Restaurants In Crystal River
We independently research and recommend any products or places but we may earn a commission if you click on links we provide. Learn More.
Swimming with manatees is one of the best reasons to visit Crystal River. The second best is indulging on delicious seafood at one of the many restaurants in Crystal River Florida. Although the city of Crystal River isn’t large, there are some fantastic options for dining in the area.
For seafood lovers, Crystal River is the perfect place to enjoy the fresh daily catches. Many restaurants get their fresh catch daily from their very own boats. This list covers our top picks according to locals and visitors alike of the best restaurants in Crystal River.
Crackers Bar & Grill
After a day of swimming with the manatees in Crystal River, Crackers Bar & Grill was recommended by the guide. Crackers is one of the most popular restaurants in Crystal River and it’s no surprise. It sits on the water with beautiful views of Kings bay to enjoy along with your meal. Pick your choice of indoor or outdoor seating as they have an outdoor patio.
Seafood is the top choice in this restaurant with popular picks being the Grouper, Redfish, shrimp and scallops. The scallops melt in your mouth and the shrimp are delicious. Ordering most seafood options on the menu will give you a large portion since the seafood is in such abundance in the area. Be sure to try their fish dip and zucchini fries as well.
For those wanting to try something else, they do have delicious burgers and chicken options. If you still have room for dessert, indulge in the Tuxedo Bomb, a chocolate mousse that is rich and creamy.
But perhaps the best part about this restaurant? If you are out on the water and find yourself getting hungry, you can just drive up to the restaurant, dock your boat or kayak, eat and be back out in the water in no time.
The Crab Plant
The Crab Plant is the best restaurant in town to enjoy a hearty meal of crabs. While crabs are their specialty, they also serve up the most fresh Grouper, Snapper, Hog Fish, Mullet, Flounder, Sheepshead, Sea Bass, Calamari and Squid. Of course, they also have a large variety of crab to choose from, including Stone Crab, Snow Crab, and Blue Crab in all sizes.
Their goal at The Crab Plant, is to keep everything as fresh and local as possible, so depending on the season, not options might be available. If you do choose to order some crab while at this restaurant, you won’t be disappointed. The large portions of crab come out steaming in large buckets for you to dig right in.
If you enjoyed your meal and want to take some fresh catches with you, check out their seafood market. They carry a large variety of fresh seafood caught daily from the local water. Both the restaurant and seafood market are open Tuesday Though Saturday with varying hours.
Cajun Jimmy’s Seafood Seller & Cafe
Don’t be thrown off by the unassuming location. This is one of the best seafood restaurants in town with great food. At Seafood Seller & Cafe they take pride and joy in preparing every meal. Serving up seafood in a Cajun style Tuesday through Sunday every week.
The fish is fresh daily and comes straight off of their own boats. On the menu you will see their signature dishes highlighted so be sure to try some of them, especially the seafood. For starters, the the blue crab claws are fried and served with a homemade Remoulade sauce or sautéed in a garlic, wine and butter sauce. You can’t go wrong with the cheesy crawfish & alligator mac & cheese that will awe your taste buds.
Other great options to choose from are the Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Po’Boy, the Fresh Florida Grouper, and the Catfish Louisanne. The Sellers Shrimp comes in half pound or full pound which is steamed in beer. Then it’s buttered up with Cajun seasoning and served with a special Seller Sauce. Other raw or steamed shellfish worth a try are the raw oysters or the bacon oysters.
Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters
If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee while in town, head over to Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters. Pick from their selection of over 20 coffee flavors and blends that can be custom made to your liking. Their fresh roasted coffee is just the thing for a morning in Crystal River.
Not only is their coffee good, but if you’re looking for breakfast in Crystal River, then take a look at their fresh pastry and sandwich menu. Daily pastry favorites include muffins, scones, cinnamon buns, and cookies. You will sometimes even find special tasty treats like s’mores cookies.
The selection of toasts including the Farm & Sea Toast that features smoked salmon, cream cheese, egg, red onions, and baby arugula tossed in red wine vinaigrette and balsamic glaze, are delightful. The unique flavors of their sandwiches are sure to keep you impressed and full for a while. On Fridays, the New England style lobster roll and lobster bisque are available after 11a.m.
St. John’s Tavern
At St. John’s Tavern drinks might be an emphasis, but it’s really worth going here for the food. This eatery serves up classic burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. The Smash Burger is one of the most popular items on the menu with black angus ground beef topped with American cheese and other toppings of your choice.
The sandwiches are delicious as well but one of their best items is in the shareable section. It is the large soft Bavarian Pretzel with beer cheese dipping sauce. It is as large as a dinner plate and comes out hot, fried and salty that pairs so well with the sauce. If you’re not a pretzel fan, try their Tavern Chips that are house fried with a bacon, Bleu cheese and Balsamic glaze.
This restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Crystal River and is open every day from 11a.m. to 10p.m.
Amy’s On The Avenue
A boutique and bistro in one, Amy’s On The Avenue brings a unique take on breakfast or lunch in Crystal River. The place is stylishly decorated and the staff friendly. There is plenty of outdoor seating in the cafe garden with colorful murals on the walls.
The menu has a good amount of variety and uses fresh, quality ingredients. It offers sandwiches, salads, wraps, pastries and even southern comfort foods like shrimp & grits and crab bisque. Their desserts are delicious so go ahead and get the hummingbird cake with bananas, pineapple, pecans & spices or their three-layer Key Lime Cake that is topped with a cream cheese frosting.
After the meal, you can peruse the shop for beautiful and fun gifts and décor. Find a treasure for yourself or for a loved one and continue exploring the rest of the downtown.
Tea House 650
As the name implies, the Tea House 650 specializes in tea and has a large selection of a variety of teas. Their collection includes black tea, green tea, chai tea, medicinal tea, Japanese Matcha, and other varieties. You can enjoy the tea hot or iced depending on the weather. The gourmet tea selection is the perfect pairing for a light lunch.
On their lunch menu they have tasty sandwiches with gourmet meats, cheese, rosemary mayo and other toppings. They also serve salad, soup and lots of house made pastries. There are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options on the menu.
The café also has a little shop where you can purchase loose leaf tea to go as well as other gifts and goodies. This quaint and relaxing tea house is one of the top places in Crystal River for tea lovers.
The Waterfront Social
This restaurant in Crystal River is located right on the water. It is an incredible dining experience to be able to watch the sunset out the window as you enjoy your meal. The Waterfront Social boasts indoor and outdoor dining that is sure to leave you with a memorable experience.
The menu items are made from scratch with a southern flare. As with many restaurants in Crystal River, there is a wide selection of seafood offerings. For starters, the smoked fish dip is fantastic, along with the clam chowder and the coconut shrimp.
For the main, the poke bowl or the grilled salmon with a side of coconut scented jasmine rice, seasonal vegetables, citrus slaw, and a sweet soy reduction make for a great pick. For a non-seafood option, they have a 16oz Ribeye with mash potatoes, seasonal veggies, and horseradish cream.
Vintage On The 5th
A cozy, renovated cottage is the setting for the Vintage on the 5th restaurant. They have indoor and outdoor seating options to be able to enjoy a beautiful Florida day. Even your furry friends are welcome on the wrap-around porch.
The goal of this eatery is to combine excellent service with delicious food and an ambient atmosphere. You’ll find very friendly staff here which will make your dining experience excellent. Fresh seafood is the highlight of their menu with hand-cut steaks close behind. Their signature dishes include some southern favorites like the shrimp & grits, decadent mac & cheese, and fried green tomatoes.
Other thoughtfully created dishes include their full rack of lamb, hand-cut veal chops, a half duckling and a classic Angus Ribeye. Dinner is their specialty so they are open Tuesday through Thursday 5p.m. to 9p.m., Friday and Saturday 5p.m. to 10p.m. and closed Sunday & Monday.
BubbaQue’s is a Florida chain with many locations throughout the state. This barbeque chain is southern to its core from the style to the food. If you’re looking for good food that’s not seafood, then give BubbaQue’s a try.
Only the best cuts of pork, beef and chicken are smoked and the side dishes are made fresh daily with the best southern ingredients and recipes. On their menu, you will find chicken wings, pulled pork, brisket, and ribs all smoked to perfection. Pick a sauce to go along with your meat like Tractor Grease (original), Mississippi Mud (sweet molasses) or Sugar Shack (honey barbeque) which are just a few of the top picks.
Dan’s Clam Stand
Dan’s Clam Stand is New England style food in the heart of Crystal River, Florida. Start out your meal with the delicious clam chowder and fried onion rings. After, you can order heaping baskets of fried seafood. Be sure to try the clams too since they are one of their signature dishes.
For an indulgent meal, get the whole lobster on a roll which is a meal you are sure to remember. Another things not to miss on the menu is the crab stuffed Portobella mushroom.
Their hours are usually 11a.m. to 8p.m. except for Sundays which are 11a.m. to 7p.m. and closed on Mondays. Eating seafood in Crystal River is one of the best things to enjoy and this restaurant is a great option for a lunch or dinner.