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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Cassis American Brasserie

    $$$ | Downtown | French

    If you drop in for a drink at one of the best places in St. Petersburg for happy hour, it's worth sticking around for the French-inspired cuisine...Read More

  • 6. Castile

    $$$ | Spanish

    Within the chic Hotel Zamora, this popular dining spot has been getting much praise from local and national press since it opened in 2014. As...Read More

  • 7. Ceviche

    $$$ | Downtown | Spanish

    A choice romantic destination as well as an excellent launchpad for a night out, this tapas bar offers an astonishing spate of pleasant sensations...Read More

  • 8. Locale Market

    $$ | Downtown | Contemporary

    The brainchild of celebrity chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona, this unconventional farm-to-table food court in the new upscale Sundial St...Read More

  • 9. Lucky Dill Deli

    $ | American

    This New York–style deli serving breakfast, lunch, and early dinner is often packed. Favorites include Cuban sandwiches, pastrami sandwiches...Read More

  • 10. Marchand's Bar & Grill

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Opened in 1925, this wonderful restaurant in the posh Renaissance Vinoy Resort has frescoed ceilings and a spectacular view of Tampa Bay. Upscale...Read More

  • 11. Nitally's ThaiMex Fusion

    $$ | Eclectic

    For those who take pride in their ability to handle the heat, this casual yet acclaimed fusion eatery is a must. It's run by a married couple...Read More

  • 12. PJ's Oyster Bar

    $$ | Seafood

    Follow the crowds to this off-the-beaten-path eatery, where numerous varieties of beer flow as freely as the rolls of paper towels mounted on...Read More

  • 13. Rococo

    $$$ | Steakhouse

    Yet another spot inspired by the St. Pete of yesteryear, this happening steak house sits in what was once a historic YWCA building. Possibly...Read More

  • 14. RumFish Grill

    $$$ | Seafood

    While the fish served at this upbeat restaurant at the Guy Harvey Outpost resort is deserving of much attention, the ones swimming in the 33...Read More

  • 15. Salt Rock Grill

    $$$ | Seafood

    Tourists and locals converge to enjoy a fun and lively waterfront atmosphere, but the rock-solid (if slightly less than imaginative) menu is...Read More

  • 16. Sloppy Joe's on the Beach

    $$ | Seafood

    A sister to the famous Hemingway haunt in Key West, this breezy spot is less gritty than the original and a little more focused on food than...Read More

  • 17. Steam & Chill

    $ | Café

    In addition to its long, creative lunch and dinner menus, this gem on St. Pete Beach offers creative breakfast options that tend to be a bit...Read More

  • 18. Stillwaters Tavern

    $$ | Downtown | American

    Equal parts happy-hour spot and go-to dinner locale, this trendy Beach Drive trattoria—from the folks who brought us Bella Brava—has something...Read More

  • 19. Peg's Cantina

    $ | Mexican

    A favorite watering hole for Tampa Bay's craft beer enthusiasts, Peg's also offers a variety of specialty pizzas and healthy Mexican options...Read More

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