7 Best Tampa Restaurants on the Water to Get to By Boat
Tampa has a vibrant downtown riverfront, easy access to the Hillsborough River, Tampa Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Boating is an everyday activity of those who live and visit here. There are restaurant locations in Tampa, FL accessible by boat. You can have a cocktail at some places and a little bite, while other eateries offer elaborate menus.
A few steps from local docks around downtown Tampa, you will find authentic Spanish cuisine, fresh shrimp and seafood, and steaks. These restaurants offer starters and entrées prepared by chefs who understand modern cuisine, as well as cultural favorites of the locals.
Read on to learn where the best Tampa Restaurants on the water by boat are located, plot your course.
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7 Best Waterfront Restaurants in Tampa, FL
There are many fantastic restaurants in Tampa, but the best restaurants are those that are easily accessible by boat. Our list includes both upscale and casual dining establishments, and offer excellent food and service.
Where are these restaurants? Here’s a list of the top 7 to get you started.
- Columbia Cafe
- Watervue Grill
- The Sail Plaza
- Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi
- Hula Bay Club
- Rivers Edge
1. Columbia Cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center
The Columbia Restaurant is an iconic landmark in Tampa. Serving classic Spanish cuisine in an atmosphere of elegance, the Columbia Restaurant Group has added locations that serve food as fine as any you will find in Tampa.
Although the menu is not as expansive as the parent restaurants, it offers fine cuisine, also. In addition, the Columbia Cafe is easily accessible from the water, making it a perfect dining location for boaters.
- Address: 801 Water St #1905, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 229-5511
- Website: columbiarestaurant.com
2. Watervue Grille- Downtown Tampa- Harbour Island
Upscale and on the waterfront, the Watervue grille offers fresh Florida seafood and some of the best views of Downtown Tampa. The décor is Florida coastal that offers a relaxed dining experience in elegant surroundings.
The Watervue Grille offers menus for lunch, dinner, and service for private events.
- Address: 700 Harbour Post Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 642-7980
- Website: watervuegrille.com
3. The Sail Plaza
Casual and fun, The Sail Plaza has lighter fare than many restaurants listed. It is located at the Tampa Convention Center. Not just a location to visit when events are going on, The Sail Plaza is people and dog-friendly.
Accessible by boat, docking is available at the Tampa Convention Center by the hour or overnight.
Menu items at The Sail Plaza include crafted cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. In addition, the menu consists of light snacks, Grouper and Cuban sandwiches, and burgers.
- Address: 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 517-1073
- Website: Tampa.gov/tcc/the-sail
4. Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi
There are times you want something a little different, and Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi can fill that order. Established in 1997, Jackson’s Bistro Bar and Sushi have served the residents of Tampa and out of towners for many years. Accessible by boat, lunch or dinner at Jackson’s Bistro is a treat.
They don’t have a menu, Jackson’s Bistro has menus, and everything they serve is exceptional. Offering items such as a Lump Blue Crab Cocktail, seafood entrées, and sushi, a meal at Jackson’s Bistro is a truly memorable occasion. Of course, being able to arrive by boat adds to the experience.
- Address: 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 277-0112
- Website: jacksonsbistro.com
5. Hula Bay Club
Located on the shores of Old Tampa Bay, not downtown Tampa, the Hula Bay Club offers a view of the water. Dedicated to the surfers of the world, past, present, and future, a visit by boat to the Hula Bay Club will introduce you to the culture of the pro surfer.
Dedicated to Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing, their menu is within keeping island living. Their menu includes raw items such as oysters, mussels, Ceviche Martini, sushi, steak, and roasted pork.
Live entertainment and special events give the Hula Bay Club a reason to visit for lunch, dinner, or a catered event. There is plenty of dock space here, so dockage shouldn’t be a problem.
- Address: 5210 W Tyson Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
- Phone: (813) 837-4852
- Website: hulabayclub.com
6. Rivers Edge
Some of us start our days early, and there is the Rivers Edge for us. Here, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails are served in a dining room overlooking the Hillsborough River and downtown Tampa.
One of the few breakfast locations accessible by boat, the Rivers Edge breakfast menu offers classic breakfast items to start your day. Their lunch and dinner menus are American fare. They include grouper sandwiches, burgers, classic turkey club sandwiches, lobster mac & cheese, and seared salmon filets.
Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, cocktails, or dinner, the Rivers Edge offers a location that you can quickly get to by boat.
- Address: 200 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 226-4400
- Website: riversedgetampa.com
Ulele is located near the banks of the Hillsborough River and adjacent to Ulele Springs. This fantastic restaurant is part of the Columbia Restaurant Group.
Building on the decades of experience of the parent company, Ulele offers native Floridian fare served in a rustic-chic atmosphere. Their menu includes house-brewed beers and fare prepared on their Barbacoa grill, which is ten feet in diameter and imparts unique flavors to foods.
Dishes such as seared yellowfin tuna served over a bed of greens or crackling pork shank and a couple of the offerings at this unique restaurant.
Whatever you find on the menu at Ulele, it will be some of the best food in Tampa. In addition, you can visit this location by boat, as docking is available next door at the Tampa Water Works.
- Address: 1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
- Phone: (813) 999-4952
- Website: ulele.com
Restaurants to visit by boat in Tampa
These are but a few of the best restaurants to visit by boat in Tampa, and there are dozens more. When you rent a boat through Boatsetter in Tampa, you can choose to rent a boat near these locations, or you can have the boat dropped in the water at any of Tampa’s many boat ramps.
Boatsetter boat rentals give you the option of renting a fishing boat, pontoon boat, cabin cruiser, or yacht. With a private boat rental, you can go where you like in Tampa, allowing you to visit some of the best waterfront restaurants by boat.
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