Best Beach Bars in Clearwater Beach— and What to Drink at Them

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Lucky for you guys, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the drinks and acquainting myself with the bars of Clearwater Beach for the last three years, and I’m here to give you all of the details. While there is plenty to do at Clearwater Beach, the beach bars and fun (often tropical) drinks are part of the experience. Regardless of what kind of drink you’re craving, I will direct you on the place to go.

Best Beach Bars in Clearwater Beach— and What to Drink at Them

Best Bloody Mary

Jimmy’s Fish House

I actually found this place four years ago when I was asking people passing by where the best bloody mary on the beach was. They did not steer me wrong!  Equipped and fully loaded with a shrimp-and-veggie skewer, you get a nice appetizer with this drink, and they don’t just stop there— if you’re wondering what the short glass is next to it, that’d be your beer chaser (typically Miller or Bud Light).  Ask ‘em to make it spicy, and they add their own Jimmy’s hot sauce to it to spice it up for ya.

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach Jimmy's Bloody Mary and beer chaser

Best Martini

Opal Sands Sea-Guini

They have all sorts of to-die-for martinis here, whether you’re looking for something sweet and fruity or the classic with some stuffed blue cheese olives.  Personally, I dream about their strawberry shortcake martini. Stoli vanilla vodka, muddled strawberries, simple syrup, and a graham cracker rim— sounds amazing, right? I’m going to give you a hack to make it even more amazing: ask them to add their ice cream mix to it.  This makes the drink a little bit creamy. Normally, I can’t do a ton of sweet drinks, but when it comes to these, I can easily down a few— and in record time, embarrassingly enough.

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach Opal Sands best martini the strawberry shortcake

Best Beer Selection

Surfside Taphouse

This place is a beer lover’s dream. With 50 beers on tap and daily bucket and draft specials, you are sure to find something you like.  You can get a bucket of Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Corona Light, or Premier for $16. 

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach Surfside Taphouse beer taps

Best Mojito

Salty’s and Jimmy’s Fish House

I have a weak spot for places that muddle fresh fruit into their mojitos instead of making it overly sweet with an artificial puree or just using a flavored rum or vodka to give it a different fruity flavor.  Both of these spots muddle the fruit and concoct the most refreshing mojitos. Salty’s has a delicious blackberry lime mojito, and Jimmy’s makes a mouthwatering strawberry pineapple mojito. At Jimmy’s, make sure you ask for Chris to make it— he makes the best!

Best Sangria

The Brown Boxer

It may look pretty basic, but trust me, this white sangria leaves your taste buds very pleased.  It’s very light and refreshing. Not too sweet with a nice peach flavor bursting through. There’s a North and South Beach location— I have only tried these at the South Beach location, but if you go to North Beach, that spot also has darts and pool you can play while you enjoy your sangria!

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach Brown Boxers white sangria

Best Oyster Shooter

Cooters

Okay, first of all, I want you guys to understand how unexpectedly hard it is to find an oyster shooter on a beach that has a million places that serve oysters.  Second of all, if you’re like the number of people I asked where to find good oyster shooters who were unaware just what exactly an oyster shooter is, let me fill you in.  An oyster shooter is just as it sounds— an oyster in a shot glass mixed with some sort of alcohol.  

Unlike the few places on the beach we found to accommodate and make us one despite them not being on the menu, Cooter’s actually has them on their menu.  At the cheap price of $3.99, their Cooter Shooter is a fresh oyster, beer, cocktail sauce, and hot sauce. Personally, I like bloody mary mix and vodka with mine.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like your thing, but don’t worry— just tell your server what you’d prefer, and they will totally accommodate.

Let me clarify that I cannot eat raw oysters by themselves, but for some reason, when they’re mixed in with the bloody mary mix and alcohol, it just works— and it’s amazing. Another hack: make sure you ask for an Old Bay rim.

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach Cooters Cooter Shooter Oyster Shot

Best Instagrammable Drink

Jimmy’s Fish House

In the giant glass seen below, you can get a jumbo blue, strawberry, or regular margarita.  Or, if you’re like me and are no longer friends with tequila, you can get a rum-based drink called Voodoo Juice.  Fruity, tropical, and the perfect Instagram post to give your friends FOMO, I highly recommend this drink!

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach best instagrammable drink Jimmy's voodoo juice
I think the best way to do a size comparison of just how big this drink is is to have it sitting next to you, the jumbo martini glass holds an equivalent to 3 drinks

Best Classic Margarita

Salt Tequila Bar

Unfortunately, Salt Tequila Bar is not open due to COVID-19 restrictions. I will keep this updated for when it reopens!

As I mentioned, me and tequila aren’t exactly on speaking terms, but I couldn’t leave out this fan favorite.  You can find this bar and tap room inside of Shephard’s, and they have over 100 varieties of tequila to choose from (who even knew they made that many?!).  You can either pick your favorite tequila for them to mix into a marg and add a Grand Marnier float, or do the budget-friendly option and enjoy one of their $5 margaritas.  They have $5 margs all day, every day!

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach best classic margarita Salt Bar

Best Wine Selection

Clearwater Wine Bar and Bistro

With a selection of over 50 wines by the glass and over 200 bottle choices, I had my heart set on a delicious glass of pinot grigio, and the Viti di Mezzo fulfilled me.  If you’re not feeling nice and warm after a few glasses of wine, you will surely feel the warmth from the staff. Best yet, when we got our bill, we learned that it was happy hour— $10 for two glasses of wine!  They’re closed on Monday but have happy hour Tuesday-Sunday 5-7pm. Happy hour includes two for one house wine and sangria, $2 off all wines by the glass, and $1 off all draft and bottled beer.

Best Beach Bar Clearwater Beach best wine selection at Clearwater Wine Bar and Bistro

Best Locally Brewed Beer List

Clearwater Social Brewing Company

Unfortunately, Clearwater Social Brewing Co. is not open due to COVID-19 restrictions. I will keep this updated for when it reopens!

I’m not a big beer drinker, but this place offers a lot more than just a great local selection.  The atmosphere here is different from the local beach bar vibe— it has more of an industrial look.  It’s a nice change up. The manager hand selects the beers on the rotating taps, and you get a great local selection.  And if you’re like me and can’t make up your mind, they have a flight option. On top of the awesome beer selection, this spot also has a lot of games, from beer pong to Nintendo. 

Clearwater Social Brewing Company

Best Pina Colada

Salty’s and Frenchy’s Rockaway

Sally’s definitely has the best classic pina colada.  They are the only place I know of on the beach that uses real pineapple instead of puree or just a mix. And it’s completed with a fresh coconut rim and pineapple slice.  It is exactly what you need to start your beach vacation.  At Frenchy’s, you NEED to get the Loopy Lada.  Holy crap, this seriously tasted like a bowl of Froot Loops, taking me right back to my childhood.  Pro tip: have both places add mango. I started adding mango to my pina coladas, and it is a total game changer.

BONUS

Best Rooftop Views

Jimmy’s Crows Nest and Jimmy’s on the Edge

Crow’s Nest gives you stunning views of the Gulf and Pier 60 (located on North Beach). The Edge gives you city views on one side and a view of the Clearwater Harbor Channel that leads into the Gulf (located on South Beach).  If you’re at either of these locations around sunset, they also pass around free Sunset Shots during their sunset celebration. They do a countdown for the spectacle, and everyone does the shot together!

Jimmy’s Crows Nest and Jimmy’s on the Edge

Best Game Spot

Tap and Token

Located above Brown Boxer on North Beach, this place is a total blast. As you may know I like to get my game on while I enjoy my cocktails, so this is one of my fave spots to hang on Clearwater Beach. They have numerous arcade-style games, pool, and darts! And the location is right by a lot of other spots I’ve listed in this post, so you can easily bounce around!

While I don’t necessarily encourage you go from drinking a Bloody Mary to a sangria, I thought it’d be fun to try to check off as many of the drinks I’ve listed in a scavenger hunt! Don’t forget to tag me on Insta or Facebook so I can see just how much you’ve conquered!

Let me know which drink sounds the yummiest to you!

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14 Comments

  1. June 5, 2020 / 10:30 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to that beach! Thanks for the list, will bookmark this post for when I plan to go to Clearwater beach.

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 8, 2020 / 12:00 pm

      It’s definitely worth the trip! Such a beautiful fun filled area 🙂

  2. Chelsea
    June 6, 2020 / 11:16 am

    Okay so the words beach and bar are two of my favourite.. especially when they are in the same sentence LOL.. The martini looks amazing!!!

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 8, 2020 / 12:01 pm

      haha right?! Two of my favs too. The martini will change your life, hope you get to taste it one day! 🙂

  3. June 6, 2020 / 11:44 am

    Wow Destiny, I really loved reading this blog!! These drinks and bars look like so much fun! And I will turn back to this guide when I go to visit my friend in Florida next year! Thank you!

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 8, 2020 / 12:02 pm

      Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Hope you get to experience some of my recommendations!

  4. June 10, 2020 / 12:07 pm

    These bars look like so much fun!!!

  5. June 10, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the great little guide with all of my favourite drinks. I love that the mojito is not too sweet, it needs to have the perfect balance. Looking forward to visiting this beach! You made me want to travel there now.

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 11, 2020 / 11:22 am

      I agree! I’m super critical of my mojitos haha. Hope you get to soon! 🙂

  6. June 10, 2020 / 12:25 pm

    I travel to Florida pretty often so I’ll definitely keep this post in mind. Tap & Token sounds right up my alley of fun. Thanks for sharing these great suggestions!

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 11, 2020 / 11:23 am

      Right?! I love getting competitive and occupying myself with some fun games when I’m out, glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  7. June 10, 2020 / 8:28 pm

    I need to go to all of these places right now. That martini though! Just wow. It’s like a dessert in a glass. I love a good tropical drink in the summer do this is perfect

    • destinysnyder
      Author
      June 11, 2020 / 11:23 am

      Yesss the best dessert you could ask for!

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