Located in historic Ybor City, 7th + Grove is a welcome new addition to the area's restaurant scene. Featuring a laid back, funky vibe, there are two separate sections, one that focuses on being a restaurant and one that is focused on being a lounge and late-night dance space. On the restaurant side, the simple, neutral furniture and floors perfectly frame the colorful murals that dominate the walls. On the night side, plush velvet seats in hot pink steal the show in the night-clubby interior. However, it's the menu filled with Southern soul food favorites that keeps people coming back. To give it an added cool factor, each dish is named after a popular song, so "Everyday People" is shrimp and grits, and "Awaken My Love" is fried chicken.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: New to Ybor City are the funky vibes of 7th + Grove that is quickly becoming a favorite for their Southern soul food specialties.
Skye's expert tip: Social hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday only and features $7 cocktails and small plates.
Salt Shack on the Bay is an open-air restaurant with terrific views of Tampa Bay. Featuring two large, covered pavilions, one for the bar and one for the restaurant, there is plenty of shady space in which to enjoy the Caribbean-inspired menu. In keeping with the location, seafood is the main attraction on the menu featuring Gulf-caught fish and shrimp prepared in a variety of ways. For starters, try the daily variety of Caribbean Fritter - check their board for details - or the locally made Mahi fish spread. There are several sandwiches and burgers to choose from including their own take on Tampa's ubiquitous Grouper sandwich. For an entree, try their fresh catch of the day prepared just the way you like it.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Salt Shack on the Bay is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant and bar with wonderful views of Old Tampa Bay and fresh from the Gulf seafood.
Skye's expert tip: The west-facing view of Old Tampa Bay makes this a premier spot to enjoy Tampa's beautiful sunsets.
Six floors above Water Street is SiX Restaurant, located in Tampa's new and luxurious JW Marriott hotel. The restaurant features casual indoor dining as well as a large, sheltered outdoor terrace featuring views of the skyline and downtown waterways. In all ways, SiX is an elevated bistro, featuring fresh Florida ingredients from scallops to strawberries. Signature dishes include Cedar Key clam chowder, focaccia crusted grouper and a classic rack of lamb with Florida succotash. There are also a few creative vegetarian options including vegetable croquettes and a vegan cauliflower steak. Combined with a creative cocktail, SiX offers guests the perfect recipe for a fun and relaxing evening.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Dinner at SiX in Tampa's ultra-luxurious JW Marriott is a delicious opportunity to enjoy scenic views of downtown and the waterfront.
Skye's expert tip: Located next to the Spa at JW, a bite a SiX is a great way to finish off a luxurious spa day.
The Sal Y Mar is a stylish rooftop bar located in the new Midtown Tampa development. Situated atop the dual-branded Aloft and Element Hotel guests can take in unique 360-degree views of the Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines. There are large outdoor dining and indoor seating areas, and the bar area features comfortable lounging areas and unique seating options including hanging hammock chairs. The menu uses fresh and local ingredients to create a selection of Florida and Spanish inspired tapas. Signature tapas include shrimp corn fritters, carne asada street tacos, and pan seared scallops. For a sweet finish, there is a selection of freshly made desserts. Accompany your meal with an artisanal cocktail as you enjoy the sunset.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Located in the trendy new Midtown development, the rooftop Sal Y Mar restaurant and bar offers skyline views along with creative cocktails and tasty tapas.
Skye's expert tip: Take advantage of the plentiful free parking to visit Sal Y Mar and check out this innovative, new mixed-use development.
Willa's is a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant and bar in up-and-coming North Hyde Park. Owned by locals, the restaurant is housed in a renovated historic industrial warehouse and is named after the co-founder's great, great grandmother and Tampa pioneer, William Lowry. Serving dinner, and weekend brunch, the menu is classic American with French influences. The restaurant's signature dish is rotisserie chicken and a delicious scratch-made chicken soup. Other highlights from the menu include pappardelle pasta with Kabocha squash cream sauce, fish and chips, and pork schnitzel. Next door, the connected sister café, Willa's Provisions opens at 8 am daily and specializes in coffee, grab and go food, and gourmet pantry items.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Willa's is a friendly, North Hyde Park restaurant with delectable rotisserie chicken and a casual, stylish coastal ambiance.
Skye's expert tip: Willa's is only open for lunch and dinner, but Willa's Provisions next door opens daily at 8 am for coffee and grab and go food.
Opening in the middle of a pandemic did not stop Koya from becoming Tampa's hottest and most exclusive new restaurant. The brainchild of owners Eric and Adriana Fralick, Tampa's only Japanese omakase restaurant (meaning the Chef chooses the dishes) seats a mere 8 guests per evening. The menu consists of 7-9 beautifully presented courses of fresh sushi and sashimi prepared in front of the diners. Promising an ever-changing menu, the high-quality, seasonal ingredients are obtained from the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo. As can be expected, reservations are hard to come by and the restaurant is booked out at least a month ahead. Expect to pay $275 per reservation and an additional $125+ for a wine and sake pairing.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Tampa's newest and most exclusive Japanese restaurant features a chef-chosen 7to 9 course tasting menu of hyper seasonal sushi and sashimi.
Skye's expert tip: Whatever you do, don't be late! Diners later than 25 minutes forfeit their reservation.
Rome + Fig is a contemporary bistro located in Tampa's upscale Hyde Park neighborhood (at the intersection of Rome Ave and Fig St). The spacious dining room features an open kitchen and coastal accents, creating a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. Owners Eric and Kristene Zostant are experienced restauranteurs who are hoping the Rome + Fig feels like a home away from home. The menu is small and carefully curated with dishes focusing on modern presentations of the classics. Start with the fried green tomato caprese salad or bison meatballs appetizer. Entrees offer a good variety of protein including red snapper, scallops, lambchops and New York strip as well as a mouth-watering creamy risotto for the vegetarians in your party.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Located in up-and-coming North Hyde Park, Rome + Fig is one of Tampa's newest bistros serving elevated classics in a warm, friendly space.
Skye's expert tip: Make sure to save room for dessert. Locals rave about the caramel bread pudding!
It can be a challenge to find somewhere for dinner with a view in northern Tampa, so the opening of Stonewater Grill was welcomed by area locals and visitors alike. Nestled on the shore of scenic Bell Lake, this popular, new eatery offers expansive water views with extensive seating both inside as well as on their massive outdoor patio. The menu features a solid lineup of American favorites and pasta dishes, along with a creative selection of craft cocktails. Wine lovers will enjoy exploring the fancy wine tasting room too. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area!
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Stonewater Grill offers beautiful lake views, extensive outdoor seating, and a tasty menu of American favs with extensive cocktail and wine offerings.
Skye's expert tip: There is live music on the outdoor patio Thursday through Saturday most weeks. Check their website for details.
Flor Fina is the signature restaurant of historic Ybor City's newest hotel, the Hotel Haya. With careful attention to detail, both the restaurant's decor and menu items are designed to perfectly complement the hotel's modern interpretation of Ybor City's history. From construction materials to quirky nods to Tampa's historical figures, history mixes seamlessly with modern elements. The result is a comfortable, contemporary dining space with a variety of seating and lounging options, perfect for mingling or finding a secluded table for two. The menu features bold Latin and Mediterranean flavors and a curated array of handcrafted cocktails. At the crossroads of people, cuisine and culture, Flor Fina is the perfect spot for a special night out in Ybor City.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: Flor Fina is the signature restaurant of Ybor City's newest hotel, the Hotel Haya, featuring bold Latin and Mediterranean flavors reflective of this diverse neighborhood.
Skye's expert tip: Be sure to try the ceviche as Flor Fina is quickly establishing a reputation for delicious and innovative variations on this classic dish.
After being overlooked for a star in its Michelin debut, Tampa has another opportunity with the arrival of Michelin-starred chef, John Fraser. Taking the helm of the food and beverage program for the city's first 5-star hotel, the Edition, Lilac is his signature offering. Featuring modern Mediterranean cuisine, the menu leans into Fraser's Greek background and features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. While the food is the star of the show, the dining room decor is also spectacular. Featuring emerald green velvet banquets, burnished walnut tables, and floor to ceiling champagne-colored draperies, the ambiance fairly glows with elegance. Although expensive, the quality of the food and the glamourous surroundings make for a very special night out.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: The signature restaurant of Tampa's first 5-star hotel, the Edition, Lilac offers modern Mediterranean cuisine created by Michelin-starred chef, John Fraser.
Skye's expert tip: The menu consists of a 4-course prix fixe dinner service, so don't forget your wallet and be prepared for a limited selection of dining options to choose from.