Dining in Tampa
While on vacation, finding an excellent restaurant in Tampa Florida will never be a problem. While Florida is famous for its fresh seafood, visitors who aren't interested in fish will still find plenty to satisfy them, as the diverse selection of Tampa restaurants provides menus ranging from Asian-infused cuisine to down-home Southern barbecue. Throughout the city there are options to fit every budget, from family-style buffets and casual atmospheres to upscale and fine dining experiences.
There are many flavors to the food in Tampa, and one type of cuisine that has particularly influenced the area is Spanish food. Visitors to Ybor City can try authentic dishes at the award-winning Columbia Restaurant, one of the best Tampa restaurants. Open daily for lunch and dinner, The Columbia is family-owned and has been in business at its present location since 1905. Visitors can also enjoy the show that the Flamenco dancing troupe puts on Monday through Saturday, but keep in mind that reservations are required.
Travelers with kids will be happy to find plenty of options for family-friendly dining. A good family-style restaurant in Tampa Florida is CiCi's Pizza, which has five locations throughout the city. The pizzas are made fresh with a variety of toppings, and there is also an all-you-can-eat buffet that has salads, pasta, and desserts. Another outstanding buffet is found at the Fresh Harvest restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino. The buffet is supplied by seven kitchens and has an abundance of food—steaks, pork, crab legs, fish, oysters on the half shell, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, dim sum, sushi, pasta, soups, fresh bread, and desserts. The casino is also home to the Council Oak restaurant, which serves dinner only and specializes in prime-cut steaks and fresh seafood.
Tampa restaurants with a view of the water are popular because of the beautiful sunsets and atmosphere around the bay. Several are located along the Courtney Campbell Causeway including the Rusty Pelican, Landry's Seafood, and Armani's and Oystercatcher's at the Hyatt. Each serves excellent seafood, steak, and Italian cuisine and are considered among the best restaurants in Tampa. Along Bayshore Boulevard's waterfront, another family-owned Tampa dining icon, established in 1935, is open daily for lunch and dinner. The Colonnade Restaurant, famous for its fresh seafood dishes, is located across the street from the bay.
At Channelside, near downtown, another option for enjoying unique Tampa dining is to make a reservation for a four-star lunch, Sunday brunch, or dinner on the Yacht Starship Dining Cruise. Relax and cruise the bay while enjoying the sights during the day cruises and dance under the stars or relax with a glass of wine on the night cruise. A dinner cruise can be a lovely way to spend the evening if you're interested in the Tampa nightlife and or are looking for a romantic honeymoon activity.
Four well-established restaurants in Tampa that specialize in steaks and exceptional wine are Bern's Steak House in south Tampa, Iavarone's Steakhouse & Italian Grill in Carrollwood, and Ruth's Chris Steak House located on north Westshore Boulevard and nearby Charley's Steak House on west Cypress Street both within close proximity to International Plaza and Westshore Mall. Each restaurant is open daily.
Along with Spanish food, seafood, and steak, Asian cuisine plays a significant role in Tampa dining, and two outstanding restaurants located in north Tampa are Arigato Japanese Steak House and Sukho Thai Restaurant. Both are open daily and serve authentic Asian cuisine, which provides a nice opportunity to vary the types of food you eat during your Tampa Bay vacation.
One restaurant in Tampa Florida that is among the finest options for barbecue is Jimbo's, located on Kennedy Boulevard near West Shore Plaza. For more than 30 years, this family-owned restaurant has been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to its patrons, and trying tasty Southern barbecue should be on the list of things to do for any traveler to the area. When it comes to choices in dining, Tampa's large restaurant community will satisfy any palette.