A Semi-Handy Clearwater Guide
Phillies fans will start filling Bright House Field on Sunday, when the Phillies play the New York Yankees.
First time in Clearwater? Been here a bunch already?
Here are a few personal recommendations:
- If you are coming to Clearwater, try to stay near the beach. Why? Are you really asking me why?
- A spring training tradition is breakfast at Lenny’s, which is a short walk (an even shorter drive) from the ballpark. Everything there is good. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
- Another spring training tradition is a stop at one of the four Frenchy’s restaurants. Famous for their grouper sandwiches, although generally everything they serve is excellent. Frenchy’s Rockaway is on the beach, and has a good atmosphere at night and on the weekends. If you want to see some ballscribes in person, try Frenchy’s Original. South Beach Cafe is across the street from the beach. Salt Water is good, too. A good, relaxed beach vibe at every one.
- My personal favorite place to eat in Clearwater? Island Way Grill. Probably the trendiest place near the beach — I snuck in there once with a disguise — but I think the food is very good.
- Like sushi? Kiku is right around the corner from Frenchy’s Original.
- Like Italian? There is Villa Gallace on Indian Rocks Beach and Cesare’s (never been to Cesare’s, but have heard good things from a few people).
- Looking for places to go after dinner on Clearwater beach? There is Frenchy’s Rockaway, Palm Pavilion, Kelly’s Beach Bar and Shephard’s. (I heard Shephard’s is good on Sundays, although I’ve honestly never been.) There are other places down by St. Pete beach and in Tampa, obviously, but I’m sticking with Clearwater beach here.
- If you’re in town during the NCAA tournament, Tilted Kilt is across the street from the ballpark and has a bunch of TVs.
- Looking to blow some coin on a big steak dinner? Bern’s in Tampa is a good choice. Make sure to get dessert.
- One place I still haven’t tried, but have heard good things about is Salt Rock Grill, which is south of Clearwater beach. If anybody goes, tell me what you think.
- Everybody always asks about autographs. The only advice I can give is stand along the third-base line and hope for the best. Another piece of advice: If you’re an adult, it’s best to act like one. Don’t try to guilt a player into signing, like, “Come on, dude, I drove here from Philly!” Don’t try to use your child as a reason to sign, like, “Come on, man, sign for my three-year-old son! It would mean everything to him!” Be respectful. Be polite. And say thanks. I think that generally works best.
- The postgame scene at the tiki pavilion in left field is great. That’s a must.
- If you have any other questions — there are plenty of other good places to eat in Clearwater — let me know. I’ll try to help.