The Best Family-Friendly Tampa Bay Waterfront Restaurants to Enjoy Around Tampa Bay

The Best Family-Friendly Tampa Bay Waterfront Restaurants to Enjoy Around Tampa Bay

Living in Tampa Bay, we have the privilege of having so many amazing waterfront restaurants to choose from that we often take them for granted. We live where people come for vacation! How cool is that?

Dining outdoors can make for a relaxing day or elegant evening under the stars. With the summer months approaching, being outdoors is par for the course in Florida. Check out our list of top family-friendly waterfront restaurants that we love hanging out at in Tampa Bay!

The BEST Kid-Friendly Waterfront Restaurants in Tampa Bay


Sparkman Wharf

615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

We love Sparkman Wharf for families for so many reasons. The large, open-air courtyard for them to get some wiggles out, and the collection of counter-service restaurants that are bound to have something the kids will be happy to eat. Even better – treat yourself to some of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream after you eat. If you’re tired of being in the sun, you can head inside to Splitsville for a family-friendly game of bowling.

It’s also just off a TECO streetcar stop (which makes a fun excursion in itself), a Cross Bay Ferry stop.

Armature Works 

1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

What used to be a TECO streetcar warehouse, Armature Works was quickly embraced by families, young professionals and students alike. It really does have it all: a food hall with a great selection of flavors and feels as well as outstanding full-service restaurants, multiple bars, and plenty of places to hang out and lounge with groups indoors and outdoors. Parents will love the array of food and drink options with the laid-back vibes, and kids will love the large, outdoor area to run and play.

Olde Bay Cafe

51 Main St., Dunedin, FL 34698

This outdoor waterfront cafe is simple, but the menu is anything but. In addition to their savory menu, they’re known for their perfect marina views. Catch some sunshine or watch the sun set while enjoying Stone Crab Claws, Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl, or their famous Olde Bay Peel & Eat Shrimp.

They also have a menu full of soups and salads, sandwiches and wraps, or their seafood samplers and fresh catch of the day.

Bahama Breeze Rocky Pointe

3045 N. Rocky Pointe Drive E., Tampa, FL 33607

Bahama Breeze has amazing waterfront views! In addition to their extensive regular menu, they also have a fun kids menu including kiddie cocktails like virgin pina coladas, virgin bahamaritas, and tropical ices. They also serve up family-style meals like grilled chicken, seafood paella, and baby back ribs.

The Bait House

45 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

The Bait House has been around since the 1940s. This casual hangout is said to have some of the best food on the beach. Sit outside and indulge in their local seafood and craft beers. Their kids menu is packed with kid-friendly favorites, along with fresh seafood dishes like Kids Fish Taco, Kids Peen N Eat Shrimp, and Kids Fresh Catch Sandwich.

Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill

7 Rockaway St., Clearwater, FL 33767

Frenchy’s is a staple in the Tampa area. The original location opened in 1981 and has since expanded to multiple restaurants and cafes, a specialty to-go spot, and even a hotel. It’s a great place to check out during the day straight from the beach. They’re known for their famous Grouper Sandwich and their menu is filled with other fresh mouthwatering items like the She-Crab Soup, Cracked Conch, and Fried Shrimp. Make sure to keep an eye out in October for their annual Snow Crab Festival.

Frenchy's Rockaway
Image Credit: Frenchy’s Walkaway

Crabby’s Dockside Clearwater

37 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33767

Crabby’s is the perfect casual spot for families to enjoy. Their Little Crab Menu has tons of kid-friendly favorites like burgers, chicken, and fried shrimp along with their strawberry, coconut, or banana freezes topped with whipped cream!

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

610 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Doc Ford’s is one of the many waterfront spots situated along the St. Pete Pier. Their Lime Panko Crusted Fish Sandwich was voted best fish sandwich in St. Pete, so you know it’s good. Choose between a menu full of flavorful entrees as you overlook the dock and boats listening to live music.

Pier Tiki

800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

You absolutely can’t beat the waterfront views from Pier Tiki! Perched out at the very end and at the tip top of the St. Pete Pier, the bit of a trek to get there will reward you with awesome panorama views: St. Pete’s vibrant cityscape on one side, and the serene blue of the bay on the other. They have an array of seating arrangements, including cozy couches that kids will love lounging on.

Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro

300 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Serving up laid-back vibes overlooking the docks of the St. Pete Marina for 20 years, Fresco’s is a great choice for taking in all downtown St. Pete has to offer. If you’ve been to the Pier you’ve likely passed the bustling entrance and wondered about it – next time stop.

While they don’t have a designated kids menu, they have plenty of kid-friendly fare on the regular menu like burgers, tacos, pasta, and perfect key lime pie with homemade whipped cream.

Circles Waterfront Restaurant

1212 Apollo Beach Blvd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Circles is the perfect place to go by car or dock up after a day on the water. Circles is a local favorite in the Apollo Beach/Riverview area offering a totally laid-back vibe overlooking the marina docks. They have plenty of different seating options to enjoy water views and serve up tasty locally-caught fish and seafood. Kids will love the beach vibe with their sandy seating areas along the waterline.

Circles Waterfront
Image Credit: Circles Waterfront Restaurant

Tiki Docks

10704 Palmetto St., Riverview, FL 33569
3769 50th Ave S., St. Petersburg, FL 33711

Escape to the tropical Pacific at Tiki Docks, with locations overlooking the water in Riverview and St. Pete (Skyway marina district). Tiki Docks is a relaxing spot with a fun, tiki vibe with water views overlooking the marina docks in St. Pete, or the Alafia River.

Sunset Grill at Little Harbor

602 Bahia del Sol Dr., Ruskin, FL 33570

Take a seat at this casual joint for some fantastic seafood and live music. Dip your toes in the sand outside and catch one of the best sunsets in the area.

The Rivers Edge Bar & Grill

6226 Ohio Ave, Gibsonton, FL 33534

A great neighborhood spot to kick back and hang out for a while! The Rivers Edge has a totally relaxed feel and tons of outdoor seating right on the water. It has indoor and outdoor bars, a pool room, live music and events every weekend, and even a separate covered waterfront picnic area covered for private parties and events (or to let the kiddos run off some energy).

The Big Catch at Salt Creek

1500 2nd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

If you’re on a boat near St. Pete, stop for a meal and drinks at The Big Catch, right next to the Harborage Marina. This dog-friendly and kid-friendly local favorite and diamond in the rough, tucked away on a waterway south of the downtown airport and is known for amazing peel & eat shrimp.

It’s got a warm and welcoming atmosphere to make you feel right at home, and with multiple bar areas, live music and that Old Florida rustic feel.

Rusty Pelican

2425 N Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607

Serving up “old-time Florida” feel for almost 50 years, The Rusty Pelican is a long-standing local favorite. Located on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Rusty Pelican is one of our favorite spots for celebrating events and hosting family gatherings.

The Columbia Cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center

801 Water St., Tampa, FL 33602

The perfect spot for food and brews after spending a day exploring the history center! Another location of the famous Columbia Restaurant which has been an Ybor City staple since 1905, The Columbia Cafe is a delicious option right off the Riverwalk. Waterfront dining is completely open-air but fully covered and surprisingly breezy (with lots of fans because, Florida).

Spa Beach Bistro, St. Pete Pier

501 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

With so much going on at the St. Pete Pier you might not even notice that you’re almost surrounded by sparkling water views. Serving up stone fired pizzas and fresh squeezed lemonade (with a whole vegan section on the menu), Spa Beach Bistro at the base of the Pier, is the spot to come and spend the evening with the family soaking in a sunset perusing local vendors and listening to live music.

The Getaway

13090 Gandy Blvd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702

On the St. Pete side of the Gandy bridge overlooking mangroves and waterways is another tiki-inspired spot boasting local seafood and a totally chilled out vibe. A great spot with a beachy feel, you’ll usually find kids playing in the sand and splashing in the water during the day with constant boat traffic of guests coming and going. At night dj’s play music to get people dancing.

the getaway
Image Credit: The Getaway

Hula Bay

5210 W Tyson Ave, Tampa, FL 33611

On the same road as Salt Shack, but with a totally different waterfront view and vibe is Hula Bay. This Hawaiian surfer-themed spot is best known for it’s Hawaiian-style comfort food like sushi, beach tacos, sliders, and more. Nestled alongside Tampa’s Port 32 with tables overlooking the Westshore Marina to the south, Hula Bay offers live music 4 days a week and a pool area and bar (available for reservation).

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Featured image credit: Kiva Williams