Finely prepared foods from simple recipes create the best casual dining experience. On St. Pete Beach, that is exactly what you’ll find at Rick’s Reef restaurant. With an extensive menu of “home cooking” and Old Florida inspired items, there is something for everyone, whether they prefer simple or adventurous.
St. Pete Beach has a rich history of notable dining establishments, but the beach has always dictated a casual dining experience. The restaurants, no matter how good the food, had to accommodate casual attire and a laid-back mood. Rick’s Reef on St. Pete Beach has embraced that long tradition.
For the best casual dining experience you want fresh ingredients sourced locally, and everything made by hand. But you also need a casual environment to enjoy it in. Rick’s Reef in St. Pete Beach offers everything you need! Fast friendly service, awesome food, a fun place to enjoy it, those are the keys! The rest is up to you. Bring your friends and family. Allow plenty of time. Come in shorts, T’s and flip-flops. But be prepared to experience some of the best casual dining you can imagine.
Wonderful people make Rick’s Reef the perfect place to have some fun in the sun. Over the years it has become THE gathering place for people with an upbeat personality and a zest for life. New friends are made every day, and often the friendships span the country and last forever. And a great way to start new friendships is in the competition of a fabulous bar game!
The Best Seafood on St. Pete Beach is served at Rick’s Reef on Gulf Blvd. If you are looking for fresh ingredients lovingly prepared by hand, specifically to your order, you won’t find a better option than Seafood at Rick’s Reef. Available every day. Monday – Friday from 7 am to 11 am and Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 12 pm. The Seafood menu is extensive and the dishes are made just right! Not just any Seafood, …it’s the BEST Seafood.
Fresh Grouper and Mahi-Mahi!
Sandwich or Entree, Grilled, Blackened or Fried, Rick’s Reef always has the freshest Grouper and Mahi-Mahi available. Prepared to order, and complimented with freshly prepared sides, you simply cannot do better on St. Pete Beach.
But that’s not the whole story. Rick’s Reef superb staff will serve your fresh Grouper or Mahi-Mahi with a great big smile in one of the neatest casual dining spots on St. Pete Beach. We have a big, outdoor patio, and plenty of indoor seating with cool, funky beach decor. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the place is always clean.
Best Smoked Fish Spread
Rick’s Reef starts with fresh, never frozen, Salmon, or Mahi Mahi, from a local fish house. (Whichever is available fresh) Rick’s Reef has their own smoker in-house, and they slowly smoke the fish for 6 to 8 hours beforehand crumbling it in preparation for mixing. Fresh vegetables are delivered daily, and hand cut.
You may not know this, but all the food at Rick’s Reef is fresh. They don’t even have a walk-in freezer! All the food is brought in unfrozen, and is hand cut and prepared on-site. The sauces are made by hand in the kitchen every morning, and all the smoked items are done in our very own smoker here on the premises. Fresh is flavorful, and better for you! It’s a big part of what makes us “best.”
Fresh Salmon is available as an entree or topping a salad. The Salmon can be served Grilled or Blackened, and on Saturdays, we offer it smoked as well!
And, …as always, …it’s served with fresh sides!
But it’s about a lot more than Fresh Seafood! You’re looking for a place you can take your family and friends where you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed. You want a place that feels like an old beach shack, but one that’s clean and inviting. And Rick’s Reef, on St. Pete Beach is that place.
Wedding party venues, or locations, can range from super fancy to casual and fun. If you are looking for casual and fun on St. Pete Beach, Rick’s Reef may be a perfect choice. They have a full bar, an extensive menu, and a cool indoor/outdoor space. They can accommodate large groups, and have the staff to provide great service and keep it fun. If you are considering a casual wedding on St. Pete Beach, make a plan to bring it back to Rick’s Reef for the party.
Rick’s Reef has years of experience with large groups of all ages. We can accommodate a band or a DJ, or use our jukebox to dial up the music you want. Your Wedding Party will be laid-back, fun and memorable. And we are just a quick walk from the beach.
Beach-themed wedding? Try a beach-themed wedding party at Rick’s Reef on St. Pete Beach!
Wedding Rehearsal Dinner in St. Pete Beach? Rick’s Reef his your answer!
Here’s a recent Trip Advisor 5 bubble review! September 13, 2018
“Unexpected Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Venue with Chill Vibes”
“Rick’s Reef did a great job of hosting our July Wedding Rehearsal Dinner before our big day up the road at Post Card Inn. Our group had roughly 50 folks ranging in age from newborn to 80-somethings and there were options for everyone. We came on a busy late afternoon in July on a holiday weekend and it was blazing hot with the sun beating down the entire time, but Tyler and his crew worked hard to accommodate everyone and make us all feel comfortable. Their food was fantastic, and he even created a custom short menu just for our party and printed them, too! We had the entire outdoor seating area and dedicated servers and waitresses who made sure everyone was well taken care of. Their smaller scratch kitchen did wonders by cooking our huge group’s meals and those for the patrons in the interior section, too, which filled up quickly. Neighboring dining options for a rehearsal dinner didn’t fit us – they were stuffy, uptight or dark indoors, not to mention, they required meal minimums at $20pp each and considerably higher. Too much “corporatey” types and red tape. No thank you! Tyler and his awesome staff provided a laid back, fun atmosphere for us thirty-something love birds who wanted some good food, awesome drinks, fun with corn hole and ring toss, and an overall good vibe and time that wouldn’t overshadow our beach wedding the next day. Tyler communicated well the entire time by phone/email and we had a very reasonable agreement and deposit amount. We were worried about rain and did not have one drop, but there are roll down walls if that would have been the case. Also, most of our large group just decided to take the short walk from Post Card Inn so that parking at both places didn’t become an issue since it is limited at each. Note: diners can smoke at the bar which follows the L shaped outdoor area – ask for interior seating if this might bother you. We didn’t take this into consideration and there was no wind, so clouds of cigarette smoke from one chain-smoker lingered around our tables (and grandparents and infant children – yuck!) But of all of the other times I had been there, this was not an issue and is not the fault of the restaurant. Thank you so much for being a part of our big day and our wedding celebration. We also eat here often when in St. Pete – stop by any time for any type of meal or just drinks – it’s a great local spot.”
Contact us to book your Wedding Rehearsal Party in St. Pete Beach
Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. We use over 500 million every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life. We want to encourage people to stop using plastic straws for good. If we don’t act now, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
No straws in St. Pete Beach!
So, as a beach community restaurant, we are joining many, many other local restaurants in an effort to save our beaches, our oceans, and the turtles, fish and other marine life that are affected daily by this type of pollution. While we know that you are used to receiving your drink with a staw in it, we hope you will join us in this effort to keep our world a more beautiful and vibrant place to live.
Just 15 minutes from the heart of downtown you can find a fun, casual beach style restaurant with great food and service. It’s one of the best restaurants near downtown St. Petersburg and has a true “Old Florida” style. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, it’s the perfect place for family gatherings or a party with friends. You won’t find a better stop to enjoy your visit to the downtown St. Petersburg area.
Rick’s Reef serves food made entirely from fresh ingredients. They use unique recipes and prepare everything by hand. They specialize in local seafood and home-style preparations. The dressings and sauces are all made daily in-house. And the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
Rick’s Reef in St. Pete Beach, FL has long been a gathering place for friends and family in groups both large and small. The atmosphere is fun and casual, and the space inviting. With a varied menu and a full bar, Rick’s Reef is good for groups and large parties!
There’s more to St. Pete than just downtown
The Downtown area of St. Petersburg keeps growing and becoming more vibrant with each passing day. The city is expanding and changing and has so very much to offer to visitors and full-time residents alike, and St. Pete Beach is just a few short minutes away. A visit to the area wouldn’t be complete without a little time spent at the beach.
So, when you are looking for the best restaurants near downtown St. Petersburg, be sure to check out Rick’s Reef. With its laid-back atmosphere, funky decorations and all around cool beach vibe you won’t find a better place to chill out. While it’s not right on the sand, it is just a couple of blocks from the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s west coast. There is a full bar, fabulous food, bar games, indoor and outdoor seating and a very friendly staff!
When you are looking for the Best Beach Bar in St. Pete Beach, don’t pass by Rick’s Reef! With its laid-back atmosphere, funky decorations and all around cool beach vibe you won’t find a better place to chill out. While it’s not right on the sand, it is just a couple of blocks from the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s west coast. There is a full bar, fabulous food, bar games, indoor and outdoor seating and a very friendly staff!
Chosen by “The Tampa Bay 100” as one of the three “Best Local Beach Bars,” you know you can count on a good time when you arrive at Rick’s Reef. Bring the Family, and don’t forget that all of our outdoor seating is pet-friendly! No one needs to feel left out!
Rick’s Reef in St. Pete Beach, FL has long been a gathering place for friends and family in groups both large and small. The atmosphere is fun and casual, and the space inviting. With a varied menu and a full bar, Rick’s Reef is good for Groups and Large Parties! When it’s time to plan your next gathering we’re here to help! You can start by filling out the form below!
Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Parties
For most people, there are very few days that are more important than their wedding day. But the Wedding Rehearsal is an important lead up to that special day, and it is more than just a time to practice. It is a gathering of friends and family, and a time to share the joy. Rick’s Reef understands that, and they LOVE to be a part of it with you. Our attentive staff will ensure that your wedding rehearsal dinner is one you will remember for a lifetime.
Corporate Events and Parties
When it’s time to pull the team together, whether to bring the focus to a particular project, or area of concern, or whether to simply say thanks or celebrate, Rick’s Reef on St. Pete Beach is the perfect spot. A good corporate structure is crucial to success, and just as doing your job well is important to your company, serving your staff and making them happy is a focal point for everyone at Rick’s Reef. You can trust us to make your event a perfect way to pull the troops together and plan for the battle ahead!
Looking for the perfect spot for your family to come together? Do you need games for the kids? Entertainment for the adults? A place to watch the big game? Food for every taste? Rick’s Reef has years of experience with large family groups and can cover every base for you. Just use the form below to contact us and we’ll help you with every detail! We understand the importance of family, and we’re here to help you.
Good for Groups and Large Parties
Regardless of why your group wants to gather for a large party, Rick’s Reef can help. Just fill out this handy form to get started.
The following article appears on the St. Petersburg Foodies website. It was written by Lori Brown on April 25.
Having lived on St Pete Beach many moons ago, I never would have thought of Rick’s Reef for food. I remember it as a friendly watering hole. We were contacted by the GM, Tyler Hipsley, who invited us in on Friday, April 13th for a meeting, so we decided to order lunch too. Hipsley took over managing Rick’s Reef in 2016 and has been working tirelessly to get the word out about the change in management and the major improvement in their food.
There are very few places on St Pete Beach with a history like Rick’s Reef. It first opened as a drive-up hot dog stand called Larry’s Luncheonette in 1939. To this day, it still has the original floor. In the 1960’s it became The Capt. Zak Restaurant, then Spoonbills, Bobby’s Place, and The Reef.
Several years ago The Reef closed. One of its regulars, Rick, not wanting to lose his favorite bar, decided to buy it, renovate it and re-open as Rick’s Reef in August 2012. The new owners decided to keep the name.
They now tout Rick’s Reef as a place “Where old world Florida meets new world taste!” And they promote it as a “relaxing, enjoyable dining experience in a friendly, fun and family-oriented atmosphere”. The family part is very important. It’s not just a bar anymore. And the food is fresh, not frozen, with many items made in-house.
When we arrived, I was quite surprised at how bright and welcoming the restaurant area feels. I remember The Reef as being very dark and dingy. Certainly not a place I would imagine bringing kids. How that has changed! It now has a terrific, upbeat vibe that any family would enjoy.
Now onto the food. We decided to start with the Jalapeño Corn Fritters. These are served with shark sauce or Thai chili sauce. We chose to try both. I am not quite sure what I was expecting, apparently, the word fritter didn’t register with me, because in my mind I thought they would be more like a popper. Instead, they were very similar to the consistency of a hush puppy. Still, they were tasty and there was quite a generous amount. I really liked the mix of the sweet (corn) with the spicy (jalapeño).
When trying new places, we tend to order items that we both feel are benchmarks in our minds. Kevin, loving tacos, ordered the Baja Tacos with a side of homemade potato salad. They are made with fresh Mahi-Mahi, grilled or blackened, and served in two flour tortillas with Baja sauce, a cabbage and cilantro mix, mixed cheese, and diced tomatoes. Not being a fan of tacos and because I can’t eat cilantro, I did not try these. Kevin described them as fresh (the taco shells and the fish), plump and juicy. He also said that the cabbage and cilantro mix matched well with the spicy, tangy Baja sauce.
I am a major Philly Cheesesteak or French Dip, pretty much any kind of steak sandwich lover. So as soon as I saw The Big Dipper on the menu, I knew what was going into my belly. Our server, Jonah, also confirmed my choice. It is made with shaved rib-eye topped with provolone cheese and served on a lightly toasted hoagie with au jus for dipping. You can add grilled onions, peppers, or mushrooms for $.50 each, which I did. In the past ten years, I can name four places that I have had excellent, fresh steak sandwiches: The Tap Room at The Hollander (they have since changed it and it is no longer on my tops list), The Galley, Lenny’s in Clearwater and now Rick’s Reef. The bread was soft, fresh and lightly toasted and the meat was tender, sliced thin and just succulent. Not to mention the fresh, hand-cut fries which were impossibly addictive.
We were so impressed with our lunch, and there was so much more that we wanted to try, that we ordered dinner to go. Kevin weighing in on the healthier side ordered the Fresh Salmon served with deep fried corn on the cob and a vegetable medley. Every entree comes with a choice of two sides. That corn on the cob was soooo good: buttered, salted and deep fried. YUM! He said the Salmon was good but a little on the dry side. Then again, we did take it home and reheat it. Not the best choice for a re-heatable dinner.
Kevin always says that whatever I order is always better. Typically we share everything but on this occasion, we just tasted each other’s. I chose the Mile High Meatloaf served stacked with homemade mashed potatoes in between and underneath and topped with onion rings and the aforementioned fantastic deep fried corn on the cob. Again, great meatloaf is hard to find, where it is not slathered in ketchup and not dry. This meatloaf was sublime and now I have one other place, besides Callaloo, in which to get my fix. It was hearty, juicy and savory. The mashed potatoes had little chunks of potatoes and were creamy and satisfying. And the gravy had terrific flavor. Kevin snuck what was leftover later when I fell asleep.
We really had no idea what to expect when we went to Rick’s Reef and had not even planned on writing this piece, but we enjoyed it so much that we definitely needed to share about this great surprise.
**The entrees that we bought to take home we asked them to plate for picture purposes and then they packed them to go.