2019 tbt* ultimate bar guide: readers’ favorite bars and breweries

Your picks for Tampa Bay’s best beach/waterfront, brewery/craft beer, cocktail, sports, neighborhood, dive, gay, Irish, live music and restaurant/hotel bars.
Published Sept. 13, 2019|Updated Sept. 15, 2019

Beach/waterfront bars

American Social Bar & Kitchen

This upscale, yet casual waterside sports bar/restaurant on Harbour Island boasts amazing views while offering an all-American food menu, handcrafted signature cocktails and craft brews.

601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa

Billy’s Stone Crab

This restaurant with a stunning waterfront view has four separate bars, including one on the rooftop that feels like old Florida, plus a sports and piano bar. Live music nightly and $3.99 margaritas all the time.

1 Collany Rd., Tierra Verde

Caddy’s On The Beach

Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico, Caddy’s is one of the best places to eat, drink and watch the sun set on the beach. They offer complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas, plus live music every day.

9000 W Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island

CJ’s On the Island

This Treasure Island staple has almost everything under one roof. There’s a full liquor bar, pool tables, darts, Skee Ball and live-band karaoke, plus tons of wallet-friendly deals every night of the week.

115 107th Ave., Treasure Island

Saltwater Hippie

This sweet little spot has a nice breeze and cold brews, open counter seating, live music and food offerings from the restaurant next door.

15042 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach

Read more from tbt*'s ultimate bar guide:

Readers’ favorite bars and breweries

Tampa Bay brewery guide

Dig in to Tampa Bay’s food and drink scenes

Dig in to Tampa Bay’s food and drink scenes

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Brewery/craft beer bars

3 Daughters Brewing

3 Daughters offers over 60 beverages on tap, including craft beers, hard ciders and hard seltzers. They offer a fun, interactive atmosphere with events, live music, games and food through 3D Eats.

222 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg

Brū Florida Growler Bar

Brū’s goal is to support Florida breweries and get their brews into the hands of craft beer fans. They do that by serving an ever-changing selection of craft beer, cider and kombucha. One of Tampa’s best kept secrets for beer lovers who need a drink at the bar or a growler to go.

8729 Gunn Hwy, Odessa

Dissent Craft Brewing Company

A no-nonsense taproom obsessed with building outspoken ales and changing the way patrons experience beer.

5518 Haines Rd. N, St. Petersburg

Leaven Brewing

Leaven Brewing was the first brewery in Riverview, bringing a hyper-local mindset to the community. Classic, true to style brews are the focus of KJ Lynch with beers such as the Cheeky Blonde, winner of the “Best Florida Beer” award.

11238 Boyette Rd., Riverview

Pinellas Ale Works Brewery

Located in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, the aptly named PAW offers doggone good, doggy themed beers. PAW is St. Pete’s award-winning and dog-friendly brewery with more taps than a dog has toes.

1962 1st Ave. S, St. Petersburg

Stilt House Brewery

Stilt House Brewery is a microbrewery bordering the Pinellas Trail. With a focus on full-flavored, high-ABV ales, the microbrewery utilizes high-quality ingredients to craft delicious and outstanding ales.

625 Alt U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor

Cocktail bars

Crown & Bull

Crown & Bull delivers a cool, unique experience. Florida grass fed steaks, locally inspired seafood dishes, craft cocktails, beers, and an extensive wine list accompanied by genuine hospitality.

319 Main St., Dunedin

CW’s Gin Joint

This upscale, prohibition style speakeasy features live music and a wide selection of craft cocktails, spirits, wines and craft beers.

633 N Franklin St., Tampa

Mandarin Heights

Mandarin Heights aims to be a cocktail laboratory and focus on exceeding expectations with cocktail theatre and innovation. This mid-century modern lounge embraces guests with its delectable cocktails, upbeat music and unique vibe.

5901 N Florida Ave., Tampa

Mandarin Hide

The Mandarin Hide is a craft cocktail lounge and social sanctuary. It offers innovative cocktails, which change weekly, as well as hand-crafted classics, craft beers and excellent wines.

231 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Proof Cocktail Club

A speakeasy-style lounge, Proof specializes in creating craft cocktails, both classic and innovative, in an upscale setting serving drinks that were popular during prohibition and new cocktail favorites.

260 1st Ave. N, St. Petersburg

Sports bars

Average Joe’s

This fun, friendly bar promises a “far above average experience" and delivers with lots of delicious finger food, tons of TVs, darts, an arcade console, a jukebox, cornhole on the large covered patio and live music.

5858 Roosevelt Blvd., Largo

Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill

This long-time St. Pete neighborhood sports bar and grill is packed with 70+ TVs. Ferg’s is the official gathering spot for Tampa Bay Rays fans and was recently named one of CNN’s Top 101 Sports Bars in the country.

1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Tampa Tap Room

This eight-time tbt* Ultimate Bar winner has over 40 taps of craft beer with a full liquor bar and serves award-winning burgers, wings and authentic Cajun/Creole food. It’s a great place to watch football and see live music.

13150 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa

Whiskey Wings Sports Bar & Grill

Known as a great sports bar with delicious food, Whiskey Wings offers daily food specials like BOGO fajitas and buffalo chicken sandwiches plus trivia and live music every weekend. This is the place to be for football season with great Bud and Bud Light specials.

40737 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs

Neighborhood bars

Johnny’s Taphouse and Grill

A sports bar with 34 TVs with NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice and MLB Extra Innings and 33 craft beers on tap and over 100 bottled and canned crafts. Happy Hour daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m., plus monthly parties and daily specials.

224 E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs

Harbor Bar

A friendly and welcoming neighborhood bar, Harbor Bar has something for everyone, whether it’s cheap drink deals, karaoke tournaments or the wide variety of bar games, including cornhole, Jenga, 25-cent pool tables, darts and pinball.

840 Main St., Safety Harbor

Orbit 19 Lounge

This hidden gem offers an upbeat atmosphere with an endless selection of top shelf liquor and craft beer on tap. Orbit 19 hosts an eclectic clientele and is the perfect setting for a real-life episode of Cheers.

1542 U.S. 19 N, Holiday

The Landing Bar & Grill

In the heart of Valrico, this friendly neighborhood bar has a great patio and live music and prides itself on providing phenomenal service and comfort food with unique weekly specials.

4351 Lynx Paw Trail, Valrico

The Pesky Pelican Brew Pub

This laid-back neighborhood brewpub is one of the few breweries on the west side of St. Pete. Located just off the Pinellas Trail, they offer delicious food including half-pound burgers and hand-crafted brews.

923 72nd St. N, St. Petersburg

Dive bars

Dead Bob’s Bar

A fun, friendly hang out. Perfect place to stop before or after hitting the beach. Along with cheap drinks, the kitchen dishes out hefty dinner entrees and nightly specials well into the night. Check website for live music schedule.

6716 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Lorraine’s Place

The oldest continually open pub in Brandon invites customers to relax, forget about the world and be with friends. Come in more than once and they’ll remember your name and what you drink. Great beer prices, free pool Fridays.

756 W Lumsden Rd., Brandon


This is a fun beach bar where cold beer and cocktails are offered in an eclectic atmosphere filled with salvaged junkyard artifacts and attitude. Sometimes there’s live music and food.

19201 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores

Pub LogiX

In true dive bar form, this bar touts ice cold beer, pub grub and air conditioning. They also have live music, karaoke, pool and darts and claim NOT to be “your daddy’s little pub”.

14107 Belcher Rd. S, Largo

The Liquid Therapy Bar

A fun neighborhood bar with live entertainment and tons of events each week including S.I.N. night, trivia, pool, karaoke, bike night, car shows, live music and lots of drink specials.

1385 Belcher Rd. S, Largo

Gay bars

Blur Nightclub

Downtown Dunedin's favorite nightclub/party spot. Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday: 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Sat & Sun: 11 a.m. -7 p.m., Drag Queen Bingo Tuesdays, live jazz and swing dancing Wednesdays, karaoke Thursdays, NFL Sunday Ticket.

325 Main St., Dunedin

City Side

There is always something exciting going on at City Side Lounge. A welcoming atmosphere with great people, good drinks, fun music, karaoke nights, bingo, and drag shows. 2-4-1 drink specials all day, every day

3703 Henderson Blvd., Tampa


Enigma is a bar, dance club aiming to provide customers with exciting events including drag shows. They also offer darts, Jenga and pool in a friendly atmosphere. Happy hour every day noon – 9 p.m.

1110 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Punky’s Bar and Grill

A fun, relaxing restaurant bar with an upbeat and welcoming atmosphere where you will always find great pub food, cocktails, wine and cold beer as well as weekly live music, drag queen bingo and drag shows. BOGO happy hour drinks daily.

3063 Central Ave., St. Pete

Quench Lounge

A trendy, welcoming gay bar where there’s never a dull moment. This bar offers nightly drink specials along with karaoke, trivia, drag bingo, dancing men, pageants and contests.

13284 66th St. N, Largo

Irish bars

Fitzgerald’s Irish Tavern

Located in downtown New Port Richey, Fitzgerald’s is a friendly local Irish Pub with a full liquor bar and daily specials. They are pet friendly with TVs showing all the pro sports. Be sure to visit on St. Patty’s day!

5811 Nebraska Ave., New Port Richey

Flanagan’s Irish Pub

Laid-back, Celtic-themed pub with a full liquor bar offering authentic Irish food, cocktails, live music and entertainment.

465 Main St., Dunedin

Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery

Known as "The People’s Pub,” Irish 31 strives to become the community’s home away from home at each of their seven locations. They serve traditional and modern fare, with live sports on the TVs, live music nightly and daily happy hour.

1611 W Swann Ave., Tampa

James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery

This long-time Ybor City Irish bar has more than 50 beers on tap, a huge selection of Irish whiskeys and premier scotches and they feature live music and Irish bands

1724 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City


With locations in SoHo and St. Pete, MacDinton’s has remained one of the area’s most popular Irish bars known for its happy hours, drink specials, live entertainment and sporting events.

405 S Howard Ave., Tampa

242 1st Ave., N, St. Petersburg

O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill

Neighborhood Irish pub with different-styled rooms and events every night, this neighborhood bar has everything - live music, DJs, karaoke, trivia and it’s the local gathering spot for watching numerous sports teams.

701 W Lumsden Rd., Brandon

Live music bars

Gill Dawg Tiki Bar and Grill

Gill Dawgs is an open-air venue with a Key West vibe, awesome food and drinks, and has constant activity with live music. They have three stages and three bars as well as kayak and boat rental and were recently voted “Best of the Best” in Tampa Bay Times People’s Choice Awards.

5419 Treadway Dr., Port Richey

Ringside Café

This night club is a favorite for music lovers. They host live rock, blues, funk and acoustic shows seven nights a week with a full liquor bar and a plenty of beers on tap.

16 2nd St N, St. Petersburg

Ruby’s Elixir

This vintage-style bar has nightly live jazz, blues and soul music, plus classic cocktails and outdoor seating.

15 3rd St., N, St. Petersburg

The Drunken Clam

The Drunken Clam is a dive bar with live music every Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Open 8 a.m. seven days a week. Visit the web site for menus and events calendar.

46 46th Ave, St Pete Beach

Restaurant/hotel bars

Cooters Restaurant & Bar

The large open-air bar at Cooters has been a local favorite for over 26 years. Cooters’ legendary happy hour mixes it up with discounted beer, wine and cocktails, plus bargain prices on oysters, wings, & shrimp from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.

423 Poinsettia Ave., Clearwater Beach

Hifi Fenway Hotel Rooftop Bar

A sun-kissed breathtaking escape. Originally home to WGHB in 1925 guests can drink in the rooftop views of Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands as they savor creatively constructed cocktails, local craft beers and select wines.

453 Edgewater Dr., Dunedin

Hollander Hotel Tap Room

The Hollander has a full cocktail bar with experienced staff, bar bites, wraps and American mains served with craft beer and cocktails. This hotel hangout also features a thriving poolside bar.

421 4th Ave., N, St. Petersburg

Jimmy’s on the Edge

Located on the 10th floor rooftop of the Edge Hotel, this bar offers stunning panoramic views of Clearwater Beach that patrons can enjoy while sipping one of many island-inspired cocktails or local craft beers.

505 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach

The Canopy at The Birchwood

Seated atop the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Dr. in St. Pete, this rooftop bar offers breathtaking views of the bustling area and Tampa Bay. There are private cabanas, fire pits, handcrafted cocktails and a light fare menu.

340 Beach Dr., NE, St. Petersburg