We put it to you, the readers, to help us fill out our list of Tampa Bays Top 50 Restaurants, and you spoke. Repeatedly.
Through the six days of voting, many people left heartfelt recommendations in support of their favorite spots, with restaurants ranging from Sarasota to Tarpon Springs. Some were neighborhood haunts, while the big names like Berns or Pelagia Trattoria received a few nods from the faithful. But in the end, only five restaurants could ascend to the list.
In first place — thanks to an obvious, perfectly legal, incredibly effective ballot-stuffing campaign — is Pacis Pizza of Tampa. There were some negative comments about the profusion of Pacis votes, but theres no denying the volume.
Second is new (and old) cuban sandwich shop The Floridian, which recently expanded to Tampa from Treasure Island. Bin 27 in South Tampa mounted a final push to easily take the third spot, but the final two spots were much tighter. In a tie, with runner-up Green Springs Bistro a mere single vote behind, was Backfin Blue in Gulfport and Bamboozle Cafe in downtown Tampa.
The full list of Tampa Bays Top 50 Restaurants will appear this Wednesday at our Top 50 landing page, a full week before it hits the newstands. Why so early? We want your help, again.
Weve split the Top 50 into five categories, and need your votes to determine the best in each. Check back this Wednesday to support your favorite restaurants and propel them to victory. Voting will end Monday, June 15, at 3 p.m.
You eat, so you make the call.