14 Best Restaurants in Tampa, FL

The city of Tampa is located west of the state, along the Gulf of Mexico. It boasts a rich history that includes pirates, Spanish conquistadors, and Cuban immigrants.

Tampa is known for having some of the best restaurants to dine. In fact, it is one of the top vacation destinations in America.

The city has a diverse culture that influences the cuisines served in various restaurants. Below are 15 restaurants found to be the best that Tampa has to offer as it relates to style, taste and culture.

The Columbia

$$ | 813-248-4961 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This restaurant is considered one of the oldest in the state of Florida. It has been around since 1905. The name suggests that it serves Spanish cuisine.

It is known for older and authentic Cuban recipes such as filet mignon, Alicante snapper and Valencia paella. Tourists come far, just to pick from the large menu. Locals are also fascinated with the menu and the nightly dance shows that other patrons enjoy.

The Columbia offers guests a chance to shop in their gift shop for coffee, Cuban cigars and sangria. The restaurant has also expanded its reach to St. Augustine, another city in Florida.

 

 

Ulele Restaurant

$$$ | 813-999-4952 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This restaurant is located along the Tampa Riverwalk. It is an award-winning eatery where both local Floridians and Native Americans meet. The restaurant is known for its barbacoa grill, which cooks anything with a charred resemblance, such as oysters and burgers.

If you want a good taste of what this versatile Tampa restaurant offers, go for their alligator hush puppies. You can expect to get their freshest alligator meat, corn, country ham, and jalapeno. Enjoy the sweet, savory bites of deliciousness. If you don’t want to make the long lines, call to make a reservation.

 

 

The Rusty Pelican

$$$ | 813-281-1943 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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At the Rusty Pelican, you can expect to view the waterfront at any angle. The restaurant offers a classic menu selection along with special beverages. The restaurant has been open since 1978. It has consistently grown to a nautical and elegant vibe.

It has floor to ceiling windows, fireplaces and aquatic marine lighting. These combine to give it that welcoming ambience. If you go there to have lunch, the blue-dotted oyster is the recommended choice. It is served in a half shell.

You can also order the ceviche trilogy. You won’t be disappointed. The Rusty Pelican also offers a sunset meal where the guests eat while watching the sun go down.

 

 

The Deviled Pig

$$ | 310-622-2800 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Deviled Pig has been in the Tampa area since 2018. It is known for its tasty smoked hog. It also serves smoked barbecue in a wide range of unorthodox ways. The restaurant also serves sandwiches using a barbecue twist.

The menu also consists of pulled pork, brisket, and freshly made Deviled Pig pickles, Swiss cheese and bologna. If you have a catering event, call to schedule a consultation. The restaurant opens at 11AM and closes at 8AM daily.

 

 

Bern Steak House

$$ | 813-251-2421 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Bern Steak House is family owned and so you can expect a welcoming vibe there. It was started in 1956, a staple of the city of Tampa and it is still very popular among locals. The menu is packed with great food, such as fish, chicken, salads, chips, dry aged steak, and varying types of other meat dishes.

Sodas are served with each meal, but if you feel like having a glass of wine, you can ask for their huge wine list. The restaurant offers no delivery. Patrons have to dine in. The restaurant opens at 5PM until 10PM. It is best to make a reservation.

 

 

On Swann

$$$ | 813-2514-0110 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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On Swann has its own open-concept kitchen and contemporary way of serving food. The meals are served on charcuterie boards, which means it is enough to share with your family and friends over a beer or bottle of wine. The restaurant sits on the corner of West Swann Avenue and South Oregon Avenue.

They service the classic American meals along with their own cocktails and craft beers. The restaurant does not offer take-out or delivery. Patrons must dine in. The opening hours are 11AM to 2PM for lunch and then again from 5PM to 10PM for dinner.

 

 

Zukku Sushi

$$ | 813-693-5481 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you like sushi and seafood, you will love Zukki Sushi. It is very laid back and welcomes anyone with a taste bud to match their menu. Located in the Heights Public Market, the restaurant offers a creative menu of lobster volcano roll, crab mix, fried lobster tail, spicy tuna with vegetables and rice, whichever of your choice.

You also get to make your own sushi burrito and poke bowl along with your selection of fillings and toppings. The restaurant does take outs and-dines in. It opens at 11AM and closes at 10PM and 11PM on consecutive nights.

 

 

Council Oak Steaks and Seafood

$$$$| 813-627-7600 | WEBSITE

Top Restaurants in Tampa, FL

The Council Oak Steaks and Seafood restaurant is located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa. It boasts an open kitchen concept, serving fish and steak. The luxury restaurant is known for its on-site prepared dry aged steaks, which once served, you can add caviar table service.

Of course, you can expect to spend quite a bit if you are planning to have a good time with friends and family. On Sundays to Wednesdays, the restaurant opens from 5PM to 10PM.

On Fridays and Saturdays, it opens at 5PM until midnight. You can make reservations. The restaurant does not offer delivery. You must dine in.

 

 

Noble Crust

$$$ | 813-463-0193 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Noble Crust has three different locations in the city of Tampa. They serve the conventional Italian cuisine but adding that Southern element. The menu has several seasonal choices, reflecting the effortlessness of the Italian culture while adding local ingredients to the mix.

You can expect to be served fried green tomatoes, ricotta gnocchi, wood-fired pizzas, and more. For the pizza, you have several options, such as fresh mozzarella, Calabrian chili, avocado and whipped ricotta.

The restaurant offers curbside pickup and delivery as well as dining in. On weekdays, the restaurant opens from 4PM to 9PM and at different hours on weekends, but the latest closing time is 11PM.

 

 

Oystercatchers

$$$$ | 813-207-6815 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Located in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Tampa Bay, the Oystercatchers has become quite popular with locals and tourists. It is especially known for its succulent seafood, freshly made at each sitting. You can sit and enjoy your meal with a beautiful waterfront backdrop.

The restaurant also has a raw bar to start your dining experience. After eating at the raw bar, you can go over to the delicious selection of seafood and meats such as pork chops, steak, lobster, and grouper. The restaurant opens from 11:00PM to 2:30PM for lunch and then reopens at 5:30PM to 10:00PM for dinner.

 

 

Watervue Grille

$$$ | 813-642-7980 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you want to enjoy dining by the waterfront, then the Watervue Grille is the ideal restaurant. It is conveniently located in downtown Tampa’s Harbor Island. As you eat, you can easily see the scenic image of the Amalie Arena.

The restaurant serves fresh seafood on the menu for lunch and dinner. If you are in a hurry, you can order a grouper sandwich or you can choose the Mahi filet covered with macadamia crust.

 

 

Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse

$$$ | 813-999-4332 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you feel like having grilled meat, Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse offers a huge menu you can dive into. The restaurant is located on the corner of West Jetton Avenue and South Dale Mabry Highway.

It is one of the top restaurants in that area for those who want all you can eat: seafood, meat, and salad. During the week, it is opened from 11AM to 9:30PM and on weekends, 11AM to 10:30PM. The restaurant offers curbside pickup and dining, as well as no contact delivery.

 

 

Bulla Gastrobar

$$ | 813-773-8626 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Bulla Gastrobar is one of Tampa’s favorite restaurants for locals and those passing through. If you wanted to invite friends to an exquisite brunch, this would be the ideal place. You can have lunch and dinner at the Bulla Gastrobar, enjoying a Spanish cultural dining experience for any meal of the day.

Try their charcuteria board with an assortment of chef’s choices. You can also try their paella for evening dining. For lunch, try the Cuban sandwich.

 

 

Mise En Place

$$$ | 813-254-5373 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Mise En Place is a luxury restaurant operated by Chef Marty Blitz, one of Tampa’s best chefs. He is known as an expert French cook.

Therefore, if you love French cuisine, this is the perfect place to wet your palate. The restaurant also offers American cuisine on its menu. The restaurant is located off West Kennedy Boulevard across from Falk Theatre. So,

 

 

Summary

The city of Tampa boasts a culturally diverse group of award-winning restaurants for your eating pleasure. Choose one or more of the best restaurants in Tampa, FL to try a variety of cuisines deeply influenced by the different cultures, whether you are local or just visiting. You won’t be disappointed.

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