Best Of 2016

Best new Japanese import: IZAKAYAS

Best new Japanese import

This year, the region welcomed a new dining trend on both sides of the bay: casual Japanese gastropubs, better known as izakayas. First came American-inspired Japanese comfort food from Noble Rice in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood, then ramen-driven Buya in St. Petersburg’s EDGE District. Both serve a lineup of adult beverages and soul-warming items like steamed buns, ramen and yakitori in swanky settings. All this food editor has to say is, thank you! —Meaghan Habuda