Tampa’s Best Restaurants

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in Tampa for eight months! One of our favorite parts of moving to Tampa has been the food! Prior to living here, I had no idea that we’d be eating some of the most fantastic food of our lives. This list will be ever evolving but below are the most notable restaurants to visit should you find yourself in Tampa anytime soon!

Brunch/Lunch

Oxford Exchange – An Instagram worthy brunch or lunch spot that should be on every visitors’ list. Yummy food, a cozy ambiance, a champagne bar and a book store. You could spend hours eating and relaxing here.

Marlene’s Original – A rustic outdoor food truck with the tastiest breakfast sandwiches.

Taco Dirty – A unique spin on tacos with fresh and fun ingredients. I build my tacos with sweet potato and radish which is utterly delicious.

The Columbia – This Spanish restaurant, located in Ybor City, is over 100 years old and is the oldest restaurant in Tampa. If you go here, you have to get the Spanish Bean Soup and The Original Cuban Sandwich.

Gulf Coast Sourdough Sandwich Shop – Sandwiches are my favorite food in the world and the sandwiches here are some of the most delicious I’ve ever had. My favorite is the Classic Turkey on their homemade Roasted Red Pepper bread. A popular tip is to get one of the discounted frozen loafs to go.

Noble Crust – Brunch and bottomless mimosas — need I say more? Their avocado toast is some of my favorite ever. Order it and thank me later.

Gallito Taqueria – A trendy spot at Sparkman Wharf with great tacos. Order tacos at the stall, grab a seat, and enjoy them while watching a performance on stage or simply indulge in some people watching.

Blind Tiger – Although its growing popularity can lead to longer wait times, the breakfast bites and coffee are so delicious they’re worth the wait. Their croissants are buttery, soft and flaky.

Chicken Salad Chick – The name says it all. More chicken salad varieties than you can imagine.

Cali South – A cool space with healthy sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

Brioche Cafe – This place takes the number one spot in the sandwich rankings. I ordered the Chicken Caprese — it comes with chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomato, pesto, arugula on fresh Mediterranean bread. The bread was flaky, chicken was flavorful, and the fresh veggies added the perfect crunch. I also got the chocolate mousse for dessert and it was creamy perfection.

Sit Down Dinner Spots

Ulele – One of the most beautiful outdoor spaces Tampa has to offer. A variety of eats on the menu, limitless cocktails, and cool interior seating. The outdoor seating is situated adjacent to the Hillsborough River and Armature Works, the perfect place to walk off a big meal!

Bern’s Steakhouse – An absolute staple in Tampa, this restaurant is on everyone’s Tampa Food Guide for good reason. Eclectic design with high quality service and food. This is more than just a meal — it is an experience. Note: it’s expensive. They also have a dessert room that must be included in your reservation.

Mis En Place – Scallops are pretty high up on my food loving list — and this place delivers. The best I’ve had to date in Tampa and St. Pete!

Rooster and The Till – A really cool restaurant that features small plates so you get to try a little bit of everything. The menu is always rotating so the options are unique and fresh every time you visit.

Willa’s – A new restaurant in Tampa with a cute vibe, oversized booths, and sleek decor. I’d recommend putting in an order of their house made chips when you visit.

American Social – Not the best food but it’s located downtown and on the water which is really pretty when the sun sets. If you’re looking for a spot to eat some apps, grab drinks, watch live sports and be in the heart of the city, then this is a prime spot.

Cru Cellars – We visited the new location in Westshore Marina and had great service. I didn’t love the lobster roll I ordered but given they recently opened and it had a great atmosphere, I would give this one another go!

Dessert

Bake N’ Babes – With two locations oozing with scrumptious desserts, it’s tough to pick just one thing on their menu. The warm chocolate chip cookies with sea salt make you start planning your next stop here before you’ve even left. Lines can be long as it’s located in the food hall at Armature Works, but it’s 100% worth the wait.

Dough – Rated as some of the best donuts in Tampa and they live up to the hype! With really fun flavors too. My favorite was the S’mores donut.

Jeni’s Ice Cream – What better way to experience the energy of Sparkman Wharf than with a cold ice cream in hand. The fresh waffle crisps are amazing and their vegan flavors are fantastic.

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