Best Restaurants in Tampa

December 28, 2018 0 0

The best restaurants in Tampa, FL boast a variety of exquisite cuisine for any palette. Some are elegant, and some offer killer bargains and prices; others just feature alluring atmosphere and a comfortable dining vibe. If you’re feeling seafood, check out Soho Sushi, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, or Yummy House China Bistro. For American eats, there’s Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe or Rooster and the Till. Barbecue lovers — you need to pay a visit to First Choice BBQ as well. But there’s still more to sample if you’re in the mood for varied cuisine, so be browse this list to make sure you’re not missing out on any of best restaurants in Tampa, Florida.

Pane Rustica

3225 S MacDill Ave

Everyone in Tampa refers to this restaurant as just “Pane,” so you really know it’s a local fave. It’s no surprise, considering it has an incredibly hip bar scene, an elegant dinner and lunch setting, and lots of freshly baked bread. Try the penne rustica pasta, made with fresh mozzarella, spinach, tomatoes, and garlic, the jumbo sea scallops, or any one of the flatbread pizzas. When you’re done, you can head to the drinks lounge and sip on some specialty cocktails like the Bee’s Knees, made with gin and lemon juice, or the Paloma Miracle with tequila and agave nectar, rounding out your experience at one of the best restaurants in Tampa FL.

First Choice BBQ

10113 E Adamo Dr

The lunch line goes right out the door here, so be prepared to know what to order and do so quickly when you are in a rush. Pork, beef, turkey breast, and corn beef sandwiches, or, a half-rack of ribs are less than $10. For dinner, there are combination meals served with two meats of your choice, and side dishes like baked beans, macaroni salad or coleslaw.

Rooster and The Till

6500 N Florida Ave

This farm-to-table restaurant merges the organic hipster chic of Brooklyn with Floridian flair. All the ingredients are locally sourced, and the chefs come up with as many inventive plates as possible. The menu is separated by smaller plates like lamb neck, masa dumplings, tuna crudo, and “slightly larger” plates like the middlins risotto, the black garlic-braised beef shank, or fried quail. The wine selection here is also commendable, with red ranging from Rickshaw to Chappellet, and white from Charles Bove to Brick & Mortar.

Haven

2208 W Morrison Ave

Haven is one of the only restaurants in Tampa that has a full cheese cave, also known as a “cave du fromage,” where cheese is separated by categories like mild and mellow, middle of the road, strong, or the blues. Delicious dishes include sweet-and-sour beef tongue, mushroom and swiss burger, shirt steak, and king crab empanada. The drinks menu is the most extensive at all, with beers separated into all different categories, wine by the glass or bottle, and even aged whiskey. After all that, try the sticky toffee pudding or ice cream sliders for dessert.

Yummy House China Bistro

3978 W Hillsborough Ave

The authentic dim sum from Yummy House is always worth the (inevitable) wait. The salt-and-pepper squid here is also legendary, but there are plenty of other dishes to try, like the honey-walnut chicken, BBQ pork buns, and lo mein. Sunday brunch is a full dim sum experience, though, with hot jasmine tea and sticky pork dumplings.

Columbia Restaurant

2117 E 7th Ave

Opened in 1905, this is Florida’s oldest restaurant. Located in historic Ybor City, it’s colloquially known as “Tampa’s Taj-Mahal.” Fun facts aside, the food here is anything but trivial. Dishes like the shrimp and crab enchilado, the ropa vieja, or the pollo riojana are brimming with flavor, and the wine list may be longer than the actual menu itself, broken up by different Spanish brands with details. With four dining rooms and a huge bar, dining here is an experience within itself.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

4400 W Boy Scout Blvd

In the mood for seafood? Eddie V’s is where you need to be. The happy hour deals between 4 and 7 p.m. include batter fried oysters, salt and pepper shrimp, lollipop lamb chops, or drinks like hand-shaken mojitos or wine for under $10. Apps and main dishes such as lobster bisque, the Norwegian salmon, or the sea bass, can’t be beat.  There’s also an impressive selection of steaks, including New York strip, filet mignon and a rib-eye.

Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe

5119 N Nebraska Ave

This cafe serves up American cuisine in a vintage atmosphere that will undoubtedly make you feel comfortably at home. Stop by for brunch on “Soul Food Sunday” — chicken and waffles, fried catfish, or biscuits and gravy, paired with a bloody mary or mimosa. On weekdays, check out the jerk chicken wings, the crabbed stuffed squash, or the tuna tartare tacos. Plus, there’s always some hopping live music here.

Soho Sushi

3218 W Kennedy Blvd

Soho Sushi is popular for offering up some of the freshest in town. The sleek and stylish dining room may be what will draw you in, but the shrimp tempura is what will make you stay. The dinner menu also offers mussels, pork belly steam buns, dynamite scallops, and gyoza. If you’re really feeling adventurous, try one of the specialty rolls like the Rainbow, which is a California roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and avocado. For dessert, don’t pass up on some fried ice cream or mochi.

Arco-Iris

3328 W Columbus Dr

Ever heard of Cuban-Asian fusion? At Arco Iris, the fusion is fast, cheap, delicious. Start with some fried yucca or fried pork chunks appetizers, then move on to the shrimp creole or the fried flank steak. Hopefully you’ll have some room for flan after the memorable feast.

Cheat Sheet

Looking for more on the best restaurants in Tampa, Florida? Check out the following links:

Thrillist – The 21 Best Restaurants in Tampa Bay

10 Best – Tampa Value Restaurants

Movoto – 15 Tampa Restaurants That Will Blow The Taste Buds Out Of Your Mouth

Tags: Food and Drink, Top 10 Guides Categories: Food + Drink, Top 10 Guides
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Christina Elia

Assistant editor Christina Elia is currently pursuing her BA in Art History Communications at Fordham University, and writes about various topics ranging from arts and culture to practical tips and how-to advice. She has been published on online platforms such as The Odyssey. You can follow her on Twitter via @stinaelia

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