The Buccaneers and Ybor City are probably what Tampa’s most known for, but this industrial city has more to offer. Aside from beautiful bridges and waterways, the city is filled with stunning skyscrapers and beautiful western Florida culture. It’s also important to note that the city is sitting right on the gorgeous gulf. Whether you want to dine right on the waterfront or sit at a street café downtown, you have plenty of dining options in Tampa. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Tampa that will surely satisfy your cravings whatever it may be.
This restaurant sits right on Ybor City, and you really can’t get better Spanish food anywhere else. Columbia’s menu is full of authentic Spanish flavors, and that’s all to be expected from the oldest restaurant in Florida. Columbia has been around since 1905, and it’s still operated by the same family since it opened back then. If you’re going to eat anywhere in Tampa, you better try this one first.
Bern’s Steak House
Bern’s is another historical Tampa restaurant that’s a local favorite. It’s also gotten quite famous outside of Tampa because of just how good it is. Many people come from all over just to eat at Bern’s; and once you’ve had their steaks, you’d understand why.
Its name is as unique as the restaurant itself. Ulele highlights the local seafood, but truly the menu is more than just that. The restaurant offers Native American fusion dishes—a tribute to the history of the area and the culture that has grown and developed over the years. It’s right on the Tampa Riverwalk, so you’ll have amazing views while dining.
Lolis Mexican Cravings
You know it’s got to be authentic when you’ve got a whopping menu of filling choices. The fillings are just part of what makes Lolis authentic and great. The flavors here are absolutely dynamite. It’s the kind of place you wouldn’t mind visiting day after day for lunch or for dinner.
Take a casual dining place and a well-thought out menu, and you’ll always have a winner. On Swann is a unique dining experience. The menu options alone are different from what you’d see anywhere else. There’s the salmon rillette and duck rillette. There’s bucatini and sambal butter oysters—and so many others. You definitely would have to try every single item on the menu.
Datz is a classic restaurant and bar but with bigger flavors. They have tacos, datchos, burgers, meatloaf, and so much more. You need to come here when you’re hungry because they have the food to fill you up. The best part about this place is that the drinks are just as good as the food.
Brocato’s Sandwich Shop
It’s not your average sandwich shop. Brocato’s is the place you go to for their famous Devil Crabs. They also happen to have the best Cuban sandwiches and the best chicken Parmesan—all in one menu. This restaurant is a favorite among locals, but you don’t have to be a local to enjoy all the goodness.
Here’s another Tampa restaurant that offers an exceptional experience. The Oxford Exchange offers a simple menu of salads, sandwiches, starters, and sides; but don’t let that fool you. The freshness of the ingredients takes their meals to a totally different level. Make sure you sit in for Afternoon Tea if you can because it’s surely one of a kind.
Wright’s Gourmet House
If it’s cake and sandwiches you’re craving, Wright’s is the place to go. They have a great variety of delicious sandwiches from Corned Beef to Monte Cristos. Of course all their desserts are baked in house too. Their cupcakes go fast, so make sure you come in as early as you can before they’re all gone.
You don’t have to go very far to get the best Asian flavors; Tampa’s Ichicoro Ramen will give you some of the best tasting ramen in the area, and some might even argue that it’s one of the best in the state. The menu is quite impressive, and you’ll have difficulty getting just one thing. Make sure you try the CuBaoNo while you’re here—you won’t find it anywhere else in the world.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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