Tampa's Dynamic Food Scene Includes Abundant Fresh Ingredients, World-Class Chefs

Traditionally, Tampa may be best known for its fresh seafood and authentic Cuban dishes. However, the food scene in Tampa has been heating up in recent years producing a wave of innovative new eateries. These new restaurants are pushing the culinary envelope by utilizing Tampa's abundance of fresh ingredients to create dishes with a fresh Florida flavor. To help you find the perfect meal, 10 Best has put together a list of the best Tampa has to offer, drawing from both new and established restaurants.

For a traditional taste of Tampa, visitors can't go wrong with a meal at the Columbia restaurant in Ybor city. The Columbia is Florida's oldest restaurant and has served up traditional Cuban and Spanish dishes since 1904. But the Columbia is more than just a good meal, the interior is huge with many different dining areas featuring beautiful architectural decorations and tile work. In addition, guests are able to enjoy an authentic Flamenco show almost any day of the week.

if you're looking to sample some of Tampa's more innovative cuisine, consider The Refinery. In a few short years, this small eatery has become a favorite of locals. The Refinery been named best restaurant in Tampa Bay by a local publication and its chef has been nominated several times for a James Beard award. The menu here is constantly changing to take advantage of fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Mise en Place is an intimate, well-appointed restaurant located across from the University of Tampa. A signature of this bistro is the ever-rotating menu, which intimidates some newcomers. They are missing out on one of the most inventive...  Read More

Élevage is located in the Epicurean Hotel, a boutique hotel that caters to guests wishing to experience life's indulgences, especially when it comes to food. Developed by the owner of Bern's, one of Tampa's most established restaurants,...  Read More

Seminole Heights

The Rooster & the Till is located in Tampa's trendy Seminole Heights neighborhood and has quickly become one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Although very small, this exclusive eatery is putting out some big flavors specializing...  Read More

Airport Area

The first thing you notice as you enter Oystercatchers is the amazing view. This seafood restaurant, nestled among lush, tropical landscaping, takes full advantage of its location at the edge of Tampa Bay. Inside, the decor is bright, simple and...  Read More

Tampa Heights
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

Ulele is a popular restaurant located on the northern end of Tampa's Riverwalk. The menu is inspired by the indigenous people of Florida and brings together fresh and local ingredients in unique flavor combinations. While the menu is changed...  Read More

Airport Area

Bright and airy, this chic restaurant rests atop the Hyatt Regency and affords extensive views of the Tampa area. Its menu of northern Italian cuisine centers around seafood, pasta, poultry and steaks, but the specialty of the house is veal,...  Read More

When a former chef of the famous Bern's Steakhouse, as well as its spin-off SideBern's, starts a new restaurant in Tampa, people pay attention. Such is the case with Edison Food + Drink Lab, the latest effort from chef Jeannie Pierola. To say...  Read More

Seminole Heights

This small and charming restaurant, housed in a converted Craftsman-style bungalow, serves up big flavors at reasonable prices. Chef/owner Greg Baker opened The Refinery in 2010 with a vision to provide good food, prepared by passionate chefs,...  Read More

Bern's Steak House is one of Tampa's best-known restaurants. Family-owned since opening in 1956, this venerable steak house is legendary for its impeccable service, top-quality food, and incredible attention to detail. Guests rave about the...  Read More

More than just a restaurant, the Columbia is a Tampa institution. Since 1905, this living history lesson has been serving some of the most authentic Spanish/Cuban food in Tampa Bay. The menu is expansive, spanning a wide array of traditional...  Read More


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no...  More About Skye

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