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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Datz Tampa

    $$ | SoHo | Eclectic

    Fans of a hearty meal will not be slighted here; the eclectic menu is mostly massive sandwiches and hefty plates (and printed on tabloid paper...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Shore

    $$ | American

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

  • 9. 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

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