Best of Dining & Spirits
The Hall on Franklin
Best New Food Court Concept
A chic new restaurant in the Tampa Heights area offers seven drink and food establishments, from a coffee bar to a cocktail bar and five eateries, from seafood to asian inspired street food. A great place to meet up with friends for drinks and dining.
The Green Lemon
Best Modern Mexican with a Twist
Enjoy the lively atmosphere with DJ music in the evenings and of course, the tasty margaritas with a splash of strawberry, peach, raspberry or mango. Great spot for brunch too.
Cask Social Kitchen
Best Place To Be Social
From the great ladies nights on Thursday to brunch on Sunday, Cask offers a twist on southern home cooking including Shrimp N’ Grits, Chicken ’N Waffles and Mamma Jackson’s Meatloaf and more. Enjoy a Mason jar punch or a delicious whiskey cocktail.
Davidoff of Geneva
Best Cigar Lounge
A vast selection of hand-made cigars, humidors and accessories is the ideal spot for the cigar lover. The staff is knowledgable and friendly. Grab a glass of wine or whiskey cocktail at the bar and relax in the luxurious lounge.
Best Neapolitan Wood-Fired Pizza
With locations in downtown Tampa, TIA and St. Petersburg, it is more convenient than ever to get that authentic Italian pizza made in the wood-fired brick oven. From the gourmet sauce and delicious pastas, Bavaro’s is a great place to dine to savor the old-world Italian flavors.
Tampa – 813.868.4440, St. Pete- 727.258-7515; www.bavarospizza.com.
Best Prepared Meals To-Go
For a nutritious and tasty meal, Dinner Done offers cooking sessions and prepared meals for delivery or pickup. The menu changes monthly and has choices the entire family will find delicious. Takeout is available from the refrigerator cases at the Carrollwood location.
Best Late Night Bar
Whether you’re in the mood for live music on the outside patio or a DJ inside, Franklin Manor delivers both. Try a delicious craft cocktail including the frosty and tasty Frose’.
American Social Bar & Kitchen
Best New Waterfront Spot for Cocktails & Dining
Opened in late October of this year on Harbour Island, the expansive indoor and outdoor patio offers the perfect view of downtown Tampa and the Tampa Convention Center. Be sure to visit AmSo, as they are referring to themselves, for a tasty craft cocktail or delicious dinner or brunch with friends.
Anise Global Gastrobar
Best Scenic Bar in Downtown Tampa
In the heart of downtown Tampa, across from Curtix Hixon Park, Anise offers crafted cocktails and must-try Stinky Buns and Truffle Tater Tots. DJ music on select nights.
Fireside Pizza Cafe
Best Place for Neighborhood Pizza and Wings
A cozy, casual pizza cafe in downtown Palm Harbor, offers up a delicious spot for a variety of eight types of wings and nine specialty pizzas, along with create your own pizza made in a custom wood-fired oven.
Annata Wine Bar
Best Place to Sip and Savor
For a delicious cheese and charcuterie selection on Beach Drive in St. Pete, check out Annata, owned by the Mazzaro family. A wide selection of delicious wines by the bottle or glass are on the menu. Enjoy a music duo or trio on Mondays. No reservations are needed.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
Best Steakhouse Inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,Tampa
The on-site butcher shop offers cut-to-order prime dry-aged steaks that will melt in your mouth. Fresh Alaskan King Crab, Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, and oysters are served from the Raw Bar.
CW Gin Joint
Best New Speakeasy Joint in Downtown Tampa
The recently opened bar and restaurant speaks to a bygone era of glam and fashionable cocktails. The crystal chandeliers and comfortable lounge seating create a beautiful ambience. The craft cocktails are inspired by the past and the menu offers a tasty selection of nibbles and bites.
Best Upscale Restaurant in North Tampa
With a belief that everything that happens around a table is sacred, Candy DeBartolo opened a Contemporary American cuisine restaurant with an Italian flair. The menu features twists on comfort foods and sharable plates like the Sacred Meatballs and Tuna Tar Tare Tamari or Pistachio Crusted Fried Brie.
Wright’s Gourmet House
Best Sandwich Shop
For over 54 years, Wright’s has served up delicious sandwiches and fantastic desserts. Our faves include the Beef Martini sandwich and the Seventh Wonder Bars.
Sea Salt St. Pete
Best Raw Oyster Bar in St. Petersburg
A variety of oysters arrive daily from around the country and are displayed in the 80 ft. raw bar. Chef Fabrizio Aielli owns and operates Sea Salt serving only the freshest seafood dishes. Cooking classes and wine dinners are also offered.
Best Modern Tavern
The open view of the kitchen, along with the rustic interior, hanging edison bulbs and white subway tile, set a great scene for lunch or dinner, under the direction of Chef Jeffrey Jew.
Best Inspired Italian in SoHo
Co-owned by baseball coach and World Series Cubs Winner, Joe Maddon and 717’s Michael Stewart, Ava’s offers rustic Neapolitan pizzas and delicious handmade pasta in the heart of South Tampa. The bar offers up delicious craft-cocktails and great wine selections. The wood fired pizza oven turns out delicious pizzas including a favorite – the Funghi pizza made with cremini and shiitake mushrooms.
Craft Street Kitchen
Best Neighborhood Restaurant
A gem of a restaurant, with two locations in Oldsmar and Trinity, offering up delicious and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Try the Buffalo Cauliflower for a starter or a delicious burger or Farmhouse Grilled Cheese. Wash it down with a beer on tap or craft cocktail.
Best Tiki Bar
On the St. Pete side of the Gandy Bridge, enjoy great cocktails, music, food and a sunset celebration nightly and a feel of the islands. The Getaway creates a beach vibe of relaxation. Arrive by land or sea, dock slips are available.
Best Steakhouse in St. Petersburg
The menu at Rococo’s offers a twist on the classic steakhouse. From the daily, innovative Fresh Sheet, with unique seafood and steak preparations, to the dinner menu, guests will be delighted by only the freshest and seasonal ingredients. The wine collection includes more than 650 labels.
Best Elevated Mexican Cuisine
Meet friends at one of the most beautiful bars with a living succulent wall and crafted signature cocktails and stay for dinner, with an order of table side guacamole or fresh made ceviches.
Tryst Gastro Lounge
Best Place to Rendezvous for Cocktails on Beach
The chic and fashionable crowd in downtown St. Pete enjoy crafted cocktails, delicious bites and outdoor music. The menu offers a changing selection of small plates or entrees of beef, salmon, chicken or lamb.
Best Restaurant Social Scene
Now is the ideal time to enjoy the expanded patio area at Ocean Prime. Weekdays the dining room is filled with movers and shakers dining on delicious seafood, sushi and steaks. Enjoy a tasty hand-crafted cocktail or live piano music in the bar.
Best Rustic Comfort Restaurant in St. Petersburg
In the heart of downtown St. Pete, The Mill offers delicious options for lunch, brunch and dinner. The outside area is great for cooler weather and to people watch. The rustic décor and twist on southern favorites on the menu offers a variety of seafood, prime steaks, sandwiches and salads. The Mill Charcuterie, all made in-house, Meatloaf Wellington or the Not Your Momma’s Grilled Cheese are a few favorites.
Best Wine & Cheese Bar in SoHo
Part of the Bern’s family of restaurants, Haven offers over 40 wines by the glass, 300 bourbons and delicious and innovative small plates and a choice of 60 cheese and charcuteries. The artisanal cheeses are hand selected from around the world.
Best American Bistro Restaurant
The contemporary design interior and delicious seasonal menu makes this a hot spot in Hyde Park. The chefs are on view in the open kitchen. Share Boards offer a selection of cheeses and cured meats. A selection from Nibbles are great for sharing including the Whipped Ricotta-Corn Dip and Saffron Arancini. The Gnocchi, Short Rib and Scallops are menu favorites.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Best Seafood Restaurant in Westshore Business District
Known for it’s incredible service and delicious seafood and prime steaks, makes Eddie V’s a great spot to meet friends for a celebration or a business dinner. The lively bar scene with jazz music nightly attracts a beautiful crowd most nights of the week.
BellaBrava: New World Trattoria
Best New World Italian on Beach Drive
A perfect spot to dine outside under the umbrellas on Beach Drive, and people watch. The tasty menu offers up a great selection of Italian style pizzas, pastas, meats and seafood.
Castile/360° Rooftop Bar
Best Rooftop Bar on St. Pete Beach
The sunsets are breathtaking, as well as the panoramic views, at the 360° Rooftop Bar located at Hotel Zamora. It’s a great place to meet friends and enjoy happy hour with cocktails at the end of the day.
Best Ramen in Downtown St. Petersburg
Located on Central Avenue, Buya Ramen offers up some of the best noodle bowls around. A delicious bowl of Japanese noodles with broths and vegetables make for a meal. The chic interior adds warmth, as well as a glass of Japanese whiskey.
World of Beer
Best Selection of Beers on Tap
The large selection of more than 50 beers on tap and 500 in the cooler, will be sure to satisfy every beer lover. With a great selection of bar food and the upstairs deck at the International Plaza Tampa location, it’s a great place to meet friends over a cold brew.
Best Waterfront Eatery
Along the Hillsborough River, Ulele offers a great spot for lunch and dinner at the Gonzmart family owned restaurant. Inspired by Floridian native influences, the menu offers a twist on southern classics. Okra Fries, Crab Mac & Cheese and the Deconstructed Seafood Pot Pie are menu favorites.
Best Karaoke Bar
It has the feel of Cheer’s where regulars gather to meet friends and belt out their favorite songs. Pete’s in South Tampa, has a cast of regulars that can really sing. The beer is cold and the drink prices won’t break the bank.
Best Terrace View
The stunning view from the 14th floor, inside the Grand Hyatt, offers a romantic dining experience. The sunsets are spectacular and the Northern Italian cuisine never disappoints.
Del Frisco’s Grille
Best Outdoor Patio Dining
It’s a great time of year to dine outside and Del Frisco’s has a large and spacious outdoor patio that is full service and offers a great happy hour or full service dinner. Start with the Cheesesteak Eggrolls or Ahi Tacos.
Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club
Best Hand-Crafted Cocktails in Tampa
A password is required to enter the small, intimate bar and restaurant located inside Bayshore Royal Building. Guests should make reservations to enjoy the delicious hand-crafted cocktails created by talented mixologists and menu offerings.
Brocato’s Sandwich Shop
Best Cuban Sandwich
Since 1948, this sandwich shop has been offering its famous cuban sandwich that is traditionally filled with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and of course, dill pickles between cuban bread, with a spread of yellow mustard.
Best Lunch Atmosphere
Step inside Oxford Exchange that is part restaurant, part shopping and certainly a gathering community hotspot. Guests can enjoy food and drinks inside the restaurant or grab a coffee or tea, shop for unique gifts, pick up the latest book, or shop for glasses at Warby Parker. Open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch or high-tea with a tempting menu of sandwiches, soups and salads.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Best Place to Wine & Dine Near International Plaza
A unique pairing of a winery, tasting room, retail market and restaurant, creates a fun spot to meet for a girls’ night out or a romantic date night. The menu offers a recommended paring for each dish.
Edison: Food + Drink Lab
Best Creative Cuisine
Chef Pierola, and her team, continue to push culinary limits to blend flavors and provide guests a gastronomic delight. The unique and creative entrees and menu of small plates changes daily. Open for lunch and dinner.
Locale Market and FarmTable Cucina
Best Downtown Combo Restaurant & Foodie Market
Inside Sundial in downtown St. Petersburg, the chef inspired market and restaurant offers plenty of prepared items at the food stations located on the first floor. Dine upstairs at the FarmTable Cucina open for lunch or dinner with Italian-inspired dishes. Locale Market offers fresh seafood, pastries, cheeses and more.
727.523.6300; www.localegourmetmarket.com or www.farmtablecucina.com.
Coppertail Brewing Co.
Best Brew in Ybor
The 20 beers on tap and the large tasting room are a perfect reason to visit this independent brewing facility in Ybor. Open seven days a week for tasting, and brewery tours at select times and days. The beers that started it all: Free Dive (IPA), Wheat Stroke, UnHoly and Night Swim.
Best Creole Nouvelle Restaurant
Stop in for Happy Hour of chargrilled oysters and you will want to stay for dinner. Offering a mix of Cajun favorites with a twist of Southern cuisine, the menu at Roux offers up steaks, alligator bites, gumbos and more. Open for lunch and dinner.
Rick’s On the River
Best Live Music on the Hillsborough River
The place is laid back and casual and offers live music daily. The menu offers up delicious bar food staples of wings, oysters, fried seafood and more. For those arriving by boat, dock slips are available.
Cigar City Brewing
Best Locally Brewed Beer
Beer lovers enjoy the three regular releases: Jai Alai, Lager and Florida Cracker. The Tasting Room offers nearly 26 beers on tap. One of the most sought after breeds is the Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. Brewery tours available.
813.348.6363 ext. 206; www.cigarcitybrewing.com.
Best Restaurant with a Tank
Inside the Guy Harvey restaurant is a massive fish tank that graces the dining room. The menu offers up fresh sustainable Florida seafood on St. Pete Beach. The outdoor deck offers great cocktails and live music nightly with plenty of TVs to enjoy sports games.
Mazzaro Italian Market
Best Italian Market
It is like a well-oiled machine with counters serving up the best of Italy with the finest meats & seafoods, homemade pastas, deli, bakery, cheeses, coffee and gourmet imports. Don’t miss the over 30 varieties of Italian cookies and gelato in the bakery.
Best South Tampa Hot Spot
A staple of the SoHo dining scene, Owner, Michael Stewart and Executive Chef Robert Masson, create a menu blending the best of Italy and the Pacific Rim dishes. More than 400 wines are available by the bottle and the bar offers creative cocktails. Guest bartender nights and events are hosted to benefit local charities.
Ella’s Folk Art Cafe
Best Sunday Dining Escape
On Sundays there is no better place to enjoy southern favorites like Fried Chicken and Waffles, Fried Catfish or some Kansas City BBQ, while listening to live music till 7 p.m. A Bloody Ella is a great start to any meal.
Oceanic Oriental Supermarket
Best Asian Market
In downtown Tampa, check out Oceanic for hard to find Asian ingredients, or a trip for unique dish and cookware, discover fresh produce, fish, duck, herbal medicines, teas and more.
Best Wine and Dine in Hyde Park
Enjoy indoor or outdoor seating at this staple in Hyde Park Village for 27 years. The bistro and wine bar offers a European experience with a menu inspired cuisine of pizzas, salads and pastas and 40 different wines.
Mise en Place
Best Modern American Cuisine
Owners Chef Marty Blitz and Maryann Ferenc, have continued to support and create a local dining scene for 31 years at Mise en Place. The menu constantly evolves and changes with seasonal availabilities.
Best Classic Dining
Since 1956, the iconic Tampa restaurant has been expertly preparing steaks exactly to guests’ preference and makes every dining experience special. First time guests must take the wine and kitchen tours. Don’t miss dessert and a port in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room.
Caretta On The Gulf
Best Dining With Sunset View
Located inside the Sandpearl Resort, the sun sets nightly and a great view is offered from Carretta’s. The Raw Bar offers a fresh selection of oysters, shrimp and more for a delicious Sunday brunch.
727.441.2425; visit www.carettaonthegulf.com.
Boca Hyde Park
Best Rustic Farm Charm
The rustic casual, yet chic interior is a great place for cocktails, or enjoy a meal with friends. The menu changes with availability of ingredients with local locations in Tampa and Brandon.
Best Local Microbrewery
As the oldest microbrewery in Florida, The Dunedin Brewery has been passionately brewing beer since 1996. The batches are hand-crafted with 15 barrels at a time. Visit for a cold beer and a bite to eat and a good time.
The Capital Grille
Best Business Lunch
The location at International Plaza makes Capital Grille a central meeting place for a delicious lunch. The menu features renowned dry-aged steaks and a 5,000 bottle wine list.
Best Foodie Fix
Datz constantly mixes things up to provide tempting food, cocktails and events for local foodies with a unique twist on comfort food. Enjoy Breakfast for Dinner or house favorites of Barry C’s Stuffed Meatloaf, Kentucky Colonel or Shrimp N’ Grits. Enjoy a great wine bar and craft beers on tap.
Best Revolving Menu
The Seminole Heights restaurant started by Chef Greg Baker and his wife, Michelle, source the freshest local meats, vegetables and seafood to create the weekly menu. Everything is made in-house from the salad dressings to the house-made sausage. Open for Dinner and Brunch on weekends.
Best Spanish Cuisine
For 112 years, the historic Ybor location has been serving up delicious Spanish dishes including the famed 1905 salad, chicken and yellow rice, ropa vieja and more. The Columbia Restaurant is owned and operated by five generations of the Gonzmart family. Be sure to try the sangria and enjoy the Flamenco dancers at the Ybor location.
Ybor – 813.248.496; www.columbiarestaurant.com.
Best Tapas in Town
Ceviche offers a delicious selection of hot and cold tapas, from the signature paellas to the seafood ceviches. While sipping a glass of sangria, enjoy the unique Spanish atmosphere and ambiance. Flamenco, jazz or latin music on select nights.
813.250.0203 Tampa or St. Pete 727.209.2299; www.ceviche.com.
Best Ramen Bar
The Seminole Heights location, with its sophisticated and chic interior, usually has lines out the door. The homemade broth takes nearly 20 hours to make, with the menu offering a choice of five broths and various additions. The open concept kitchen allows diners to watch the action.
The Sail Pavilion
Best Downtown Waterfront Oasis
The Sail Pavilion offers great food, music and waterfront views along Tampa’s downtown Riverwalk. This urban oasis is family and dog-friendly. Brews & Bites – a monthly food truck rally takes place the 2nd Friday of the month.
Best Boutique Wine Bar
A wonderful selection of unique and limited wines are available in the shop. The bar and wine garden offer the ideal spot to discover new wine from the diverse and carefully selected list and share a small plate.
Best Undiscovered GastroPub
Just one block from South Howard’s bar scene, SoHo Backyard offers a delicious escape to the crowds. Weekdays are themed with daily specials and a full menu is served late.
Best Mediterranean Cuisine
Under renovations and re-opening soon, it is time to escape to the Mediterranean with a tasty menu choice of hummus, falafel, dolma, delicious kabob or gyros and other authentic Lebanese favorites. On Saturday nights enjoy belly dancing performances.
Salt Rock Grill
Best Seafood Dining
Enjoy an expansive wine cellar and fresh local seafood on the beach in Indian Shores. Steaks are cooked over the natural oak and citrus wood pit fire.
The Canopy at The Birchwood
Best Roof Top Lounge
Atop The Birchwood Hotel, The Canopy offers breathtaking views of Tampa Bay, Straub Park, and downtown St. Petersburg, along with crafted cocktails and appetizer menu. Reserve a private cabana, or enjoy living room-style seating and fire pits for those cool evenings.
Best Modern Italian
Pelagia is a hidden treasure tucked inside the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel, with Italian and French influences. Offering three meals a day, the menu offers a selection of salads, sandwiches and homemade pastas and stone-oven pizzas. Private dining space available.
SouZou Asian Kitchen
Best Sushi Rolls
Offering a twist on Pacific Rim and Japanese influences, the unique flavors and creative ingredients create a wide selection of rolls for sushi lovers. Asian inspired hot plates and noodle dishes and Bento boxes round out the menu.
Hula Bay Club
Best Laid-Back Eatery
Whether it’s a burger or sushi, the scenic water views and Hawaiian island-inspired cuisine offer up a casual place to relax and drink with friends. Enjoy live music and DJs down at Dukes.
Best Cocktail Culture
Really an early innovator of the craft-cocktail scene, Mandarin Hide is tucked between two other bars on Central Avenue in St. Pete. The drinks offer generous pours and the bartenders are friendly.
Best Diverse Cuisine
The menu is updated seasonally and offers a great selection of salads, seafood and steaks. Chef Chris Ponte continues to offer an American-inspired menu that dazzles palettes for lunch and dinner with inspirations from French, Italian and Asian influences.
Best Sunday Brunch
The views are stunning and the selection of breakfast items, seafood, pasta, meats, desserts, and more create for a wonderful Sunday Brunch, complete with Mimosas and a Bloody Mary Bar.
Goody Goody Burgers
Best New Old Fashion Burger
Owner, Richard Gonzmart, brings a slice of nostalgia back to Tampa located in Hyde Park Village. The burgers with the special sauce brings back memories for many, along with the delicious butterscotch pie. Breakfast is served all day long.
Best Contemporary Italian Cuisine
Scheduled to re-open soon after a renovation, Chef-Owner David Benstock and his wife, Erica have created a gem of a dining experience on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, with a menu that is updated daily to reflect the freshest ingredients possible. The Short Rib Mezzaluna, Caprese Salad and Roasted Baby Beets are favorites, or choose a Prix Fix menu.
© Tampa Bay METRO Magazine & Blog | A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication