Tampa is know for it’s Cuban influences at places like the Columbian and small mom-and-pop operations like the La Tropicana Café, but you can find any type of cuisine here, including “Floribbean.” A rotation of Super Bowls has come through Tampa on a regular basis, and celebrity chef Marty Blitz of Mise En Place is a favorite of the Buccaneers.
Filled with historic bungalows, boutiques, bars and clubs, the most famous is Bern’s Steakhouse with great cuts of meat and a dessert room that is second to none. The best tapas restaurant in Tampa is Ceviche, which also has a lower-key counterpart in St. Petersburg. For breakfast go to upscale Pinky’s which includes a coffee bar and a menu of frittatas, eggs benedict and oatmeal pancakes. Hangout at The Lime, with its swanky vibe and high-end Mexican food, or relax on the brick patio of Bailey’s known for it’s southern comfort food from chicken and dumplings and fried okra to meatloaf and homemade desserts. Just remember that it’s BYOB, with no cork fee. Foodies will love Datz. It’s a deli, bakery, wine bar and specialty food market known for its 6,000 square feet of culinary bliss. (It has the best beer and wine selection in the Bay area.) There are plenty of other gastronomic delights in this area from wood-fired pizzas at Pane Rustica to red-wine and pasta at Bella’s Italian cafe or indulge at The Cupcake Spot. Sports fans can get a twist at The Rack – a high-end sushi and billards sports bar – that has kept one of my guy friends there for eight straight hours.
This Spanish restaurant is a favorite among locales. Choose from over a 100 Spanish-style hot and cold tapas (little dishes). Sip sangria on the outdoor patio. The original is in Tampa, with its poolside patio and a newer locale that includes a flamenco room and Spanish guitar players in St. Petersburg. ...