Tampa's Top Eateries Include Established Favorites & Innovative Upstarts

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.

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

Tampa Heights


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



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



Tucked away in a corner of Tampa's Channelside district is Cena, a popular Italian restaurant that has gathered a loyal following despite a somewhat out of the way location. Chef Michael Buttacavoli presents simple, modern menu items that are...  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. Another example of chef-driven creativity, this exclusive eatery is putting out some...  Read More



Edison Food + Drink Lab is the popular creation of Chef Jeannie Pierola, a 4X James Beard Best Chef Semifinalist. To say this place is unlike anything else in Tampa is an understatement, from dishes to decor, an industrial science theme invades...  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



Mise en Place is an intimate, well-appointed restaurant located across from the University of Tampa. As a pioneer of the chef-driven restaurant model a signature of this bistro is the ever-rotating menu specializing in New American cuisine. You...  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



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


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye