Best Of 2017

Best Hotel Bar That Isn't: Hotel Bar

Best Hotel Bar That Isn't

No, Hotel Bar isn’t in fact a hotel bar. It’s something more ingenious: A bar featuring cocktails associated with famous hotel bars. If there are better places to taste a Sazerac or an Old Fashioned (like, say, Roux or Anise), the emphasis on classic quaffs is nevertheless commendable — not to mention trendy. Plus, the bread is the best in town (Jamison B. Breadhouse Bakes) and there’s a limited-but-well-curated bar menu, including a transcendent avocado and fava bean bruschetta and a delicious pork and mushroom risotto. Add personable servers, bar staff and a convenient location and it's no wonder this has become a go-to after-work spot — attracting on one spring evening an eclectic crowd of business folks, A-gays, hipster beards and fancy blondes in evening gowns. All told, Hotel Bar is another factor making downtown Tampa into a downtown you actually want to spend time in. —David Warner