Tampa is famous for its winning sports teams and proximity to beaches, but it also boasts an excellent dining scene. But check the best places to eat in Tampa if you are a foodie. Around the city’s redeveloped areas, several of the most delicious new eateries have opened. You can also discover some inside the market or along the lively riverwalk. Tampa lets you enjoy its unique nightlife while savoring the best food. Thus, there’s plenty of flavor here, from sweet and smokey BBQ to genuine Cuban cuisine.

Best Places to Eat in Tampa

This article explores some exceptional restaurants to check out. These are the best places to eat in Tampa.

1. Outdoor Dining at Ulele

Ulele, which sounds like you-lay-lee, reflects the colorful mix of ingredients from the oceans and terrain in Florida. It includes the portraits of the fabled young princess Ulele. As you travel long from Myers to Tampa, many tourists prefer this. It is on the Hillsborough River in Tampa Heights.

Ulele Tampa
Ulele Tampa

Further, you can enjoy dining along the waterfront, both inside and outside, every day for lunch and dinner. It features food cooked on the 10′ circular barbacoa grill that is visually stunning and richly delicious. However, tourists cannot wear sleeveless shirts in indoor dining areas.

2. Regional Cuisine at Sunda New Asian

Featuring Southeast Asian regional food, Sunda New Asian is a restaurant at the forefront of Tampa. Tasty foods are served and shared in this cafe. A full sushi bar has various choices for nigiri, sashimi, and sushi. Through a seamless fusion of culinary methods and flavors, it lets tourists select their dining experience.

Apart from all this, it offers a diverse Asian menu that caters to a wide range of budgets and cultures. In addition, it provides a selection of Asian beers, a variety of premium sakes, and champagnes. You can buy sparkling, white, or red wines to accompany the food. After a full meal, you are ready to advance from Tampa to Clearwater.

3. Prime Taste at Columbia Restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant is one of the oldest eateries. It was established in the 1900s in Ybor City. Serving as a family-run restaurant for 119 years, it is well-known for its outstanding Spanish and Cuban food and drink list. With its classic appeal, it serves lunch and dinner every day.

Columbia Restaurant
Columbia Restaurant

Moreover, the restaurant is open throughout the year, covering all holidays. Take in the Flamenco Fire Dance Shows. There is a $10 cover charge per person for attendees over twelve. Dinner reservations are available during the 7 p.m. hour, except Sundays. So, both the shows and meals require bookings. To find out if tickets are available, contact the cafe.

4. Small Plates at Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar’s latest outlet is a thrilling addition to Tampa’s thriving culinary landscape in the center of Soho and Hyde Park. This vibrant, social setting of casual elegance features Bulla’s inventive cocktails and modern twist on Spanish snacks. The trendy rooftop bar offers a customized menu, handcrafted cocktails, and panoramic views of lively Downtown Tampa.

In addition, an oven grill in the kitchen enhances its inventive menu of Spanish delights with unique aromas and textures. You can have dinner, breakfast, or lunch with your family. This cafe is an excellent choice for any tourist group because of its lively setting and variety of food options.

5. Enjoy at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

The perfect wine combo is available here. You can find Napa-style tasting rooms and contemporary casual eating. It lets you savor cutting-edge American food prepared from scratch with inspiration from across the world. It is one of the best places to eat in Tampa. The wine range skillfully matches each dish for the ideal meal and wine pairing.

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Likewise, enjoy a menu explicitly curated with five new appetizers. Plus, get an exclusive sip from the wine blending sessions. While it is usually preferred to make dates for dining, walk-in visitors are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Besides, there are vegetarian and gluten-free options.

6. American Food at Rome + Fig

Located in the center of North Hyde Park, this restaurant celebrates the art of personal ties and provides distinctive dining experiences. This cafe takes great pride in being chef-led, bringing over two decades of industry experience and service to every dish inspired worldwide. Likewise, the crew is excited to have you visit and will greet you in a friendly manner.

Further, you’ll enjoy upscale classics with modern flair while dining with the people you care about most. You can casually share your experiences of the close view of the open kitchen and the coastal chic decor. Thus, this cafe is intended to become your new home away from home.

7. Have BBQ at Kona Grill

The Westshore Business District is home to Kona Grill, a classic American eatery known for its delicious seafood and steak. Any grill here offers an incredible selection of sushi and margaritas. You can enjoy modern American classics’ specialty and worldwide cuisine in a refined yet relaxed setting.

BBQ at Kona Grill
BBQ at Kona Grill

Further, the cafe serves a variety of freshly made grill foods, seasonal menu items, and customer favorites. Driven by a passion for fine food and outstanding service, it offers indoor and outdoor patio dining at all its locations. Thus, it serves $3-9 happy hour on weekdays and a new weekend brunch.

8. Book a Special Dinner at Lilac

Lilac is owned by John Fraser, a native and Michelin-starred culinary master. This cafe is the sole eatery to offer a 4-course prix fixe menu highlighting the unique Mediterranean culinary ways seen through the prism of the state’s coastal produce. The dining area is open for supper Tuesday through Saturday.

Moreover, it is centered on an eight-seat chef’s bar with a bustling open kitchen. The walnut floors and the warm glow from the hanging globes create a fast, friendly space. Lilac is inspired by its Greek ancestry and love of Turkish food. Hence, It has a well-balanced menu with a vast list of fresh, in-season, and locally sourced ingredients.

9. Unique Dishes at Melting Pot Social

Indulge in the communal dining experience and carefully chosen appetizers. Share laughter, pictures, and dips with the people you love the most. The restaurant offers delicious chocolate and cheese fondues, flatbreads, burgers, and more. Use the select sheet menu to create your fondue creations.

Melting Pot Social
Melting Pot Social

You can even let the talented chefs suggest dishes that will please you. As you choose your journey, savor expertly matched snacks and beverages. This cafe provides innovative dip options. So, it inventively presents meals in pots, mainly in a setting.

10. Mexican Food at Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar

This eatery serves a wide variety of real Mexican food in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. You can sense the taste and joy from Mexico to life as soon as you enter the door. The meals reflect the freshest, genuine Mexican flavors and ingredients.

In addition, savor homemade drinks and specialty tacos served at the table. Every day of the week, whether for dinner or takeout, something special awaits you from lunch. Remember to stop by for the renowned weekend Brunch and weekday deals.


There are tons of best places to eat in Tampa, but what about toward the end of the month when the budget is tight? Nothing matters as you can even cover everything on a small budget. To access the large, distinct cafe, you must go earlier. But the dessert of these eateries is what counts. Likewise, the ice cream with nuts and pie is as good as it sounds. Remember to reserve your table in advance and enjoy the views.

FAQs on Best Places to Eat in Tampa

Do the restaurants require initial bookings to enjoy the delights?

A diner booking system is helpful because it allows tourists to control their menu selections. Some of the best places to eat in Tampa require table reservations. This way, customers can review dates that are convenient for them. Remember that many cafes in Tampa do not refund last-minute cancellations.

What days are diners usually the busiest in Tampa?

Christmas and other special events are the busiest dining times during the spring and summer. On Fridays, the cafes are usually crowded. The warm weather motivates people to dine out. Although the busy season is ideal for cafes to make a profit, it also presents obstacles.

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