Top 20 Restaurants in Tampa Bay


Are you looking for the top affordable restaurants in Tampa Bay? Here’s a list of our top restaurants in Tampa Bay that aren’t major chains.

I lived in Tampa most of my life (1981-2014). I was born and raised in Tampa and have seen tons of restaurants come and go over the years. These are some of my favorite restaurants that I go to when I visit Tampa.

Tampa has tons of great food! Cuban food is the main attraction in Tampa, but there are also really good Mexican, BBQ and Italian restaurants.

Since we moved out of Tampa in 2014, I know there’s got to be great new places we haven’t tried.
If you can highly recommend some new places, leave a comment below and we will try to visit those restaurants during our next trip to Tampa.

We will also list our top 3 items for each restaurant that you must try!

Note: We haven’t been paid to list any of these restaurants. We want to share our personal favorite restaurants with you!

Interactive Google Map

Use the interactive map below to see the exact locations for each restaurant. Use the full-screen button to open the map in a new window. This is helpful while on a mobile device.

Top 20 Restaurants in Tampa Bay (this list is not in any particular order):

  1. Columbia Restaurant
  2. The Bricks
  3. La Teresita Restaurant
  4. Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill
  5. Datz
  6. Pho Quyen Vietnamese Cuisine
  7. Marina’s Pizza
  8. Nicki’s Omelette & Grill
  9. El Chuzo BBQ
  10. Hellas Restaurant and Bakery
  11. Hungry Harry’s Famous BBQ
  12. Capital Tacos
  13. GINO’s Restaurant & Bar
  14. Acropolis Greek Taverna
  15. Mr. Dunderbak’s Biergarten and Brewery
  16. Pete & Shorty’s Iowa Bistro
  17. Pancho’s Villa Mexican Restaurant
  18. Lolis Mexican Cravings
  19. Cafe Cibo
  20. Saffron Palace

#1 Columbia Restaurant

2117 E. 7th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605 | Menu

Photo Credit: Columbia

The Columbia in Ybor City is one of the most unique restaurants you will ever visit. The Columbia has been a staple to Tampa for over 110 years and counting. It’s a 5 generation owned and operated Cuban restaurant.  They have expanded to 7 locations throughout Florida, but the Ybor location is the original and the biggest. This is the most expensive restaurant on our list, but it’s so worth it! Just walking around the different themed rooms is an experience.

We highly recommend checking out the Flamenco show. It’s a great show that brings the culture and dance traditions of Spain to Ybor City as a complement to the internationally acclaimed Spanish cuisine of the Columbia Restaurant.

Fun Fact: We love Columbia so much that we had our wedding there! The image above is the exact room we rented out for our wedding.

Top 3 items:

  • 1905 Salad
  • Ropa Vieja
  • White Chocolate Bread Pudding

#2 The Bricks

1327 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605 | Menu

Photo Credit: The Bricks

The Bricks in Ybor is a fun place! It opened in 2010 and is themed and inspired by its predecessor Skatepark of Tampa. It’s much more than just a restaurant. They have a great bar and live entertainment. They often have themed events, such as video game nights and Emo night.

Top 3 items:

  • Bird & Pig Sammy
  • Supreme Grilled Cheese
  • Kung Fury Rice Bowl

#3 La Teresita

3246 W. Columbus Drive Tampa, Florida 33607 | Menu


La Teresita is an affordable Cuban restaurant with a rich history in Tampa. They offer great daily specials and it’s a very popular lunch place because it’s close to business complexes. I used to visit here often when I worked in Tampa.

Top 3 items:

  • Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak)
  • Arroz con Pollo (Yellow Rice & Chicken)
  • Picadillo (Ground Beef in Sauce)

#4 Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill

3035 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609 | Menu

Photo Credit: Google Images

Miguel’s Mexican restaurant has been around since the early ’90s, I always remember going here with my family after a major event like a graduation, so this place will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s in a great location and can get pretty busy for lunch and dinner. They have a great atmosphere inside and outside.

Top 3 items:


#5 Datz

2616 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629 | Menu

Datz Tampa
Photo Credit: Datz Website

Datz has been running since 2009. It’s a nice South Tampa restaurant that serves comfort food with a flair. Datz is an award-winning restaurant and has been featured on Good Morning America, Travel Channel, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and FYI. They also have a great selection of craft beers. This is a must visit if you’re in South Tampa.

Top 3 items:

  • Datchos
  • Barry C’s Stuffed Meatloaf
  • Porkfection

#6 Pho Quyen Vietnamese Cuisine

8404 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33615 | Menu

Pho-Quyen Tampa
Photo Credit: Pho Quyen Website

Pho Quyen is in my old hometown of Town ‘n’ Country. This exact location used to be a Ponderosa Steakhouse in the ’80s & ’90s. All of my brothers and sisters actually used to work there! When Pho Quyen opened in the 2000s my friend from work took me there for lunch and it instantly became one of our “regular lunch restaurants”. This was the first place I tried Pho and there’s nothing quite like a good bowl of Pho on a cold day!

Top 3 items:

  • Pho Rice Noodle Soups
  • Broken Rice- Com Tam
  • Rainbow Iced Drink

#7 Marina’s Pizza

12121 W Linebaugh Ave, Tampa, FL 33626 | Menu

Marinas-Pizza Westchase
Photo Credit: Yelp

Marina’s Pizza in Westchase is my favorite NYC slice in Tampa. As you might know, it’s hard to find a good slice of pizza in Florida. I’m a huge pizza junky and Marina’s is probably the closest thing I’ve found to a NYC slice in Florida.  I was lucky enough to live in the town-homes right behind Marina’s and would visit here almost weekly. I became a regular and I was okay with that!

Top 3 items:

  • NYC Cheese Pizza
  • Garlic Knots
  • Stromboli

#8 Nicki’s Omelette & Grill

6805 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33634 | Menu

Nicki-Omelette Tampa
Photo Credit: Yelp

Nicki’s Omelette is one of my favorite breakfast places! I do miss this place! They have great prices and large portions. This place can get very crowded on the weekends, so make sure to arrive early if you don’t want a big wait.

Top 3 items:

  • Signature Omelettes
  • Biscuit Debris
  • Nicki’s Benedict

#9 El Chuzo BBQ

7101 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33604 | Menu

El-Chuzo-BBQPhoto Credit: Facebook

El Chuzo BBQ is a very affordable place that is open very late on the weekends. Friday & Saturday nights they are open until 4:30 AM! Yes 4:30 AM! This is a great place to grab a late night meal after you’ve been out all night. They have a large menu selection with BBQ & Spanish dishes. We highly recommend checking it out!

Top 3 items:

  • De Pernil (Pulled Pork)
  • Pincho de Pollo (Chicken Kabob)
  • Perro (Bacon, Cheese Hot Dog)

#10 Hellas Restaurant and Bakery

785 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 | Menu

Hellas Tarpon Springs
Photo Credit: Yelp

If you’re near Tarpon Springs make sure to check out Hellas Restaurant and Bakery. Tarpon Springs has a very large Greek population with a rich history. Hellas has been in business since the ’70s. This is one of the biggest restaurants in the sponge docks area. They have a large menu of Greek food with an awesome bakery next door. Make sure to save room for dessert!

Top 3 items:

  • Saganaki (Opa! Cheese)
  • Hellas Gyro
  • Spanakopita

#11 Hungry Harry’s Famous Bar-B-Que

3116 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O Lakes, FL 34639 | Menu

 Hungry Harry's Famous Bar-B-Que
Photo Credit: Yelp

Hungry Harry’s is my favorite BBQ place in Florida! Living up north now it’s hard to find good BBQ and I often crave it. They have a great selection on the menu and offer tons of great options for larger parties. They even have family packs that save you some money.

Top 3 items:

  • Sampler Platter
  • Brisket Sandwich
  • Home Style Cobbler

#12 Capital Tacos

6765 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Land O Lakes, FL 34638 | Menu

Photo Credit: Facebook

I’m going on record to say Capital Tacos has my favorite selection of tacos anywhere! Barbara used to live really close to the Land O’Lakes locations and we would visit often. The best part is everything is homemade and made to order. They aren’t afraid of trying unique combinations and spices. I haven’t seen another taco place this creative anywhere.

You get to choose between taco, burrito, nachos, salad, and bowl when selecting your food. I love to mix it up every time I go there.

Top 3 items: 

  • The Austinite
  • 3 Little Piggies
  • Texas Flood

#13 GINO’s Restaurant & Bar

10006 Armenia Ave. North, Tampa, FL 33612 | Menu

Ginos Tampa
Photo Credit: Yelp

Gino’s is my top Italian restaurant in Tampa. I’ve been going there since the ’90s. It’s always been a challenge to find a good family-owned Italian restaurant in Tampa. Gino’s is a small place, so sometimes there will be a wait to be seated, but it’s definitely worth waiting for.

Top 3 items:

  • Eggplant Parmigiana
  • Baked Ziti
  • Jumbo Cheese Ravioli

#14 Acropolis Greek Taverna

14947 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33613 | Menu

Acropolis Tampa Bay
Photo Credit: Facebook

Acropolis is another great Greek restaurant that we highly recommend. They now have 6 locations throughout Tampa Bay. What makes this place different is the entertainment – belly dancing, plate breaking, napkin throwing, zorba dancing and live music.

Top 3 items: 

  • Gyro Platter
  • Makedonikos
  • Spanakopita

#15 Mr. Dunderbak’s Biergarten and Brewery

14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33613 | Menu

Photo Credit: Facebook

Dunderbrau Brewery is Tampa’s original home for the European & Craft Biergarten. They have been around for over 45 years. The food is their own unique twist on old Bavarian traditions. Their intention was never to be the typical “authentic” German restaurant. Rather, they strive to bring you flavors from Bavaria, changed a little and Americanized through the generations.

Top 3 items:

  • Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes)
  • Oktoberfest Sausage Platter
  • Der Reuben Sandwich

#16 Pete & Shorty’s Iowa Bistro

2820 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759 | Menu

pete-shortys Clearwater
Photo Credit: Facebook

Pete & Shorty’s in Clearwater has been around for over 15 years. I used to visit here often for lunch, they have great lunch deals. This is more of a laid back type of restaurant/pub. It’s a great place to watch a sporting event. Besides good food, they have a good selection of draft beers.

Top 3 items:

  • Shorty Burgers
  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
  • Shepherd’s Pie

#17 Pancho’s Villa Mexican Restaurant

32804 Pennsylvania Ave, San Antonio, FL 33576 | Menu

Photo Credit: Facebook

Pancho’s is my overall favorite Mexican restaurant anywhere! I used to live in Wesley Chapel and would visit here very often. I became a regular for a while and have brought tons of friends here. They all have said this place is their favorite Mexican restaurant also. I know this place is probably out of the way, but trust me it’s worth the trip! I’ve tried so many things on this menu and haven’t had a bad meal or service.

This place is very small and gets packed on the weekends. I’ve waited over an hour before, but like I said, worth it!

Top 3 items:

  • Chimichanga
  • Chile Rellenos
  • Deep Fried Ice Cream

#18 Lolis Mexican Cravings

8005 Benjamin Rd, Tampa, FL 33634 | Menu

lolis mexican Tampa
Photo Credit: Facebook

Another great Mexican restaurant has made my list! This is one of the newest places on my list. This location is down the street from my childhood home and I wish it was around back when lived there!  The best part about Lolis is they have homemade tacos, sopes, and tamales. I will make sure to visit here when I’m in my old neighborhood.

Top 3 items:

  • Carnitas Tacos
  • Shimp Sopes
  • Chile Relleno Tamales

#19 Cafe Cibo

8697 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702 | Menu

cafe-cibo St Pete
Photo Credit: Yelp

Cafe Cibo is a cozy Italian restaurant in St. Petersburg. The owner is very friendly and the service is fantastic. It’s a great place to go with family because the atmosphere is very relaxed. One of the best things on the menu is their bread. They make a dipping sauce that is out this world!

Top 3 items:

  • Crab Ragu
  • Baked Ziti w/ Eggplant
  • Chicken Piccatta

#20 Saffron Palace

10044 Cross Creek Blvd, Tampa, FL 33647 | Menu

Saffron New Tampa
Photo Credit: Saffron Website

I can’t forget to add one of our favorite Indian restaurants to the list. I used to visit here often and have always had a great meal.

Top 3 items:

  • Garlic Naan
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Seekh Kabab


No matter what type of food you are craving, Tampa Bay has you covered. Use our top 20 restaurants list to try some great food when you visit Tampa.

20 Best Restaurants in Tampa, Florida

top 20 restaurants tampa

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