A barrier island on the peninsula off the Gulf of Mexico, Treasure Island is one of the few remaining pockets of Old Florida’s tropical tourist paradise. Tourists and locals alike frequent the beach for more than the long, sandy vistas. The food and drink scene of Treasure Island are a hidden gem along the Gulf shore and from grouper reubens to Cuban sandwiches, Treasure Island is an edible mecca for those-in-the-know.Read More
Treasure Island’s 11 Best Beach Eats
Where to find the area’s best dining spots
1. The Shake Shop
Treasure Island, FL 33706
Truly one of the few old-school Florida ice cream shops left on the beach, The Shake Shop is the place to stop have a long, hot day on the beach. The cash-only beach shop boasts tailor-made floats, cones, sundaes, parfaits and more.
2. Coffee Grounds Cafe
Treasure Island, FL 33706
Treasure Island’s very own coffee shop is perched right across the street from the beach. Open early in the morning until late at night, Coffee Grounds whips up baked pastries, a small menu of sandwiches and snacks. There’s a full coffee bar, fresh juice, beer and wine.
3. The Floridian Restaurant
Tampa-style Cuban sandwiches just minutes from the sand? Only in Treasure Island. Owners Val and Ted Diler moved to Treasure Island in 1992 from Tampa and knew the beach was in dire need of a certain sandwich and the restaurant was born. Opt for an order of the traditionally pressed sandwiches, with the diagonal slice and wax paper wrap that some say are best in the area, and that includes the old-school folks in Ybor City.
4. BRGR Kitchen & Bar
This upscale burger spot in one of the newer resort additions to the beach. As the name alludes, the burger menu is varied and expansive; topped with items like fried eggs, onion straws, brioche buns and served with sides like pineapple coleslaw and herbed fries. Cocktails are made to order; mojitos recommended. And the location is probably the best outdoor dining area along the shore, where guests can grab a spot to watch the sunset dip into the dunes.
5. Britt’s Coal Fire Pizza
Perfectly cooked coal-fired pies served on the patio or delivered right to the hotel make Britt’s the ideal pizza spot. Each slice is made with precision, resulting in a charred and crispy crust -- all within walking distance of the water.
6. Thunderbird Ikki Woo Woo’s Tiki Hut
This tiny tiki bar doesn’t have food but the beach bevvies and ambiance are a Treasure Island staple. Grab a spot at the wrap-around bar by the poolside, or post up at one of the many outdoor (and shaded) patio seats to catch live music every night, and a stunning view of the sunset.
7. Gigi's Italian Restaurants
From homemade lasagna to chicken piccata, Gigi’s is well-versed in the art of a plate of pasta and sauce. The darkened wood-lined dining room is full of larger family-style booths, so don’t be afraid to bring a crowd. The entire experience is authentic and intimate, from the pasta to the pies. It offers fresh seafood, daily specials, and an impressive wine selection.
8. VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant
Famous for its Tex-Mex cuisine, VIP has become synonymous with Treasure Island. The beachside strip-mall spot is known for enormous portions of indulgent texican done right such as chimichangas, margaritas, tacos, tamales and even Mexican egg rolls. There’s almost always a wait, but the backyard margarita bar helps the time pass with ease.
9. Ricky T's Bar & Grille
Beach drinks? Check. Live music every night? Check. Bar food that satiates after hours frolicking in the waves? Of course. Ricky T’s is one of the liveliest spots on Treasure Island, as entertainment packs the bar nightly. So post up; there’s plenty to eat — seafood is definitely its specialty with dishes like the breaded oysters, scallops, and Florida grouper — and thankfully, too much to drink.
10. Caddy's on the Beach
Nestled on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island, Caddy’s is one of the area’s quintessential Treasure Island dining locales. Two words: grouper reuben. When in Treasure Island, a grouper sandwich is practically a requirement, and there is no greater waterfront iteration than Caddy’s take.
Ka’Tiki’s menu might be small but is filled with classic Florida beach bar food — think burgers, tots, buffalo chicken sandwiches — with no frills and plenty of heavy pours to match. Its outdoor tiki bar boasts one of the best Gulf views around, and its nightly live music features some of the area’s best Florida folk music.