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Where to eat and drink around Clearwater’s Coachman Park

The renovated park opened on June 28.
 
A drone view of the new Coachman Park including The Sound with downtown Clearwater pictured in the background.
A drone view of the new Coachman Park including The Sound with downtown Clearwater pictured in the background. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published June 28, 2023|Updated July 17, 2023

The highly anticipated recently renovated Coachman Park opened to the public on Clearwater’s waterfront on June 28, bringing with it the new music venue The Sound, a splash pad and playground, and places to walk around and hang out.

Since it’s sure to be a popular destination, we put together a list of nearby food and drink spots to check out so you can make the most of your day at the park. While the park will have concessions and food trucks regularly, park planners hope to bring more foot traffic into downtown Clearwater’s businesses, as folks will likely park in the garages and lots downtown to access the park.

Just 2 ½ miles away off the Clearwater Memorial Causeway is Island Estates, a residential area that is also home to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and a few places to dine and drink.

Since the park abuts the Clearwater Marina, consider taking the Clearwater Ferry to Clearwater Beach to hit up a few spots near the beach marina. The ferry routes have been expanded to seven days during Coachman Park’s opening week. It’s $3 for a single trip and $6 round trip, and parking is free at the City Hall lot and Pierce Street. (Use the address 150 Pierce St., Clearwater, FL 33756 for navigation.) You can also pay to park at the Clearwater Beach Marina.

Here’s our list, sectioned by area.

Downtown

Clear Sky on Cleveland

Patrons drink and dine outside of Clear Sky on Cleveland restaurant in Clearwater.
Patrons drink and dine outside of Clear Sky on Cleveland restaurant in Clearwater. [ DOUGLAS CLIFFORD | Times (2017) ]

Enjoy global cuisine like Korean-style back ribs, tamales especial, sushi or seafood. Clear Sky serves weekday breakfast and weekend brunch with favorites like avocado toast, breakfast burritos, omelets, Benedicts and skillets. With a full liquor bar, it’s a lively gathering place. 418 Cleveland St. 727-754-7244. clearskyoncleveland.com.

Soul Sicilian Fusion

An octopus appetizer is on the menu at Soul Sicilian Fusion in downtown Clearwater.
An octopus appetizer is on the menu at Soul Sicilian Fusion in downtown Clearwater. [ Times (2019) ]

Our food and dining critic Helen Freund pointed out that there’s nothing fusion about this spot, but rather “simple, classic Italian cuisine, most of it done quite well.” She liked the antipasti offering of prosciutto and burrata and the octopus that gets boiled, then pan-fried and served on a bed of creamy potato puree. It has traditional dishes like lasagna and pasta alla carbonara and fish entrees. Pair them with Italian or Sicilian wines from the list. 516 Cleveland St. 727-754-3259. soulsicilianfusion.com.

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Tequilas Mexican Grill & Cantina

At lunch, this spot has combination specials that range in price from $8.50 (choice of enchilada, choice of taco, rice and beans) to $9.99 (beef burrito, bean chalupa, choice of taco), so the value alone is worth checking out. At dinner, try ceviche, fish platters and shrimp. Wash it all down with a frosty margarita. 422 Cleveland St. 727-461-6949. tequilasmexicanclearwater.com.

Downtown Pizza Sports Bar & Grill

In addition to pizzas (whole pies or by the slice) the fare is Italian-leaning, with all the classics like calzones, hot and cold subs (meatball parmigiana, sausage and peppers, Italian combo), pastas, eggplant rollatini and mussels. Or grab a burger, wings or a salad. The bar serves liquor, and televisions are always tuned into sports channels, making it a great place to catch part of a game. 428 Cleveland St. 727-441-2226. downtownpizzasportsbar.com.

Chiang Mai Thai & Sushi Bar

The outside of Chiang Mai Thai & Sushi Bar in downtown Clearwater.
The outside of Chiang Mai Thai & Sushi Bar in downtown Clearwater. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times ]

House, chef and traditional sushi rolls are on the menu, as well as nigiri and sashimi and sushi combos. There’s a daily bento box, numerous duck entrees, noodles and other Thai specialties. Enjoy a Thai tea or coffee, or a boba tea. 415 Cleveland St. 727-461-0414. cmthaiandsushi.com.

O’Keefe’s Tavern

O'Keefe's favors green, being Irish and all. This is the Midori Martini. The pub hosts a very large St. Patrick's Day gathering.
O'Keefe's favors green, being Irish and all. This is the Midori Martini. The pub hosts a very large St. Patrick's Day gathering. [ Times (2017) ]

This St. Patrick’s Day staple is a go-to when you’re in the mood for Irish fare, like shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips and Guinness meatloaf. Or if you’re more into standard grill fare like wings, burgers, sandwiches and tacos, it has you covered. After all, its tagline is “a little bit of something for everyone.” It has a full liquor bar and an extensive beer selection. 1219 S Fort Harrison Ave. 727-442-9034. okeefestavern.com.

Island Estates

Island Way Grill

People eat and enjoy the view on the patio during the Sunday brunch buffet at the Island Way Grill in Clearwater.
People eat and enjoy the view on the patio during the Sunday brunch buffet at the Island Way Grill in Clearwater. [ Times (2012) ]

Treat yourself to elevated fresh seafood at this spot with stellar views, but thanks to the Supper Club menu, you don’t have to break the bank. Daily through 5:30 p.m., a hearty selection of entrees come with salad, bread and a chef’s dessert for $19. There are also drink specials including $5 house wine and well cocktails and $6 sangria and house mojito. 20 Island Way. 727-461-6617. islandwaygrill.com.

Windward Bar and Grille

Hit up this neighborhood spot for Sunday brunch and enjoy omelets, Benedicts, French toast and a breakfast burrito. You can get a bucket of mimosas with choice of juice or a bloody Mary. For dinner, the many options run the gamut from pizza to burgers to pasta to sandwiches. Bonus: They have a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. 282 Windward Passage. 727-442-5900. windwardbarandgrille.com.

Sushi Tu

Whether it’s makimono, sashimi, signature rolls or bowls you’re after, this little spot has a huge selection. Pay homage to the city with the Clearwater roll, which features tempura shrimp and avocado topped with spicy tuna, tempura crunch, eel sauce, scallions and roe. Appetizers include gyoza and edamame, and there’s a list of signature sakes, Josh Winery wines and beers like Sapporo and Kirin. 288 Windward Passage. 727-330-7218. sushitu.com.

Clearwater Beach

The Bait House Tackle & Tavern

The Bait House Tackle & Tavern is on the Intracoastal, along Clearwater Beach.
The Bait House Tackle & Tavern is on the Intracoastal, along Clearwater Beach. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times (2016) ]

Open since the 1940s, this tiny spot on the Clearwater Beach Marina doubles as a tackle and gift shop but serves up locally caught seafood. Try the “world-famous” Drunken Shrimp in a bourbon creole reduction and get the fresh catch of the day as a platter, taco or sandwich (including as a Reuben). Finish it off with the key lime tart and wash it down with a cold beer from the extensive selection that includes local craft brews. This is Florida at its finest. 45 Causeway Blvd. 727-446-8134. clearwaterbaithouse.com.

Crabby’s Dockside

Available at Crabby's Dockside, on Clearwater Beach, is a Jumbo Caribbean Lobster Tail, harvested from a jumbo Caribbean rock lobster, basted in garlic butter, seasoned with Old Bay, broiled and served with two side dishes.
Available at Crabby's Dockside, on Clearwater Beach, is a Jumbo Caribbean Lobster Tail, harvested from a jumbo Caribbean rock lobster, basted in garlic butter, seasoned with Old Bay, broiled and served with two side dishes. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

With million-dollar views of the beach, you’ll feel equally decadent with oysters served three ways, hogfish Imperial topped with crab and a white wine butter sauce, or the jumbo Caribbean lobster tail. If you’re not feeling that fancy, easy-peel shrimp, conch fritters and beach tacos are low-key beach classics. Pair it all with a frozen pina colada, margarita or mai tai for a festive time. 37 Causeway Blvd. 727-210-1313. crabbysdocksideclearwater.com.

Marina Cantina Tequila Bar and Grille

Billed as “elevated Mexican fusion cuisine,” this spot has daily specials including a carafe of house-made margaritas for $28 on Mondays, open to close. There is a selection of ceviches, a grouper quesadilla, chicken mole and pork belly tacos to name just a few items on the robust menu. It boasts a huge array of tequilas and also offers weekend brunch, with items like tres leches French toast. 25 Causeway Blvd. 727-443-1750. marinacantina.com.

Frenchy’s Saltwater Cafe

You haven’t experienced Clearwater Beach until you’ve dined at one of the many Frenchy’s restaurants. The Saltwater Cafe is a popular spot just off the causeway tucked back by the Intracoastal Waterway with a wraparound porch. The garlic crab fries are a must-try, and the classic grouper sandwich comes in a variety of preparations including Cajun, Caribbean and Reuben. The more adventurous may like the Cajun-fried gator tail. Try the signature cocktail and take the Frenchy’s Passport to Paradise Challenge for a free T-shirt. 419 Poinsettia Ave. 727-461-6295. frenchysonline.com.