Brunch is a celebrated weekend ritual in Tampa. Locals love to sleep late and head out to their favorite weekend hangout for a great morning after meal, complete with mimosas and Bloody Marys. Many Tampa restaurants have embraced brunch fully, putting their own spin on your favorite dishes. Check out 10Best's collection of Tampa's top choices.
Starting with a more upscale option, Oystercatchers boasts wonderfully prepared dishes, seemingly endless buffet stations, and best of all, a stunning view of Tampa Bay. Jackson's Bistro is a great spot for people staying downtown or who plan on visiting downtown attractions. The only drawback to these options is that they only offer brunch on Sundays.
If you're looking for brunch options that can be enjoyed every day of the week, there are several options to choose from. Daily Eats, located in Tampa's trendy SoHo neighborhood, puts a California twist on brunch classics and is most popular for their California Bowls. Another great option is Pinky's Diner, one of the most popular restaurants in South Tampa.
Whatever your preference, let 10Best introduce you to the most creative, most decadent, most inventive brunch restaurants in Tampa.
Breakfast is a treat at First Watch. A departure from many local breakfast spots, it specializes in providing delicious, but light and healthy meal options. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients and made from scratch baked goods and batters. There are no deep fryers here. This place is known for its varied omelet and waffle selections and their famous First Watch potatoes. Lunch options are also offered and available all day along with breakfast. With 7 area locations, chances are there is one near you. (813-307-9006)
If old fashioned comfort grub is what you need to get the day started, give this casual little joint in south Tampa a try. The Brunchery stays true to its name by delivering time-tested classics like steak and eggs, Belgian waffles, omelets, crepes, eggs benedict and French toast. In addition to the morning eats, the kitchen also assembles some rather outstanding sandwiches. The helpings are hearty and the ingredients are fresh. Consistently good, this is the type of place that doesn't rate highly in terms of style but really racks up the points when it comes to service and food. (813-831-4694)
Datz is one of Tampa's most popular restaurants. At one time or another, almost everyone has visited this trendy gastropub and market. The interior is warm and inviting with a funky, industrial vibe and no one stands on ceremony here - flip-flops and shorts are welcome. The food is as comforting as the environment lifting America's favorite dishes to a whole new level. Looks for twists on the traditional such as their chicken and waffles served with jalapeno-maple syrup or their famous meatloaf stuffed with mac 'n cheese. They are known for their large portions, so bring an appetite. If you have room after lunch, wander next door to their new sister-restaurant, Dough, for some sweet treats and coffee. Brunch is served on weekends from 8:30am - 3:00pm (813-831-7000)
Sono Cafe occupies a choice spot on the downtown Riverwalk affording unparalleled views of the University of Tampa minarets, the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa skyline. Located in Tampa Museum of Art building, the decor reflects the ultra-modern exterior and features stunning glass walls that bring the outside in. While this is a true cafe, there is a tasty selection of very civilized starters, salads and sandwiches along with a carefully curated, list of wine, craft beer, specialty cocktails and coffee beverages. They pride themselves on sourcing as many local ingredients as they can and creating dishes from scratch, so the menu changes with the seasons. Lunch is offered daily, dinner on Friday only, and brunch is available on the weekends. (813-421-8379)
Gaspar's Grotto is a popular bar and restaurant located in Tampa's Ybor City historic neighborhood. Perfect for visitor's who have not had the opportunity to experience the annual Gasparilla Celebration, Gaspar's celebrates the famous pirate invasion all year long and everyone gets to party like a pirate. Three large bar areas offer patrons options for seating and entertainment and there is always something going on. If you get hungry, Gaspar's offers some very decent bar grub from Tampa favorites like the Cuban sandwich and Devil Crab to the hottest hot wings in the city. (813-248-5900)
Part of the Ciccio and Tony's family of restaurants, Daily Eats is a modern, contemporary diner with a twist of 'greasy spoon.' The menu features an impressive list of creative breakfast options that add an interesting spin to familiar favorites. Examples include the staff fav "Jackie" consisting of a grilled cheese on thick white bread, with 2 fried eggs and ham or "The Hong Kong," smoked salmon & scallions two-egg scramble served on a toasted bagel w/ scallion cream cheese, tomatoes, and onion. They are perhaps best known for their Breakfast Bowls. As they sound, they are big bowls loaded with breakfast goodies. You're going to have a hard time choosing as there are eight different versions to choose from. (813-868-3335)
It's an old adage that if there's a line outside, the place has to be good. Nowhere is that more correct than at Pinky's, a small,cozy diner in South Tampa known for their laid-back style and amazing menu. Frittatas dominate, with six fresh varieties or the ability to make your own. They are also known for their stuffed Cuban French Toast featuring homemade berry cream cheese sandwiched between slices of Cuban bread, a Tampa favorite. Or try the oatmeal pancakes, which makes this breakfast staple even more hearty. If you do have to wait, take advantage of their handy self-serve coffee bar. (813-831-9339)
Jackson's Bistro Bar & Sushi
Set slightly away from the downtown bustle, Jackson's Bistro features a large and sophisticated menu with dishes ranging from hand-rolled sushi to an oak-grilled NY strip steak. The setting is romantic and upscale, featuring dark mahogany walls and candle-lit tables, but it's the views of Garrison Channel and the Tampa skyline that steal the show. If the weather is good, take advantage of their large outdoor terrace. Sunday brunch at Jackson's takes the buffet route, offering a turkey, ham and roast beef carving station, pasta station, sushi station and waffle bar. (813-277-0112)
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 modern, serving as the perfect backdrop for both the views and the expertly prepared food. The star of the lunch menu is a selection of locally sourced fish served wood grilled, blackened or sauteed. Not only are the dishes inventive and fresh, they are also gathered with conservation in mind. While the food and the view will cost you (around $20 for a fish entree), the experience cannot be beat. Part of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers has cemented itself as one of the great restaurant spaces in Tampa. (813-207-6815, 813-874-1234)
About 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 snow climate and enjoys basking on the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and navigating the waters of Tampa Bay.
When not out exploring Tampa, Skye is a freelance writer and public relations professional. She currently provides public relations counsel on a freelance basis to non-profits, social enterprises and small business.
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