Tampa's Best Spots to Find Comfort Food Faves

Comfort food and family-friendly dining options abound in Tampa, whether you're looking to revisit favorite dishes from childhood, or you're looking to sample the comfort food of other cultures. With a large portion of the city's population hailing from other parts of the country, and other parts of the world, there is a variety of traditions to choose from including Cuban, Italian, Greek, Southern cooking and soul food, as well as all-American favorites. Listed here, 10 Best has brought together just a few of the many options to choose from.

If you're looking to experience the comfort food of Tampa's many Cuban-American residents, try La Teresita. This old-school cafeteria offers large portions of traditional dishes developed from family recipes. Many residents of Tampa have also taken up the Cuban breakfast tradition of a cafe con leche paired with fresh, toasted Cuban bread.

Southern cooking is also well-represented with restaurants such as Lee Roy Selmon's, a small restaurant chain founded by Tampa football legend and favorite citizen of the same name. Their menu includes comfort food staples such as pulled pork, beef brisket and chicken & waffles. Another great place to try southern food is at Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe where they serve a great Sunday Soul food buffet surrounded by folk art ambiance. 

Airport Area

If you can't get enough succulent, Southern cooking, this place (named for Tampa Bay's first NFL Hall of Famer) will have your taste buds swooning. Many dishes rely on Lee Roy's mom's recipes, such as fried chicken, meat loaf, chicken-fried...  Read More

Airport Area

You can be assured of good barbecue when you see the pit smoking out back. Jimbo's keeps close watch over it, taking great pains to ensure that all the meat reaches that moment of perfect flavor. When it's ready, they pile it high, add baked...  Read More

Bella's Italian Cafe
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

A favorite of locals in South Tampa, Bella's has been around for 28 years. Although it could easily be pretentious, thanks to subdued lighting and gracious details, Bella's prefers to greet guests with relaxed charm. In fact, it's a delightful...  Read More

Let's just get this out of the way first: it's outdoors, it's a mostly-dirt floor, and you will probably be sitting at a picnic table. If you're still reading, you will love Skipper's. This is the go-to venue for fans of the really eclectic, not...  Read More

Centrally located in the Westshore district of Tampa, Del Frisco's Grille serves perfectly prepared prime steaks and creative versions of comfort food staples. Popular menu items include the Grille Prime Cheeseburger, Cheesesteak Eggrolls, and...  Read More

Ella's Americana Folk Art Café is a fresh and funky eatery located in the charming and historic Seminole Heights neighborhood. As the name suggests, the ambiance is laid-back with walls decorated with a variety of American folk art providing...  Read More

South Tampa

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 -...  Read More

South Tampa

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...  Read More

La Teresita Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

La Teresita is located in West Tampa, an area of the city that was originally settled by Cuban immigrants, and features authentic versions of Cuban cuisine. There is a traditional restaurant space, but La Teresita's charm is found inside the...  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


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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