Hot Spots to Eat in Tampa, Florida

Hot Spots to Eat in Tampa, Florida

Tampa is known not only for its beautiful beaches and rich history but also for its booming culinary scene. This city, brimming with culture and charm, offers an array of dining options that are as diverse as its population. From fresh seafood from the Gulf to authentic Cuban sandwiches that pay homage to the city’s historic Ybor City, Tampa’s food scene is a paradise for foodies. Here’s your guide to some of the hottest spots to eat in Tampa, where local flavors meet innovative cuisine in a dynamic setting.

Bern's Steak House

A legendary establishment in South Tampa, Bern's Steak House offers more than just a meal; it provides an experience. Known for its opulent décor, extensive wine collection, and impeccable service, Bern's serves some of the best dry-aged steaks in the area. After enjoying a perfectly cooked steak, diners are invited to tour the kitchen and wine cellar and cap off the evening in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room, where over 50 desserts await, accompanied by an impressive selection of dessert wines and spirits.


Located on Tampa’s Riverwalk, Ulele celebrates the indigenous cuisine of the Tampa Bay region, incorporating ingredients from local waters and farms into its dishes and brewing practices. Named after a native princess, the restaurant offers a menu reflecting the area's history and culture, featuring alligator hush puppies, charbroiled oysters, and the popular Ulele burger. The on-site brewery produces native-inspired beers that perfectly complement the restaurant's unique dishes.

Edison: Food+Drink Lab

At Edison: Food+Drink Lab, Chef Jeannie Pierola, a four-time James Beard Best Chef South nominee, offers a menu that's as innovative as it is delicious. Located on Kennedy Boulevard, this eatery treats food as an experiment, blending science and art to create new culinary experiences. Popular dishes include pork belly tacos, Korean fried chicken, and the house-made Edison pasta. The ever-changing menu ensures every visit is a unique, mouth-watering adventure.

Rooster & the Till

In the heart of Seminole Heights, Rooster & the Till is a small but mighty restaurant that has quickly become a local favorite, thanks to its modern American cuisine and commitment to quality. Chefs Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez focus on locally sourced ingredients to create a menu that changes with the seasons. The intimate setting and innovative dishes, such as the beef tartare and rabbit pappardelle, make it a must-visit for those looking to explore Tampa's contemporary culinary scene.


Nestled in the Grand Hyatt on the shore of Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers specializes in fresh seafood with a stunning view. Its secluded location allows for a tranquil dining experience, where you can enjoy specialties like the blackened grouper sandwich, lobster mac 'n' cheese, or the chef’s selection of wild oysters. The outdoor patio, with its panoramic views of the bay, is particularly popular for sunset dinners.

Craft Tampa

Craft Tampa is an innovative fine dining and cocktail cruise experience that operates along the scenic Hillsborough River. This venture by Yacht Starship Dining Cruises offers a unique and luxurious dining experience aboard a European-style river cruise ship, which can accommodate up to 150 guests. The Craft is designed to navigate the low bridges of the river with its modest air draft, reminiscent of river cruises found in Europe.

The ship itself is a 130-foot vessel providing a sophisticated setting for its guests. It includes an open kitchen that features a gas grill and stove where Executive Chef Allison Beasman, a Tampa native, prepares the menu. This includes a variety of fine dining options, from brunch to dinner, complemented by craft cocktails from the Bow & Stern Bar, which is intriguingly built from a 1914 vintage wooden cruiser.

Onboard, diners can choose from three distinct dining settings: indoors, outdoors, or at the bar, each offering a different ambiance and view of the Tampa skyline and riverfront. Craft Tampa’s cruises start at $79.95 for brunch or lunch and $159.95 for dinner, providing an array of options to enjoy gourmet meals and stunning views.

Armature Works

Housing multiple eating establishments, Armature Works is a fully restored mixed-use building that boasts an upscale public market, restaurant spaces, and bars. This foodie heaven located in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood offers a range of culinary options, from fine dining to casual eats. Whether you’re in the mood for Neapolitan pizza at Ava, southern comfort food at Steelbach, or Asian-inspired dishes at Zukku Sushi, Armature Works has something to satisfy every palate.

Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime is a luxurious dining destination located in the bustling Westshore District of Tampa, known for its exceptional seafood and prime cuts of steak. As a creation of renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, Ocean Prime stands out for its commitment to delivering an extraordinary dining experience. The restaurant's elegant, sophisticated ambiance is matched by its menu, which features high-quality ingredients and artistic presentations.

Ocean Prime’s menu is a blend of the finest steaks, fresh seafood, and handcrafted cocktails. The restaurant prides itself on its selection of classic dishes with a contemporary twist, such as the Berries & Bubbles cocktail, made with dry ice for dramatic effect, or the signature smoked salmon served on a cedar plank.

The restaurant's vibrant energy and refined setting make it a popular spot for both special occasions and business meetings. Its terrace, which offers outdoor seating, provides an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a peaceful evening enjoying the warm Tampa breeze.

Tampa's culinary scene is as vibrant and diverse as its history and culture. These hot spots provide nourishment and an immersive experience in the world of high-quality, innovatively prepared cuisine. Each restaurant tells a story, a plate at a time, and invites locals and visitors to partake in a journey of taste that can only be found in Tampa. Whether you're looking for a gourmet meal or a casual bite, Tampa's dining destinations offer an array of choices that promise to enhance your culinary adventure in this dynamic city.


Rocca serves up contemporary Italian cuisine that's as delicious as it is refined. Known for its attentive service and inviting atmosphere, Rocca offers a menu filled with classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. From hearty pasta dishes to fresh seafood options, there's something for every palate. Whether you're looking for a cozy dinner or a gathering with friends, Rocca Restaurant delivers a memorable dining experience with its flavorful fare and welcoming ambiance.

The Pearl

The Pearl stands as a beacon of culinary delight, blending the charm of a tavern with the elegance of an oyster room. Boasting a diverse menu crafted by skilled chefs, patrons can indulge in made-from-scratch entrees and shareable plates. The highlight? Seasonal oysters, tantalizing taste buds with their freshness and flavor. Complementing this gastronomic journey are handcrafted cocktails, a thoughtfully curated wine list, and a rotating selection of ales, lagers, and stouts. Whether seeking a casual evening out or a special occasion, The Pearl promises an unforgettable dining experience, where every dish and drink is meticulously prepared to delight.

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