Dining Guide: Cheap eats in Tampa Bay

COLUMBIA CAFE 801 Old Water St., Tampa, 813-229-5511; columbiarestaurant.com/cafe.asp. Another locale of the famous Columbia Restaurant, the cafe offers a limited menu of favorites from the Columbia's menu (including the famous “1905” Salad™"), all $8 or less.

DELCO’S ORIGINAL STEAKS AND HOAGIES 1737 Main St., Dunedin, 738-4700. Formerly La Spada’s, Delco serves traditional Philly cheesesteaks on Amoroso rolls shipped in from the homeland. Cheese Whiz anyone? --Brian Ries

GULF COAST PO' BOYS 312 West Bay Dr., Largo; 727-584-3800. A simple menu of Cajun and Creole favorites, including an array of fillings for your Po' Boy. Come hungry because the portions are huge.

IKEA RESTAURANT 1103 N 22nd St., Tampa; 813-434-4532; ikea.com. Where else can you get a plate of Swedish meatballs and two sides for $5 or a hot dog for 50 cents? Makes for a satisfying pre- or post-shopping meal.

KRISTINA'S CAFE 3590 34th St N., St. Pete; 727-526-6673. A 24-hour hot spot in St. Pete that's especially hopping after 2 a.m. Kristina's serves their entire menu all day and night. After a long night at the bars in Downtown St. Pete or even the morning after, you can get everything from French toast to chicken fried steak without spending a fortune.

LA TERESITA 3248 West Columbus Drive, Tampa; 813-879-9704. lateresitarestaurant.com. Is there a better place for people-watching than that winding counter? Is there a better time for people-watching than late night? Best of all, the food is cheap, arrives fast, and always comes with pressed Cuban bread. Open 24 hours on weekends. --Andy Huse

LA UNICA MICHOACANA 2800 N MacDill Ave., Tampa; 813-870-3513, lamichoacanatampabay.com. La Unica’s water-based ice cream is built on a foundation of fresh fruit, with a final flavor and texture much different than the sorbet you might find at the grocery store. Everything, from the large variety of individually wrapped popsicles piled in the freezers off to the side to the rich, cream-based frozen treats in the display cases, is made in-house. --Brian Ries

LENNY'S 21220 US 19 N., 727-799-0402. This Clearwater legend is one of the best places for breakfast in Tampa Bay. Serves up huge breakfasts and classic Jewish deli treats. Just try not to fight over the complimentary basket of danishes.

MARTHA’S PLACE 5202 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 239-1819. Simple breakfast food that will stick to your ribs, with a “Country Cookin’” vibe. --Brian Ries

PICKLES PLUS TOO 320 Cleveland Street, 727-447-0500, picklesplus.com. Offering deli foods and home-style cooking (at very reasonable prices) with patio seating and a beautiful view of the new boat slips and waterfront.

SAIGON DELI 3962 W Waters Ave., Tampa; 813-932-0300. You'll find some of the quick and tasty standards of the Vietnamese dinner table, including some damn fine pho, capable stir-fries, bun salads, and a plethora of pre-packaged puddings and desserts. No matter what they come in for, though, everyone leaves with at least one banh mi. At $2.99 each, they're hard to resist. --Brian Ries

SUB PORT GIANT NEW JERSEY SUBS 14932 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-962-5958. Meat sliced to order, giant subs on fresh bread and prices that can't be beat.

TACO BUS 913 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa; 813-232-5889, tampatacobus.com. A Tampa favorite that serves freshly prepared, authentic Mexican fare -- tacos, burritos, tamales, etc. -- for next to nothing. Do yourself a favor, skip Taco Hell and head over here instead. Now open 24 hours.

THREE COINS RESTAURANT 7410 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa 239-1256. Another Greek/American reasonably priced diner in Seminole Heights with some killer corned beef cooked in-house. Open 24 hours, seven days a week.

Have any suggestions for the list? Let us know!

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay’s neighborhoods. This week we’re giving you a guide to the spots in Tampa Bay that are best known for their tasty fare that also won't leave your wallet hurting.

AL'S FINGER LICKING GOOD BAR-B-QUE 1609 N. 18th (Angel Oliva Sr.) St., 813-956-0675. Big portions of serious barbecue and the usual sides in a casual atmosphere.

ANGIE'S CAFE 200 1st Ave N., St. Pete; 727-823-6437. Whether it's 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., Angie's is the spot in Downtown St. Pete to grab an inexpensive meal on the go. Their gyros, cheese steaks burgers aren't the healthiest fare, but hit the spot — especially after hitting the bars.

BLUE SEA FISH MARKET 7110 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 234-5085. This simple and inexpensive fish shack serves up broiled, fried and sauteed seafood ranging from Dungeness crab to Gulf grouper, all with sides of starch and veg. --Brian Ries

BROCATO'S SANDWICH SHOP 5021 E Columbus Dr., Tampa; 813-248-9977. If you don't mind the long lines that are due to Brocato's popularity, their large sandwiches are well worth the price. Be sure to also try the devil crabs they're famous for.

CABANA CAFE 833 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, 727-712-2233, cabanacafeandgifts.com. This quaint spot serves a small but eclectic menu of paninis, soups, and salads, as well as coffee, espresso drinks and tea. But the biggest selling point is the front and side porch seating from which one can watch the passerby. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

CALIFORNIA TACOS TO GO 1450 Skipper Rd., Tampa; 813-971-8226, californiatacostogo.com. Serving tacos, burritos and the like, but specializing in San Diego-style fish tacos and freshly made pork rinds.

Scroll to read more Food News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.