterside dining experience in Apollo Beach and is a restaurant on the water we take a road trip to when we want great food and great atmosphere!  Enjoy a variety of seafood, and other entrees along with a crazy outdoor tiki bar with live music, and more. Choices include - breaded crispy coconut shrimp with a sweet chili mango dipping sauce for $12.50, Ahi Tuna, sesame seeds, seaweed, ginger, and a wasabi-ponzu sauce for $11.50 Braised BBQ pork shank in Cajun spice on a creamy kale slaw, with extra hickory BBQ sauce for $10 80 and my favorite, smoked Mahi & Amberjack, with aromatic vegetables, pepper relish, and house-made pita chips, Calamari, Grouper bites and more from the appetizer menu, Soups, Salads,  Lunch and Dinner entrees. Their Signature entrees include to name a few  SHRIMP FLORENTINE PASTA, (Shrimp, tomatoes, fresh herbs, spinach, garlic, lemon, scampi-chardonnay-butter sauce, over linguini) and LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN (Chopped sautéed chicken breast, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, garlic, capers, cavatappi pasta, fresh spinach, lemon herb sauce).  The prices are amazingly fair, and the food is spectacular. If you are in Tampa this Waterfront restaurant is #RoadTripWorthy

We hope you found a new place or several to try for some of the best waterfront dining in Tampa. Connect with 813area for all the fun things to do in the city! 

Please let us know if we missed a favorite spot of yours in the comments below!  See you on the waterfront!