One Man’s Clearwater Guide
I get a lot of e-mails from readers asking me for recommendations for their trip to Clearwater. If you’ve been here before, you probably don’t need my help. If you’re new to town, here are a few suggestions:
- Stay near the beach, if possible.
- A Phillies spring training tradition is breakfast at Lenny’s, which is a short walk (and an even shorter drive) from the ballpark. If you go on the weekends, don’t expect to roll up at 10 a.m. and get a table. There’s usually a line out the door, but it’s worth it.
- Another spring training tradition is a stop at one of the four Frenchy’s restaurants. Frenchy’s is 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. Some say Frenchy’s Original has the best food of the four. 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. Make a reservation.
- A close second is Salt Rock Grill on Indian Shores. Make a reservation.
- Like sushi? Kiku is right around the corner from Frenchy’s Original.
- Keegan’s was featured on that show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. That’s the show where that guy shows how crazy he is by wearing his sunglasses on the back of his head.
- A couple solid places on Sand Key are Colombia and Backwater’s.
- Looking for places to go after dinner on Clearwater Beach? There is Frenchy’s Rockaway, Palm Pavilion, Brown Boxer, Kelly’s Beach Bar, Shephard’s and more. (I’m personally not a fan of Shephard’s, but some folks like it. Shephard’s also is a hotel, but if you’re over 25 I don’t recommend it, unless you love spring breakers.) There are other places in St. Pete Beach and 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. (Not a fan of the food, but that’s me.)
- Looking to blow some coin on a big steak dinner? Bern’s in Tampa is great. Make sure to hit the dessert room.
- 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 at Bright House Field in left field is great. That’s a must.
- If you have any other questions or think I missed something — there are plenty of other good places to eat in Clearwater – let me know.
- Need something to read while you’re on the beach? Read below!
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!