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Waterfront Dining in Port Richey, Florida
Port Richey Restaurants
We just spent a week in Port Richey on one of our Florida vacations and discovered some great restaurants. My family and I love to eat, so dining out is always a big part of any family vacation. We have our old favorites that we frequent often, but we also enjoy trying new restaurants and new foods. We weren’t disappointed with what we found in Port Richey!
For the most part, we stuck to the waterfront restaurants. The Pithlachascotee River runs through Port Richey, where it’s referred to as the “Cotee.” We were staying in a rental house on the river, so the restaurants closest to us were all on the river, too. In fact, each one has a dock so that you can take a boat to the restaurant instead of driving. Just tie up at the dock and enjoy a great meal while watching the traffic on the river.
Catches Waterfront Grill
We ate here several times, and it was wonderful! The restaurant’s interior was large and spacious, with lots of glass for viewing the waterfront. Outside, there’s more seating, but since it was about 100 degrees in Port Richey at the time, we decided to sit inside where it was nice and cool.
Our food was great, and the service was friendly and efficient. I thought the prices were reasonable, too, for such a restaurant. In fact, they have a two for $20 special during the day. If you go at night, you’ll enjoy free valet parking.
We absolutely loved the Catches’ oysters – fresh oysters topped with crabmeat and cheese, then baked. We actually became kind of addicted to these and returned several times for more! We also liked the crab and lobster hush puppies. The fried shrimp were also very good, although we weren’t impressed with the steak kabobs. Melissa loved her grilled mahi wrap. If you order a dish made with a fish called "grouper cousin," it's not grouper - it's basa. Basa tastes very much like grouper, but it's not as expensive.
We rarely order dessert, but one day my two daughters and I went to Catches and had appetizers and desserts. Be sure to try the orange sunshine cake and the fried cheesecake!
Rum River Bar and Grill
Another Port Richey restaurant we tried was the Rum River Bar and Grill. This place is located next to Catches, and it’s like a huge tiki bar. All seating is outdoors, under the shade of a thatched roof.
We ordered appetizers at RumRiver. We had the crab cakes, the coconut shrimp, and the hot wings. All were tasty, but we especially enjoyed the crab cakes – lots of yummy crab with very little breading.
Rum River also serves grouper, frog legs, gator tail, calamari, conch fritters, and several sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entrees with beef, chicken, and fresh seafood.
If you prefer indoor dining, you can sit in the air conditioning of Catches and order from the Rum River menu.
This is a typical Hooters, as far as the menu and food is concerned. What makes this place special is the location – right on the riverfront. The restaurant’s atmosphere is laid back and fun, with great views of the Cotee River.
Of course, Hooter's is known for its wings and ckicken strips, but they also have a surprisingly good fish sandwich at this one. They also have several varieties of steamed seafood, including crab legs, oysters, shrimp, and clams.
Whiskey River Sports Grill
This is another Port Richey restaurant that’s located right on the Cotee river. It used to be Fatty and Mabel’s. The restaurant is large and is a favorite with Port Richey locals. In fact, we went there one day to try it out but couldn’t get in. Perhaps you’ll have better luck!
The Crab Shack
Of all the places we dined on our family vacation in Port Richey, this was our favorite. We almost didn’t eat here because all seating is outside, and we were afraid that we’d be too hot to enjoy our noon meal. Fortunately, we were wrong. The dining area is under a thatched tiki roof, and fans are everywhere, so we were perfectly comfortable. You can also sit on the dock, if you prefer.
This place is far from fancy. We were served on paper plates with plastic knives and forks, but we didn’t care. The food was awesome! We had grouper fingers, cheese fries, crab-stuffed mushrooms, fried shrimp, hush puppies, onion rings, and a grilled mahi sandwich. My grandson, Tristan, had the kids’ pizza. Everything was wonderful! And it was cheap – a seafood basket was under $10. If you want large fried shrimp, order the buffalo shrimp without sauce. Otherwise, you’ll get popcorn shrimp.
Not only was the food great – the atmosphere was, too. Everyone was friendly, and there was live entertainment. The décor was whimsical, which added to the fun. For example, on the dock was a large plastic shark with a human foot sticking out of its mouth, which Tristan found very amusing. At our table was a sign that read, “We discovered our kid was allergic to cats, so we had to get rid of him.” This place is super fun and is a great place to take kids. And for you smokers, you can smoke at your table.
If you’re ever in Port Richey and decide to visit the Crab Shack, ask for Vickie. She’s a super waitress!