Outdoor dining guide

Where to eat and drink, when the weather is just right.

Coming out of Florida summer into the cool and crispy fall deserves a celebration — an outdoor one. From the beaches to the bay, our community of restaurants and bars has plenty of al fresco options. So grab a seat and a bite to eat under clear skies at one of these Pinellas spots. —Arielle Stevenson

400 BEACH SEAFOOD AND TAP HOUSE 400 Beach Drive NE, 727-896-2400, 400beachseafood.com. Situated on a corner facing the Vinoy, the Pier and Tampa Bay, 400 Beach is perfectly perched for some outdoor dining. The sidewalk seating area hugs the corner that runs along Beach Drive, and the menu features dozens of dishes made with fresh seafood.

BELLA BRAVA 204 Beach Drive NE, 727-895-5515, bellabrava.com. The corner of 2nd & Beach is a deservedly popular outdoor destination due to Bella Brava's delicious "New World Trattoria" fare and the friendly servers and clientele.

CAJUN CAFE ON THE BAYOU 8101 Park Blvd. N, Pinellas Park, 727-546-6732, cajuncafeonthebayou.com. Authentic Cajun classics like red beans and rice, gumbo, and Jambalaya made from scratch and served hot every day. When crawfish is in season (around February), be sure to head to Cajun Cafe for a basket of the spicy suckers. Beer selection is beer-nerd approved.

CASITA TAQUERIA 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-820-4365, casitatacos.com. Casita Taqueria is a small joint with some big taste. Daily taco specials include conchita pibil (orange-marinated carnitas) and Modelo-battered shrimp. The backyard has a kitschy, Florida-inspired vibe, with a flair for Dia de los Muertos. The Casita has a solid import beer selection, and heaters for when it gets a touch too chilly on the patio.

CASSIS AMERICAN BRASSERIE 170 Beach Drive, 727-827-2927, cassisab.com. Cassis offers one of the most beautiful outdoor patios, complete with cover, heaters, and ample seating. The menu is French meets New American and touches on everything from breakfast and brunch to dinner and dessert.

CEVICHE ST. PETE 95 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-209-2302, cevichetapas.com. From the patio at Ceviche in downtown St. Petersburg, the bay sparkles within walking distance and the ting-ting of halyards at the nearby marina can be heard. Enjoy a variety of tapas, plenty of sangria, and warm bread. If it gets too chilly at your sidewalk table, head downstairs at night for salsa dancing, live music, and of course more sangria.

THE CHATTAWAY 358 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 727-823-1594. The Chattaway is the backyard everyone wishes they had, including bathtubs filled with vines and flowers, rows of park benches, and a tiki-esque stage from which the sound of a keyboard usually billows. The burgers are legendary and the beer is always cold.

EL CAP 3500 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-521-1314. The small wrap-around patio has plenty of old Florida concrete and shell benches for outdoor dining. The cheeseburger's a classic, and the bite-sized corndogs are worth a try, too. Beer is domestic, cheap and flowing.

FRENCHY’S ROCKAWAY GRILL Seven Rockaway St., Clearwater, 727-446-4844, frenchysonline.com. Located just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico, Frenchy’s is the classic outdoor Florida beach spot. Beachy, mixed, fruit-garnished drinks are served in clear plastic cups, and the grouper sandwich rocks.

MOON UNDER WATER 332 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 727-896-6160, themoonunderwater.com. India meets England at this pub on Beach Drive that has everything from crispy fish and chips to naan bread and curry. And even though it’s a huge restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, the vibe is intimate and relaxed.

PARKSHORE GRILL 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 727-896-3463, parkshoregrill.com. Next on our tour of Beach Drive is Parkshore Grill, which offers New American cuisine served upscale on the inside and classy but casual on the outside patio.

PEG’S CANTINA AND BREW PUB 3038 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, 727-328-2720, pegscantina.com. Right along Gulfport’s Beach Blvd. is classic outdoor spot Peg’s Cantina. Not only is the entire front yard available for al fresco dining, but Peg’s also brews its own beer on site. The menu features some of the best little personal pizzas anywhere.

QUEENSHEAD EUROBAR AND RESTAURANT 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-498-8584, thequeensheadbar.com. Swathed in fabric, Queenshead’s outdoor patio is a wistful and lovely night out. Grab a pagoda for two and melt into the delicious menu.

RED MESA CANTINA 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg, 727-896-8226, redmesacantina.com. Strong margaritas and the best black beans and rice anywhere. This is truly one of the best spots for an outdoor brunch in St. Pete. The burritos, ceviche and brunch specials never disappoint.

SALT ROCK GRILL 19325 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, 727-593-7625, saltrockgrill.com. Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intercoastal is a huge complex of tiki-lit outdoor dining. Pulling up to Salt Rock Grill, one could never imagine the vast patio located behind the building. Get a great steak, some seafood and a bottle of wine under the starry skies along Indian Shores.

ST. PETE BRASSERIE 539 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-823-3700, stpetebrasserie.com. Grab a table along bustling Central Avenue and enjoy some wine and steak frites. St. Pete Brasserie knows how to do the classics and do them well. Uncomplicated and fairly priced, St. Pete Brasserie is a great spot for a romantic dinner out or a drink with friends.

TACO BUS ST. PETE 2324 Central Ave., St. Pete, tampatacobus.com. St. Petersburg’s Taco Bus has plenty of tables out front, with even more under the open shelter nearby. Or, if you like, head to one of the tables inside. No matter where you sit, the Taco Bus is a great joint to grab some late-night weekend grub, or a fast lunch during the day.

TED PETERS FAMOUS SMOKED FISH 1350 Pasadena Ave. S, Gulfport, 727-381-7931, tedpetersfish.com. Ted Peters, where a whole smoked mullet with heaping sides is just $13.99, and the only beer on tap is called “mug draft beer.” Be sure to bring plenty of cash as this place doesn’t know or speak the words “credit or debit?” and we like it that way.