CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bays neighborhoods. This week, were giving you a guide to dining and drinking in Ybor City.
ACROPOLIS GREEK TAVERNA 1833 E. 7th Ave., 813-242-4545, acropolistaverna.com. Tampa's Greek mini-chain serves big salads and hearty entrees in a chic dining room, loft and sidewalk space, including belly dancing and hookah.
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.
BEAUNE'S WINE BAR 2009 N 22nd St., 813-241-8587, westpalmwines.com. Attached to West Palm Wines, Beaunes combines an astounding selection of interesting wines with creative, modern American cuisine. Beaune's lunch is a bargain, considering the quality of the food.
BERNINI 1702 E 7th Ave., 813-248-0099, berniniofybor.com. Updated but familiar Italian dishes in a lively dining room complete with a long, popular bar that runs the length of the first floor.
THE BONEYARD 1823 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-6224. Drinks, basic bar food and a wonderland of Christmas lights. Really.
THE BRICKS OF YBOR 1327 E. 7th Ave., 813-247-1785, thebricksybor.com. A great addition to the neighborhood, a bit of East Village in East Ybor, serving coffee, beer, cocktails and a menu that's a mix of deliciously oddball features like a peanut butter bar and a sandwich named Bird and Pig (chicken, bacon, apples, brie).
BUDDHA LOUNGE 1430 E. Seventh Ave., 813-242-0400, buddhaloungetampa.com. Don't let the posh interior — complete with a sushi bar and cushy banquette seating running the length of one wall — fool you. Buddha's menu features slightly fancy, Americanized pan-Asian dishes that all clock in under $10.
CARMINE'S SEVENTH AVENUE 1802 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-3834. A classic Ybor spot for iconic Cuban cuisine, Carmine's is a place to go for Cuban sandwiches and devil crab with Ybor power players.
CEPHAS WEST INDIAN 1701 E. 4th Ave., 813-247-9022. Cephas offers curried goat and jerk chicken along with his trademark aloe shakes/health advice at this colorful Caribbean restaurant.
COLUMBIA RESTAURANT 2117 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-4961, columbiarestaurant.com. What more can be said about a restaurant that has been the backbone of Ybor for over 100 years?
EL PUERTO ARGENTINIAN GRILL 1623 E. 5th Ave., 813-248-8222. Filling portions of South American classics, like tostones, deep-fried chicharrones and plenty of beef served alongside bright chimichurri sauce.
ELMER'S SPORTS CAFE 2003 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-5855. Divey sports bar with the usual sandwiches and fried bar snacks.
EL MOLINO GOURMET COFFEE SHOP 2012 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-2521, elmolinocoffee.com. The aroma of roasting coffee beans (from parent company Naviera Coffee Mills) lures you in. The Best of the Bay-winning cafe con leche and cozy atmosphere makes you want to stay.
FRESH MOUTH 1600 E. 8th Ave., Centro Ybor, 813-241-8845, freshmouthfl.com. Big, diner-style burgers, serious malts and shake, and big portions of fresh french fries in the center of Centro.
FUMA BELLA 1318 E. 8th Ave., 813-248-6130. A tiny, convivial bar across from New World where you can't help but get up-close and personal with your fellow imbibers.
GASPAR'S GROTTO 1805 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-5900, gasparsgrotto.com. Tampa's "only pirate bar and restaurant" has upped its food game in recent years, now with a weekend brunch to accompany a Caribbean and Cuban menu that's loaded with modern takes on classic dishes.
GREEN IGUANA 1708 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-9555, greeniguana.com. Green Iguana's massive menu includes just about everything, with a focus on bar food standards and Floribbean fare (and great burgers — try the Mean Green Florentine). For more info, see the listings for "Dance Clubs & Live Music."
HAMBURGER MARY'S BAR & GRILLE CENTRO YBOR 1600 E. 7th Ave., 813-241-6279, hamburgermarystampa.com. This flamboyant restaurant serves up big burgers, blue plate dinners and sandwiches — with a side of classic musicals on the TVs and performances by some of the city's most fabulous drag artistes on its diminutive stage.
JAMES JOYCE IRISH PUB 1704 1/2 7th Ave., 813-247-1896, jjirishpub.com. Follow your stream of consciousness up the stairs to this second-floor pub named for a literary legend. James Joyce features an excellent beer selection to keep the drinkers staggering in off 7th Avenue entertained, as well as college-appealing games, like Guitar Hero play-offs and beer pong.
JOFFREY'S COFFEE CENTRO YBOR 1600 E. 8th Ave., 813-247-4600, joffreysybor.com. Sandwiches at breakfast and lunch served on Cuban bread, along with a wide range of caffeinated beverages and good homemade brownies.
KING CORONA CIGAR CAFE 1523 E. 7th Ave., 813-241-9109, kingcoronacigars.com. Have the Ybor experience in full: a cigar, Cuban toast and Cuban coffee inside the dark and cool speakeasy interior or outside in the sidewalk seating. Read La Gaceta, buy a traditional Guayabera (Cuban dress shirt), nosh on a house-made sandwich (from Cuban to mojo pork to turkey, bacon and Gouda, you can't go wrong), and — whether you're generally a smoker or not — indulge in a hand-rolled cigar.
LA CREPERIA CAFE 1729 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-9700, lacreperiacafe.com. Plenty of crepes stuffed with savory ham and cheese or sweet Nutella and berries, along with a few French bistro sandwiches, Italian panini and pasta.
LA SEGUNDA CENTRAL BAKERY 2512 N. 15th St., 813-248-1531. If you want the best Cuban sandwich, you have to go the source — the bakery whose crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside bread is the first choice for restaurants in the Cuban sammie business. Get one here where the bread's made fresh, though, and you may never go anywhere else. (The guava turnovers are pretty awesome, too.)
LA TERRAZZA 1727 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-1326, laterrazzayborcity.com. Classic Italian cuisine in an unpretentiously classy place, La Terrazza serves a full line-up of pasta, pesce and, uh, pollo.
LA TROPICANA CAFE 1822 E. 7th Ave., 813-247-4040. In the mornings, La Tropicana is full of the wide range of folks who call Ybor home, noshing Cuban toast and omelets and downing cups of sweet Cuban coffee.
LAUGHING CAT 1820 N. 15th St., 813-241-2998, thelaughingcat.com. Although this restaurant has a tasty Italian menu, many people seek it out for the vast lunch buffet.
MARKET ON 7TH 1816 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-2356. A comfortable bar in an old-Ybor building that also happens to have some of the best pizza in the area.
MEMA'S ALASKAN TACOS 1724 E. 8th Ave., 813-242-8226, memasalaskantacos.com. Open late and extremely popular, Mema's serves tacos Alaskan-style — filled with meat and then deep-fried — along with a host of salads and other snacks.
MICHELLE FAEDO'S SANDWICH SHOP 3609 N. 15th St., 813-247-3020, devilcrab.com. Some say that Michelle Faedo's has the best Cuban sandwich in Ybor. Others rave about the soup. The best recommendation for this Cuban joint, however, are the cops and firemen that eat here regularly.
NEW WORLD BREWERY 1313 E. 8th Ave., 813-248-4969, aestheticized.com. It's best-known for live music, but its best-kept secret is the high quality of the food, including thin-crust pizza and Wednesday-night barbecues — all way better than your average bar fare.
NEW YORK NEW YORK PIZZA BAR & GRILL 1512 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-1845, newyorknewyorkpizzeria.com. Ybor's most popular streetside pizza vendor, NYNY also has the usual range of pizzeria favorites — like pasta and sandwiches — served in its dining room.
RESERVOIR BAR 1518 E. 7th Ave., 813-248-1442, resbar.com. Pool tables, dartboards, a jukebox and drink specials daily at this hole-in-the-wall dive bar known for serving flaming drinks, more than 50 types of beer (some offered in mason jars) and $4 Jager shots — plus the inimitable Mama behind the bar.
ROCK-N-SPORTS BAR & GRILL CENTRO YBOR 1600 E. 8th Ave., 813-242-6220, rocknsportsbar.com. A big menu of bar food along with a smattering of Cajun specialties overlooking Centro Ybor from the second floor — if you can tear your eyes from the games featured on the dozens of televisions.
ROMA PIZZA 1724 E. 7th Ave., 813-241-2240. Big, NY-style thin crust pizza along with equally massive sandwiches and homemade potato chips.
SAMURAI BLUE CENTRO YBOR 1600 E. 8th Ave., 813-242-6688, samuraiblue.com. This Centro restaurant is a favorite spot for first dates, thanks to the mix of modern design with historic Ybor brick, and sushi and cocktails that also straddle the line between classic and updated.
SHRIMP & CO. 2202 E. 7th Ave., 813-374-0192, shrimpandco.com. A cozy and casual restaurant that serves Cajun and Creole standards, Shrimp and Co. has the best blackened fish in Tampa.
SPAGHETTI WAREHOUSE 1911 N. 13th St., 813-248-1720, meatballs.com. A national chain that specializes in gigantic portions of straightforward Italian-American cuisine. Pasta dishes can be measured in pounds here.
STREETCAR CHARLIE'S BAR & GRILLE 1811 N. 15th St., 813-248-1444, streetcarcharlies.com. Great bar food plus an ample menu of more serious items, often with a New Orleans flair, and a dining room with big windows perfect for people-watching.
SULA'S 1605 E. 7th Ave., 813-241-9526.Casual lunch spot with friendly counter service and carefully made Cubans.
TAMPA BAY BREWING COMPANY CENTRO YBOR 1600 E. 8th Ave., 813-247-1422, tampabaybrewingcompany.com. Drink the beer brewed on-site and eat pub food that is often made with the same stuff that's in your glass.
TEA ROSE COTTAGE 1901 N. 19th St., 813-248-2040, teasrosecottageybor.com. Tucked into a bungalow decorated with more lace and linen than you can shake a sugar cube at, Tea Rose serves scones and finger sandwiches on delicate china.
TONY'S YBOR 2001 N. 22nd St., 813-247-7283, tonysyborrestaurant.com. Chicken parm and other Italian-American favorites are served at this 75-year-old restaurant.
TRE AMICI @ THE BUNKER 1907 N. 19th St., 813-247-6964, yborbunker.com. The building was constructed in the mid-1920s, moved to its current location and restored into a classy and modern cafe, complete with coffee drinks, wine, beer and a small menu of essential breakfast fare and sandwiches.
T N T'S SOUTHERN SPICE 2802 N 16th St., Tampa, 813-247-2540. Enormous portions of inexpensive — but damn tasty — soul food standards like pork chops and mac and cheese.