Rusty Pelican - Tampa

4.5
1593 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Nestled along the shore of Old Tampa Bay is a fine dining oasis where locals love to meet and tourists love to discover. For 25 years, The Rusty Pelican has served Tampa Bay with elegant cuisine and rustic charm.Located at the southernmost tip of Pelican Island, this restaurant boasts a quiet setting for lunch and dinner yet is accessible from major roadways and just minutes from downtown Tampa.

The Rusty Pelican offers a wide array of amenities that include a full menu specializing in American cuisine. The menu features the Chef’s Daily Selections that provide diners with rare and delicious options to offset the incredible fresh seafood and juicy steaks that the menu already offers.

Please contact the restaurant for reservations over 8 guests. We will do our best to accommodate your reservation.
What 1593 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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VY
Dallas
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ADORED this restaurant and will be back! The service is IMPECCABLE, ambiance phenomenal and food delicious! Perfect place for a beautiful dinner!

GM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Love the view and the staff. The veggies were a bit under-cooked and there were several large parties that were noisy. Would recommend tablecloths as the table was a bit worn and "sticky". The linens would add to the atmosphere and might also cut down on some of the noise. It was our second visit and we love the restaurant!

L
Tampa
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome service and the brunch was the best!

AL
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my 40th birthday after having a difficult time deciding on a place to go. We were so happy we chose Rusty Pelican! Our server was great, the food was so good, and it was a beautiful view of the water! It was a wonderful date night dinner.

JB
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing, Great service and Fantastic service.
Fantastic ambience and the piano playing was
spot on as always.
The conch fritters and stuffed grouper will
keep you coming back for more.

OP
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant looks very nice - fire places, live piano music, windows with water views. Service was wonderful, food was great.

ND
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The service, food and view are all superb. However, everyone wants to sit by the window which results in people being almost on top of each other. It gets very loud and a private conversation is impossible

EM
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Great restaurant but I wish they had more options on their menu.

TI
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Pretty good . Great view of the bay. “Old school” place with a solid and basic menu.

PT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

The restaurant was a bit run down, needs a refresh. The food was good but took 45min for the Entree’s after waiting 40 min for a table and then an additional 30 min for desert after finishing the entree’s. So overall a longgg dinner. Waitress was helpful and did refresh our water a lot which was good. Overall meh, may or may not return. Maybe in a few years once it refresh’s.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Loved our first time experience here. Cool atmosphere and live piano music makes a great first impression walking in.
Waitress was super nice and attentive. Crab cakes and pistachio scallops tasted amazing and are a must try!
Only complaint was very low lighting and bar guests were a little loud-speaks to their drinks must be good/strong lol
Definitely a place to try in the tampa bay area.

RR
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent job Tim. I work in this industry’s and you are an amazing server! Excelente food and the view it was awesome!

W
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

My experience would’ve been much better if the service was better. Waited an extremely long time for the food to come out. Great seating, most seats cover a nice water view and soft music was being played on the piano. I would recommend going in the evening before it gets dark, the water view is not as favorable when it gets dark. This restaurant has great potential so I would recommend it to others.

B
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Food could’ve been better. The atmosphere was amazing

LF
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm never disappointed at this place. Always Good food, friendly people and knowledgeable to the T

i
Baltimore
32 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were visiting Tampa and chose Rusty Pelican because it was on the water. The view is beautiful, service was terrific and the food was delish! SouthAfrican sea bass was a special and was decadent! Swordfish was terrific also. Definitely recommend!

PP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Went there to celebrate a 60th birthday and a new American Citizenship. The wait staff was very good and helpful. The food was hit or miss. 0f the 8 of us some had good meals, some not so good. I ordered the Surf and Turf. The lobster was delicious, light and tender, my filet was supposed to be med rare and was well done, my mashed potatoes were so thick that even pouring the butter from my lobster did not thin them out. They cooked another filet for me and the replacement was cooked perfect. I won't speak for the other's meals but most of the comments were that their meals were "ok". For a restaurant that has been around for 60 years I expected better but since they did replace my filet I would recommend them and would be willing to try them again.

EH
Amarillo
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The food wasn't as good as expected; however, the view, service, and atmosphere made up for it.

DT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved sitting by the window. Feels like you’re literally sitting ON the water. Great food and Sandy, our server was perfect! Will be back.

YT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place, the restaurant is beautiful, the services was amazing and the food delicious. It was perfect.

DS
Tampa
109 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed the food, service and views. Was a bit disappointed that a restaurant that advertises plentiful just off the boat seafood focuses on Chilean sea bass and salmon. I was looking for more local fare done simply.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great. We got a window table and had a great view of the bay. The carpet could be improved to make the restaurant look better.

CH
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was delicious. Best oysters I have ever had!! Service was average, I watched as several employees walked by food and trash on the floor and left it. Ambiance is beautiful but as a building the has been there since 1978, it felt like it. It needs alot of upgrades and rennovation. Beautiful potential.

CS
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ordered the sesbass and it was fantastic. The Brussel sprouts and bacon are a must order!

L
Tampa
10 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Our Server GinaS was excellent. She was on top of everything. We were seated promptly for our reservation. We ordered artichoke appetizer along with conch fritters. They were good but for the price charged they were a bit thin on quantity. We also ordered soup both the seafood and onion soup. The onion soup was ok and again the seafood chowder was tasty but just a cup for the price Where we were expecting a bowl. We all ordered grouper, 2 stuffed and 2 sautéed. Each person thought the fish was dry and on the stuffed the crab filling was was more filler than crab. The accompanying sauce was a bit separated. We also ordered desert, chocolate cake which was enough for four people and tasty, creme brûlée which was brought flaming to the table, nice touch and key lime pie. Dessert was actually the highlight of the meal. The four of us have eaten at all of the top restaurants in the area and many abroad, some are worth what they charge others live off reputation earned in the past and beyond their prime. I understand that Rusty Pelican is in a very desirable location with a great view and that is worth something but I have also eaten at many clam shacks on the water with a great view that had superior food at a much lower price point. With all of the great choices to eat in the Tampa Bay Area all I can say about Rusty Pelican is been there done that.
In addition we are of the opinion that it is a banquet hall with a restaurant. A couple of people in our party had been to an event there and said the banquet food was very good so maybe attend an event there rather than eating in the dining room. Also I understand the need to keep the decor rustic keeping with the theme but several areas do need some work. The inside of the building looked old and worn rather than rustic.

SG
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere as you walk up to the doors remind you that you are in Florida and it has the feel of "vacation". The hostess was friendly with a welcoming smile and we were greeted with a "Happy Anniversary" - we were quickly seated in the main room right up to the windows (beautiful windows from ceiling to floor) with a perfect view of the water. The meals were delicious! Ordered the mash potatoes as a side......fabulous! A must order! Also, would recommend finishing the meal with Crème Brulee - even if you're full. We are going to make this a tradition every Anniversary!

MD
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great setting, very friendly staff and the seafood was amazing! Went here to celebrate my wife’s graduation and was very impressed! Will be back

B
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

I do not recommend this unless you were just coming off the beach and wanting to just grab a burger the ambience is horrible the prices are high they have no regard for customer service all they keep doing to say everything’s OK right everything’s OK right they pretty much suck
The view is awesome!

MR
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Visited for lunch. View of the Bay is fantastic. Food is excellent with some unique choices. A bit pricey but well worth the cost. Service was friendly, prompt and attentive. Great place for a special occasion, meeting with friends or an enjoyable lunch out.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, view, and service were all great! Alex is a great waitress!!

RS
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just go, meal and drink (1) for 2 will definitely exceed $100, but the relaxing atmosphere, the view of the bay and the quality of the food will always meet or exceed your expectations.

F
Tampa
16 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Overlooking the BAY, awesome view. This was a Sunday brunch, good assortment of food. Well presented with a good taste.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are new in Tampa. This was our first date and it was absolutely amazing, the had a fantastic experience the food was amazing! We ate the raw fish discharge and was fresh and tasty. The view was extraordinary, I highly recommend it. I recommend to my colleagues at PwC they were in a training fo a week and they also had a great experience.

MF
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very friendly and accommodating staff as well as a wonderful meal with a beautiful view.

AV
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I enjoyed my evening at the Rusty Pelican with friends. Spent about 45 min at the bar then to a table. Everything was fantastic. Just felt the prices were a little high. Entres come with nothing - all sides have a separate price. I had 3 margaritas, salmon and a side of brussel sprouts, all delicious. With tip, I spent $90.00. Just high for one person in my opinion.

T
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Overall, we had a great meal here. The stuffed Gulf Grouper was outstanding and portions were large. I was honestly shocked at the amount of food for the price. The menu is quite limited but there is a little of everything. The outside of the building needs some updating but they’ve done a great job with the inside. We are currently looking at having our wedding there next year.

JA
Dallas
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a great experience especially the view was breathtaking. I would definitely visit it again.

HS
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was good, server was nice but they seemed short staffed and everyone was running around. The atmosphere was great and the view was even better.

BC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic atmosphere; although a bit more exciting and up-beat than we were expecting, the food was tremendous and the service sublime. The views are definitely worth seeing along with the beautiful pavilion area outside. Will most likely return.

l
Atlanta
92 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Perfect spot for a business dinner. We had an incredible view of the water. Dinner was excellent.

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