The Tampa Bay Area Restaurants

Fresh Gulf seafood is plentiful—raw bars serving oysters, clams, and mussels are everywhere. Tampa's many Cuban and Spanish restaurants serve paella with seafood and chicken, boliche criollo (sausage-stuffed eye-round roast) with black beans and rice, ropa vieja (shredded flank steak in tomato sauce), and other treats. Tarpon Sp
Fresh Gulf seafood is plentiful—raw bars serving oysters, clams, and mussels are everywhere. Tampa's many Cuban and Spanish restaurants serve paella with seafood and chicken, boliche criollo (sausage-stuffed eye-round roast) with black beans and rice, ropa vieja (shredd
Fresh Gulf seafood is plentiful—raw bars serving oysters, clams, and mussels are everywhere. Tampa's many Cuban and Span

Fresh Gulf seafood is plentiful—raw bars serving oysters, clams, and mussels are everywhere. Tampa's many Cuban and Spanish restaurants serve paella with seafood and chicken, boliche criollo (sausage-stuffed eye-round roast) with black beans and rice, ropa vieja (shredded flank steak in tomato sauce), and other treats. Tarpon Springs adds classic Greek specialties. In Sarasota the emphasis is on ritzier dining, though many restaurants offer extra-cheap early-bird menus.

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  • 1. Bern's Steak House

    $$$$ | Hyde Park | Steakhouse

    With the air of an exclusive club, this is one of—if not the —finest Florida's steak houses. Rich mahogany paneling and ornate chandeliers...Read More

  • 2. Bijou Café

    $$$ | French

    This 1920s-era gas station–turned–restaurant has been expanded over the years so that it is now a 140-seat restaurant. The enchanting decor...Read More

  • 3. Casa Tina

    $$ | Mexican

    At this colorful Dunedin institution, vegetarians can veg out on roasted chiles rellenos (cheese-stuffed peppers), enchiladas with vegetables...Read More

  • 4. Euphemia Haye

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    A lush tropical setting on the barrier island of Longboat Key, this is one of the most romantic restaurants around. Signature dishes include...Read More

  • 5. Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

    $$ | Seafood

    Sunsets and Gulf views are the bait that hooks regulars as well as travelers who find their way to this somewhat hidden pit stop in historic...Read More

  • 6. Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish

    $ | Seafood

    Picture this: flip-flop-wearing anglers and beach-towel-clad bathers lolling on picnic benches, sipping a beer, and devouring oak-smoked salmon...Read More

  • 7. The Columbia Restaurant

    $$$ | Ybor City | Spanish

    Make a date for some of the best Latin cuisine in Tampa. A fixture since 1905, this magnificent structure with an Old World air and spacious...Read More

  • 8. Ulele

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Named after a 16th-century Tocobagan princess, this hot spot from the same family behind the historic Columbia restaurant in Ybor City has become...Read More

  • 9. Beach Bistro

    $$$$ | Contemporary

    The menu at this cozy beachfront spot offers such standards as a melt-in-your-mouth, herb-rubbed rack of lamb; seafood bouillabaisse; and duckling...Read More

  • 10. Bella Brava New World Trattoria

    $$ | Downtown | Italian

    This trendy eatery is one of the more sought-after places on equally trendy Beach Drive. It offers a fresh, imaginative approach to Italian...Read More

  • 11. Bella's Italian Café

    $$ | Hyde Park | Italian

    While this popular SoHo (South Howard Avenue) eatery earned its wings by offering crowd-pleasing Italian classics, much of this mainstay's popularity...Read More

  • 12. Bernini

    $$$ | Ybor City | Italian

    Named for the 17th-century Italian baroque sculptor, this trendy restaurant is something of a gallery for copies of his works. In the former...Read More

  • 13. Birch & Vine

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    Seasonal, locally sourced ingredients work equally well in both the surf and the turf columns at Birch & Vine, which has turned The Birchwood...Read More

  • 14. Bob Heilman's Beachcomber

    $$$ | American

    The Heilman family has fed hungry diners since 1920. Although it's very popular with tourists, you'll also rub shoulders with devoted locals...Read More

  • 15. Boca

    $$$ | American

    One of four locations, this regional chain fits right into downtown Sarasota's hopping dining and shopping scene. The menu is as locally inspired...Read More

  • 16. Bon Appétit

    $$$ | European

    Known for its creative fare, this waterfront restaurant has a menu that changes frequently, offering such entrées as broiled rack of lamb in...Read More

  • 17. BT

    $$$ | SoHo | Asian

    Local restaurateur B. T. Nguyen has earned quite a following with her modern take on high-style Vietnamese cuisine featuring fresh herbs grown...Read More

  • 18. Byblos Café

    $$ | South Tampa | Mediterranean

    Good grub, a friendly crowd, and belly dancers on weekend evenings make Byblos—named for an ancient city in Phoenicia—a fun addition to almost...Read More

  • 19. Café Dufrain

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    Dogs can tag along if you dine on the front patio at pet-friendly Café Dufrain, an eatery right on the Hillsborough River across from the Amalie...Read More

  • 20. Café L'Europe

    $$$$ | European

    Located in St. Armand's Circle, this sidewalk and indoor café has a spectacular menu featuring table-side specialties such as chateaubriand...Read More

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