If you are visiting Florida, one of the delicacies that you shouldn’t miss is the grouper sandwich. Basically, it’s the locally famed grouper grilled, sautéed, fried, or blackened and put on a bun with various toppings.
It differs a little from place to place and everyone has their own special way to prepare the sandwich, so you might have to try a few to find your favorite. Below are a few spots to get your grouper sandwich fix.
Grouper is delicious, tender, and plentiful. Because Florida waters are full of grouper, it’s one of the more sustainable fish options, and it can be caught fresh and brought right to your table.
Big Ray’s Fish Camp $$
6116 Interbay Blvd., Tampa, FL 33611
Big Ray’s Fish Camp is committed to serving the best fish in South Tampa. Chef Raymond Cruz grew up fishing and cleaning fish on the line – this eventually sparked a life-long love of cooking fresh seafood and serving it to the community.
It has two grouper sandwiches on the menu. If it’s your first grouper sandwich, get the blackened version with onion rings. Try the Grouper Reuben if you are a little more adventurous.
Big Ray’s Fish Camp is closed on Monday. It is open Tuesday from 11 AM – 4 PM, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 AM – 3 PM and 5 PM – 9 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11 AM – 9 PM, and Sunday from 11 AM – 8 PM.
Frenchy’s Cafe $$
41 Baymont St, Clearwater, FL 33767
Frenchy’s Cafe is a must-try if you are anywhere near Clearwater – this unassuming little cafe makes some of the best food in Florida. The place is known for its smoked fish spread, seafood gumbo, and Super Grouper sandwich. You should also try the cajun version for a little spicy kick.
Frenchy’s Cafe is open every day from 11 AM – 10 PM.
Grouper And Chips $$
338 9th St N, Naples, FL 34102
Grouper and Chips has been open for over 27 years which just goes to show you how popular this place is. This family-owned restaurant is all about grouper – it’s even in the bouillabaisse. Its grouper sandwich comes in a basket with fries, with the option of adding cheese.
Expect a wait, as this place is really popular and it’s often crowded. The food is worth it, though!
Grouper and Chips is open to serve you Monday to Saturday from 11 AM – 10 PM. It is also open on Sundays from January to April.
5121 Gulf Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408
Schooners is a seaside restaurant in Panama City Florida known for its beach vibes, great cocktails, and a truly excellent grouper sandwich. The fish is locally caught gulf grouper, and the sandwich is made in the classic style with lettuce and tomato. The next time you find yourself in Panama City Beach, drop by Schooners and have one!
Schooner’s is under renovations until February 2022. Check its website for hours of operation.
Peg Leg Pete’s $$
1010 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Peg Leg Pete’s is an excellent unpretentious place to get a flavorful, flaky, and delicious fried grouper sandwich. It comes chargrilled, blackened, or fried with your choice of cheese. If you are feeling adventurous there is also a Grouper BLT that’s available, but nothing beats a classic!
The restaurant has been around for 30 years and has turned itself into one of Pensacola’s hot spots – there is always good music playing and great food at Peg Leg Pete’s! It often features local musical artists, so if you are looking to experience a little Pensacola nightlife, this is a laid-back place to do it.
Peg Leg Pete’s is open from 11 AM and often stays open late into the night. There is no cover charge.
Dockside Dave’s $$
14701 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
On the landing page of Dockside Dave, it says in big letters: “try out the world-famous half-pound grouper sandwich”. One good sandwich would be enough, but there are seven ways to get your grouper cooked at this restaurant! You can get it blackened, lightly blackened, chargrilled, country-style, batter-fried, lemon-pepper, or buffalo-style.
Dockside Dave’s is open for service Monday to Thursday from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM and Friday to Sunday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM. closing times fluctuate according to the volume of customers.
Going to Florida and looking to eat like a local? Grouper sandwiches are a Florida staple – head to one of these spots and try a grouper sandwich. There are all sorts of ways to prepare it and toppings you can have on your sandwich, so each is sure to be a unique experience.
While you are here, be sure not to miss out on the delicious fish and buttery buns. You can even do a tour of the best grouper sandwiches in Florida if you so choose. It will definitely take you to interesting places off the beaten path!