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.
Goody Goody Burgers is the resurrection of an iconic Tampa diner that was opened in 1925 as the first drive-in east of the Mississippi. The new incarnation is the brainchild of restaurateur Richard Gonzmart, owner of the famous Columbia Restaurant. No expense was spared in recreating the recipes, decor, and ambiance of the original with just a few changes to appeal to modern diners. This is fast-food, but using fresh, locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients and recipes made from scratch. Signature dishes include the their famous burgers with their special sauce and their pies, especially the butterscotch pie. They also offer a delicious selection of breakfast and brunch menu items, including the 12" griddle cakes.
The Riverwalk Café occupies a choice spot on the downtown riverfront affording unparalleled views of the University of Tampa minarets, the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa skyline. Located in the Tampa Museum of Art, the decor reflects the ultra-modern exterior and features stunning glass walls that bring the outside in. Outdoor seating is provided with tables on their expansive covered terrace. The Café serves handcrafted lunch five days a week and a decadent brunch on the weekends. The cafe is also a good spot to stop for a delicious cup of coffee or an afternoon gelato.
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. They are also known for their extensive wine list. 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.
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.
If there's a line outside, you know the place has to be good. Nowhere is that more correct than at Pinky's, a 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. If you have to wait, take advantage of their handy self-serve coffee bar. Lest you think it's all breakfast, they also offer a diverse and selection of salads, soups and sandwiches.
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.
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
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 all-day favorites including 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.
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 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, 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.