the bay’s best
Tampa Bay Dining & Spirits
Best New Restaurant on St. Pete Beach
Inside the Hotel Zamora is Castile offering a Spanish-influenced menu, small plates and spectacular rooftop lounge.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Best Seafood Restaurant in Westshore Business District
Enjoy live jazz music seven nights a week in the V Lounge. A great place to relax with a cocktail and enjoy the scene. Serving only the highest quality seafood and prime aged steaks. 813.877.7290; www.eddiev.com.
BellaBrava: New World Trattoria
Best Italian on Beach Drive
Enjoy plenty of Italian flavor with European-style dining outside with a delicious menu of pastas, meats, seafoods and pizzas and enjoy people watching along Beach Drive. 727.895.5515; www.bellabrava.com.
Best Atmosphere Lunch
The stunning, renovated interior of Oxford Exchange houses a restaurant, Tea & Coffee Bar, The Shop + Bookstore, while serving up a delicious menu for breakfast, lunch or high-tea. A menu favorite is the lobster BLT or Chicken Burger. OE is a hot spot with its great location across from UT.
Best New Waterfront Eatery
The highly anticipated new restaurant by the Gonzmart family delivers a menu brimming with a variety of Floridian native influences. Open for lunch and dinner, the location in Tampa Heights offers stunning sunset views along the Hillsborough River. 813.999.4952; www.ulele.com.
Best Diverse Cuisine
Influenced by Chef Ponte’s global travels, the contemporary American menu is updated seasonally and continues to offer tantalizing dishes at his Clearwater restaurant. The Bay area hot spot is a delight for the palate, open for lunch and dinner. 727.538.5768; www.cafeponte.com.
Edison: Food + Drink Lab
Best Creative Cuisine
Chef Pierola and her team have created a unique and interesting blend of flavors, to provide guests a gastronomic delight with a menu of small plates that changes frequently. The ideal stop in for a craft beer or a custom cocktail. 813.254.7111; www.edison-tampa.com.
CopperFish Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
Best Wood Hearth Roasted Fish
A skillet from the grill with choice of mussels, shrimp, clams or the freshest oysters from the gulf and both coasts are a great beginning. The fresh, contemporary décor is warm and inviting or gather with friends at the bar. 813.251.6789; www.copperfishtampa.com.
Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club
Best Hand-Crafted Cocktails in Tampa
Ciro’s offers delightful and delicious hand-crafted cocktails created by bartenders, who are passionate about their spirits, using techniques of a by-gone era.
Del Frisco’s Grille
Best New Al Fresco Bar
With a new roof top perch, gather with friends for an evening and enjoy the setting sun and window on the Westshore Business district. Open for lunch and dinner, the American cuisine plates are meant to be shared. 813.878.6890; www.delfriscosgrille.com.
Best Cocktail Culture
The friendly bartenders and generous pours, make Mandarin Hide a watering hole that you don’t want to miss. Tucked between two other bars on Central Avenue, it’s a St. Petersburg gem. 727.231.4007; www.mandarinhide.com.
Best New Creole Nouvelle Restaurant
For Nawlins’ style food with a bit of a twist, Roux offers up delicious gumbos, po’ boys and oysters for lunch and dinner. 813.443.5255; www.rouxtampa.com.
Best Seasonal Restaurant
The changing, with the season, menu offers a reason to keep coming back with fresh salads, flatbread and entrees. The healthy offerings and mini-dessert are sized to satisfy the most discerning palate. 813.286.1152; www.seasons52.com.
Best Terrace View
The scenic view from the 14th floor inside the Grand Hyatt never disappoints, and neither does the Northern Italian cuisine.
Best Contemporary Italian
A small gem in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg offering up delicious and homemade, modern spins on Italian dishes for dinner – like short rib mezzaluna pasta, seared scallops, creamy polenta and more. 727.897.5900; www.ilritornodowntown.com.
Rick’s On the River
Best Live Music on the River
Rick’s is friendly place offering wings, oysters and traditional bar food and live music along the Hillsborough River. Dock slips are available for those traveling by boat.
Cigar City Brewing
Best Locally Brewed Beer
Cigar City Brewing came up with a brew, Jai Alai India Pale Ale, to honor the past of the Jai Alai frontons, a game from the Basque region of Spain once played in Tampa. The brew pairs nicely with spicy dishes and Spanish favorites of Deviled Crabs and Empañadas.
Best New Restaurant with a Tank
A fun, new destination Guy Harvey restaurant serving up delicious seafood and steaks on St. Pete Beach. The outdoor deck offers great cocktails and guests may book a swim in the fish tank. 844.786.3474; www.RumFishGrill.com.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
Best Steakhouse Inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa
The prime dry-aged steaks are aged between 21 – 28 days, cut to order in the on-site butcher shop and melt in your mouth. Don’t miss the Raw Bar Sampler with its display of Alaskan King Crab, Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, and oysters. 813.627.7628; www.seminolehardrocktampa.com/tampa-restaurants/council-oak.
Mazzaro Italian Market
Best Italian Market
Shop the best of Italy at this St. Petersburg iconic market with the finest meats & seafoods, homemade pastas, deli, bakery, cheeses, coffee and gourmet imports. The bakery offers over 30 varieties of Italian cookies and gelato. 727.321.2400; www.mazzarosmarket.com.
Oceanic Oriental Supermarket
Best Asian Market
From the deli to the produce, shoppers will delight in all things Asian including fresh fish, duck, herbal medicines and teas. There is also a large selection of dishware and cookware. 813.228.8110; www.oceanicmarket.com.
Best Classic Dining
There is no better way to experience the iconic classic than with a steak prepared exactly the way you like it, or choose a plate with your favorite cheeses from two in-house cheese caves. Private booths and an after-dinner atmosphere will tantalize taste buds in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. 813.251.2421; www.bernssteakhouse.com.
Caretta On The Gulf
Best Dining With Sunset View
Located inside the stunning Sandpearl Resort, enjoy a magnificent sunset every night at Carretta On the Gulf. The Sunday brunch offers an array of fresh seafood from the raw bar. 727.441.2425; www.carettaonthegulf.com.
Boca Hyde Park
Best Rustic Farm Charm
Boca embodies the farm to table food concept in its rustic casual, yet chic interior, and is a great place for cocktails or enjoy a meal with friends. Open for lunch and dinner. 813.254.7070; www.bocatampa.com.
The Capital Grille
Best Dry-Aged Steak
The dark wood and elegant interior are cause to celebrate while enjoying nationally renowned dry-aged steaks. Toast to a great dining experience with a selection from the more than 5,000 bottle wine list. 813.830.9433; www.thecapitalgrille.com.
Best South Tampa Spot
A staple in the SOHO restaurant scene, 717 serves up a delicious menu of best of Italy and the Pacific Rim created by chef Robert Masson. Owner, Michael Stewart hosts Celebrity Bartending Nights to raise money for local charities. 813.250.1661; www.717south.com.
Best Sophisticated Mexican
A blend of sophisticated dining and authentic Mexican food awaits at the Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel. Try the table side prepared guacamole or the sizzling fajitas. End the meal with the piping hot Mexican Apple Pie topped with mexican brandy butter and ice cream. 813.907.3068; www.cantinalaredo.com.
Marchand’s Bar & Grill
Best Special Occasion Dining
The elegant restaurant provides a sophisticated atmosphere and dining experience for that special occasion located inside the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. 727.824.8072; www.marchandsbarandgrill.com.
The SoHo Backyard
Best Pub with a Palate
Just two blocks from the bar scene, on Howard Avenue, lies a bar that serves delicious and flavorful foods such as duck wings, stuffed figs, super-sized burgers
and more. 813.284.592; www.sohobackyard.com.
Tryst Gastro Lounge
Best Place to Rendezvous for Cocktails on Beach
A fashionable and chic crowd gathers to enjoy a seasonal, changing menu of small plates or entrees of beef, salmon, chicken or lamb. Enjoy 27 draft beers and 180 bottles or handcrafted cocktails. Enjoy the music at the outside seating. 727.821.4567; www.trystgastrolounge.com.
Salt Rock Grill
Best Seafood Dining
A go to restaurant for fresh, local seafood, offering one of the best wine cellars on the beach in Indian Shores. Land lovers can enjoy steaks cooked over the natural oak and citrus wood pit fire. 727.593.7625; www.saltrockgrill.com.
Best Gourmet Burger Menu
On the menu are savory burgers made with Angus beef, lamb, turkey, buffalo and chicken and more than 25 different topping options in Tampa, Brandon and St. Pete.
813.414.0101 Tampa; 813.689-1611 Brandon; 727.345.1011 St. Pete; www.square1burgers.com.
Best Tiki Bar
Located on Gandy Boulevard on the St. Pete side, lies an escape to the tropics, without ever leaving the Bay area. Enjoy great sunset celebrations, cocktails, music and an ever revolving food truck scene. 813.267.1602; www.thegetawaytampabay.com.
Ella’s Folk Art Cafe
Best Sunday Afternoon Escape
Relax and tantalize the taste buds on Soul food Sundays at the cafe. Experiment with new combinations, such as fried chicken and waffles or chocolate covered bacon while listening to live music. 813.234.1000; www.ellasfolkartcafe.com.
Best Revolving Menu
Chef Greg Baker changes the menu every week to reflect food that is fresh from local farmers, and in season, so that high quality food can be prepared for everyone to enjoy. From salad dressings to sausage, everything is made in-house. 813.237.2000; www.thetamparefinery.com.
Best Boutique Wine Bar
The outside Wine Garden offers the ideal spot to sip a glass of wine from the diverse and carefully selected list and share a small plate under the stars. Browse through the wine shop to purchase a favorite bottle and receive suggestions with focus on personal service, in this all-about-wine experience. 813.831.1117; www.crucellarstampa.com.
Best Tapas in Town
On both sides of the Bay, enjoy over 100 different hot and cold tapas, from garlic and olives, to oxtail and chicken livers. Relax in a unique Spanish atmosphere and ambiance, while sipping a glass of exclusive wine or sangria. 813.250.0203 Tampa; St. Pete 727.209.2299; www.ceviche.com.
Best Downtown Tampa Oasis
By land or sea it is easy to reach the Sail Pavilion along Tampa’s downtown Riverwalk with great food, music and views. This urban oasis is pet-friendly even offering complimentary dog bones and water dishes. 813.373.1193; www.sailpavilion.com.
Best Wine and Dine
Since 1990, this bistro and wine bar offers a European experience with over 40 different wines and an inspired cuisine of pizzas, salads and pasta located in Hyde Park Village. Guests enjoy indoor and outdoor dining, along with a full service bar. 813.254.9463; www.wineexchangetampa.com.
Best Foodie Fix
It’s comfort food with a twist and the portions are never petite. The ever evolving, Datz mixes up the menu to provide tempting food and events for local foodies. From classic mouth-watering sandwiches, including Cue the Brisket and Birds of a Feather – a delicious chicken salad – to the great wine bar and craft beers on tap. 813.831.7000; www.datztampa.com.
Best Spanish Cuisine
An Ybor City culinary delight since 1905, and seven other Florida locations, Columbia offers the best of Spanish cuisine including the famed 1905 salad, chicken and yellow rice or ropa vieja. The Sangria is not to be missed. Be entertained by talented Flamenco Dancers and take a treasure home from the gift shop. 813.248.4961; www.columbiarestaurant.com.
Best Mediterranean Cuisine
Enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine and lively belly dancing every Saturday night with a menu of hummus, falafel, dolma or delicious kabob or gyros. Open for lunch and dinner. 813.805.7977; www.bybloscafe.com.
Best Steakhouse in St. Pete
Housed in a historical 1920s building, Rococo was completely renovated and the innovative menu offers steaks and seafood for the discerning steak lover, using only the finest ingredients. The wine collection includes more than 650 wines from around the world. 727.822.0999; www.rococosteak.com.
Mise en Place
Best Modern American Cuisine
For 28 years, Mise en Place has been a Bay area staple on the dining scene as owners, Chef Marty Blitz and Maryann Ferenc, constantly evolve and innovate their offerings with the seasons. 813.254.5373; www.miseonline.com.
Best Modern Italian
Tucked inside the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel, Pelagia is a hidden treasure of culinary delights offering great salads, sandwiches and homemade pastas for lunch, and stone-oven pizzas for dinner. The menu changes each season, but the Italian and French influences never go away. 813.313.3253; www.pelagiatrattoria.com.
Best Creative Cuisine
Chef Zack changes and makes additions at this hip and trendy restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg as new flavors evolve. Serving up creative food for brunch, lunch and dinner. Try the Dirty D’s Deviled Eggs, or classic Dr. Pepper BBQ ribs. 727.822.9600; www.zgrille.net.
Hula Bay Club
Best Laid-Back Eatery
Hula Bay is the perfect getaway for lunch, dinner and drinks with the scenic water views, island-inspired cuisine, and cool pool. Between live music and DJ’s down at Dukes, this Hawaiian atmosphere provides a feel of the islands. 813.837.4852; www.hulabayclub.com.
The Canopy at The Birchwood
Best Roof Top Lounge
The chic boutique hotel has a delicious restaurant, Birch & Vine, and hip rooftop bar complete with cabanas, living room seating and fire pits for those cool evenings. The four stories above Beach Drive provide breathtaking views of Tampa Bay, Straub Park, The Pier and downtown St. Petersburg. 727.896.1080; www.thebirchwood.com.
Best Local Microbrewery
Since 1996, as the oldest microbrewery in Florida, the Dunedin Brewery has been passionately brewing beer. 727.736.0606; www.dunedinbrewery.com.
Rooster & the Till
Best New Farm-to-Table in Seminole Heights
Using locally sourced foods whenever possible, this quaint 40-seat gem of a restaurant offers culinary pairings of raw and cured meats, small plates of roasted vegetables, pork belly and gnocchi and larger plates of pork jowl, pappardelle and fish that change with the chef’s finds. 813.374.8940; www.roosterandthetill.com.
© 2015 Tampa Bay Metro Magazine