15 Tampa Restaurants That Will Blow The Taste Buds Out Of Your MouthFrom steaks and seafood to cuban fare and hip gastropubs, Tampa has it going on.
1. Bern’s Steak House Is A Tastebud Extravaganza
Bern’s Steak House
1208 S Howard Ave (SoHo)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 818 Reviews Starting this list with a bang is Bern’s Steak House. Yes, it’s pricey. Yes, it’s fancy. Yes, it is amazeballs. Each steak is expertly prepared exactly as you want it. When you order your steak you’ll not only see how many ounces it will be, but also the thickness it will be upon your desired preparation. For steaks, there’s no other place in Tampa. That’s not all… you can also take a kitchen and wine cellar tour and have your dessert in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. While all the desserts are incredible, you must try the Taste of Bern’s: a sample size portion of their vanilla cheesecake, macadamia decadence cake, banana cheese pie, chocolate cheese pie and the king midas. Holy wow.
2. Dive Into Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que
Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que
1609 Angel Olivia Senior St (Ybor City)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 48 Reviews This southern American barbecue joint in Ybor City always hits the mark. It’s in a cute little house and has a super comfy and laid back atmosphere, just as a barbecue joint should have. Their smoked meats are tender, flavorful and will actually make you lick your fingers, repeatedly, and no one else will judge you because they’ll be busy doing it too. Go for the gusto and get a half slab of ribs with some of their sides: lip-smacking baked beans, spicy collard greens, black-eyes peas, mac and cheese and always, always get a side of their cornbread. Best barbecue in Tampa.
3. Step Back In Time At Columbia Restaurant
2117 E 7th Ave (Ybor City)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 605 Reviews Known as Florida’s Oldest Restaurant, established in 1905, Columbia Restaurant serves up old world style Spanish food. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped inside a time machine back to old world Cuba… and it will be delicious. While you may have a hard time figuring out what to order from their extensive, busy menu, you can’t go wrong with of their paellas. They even have a vegan, gluten-free paella, the paella vegetariana, that is as delicious as their traditional ones. They do take 30 minutes to prepare, so order from the wine list and grab a couple different tapas to make your wait more enjoyable.
4. Tampa Bay Brewing Company Serves A Burger Bomb
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
1600 E 8th Ave (Ybor City)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 326 Reviews The Tampa Bay Brewing Company has hand-crafted beers, award-winning cider wings and a burger that you must try…because it’s the bomb. Literally named “The Bomb,” it’s a half-pound burger with cheddar cheese, hickory bacon and tobacco onion strings wrapped in pizza dough as the bun, baked and served with a side of horseradish ale sauce. It’s incredible. It’s unique. It’s like a burger calzone. If burgers aren’t your thing (we’re sorry, what?), then choose from their huge menu of pizzas, calzones and entrees. The Moosekiller meatloaf, Iron Rat Stout shepherd’s pie and the True Blonde beer-battered fish & chips will all blow your mind. Finish your meal with their cherry bread pudding made with Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat beer.
5. Drink Up At Jet City Espresso
Jet City Espresso
5803 N Florida Ave (Seminole Heights)
Yelp: 5 Stars - 41 Reviews This is not any coffee shop offering quality, organic espresso coffee drinks… this is a traditional coffee house with some of the best coffee you’ve ever tried. Seriously, you might want to try it before you add the sugar or honey, just to get how incredible the flavor is. You might not need any sugar. There’s a reason they have 5 full stars on Yelp with over 40 reviews. Coffee isn’t all they do here, either. They have baked goods, smoothies, teas, quiches, salads and more. Plus the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming, just like the owner, Jessica. It’s the best local coffee shop in Tampa, hands down.
6. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
4400 W Boy Scout Blvd (Westshore)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 112 Reviews It’s Tampa, so of course you’re thinking about fresh oysters, shrimp cocktail, and lobster everything. If that’s true, then there’s no better place to drop some dinero than Eddie V’s. The atmosphere is chic, sophisticated and hip with swanky live jazz. You’ll feel a bit like Frank Sinatra, for sure. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. The oyster bar offers up delicious market oysters, jumbo lump crab and Hawaiian yellowtail sashimi, but the lobster is where it’s at: lobster tails, lobster bisque, lobster tacos… they have it all. End with the Godiva chocolate cake.
7. Dine On Authentic, Mouth-Watering Mexican At Miguel’s
Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill
3035 W Kennedy Blvd (West Tampa)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 326 Reviews Take a seat on the gorgeous back patio, order a top-shelf margarita and graze on chips and salsa while you pour over the menu at Miguel’s. This isn’t your standard, tacky Mexican restaurant. This is authentic, home-cooked, mouth-watering Mexican cuisine in an upscale and relaxing atmosphere. Try the USDA prime filet or the Kobe skirt steak fajitas, served with frijoles charros, mexican rice, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and hot tortillas. Everything here is fantastic, from the spicy pinto bean soup to the ceviche. If you’re into brunch, they have the best huevos rancheros in Tampa.
8. Feed Your Soul At Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe
5119 N Nebraska Ave (Seminole Heights)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 296 Reviews Check out Ella’s for a folk art, indie, vintage atmosphere with live music and fantastic food. If you’re not into the whole vintage-retro-hipster environment, don’t be deterred: the food here is out of this world, especially on Soul Food Sundays. Okay, so it’s really just their rendition of brunch, but what a rendition it is… fried chicken and waffles served with bourbon maple gravy, southern cornmeal fried catfish and biscuits with chorizo sausage gravy top the list of fantastic dishes. That’s not all though, no matter what you get, you must get a a la carte side of bacon mac and cheese. It is simply to die for. Why all mac and cheese doesn’t come with bacon is beyond me.
9. Nosh On A Fresh Cubano (Or Everything Else) At La Teresita
La Teresita Restaurant
3248 W Columbus Dr (West Tampa)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 270 Reviews La Teresita is not your typical Tampa establishment, it’s kind of a dive with a cafeteria-feel, but it’s the tastiest and most affordable cuban food you’ll find in the area. Of course the cubano is recommended, but by no means is the cubano the only thing on the menu. In fact, it’s hidden down at the bottom under ‘sandwiches’ - which aren’t the highlight, but you need to know how heavenly it is. It’s not only fantastic, but it’s huge. If you love a great Cuban sandwich, this is it. If you love all cuban food, then check out the rest of their menu for terrific puerco asado, pescado relleno, arroz con pollo and more. Don’t forget a side of fried plantains.
10. Datz Is A Foodie Playground
2616 S MacDill Ave (Palma Ceia)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 751 Reviews It really doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a gourmet burger, chicken and waffles, fantastic fish tacos, superb craft cocktails or a damn fine bloody mary—you’re going to be happy at Datz. Just be prepared for a wait and only visit if you don’t mind a lively atmosphere (read: it can get loud and busy). That goes for lunch and dinner, but especially brunch. One of the newest additions to their brunch menu is the Sriracha Egg Sammie: served on homemade sriracha cheddar bread with fried egg, sweet peppers, American cheese and house-made maple sausage. It’s delicious. Two other things you can’t miss: the rosemary fries with herb aioli and the bacon flite—yes, a flite of bacon. It’s called ‘when pigs fly’ and it comes with five different types of bacon with four different sauces.
11. Feed Your Sweet Tooth Cravings At Dough
2602 S MacDill Ave (Palma Ceia)
Yelp: 4 Stars - 154 Reviews If you’re having dinner (or lunch or brunch) at Datz, then you need to hop on over to Dough to make your experience complete. From pastries, pies and gelato to fruit tarts, brownies and fresh apple fritters, Dough has something for everyone’s sweet tooth. The donuts are out of this world…. from traditional flavors like glazed to more unique flavors like caramel curry and Sriracha chocolate. Seriously, a sriracha chocolate donut. It might even be better than the eggs and bacon donut (a donut with sweet egg custard filling, topped with maple glaze and a slice of bacon), but it depends on what you’re craving.
12. Mermaid Tavern Serves Magical Eats And Drinks
6719 N Nebraska Ave (Seminole Heights)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 148 Reviews The Mermaid is a self-proclaimed gastro-tavern in Old Seminole Heights’. The menu is simple, small and unique with grass-fed burgers, a salad called ‘f**k Monsanto salad’ with quinoa-walnut pilaf and a variety of other magical creations. Everything here is super tasty and original, but definitely try their hand-cut truffle fries because they will be the best truffle fries you’ve had in your life, guaranteed. Also, remember this spot is a tavern, so they have a killer wine list and 24 local beers on tap.
13. Taste The Freshness At Thai Gourmet Market
Thai Gourmet Market
5831 Memorial Hwy (Town N Country)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 52 Reviews Thai Gourmet Market has you covered no matter what you’re looking for: it’s a restaurant, a market with their very own Thai sauces and prepared foods, and it even offers cooking classes so you can learn their secrets. None of the food here has MSG or preservatives and they offer many vegan and gluten-free options. You don’t have to be a health nut to love it here though, the food is exquisite, fresh and flavorful. Anything basil is delicious here. Choose from basil prawns, pork, chicken, beef, tofu or a combo. Add a Thai style egg on top to make it perfect.
14. For The Pie Of Your Life Head To Eddie & Sam’s
Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza
203 E Twiggs St (Downtown Tampa)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 199 Reviews Okay, just do yourself a favor and get here as soon as you can. They have the best pizza in Tampa. The slices are as big as your head, the toppings are fresh and super flavorful, and the sauce is incredible. If you love New York style pizza, this is as close as you’re going to get if you’re not in NYC. Plus, you can order by the slice and most of them for around or under $4…so you can try a ton of different pizzas. They usually have at least 15 different types at all times. Go. Eat. Pizza!
15. Have A Transcendent Sushi Experience At Soho
3218 W Kennedy Blvd (West Tampa)
Yelp: 4.5 Stars - 210 Reviews Light and crispy tempura, super fresh fish, and an amazing array of delicious rolls. Soho is a popular spot for a reason—it’s the freshest and the best. Don’t come during popular times, like happy hour and prime dinner hours, unless you’re okay with a wait. Regardless, it will be amazing. Try the volcano roll: crab and cucumber wrapped with avocado, topped with baked spicy salmon and crab. It’s beautiful and amazing. Don’t forget to check out the sake menu. The peach sake makes every bite that much more amazing. What’s your go-to for great grub in Tampa? Tell us in the comments below!
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