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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Clearwater

Food and drink in Clearwater

Due to its prime location right alongside the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater holidays give you access to an incredible range of fresh seafood. Fresh catches of the day are bountiful on local menus. What's more, seafood here is kept interesting by restaurants serving it up in every which way – in sushi, crepes, grilled or in Italian dishes just for a start.

Exploring Clearwater's delicacies

If you're a health food fanatic, remember that freshly squeezed Florida orange juice is just the start of the vibrant and nourishing fruit and farmer's fare that can be found here. Breakfast isn't the same without it, although the coffee has plenty of body and flavour too.

You'll also find your fair share of classic American dishes. Think fried food and beach treats like burgers and fries. Plus there's a whole host of international cuisine, with restaurants featuring pizza, Chinese food, Italian, Thai, Cuban and Mexican food. The restaurants you'll visit on holidays to Clearwater don't skimp on the views, either - expect ample waterfront shots and gorgeous sunsets.

Upscale meets accessible at Cafe Ponte

Cafe Ponte is widely lauded as being one of the best restaurants in Clearwater, both for mood and cuisine. It's as upscale and elegant as they come, while the food doesn't disappoint in that area, either.

There are multi-course taster meals that have all the work done for you, or you can opt for a la carte. Expect to find meals like ahi tuna and gourmet meatloaf, preceded by bisques and lobster cake. Don't let the upscale label unnerve you though, as there's a deliciously informal dishes on the dessert menu.

Hollywood fare at Lenny's Restaurant

Lenny's is one of those classic American diners you've seen in films. You know the ones we're talking about – rubber booths, food in plastic baskets, quirky decor and staff that like to engage in a tongue-in-cheek back and forth with customers.

The restaurant specialises in breakfast and lunch, with meals like eggs benedict, fried hash browns, hamburgers and deli-style sandwiches. What's more is, every meal is also served with a complimentary basket of pastries.

Italian-American cuisine at Sea-Guini

In case the kitschy and adorable name didn't clue you in, Sea-Guini is an Italian-American seafood joint. It's attached to the ritzy Opal Sands Resort, so the decor is aptly chic with crystal chandeliers and pool views.

The menu does an impeccable job of blending Italian cuisine with local Clearwater treats, including the fresh seafood caught just offshore. On offer here are homemade pasta dishes, seafood bisques, prosciutto-wrapped prawns and grilled swordfish.

Waterfront views at Marina Cantina

The Marina Cantina gets full points for location, as it's found alongside the Clearwater Marina directly overlooking the water. They even have a rooftop dining area for maximum views, open from late afternoon. The menu here boasts Mexican food, but don't expect just your average tacos and burritos.

The selection is much more well-rounded than you might expect, with dishes like octopus ceviche, ahi tostadas and a turn away from Mexican with lamb chops. Happy hour is also on the agenda, so Marina Cantina is a top spot to grab drinks, with cocktails like blood orange margaritas lighting up the menu.

Crepe feasts at Salt N Pepper Bistro

To round out Clearwater's worldly cuisine, Salt N Pepper brings a French edge to town. The restaurant itself is reminiscent of a rustic, countryside bistro with mustard-coloured walls and dark cherry decor. It's run by a foodie family, dishing up fare that's gourmet to the T.

Here you can delight in dishes like duck l'orange, escargot served in pastry, flat iron steak and pork medallion in an almond whisky sauce. And let's not forget the crepes – they're topped with just about everything, from strawberries to baked apples. Ask for yours to be drizzled with chocolate sauce for an extra treat.