Tampa has one Johnny Rockets restaurant conveniently located in Citrus Park Mall next to the movie theaters. It's the perfect spot to take the family after a day of shopping or seeing a movie. If you haven't been before, this international chain offers guests a classic American diner experience. From the waiter's paper hats to the cozy booths, to the jukeboxes, the atmosphere will take you back to a less complicated time. The food is classic American diner as well featuring juicy burgers, tasty hot dogs, and cheese dripping sandwich melts. Pair your meal selection with your favorite milkshake, malt or float for the complete experience.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Tampa's Johnny Rockets serves kid favorites in a classic American diner atmosphere.
Skye's expert tip: Watch what happens when the song YMCA plays on the jukebox!
Conveniently located at Sparkman Wharf in the Channelside District, Splitsville bills itself as a "luxury lanes and dinner lounge." This may be the coolest bowling alley you've ever visited with modern and comfortable seating in addition to the well-maintained bowling lanes and selection of arcade games. Splitsville goes far beyond the ordinary with its full menu of traditional and upscale dishes as well. It does get quite busy, especially if there is an event going on at Sparkman Wharf, so reservations are recommended, especially if you want to bowl. Deciding to bowl after you arrive usually means a solid wait.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Conveniently located in downtown Tampa, Splitsville offers something for everyone with upscale dining, 8-pin bowling and a selection of video games.
Skye's expert tip: There is a dress code enforced after 9 pm Saturday and Sunday and only those over 21 are admitted after 10 pm.
Tampa's version of Cody's Original Roadhouse, a small Florida chain of restaurants, is one of the city's favorite places to go with family. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing and the decor is a creative take on an old-fashioned Florida gas station. Kids are kept entertained with peanuts in the shell, coloring, and balloon making while the parents relax and peruse the extensive menu. Dishes include USDA prime and choice steaks and prime rib, juicy rotisserie chicken, tender pork back ribs, fresh fish and much more. Kids get their own fairly extensive menu featuring perfect kid foods. All this at a price that won't empty your wallet!
Recommended for Family Friendly because: At Cody's Roadhouse, kids are kept happy coloring the tables, making balloons, and dropping peanut shells on the floor.
Skye's expert tip: Every Monday and Tuesday kids 10 years old and younger eat for free off their children's menu.
Beef O'Brady's is a Tampa institution delighting area families since 1984. Beefs, as it is affectionately known, is famous for its family-friendly pub atmosphere, with a game room for the kids and a large number of TVs for sports fans to enjoy. Menu items feature typical pub fare with an Irish twist. You'll find burgers, wings, wraps and burritos. Perhaps their most popular entree is their crunchy beer-battered fish and chips. This location is the where it all began, but never fear, if you are not in the Brandon area, there are many, many other locations to choose from throughout Tampa Bay. Visit their website to find the location nearest you.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Tampa-based Beef O'Brady's is geared for families. Kids love playing arcade games while the parents relax and watch their favorite sports.
Skye's expert tip: Kids are free to run around at Beefs so it's a great place for them to let off some steam.
Sweet Tomatoes is an all-inclusive buffet-style cafeteria that specializes in soups and salads. Great family dining that provides healthier alternatives for both adults and kids. This restaurant features an open and airy atmosphere with tons of booth seating. The menu varies each month providing a new variety of salads, soups, pasta dishes and specials to choose from. The salad bar features 50 fresh ingredients as well as specially prepared and tossed salads. Items are made from scratch each day including their moist muffins and fresh focaccia bread. Finish off your meal with a selection from the dessert bar which features a self-serve ice cream bar.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Sweet Tomatoes offers families a healthier alternative to standard kids menus without sacrificing fun.
Skye's expert tip: Nutritional information is easily available in-store and on their website.
EVOS is a local fast-food chain that focuses on making your favorite fast food dishes more healthy, like using organic or vegan ingredients and air-baking their french fries instead of using the deep fryer. They use naturally raised beef and chicken and wild-caught Alaskan Salmon. The end result is a reduction in calories, fat, and processed ingredients, and an increase in fresh, delicious flavors. There's also a wide selection of wraps, salads, smoothies, and shakes. Again, all prepared with fresh, organic ingredients. You will come out satisfied but without the guilt.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: EVOS is a local fast food restaurant that features kid-friendly favorites that are secretly healthy.
Skye's expert tip: Take the kids, order their fast-food favorites, and see if they notice the healthy difference. They probably won't.
For some people, an authentic New York pizza experience requires a casual, hole-in-the-wall setting. If you are one of those people, Eddie & Sam's is the place for you. But the authenticity doesn't end there! The water used to make their signature pizza dough is actually shipped directly from New York. The pizzas come out crisp and hot from the oven and include such favorites as primavera, Hawaiian, and Sicilian. The menu also features hot and cold sandwiches and buffalo wings. Eddie & Sam's has been a lunchtime favorite of the nearby office crowd for years, but it's also handy to downtown hotels for a great nighttime snack.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: All kids love pizza, and Tampa's Eddie & Sam's serves them up authentic New York style.
Skye's expert tip: If you're not looking for a whole pizza, this spot offers an extensive selection of pizzas available by the slice.
Serving hungry Tampa locals since 1973, Mel's takes the simple concept of a hot dog and makes it as good as you could imagine. These dogs aren't the bland approximations you find at some fast food places. Instead, they're all-beef and come on poppy-seed buns, loaded with goodies like sauerkraut, onions, relish, pickles and hot peppers. They're offered in a variety of styles, too, so pick your favorite and taste what a hot dog should be like. If you're in the mood for something else, Mel's also has sandwiches, veggie burgers, corn dogs and more. A great location near Busch Gardens and affordable prices only add to the appeal of this Tampa institution.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Mel's is a Tampa tradition - reasonably priced, loved by all kids, and located just down the road from Busch Gardens.
Skye's expert tip: This is a popular spot, so if you're planning on trying it for lunch, arrive early or late to avoid the lines.
Located in Brandon, a 15-minute drive from downtown is Topgolf Tampa. This unique entertainment complex offers a 3-level golf range for players of all ages and abilities to hone their skills playing target-oriented games. A state-of-the-art gaming system logs players in and keeps track of both the game and the score using microchipped golf balls. There are 109 golf bays that can accommodate up to 6 people and are rented by the hour. Each bay has a host that provides full food and beverage service. In addition, there is a large restaurant and bar, games lounge and outdoor patio. If you're on a budget, try and visit on Tuesday which is half price for the hourly bay rental.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Topgolf Tampa is a lavish entertainment complex fully equipped with everything you need to keep the whole family happy - golf, games, food, and fun!
Skye's expert tip: Weekends are very busy and you may have to wait as golf bays are assigned on a first come first serve basis unless you have a priority membership.