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. Casa Tina

    $$

    At this colorful Dunedin institution, vegetarians can veg out on roasted chiles rellenos (cheese-stuffed peppers), enchiladas with vegetables, and a cactus salad that won't prick...Read More

  • 2. The Columbia Restaurant

    $$$ | Ybor City

    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

  • 3. Ulele

    $$$

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

  • 4. Birch & Vine

    $$$ | Downtown

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

  • 5. Boca

    $$$

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

  • 6. Frenchy's Rockaway Grill

    $$

    Quebec native Mike "Frenchy" Preston runs four eateries in the area, including the fabulous Rockaway Grill. Visitors and locals alike keep coming back for the...Read More

  • 7. Jotoro

    $$

    This fun, friendly and flavorful Mexican eatery from Michelin-star chef Joe Isidori is the latest full-service restaurant to join a stellar line-up at Channelside’s Sparkman...Read More

  • 8. Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar

    $$

    Long heralded as one of the best spots for watching sunsets, this place also gets high marks for its fresh seafood offerings. The grouper cheeks...Read More

  • 9. Shore

    $$$

    If you're a sucker for midcentury modern flair, the aesthetic alone at this partially open-air St. Armand's Circle spot is a draw. But the menu...Read More

  • 10. Stillwaters Tavern

    $$$ | Downtown

    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 for everyone. Their take...Read More

  • 11. Yoder's

    $

    Lines for meals stretch well beyond the hostess podium here. Pies—Key lime, egg custard, banana cream, peanut butter, strawberry rhubarb, and others—are the main event...Read More

  • 12. Locale Market

    $$ | Downtown

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

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