Best Of 2017

Best Culinary Double Whammy

If Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz of Mise en Place hadn’t begun turning Tampa into a contemporary food town 30-plus years ago, Tampa would have had to invent them. They’re that important to the city’s culinary culture. In CL’s Meet the Chefs roundtables over the last few years, the chefs of many of the region’s best restaurants paid homage to the mentorship of Blitz, who’s still killing it in the kitchen with his masterful, innovative cooking. And Ferenc, his partner in the business (though no longer in life), has expanded her own sphere of influence, serving as current chair of Visit Florida and three two-year terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, advising the Secretary of Commerce and the President. She has led the way in uniting indie businesses and supporting organizations that feed the hungry. Meanwhile, the Mise en Place/Sono Cafe restaurant and catering empire just keeps growing, with a new concept scheduled to join their In Flight Wine Bar at the Tampa International Airport and another restaurant planned for Pass-a-Grille. —David Warner

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Best All-Around Restaurant
Todd Bates

  • Runner Up: Ulele
  • Runner Up: Datz
Best Bagels

  • Runner Up: Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Runner Up: Clearwater Bagels
Best Bakery (Bread)

  • Runner Up: La Segunda Central Bakery
  • Runner Up: Alessi Bakery
Best Bakery (Pastries)
Best Bakery (Pastries)

  • Runner Up: Alessi Bakery
  • Runner Up: Frida's Cafe & Bakery
Best Banh Mi
freshcrackedpepper via Wikimedia Commons

  • Runner Up: Bamboozle Cafe
  • Runner Up: Saigon Deli
Best Bar Crawl
Brew Bus

  • Runner Up: Bar Crawl Nation (St. Pete)
  • Runner Up: Tampa Noles Pub Crawl
Best Bar Food
Courtesy of Dunedin Brewery

  • Runner Up: Engine No. 9
  • Runner Up: Mermaid Tavern