The 24 Tampa Bay restaurants you need to try before you die

Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or a local, these are the spots you need to dine at before you die. A…

By CL Staff

Al’s Finger Lickin’ Good Bar-B-Cue  
    1609 Angel Oliva Sr St. Tampa, 813-956-0675 
    Lowbrow, but a local favorite for its Tennessee-style bbq plates. Don’t want to miss these flavors if you’re in the mood for pulled pork or the occasional turkey leg. 
    
    Photo via Al’s Finger Lickin’ Good Bar-B-Cue Columbia/Instagram
23 slides

The 25 best secret patios in Tampa Bay, and how to find them all

Tampa Bay has plenty of popular options for lounging outdoors with a cocktail or a bite, but we also have quite a…

By CL Staff

Mole y Abuela  
    1202 N. Franklin St, Tampa, 813-370-1000
    Mole Y Abuela is dedicated to providing the delectable Spanish-inspired dishes and stunning views from their rooftop patio.
    
    Photo via Mole y Abuela/Facebook
25 slides

Historic photos of Tampa's Columbia Spanish Restaurant, Florida's oldest eatery

They say it's a milestone when a restaurant makes it past its first year, but it's something entirely different when you've been…

By CL Staff

Couple standing in front of entrance to the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, published sometime before 1969
40 slides

The 25 most hard-to-get restaurant tables in Tampa Bay that are totally worth it

No matter the time of day, these restaurants attract mad crowds, and you'll want to be one of the people waiting for…

By CL Staff

Red Mesa Cantina  
    128 3rd St. S., St. Pete, 727-896-8226
    Always a brunch hotspot in DTSP, expect a wait if you don’t call ahead. Grab the fat brunch burritos along with one of their margaritas that you can get in a variety of tropical flavors.
    
     Photo via Red Mesa Cantina/ Instagram
25 slides

21 beach bars in Tampa Bay you should be drinking at this weekend

Tampa Bay has plenty of great beaches, but a seasoned beachgoer always picks a patch of sand close to a watering hole.…

By CL Staff

Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill  
    7 Rockaway St., Clearwater, 727-446-4844
    Sip on Frenchy’s famous She Crab soup with a beautiful sunset view in the heart of Clearwater.
    
    Photo via Frenchies/Facebook
21 slides

The 25 best tiny Tampa Bay restaurants you should’ve tried by now

Small in size but big in flavor, these tiny Tampa Bay restaurants know how to pack a punch in limited space. From…

By CL Staff

La Creperia Cafe  
    1729 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, 813-248-9700
    It’d be a crime to go and not order a crepe. Lucky for you, they offer an array of them - sweet, savory and breakfast. La Creperia also offers other french inspired dishes including la parisienne sandwiches, paninis and homemade soups.
    
    Photo via La Creperia Cafe Facebook
23 slides

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

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

Everyone we saw at Tampa's Hunahpu’s Day 2019

Thousands showed up Saturday to Cigar City Brewing’s Hunahpu’s Day at Raymond James Stadium. Here are all the beer fans we saw…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at Tampa's Hunahpu’s Day 2019
33 slides

Tampa's 25 most important hole-in-the-wall restaurants

These hole-in-the-wall Tampa haunts have some of the best eats in the city. Time to see how local you eat. From decadent…

By CL Staff

Cappy’s Pizzeria  
    4910 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-238-1516
    Feels like a set on Stranger Things, all retro decor and amazing pizza. CASH only!
    
    Photo via Cappy’s Pizzeria/Facebook
25 slides

20 woman-owned Tampa Bay restaurants you should've tried by now

These Tampa Bay restaurants range from cocktail bars serving elevated small plates to decadent pastries and floats, and they all have one…

By CL Staff

Ella’s Folk Art Cafe  
    Melissa Deming
    5119 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa
    Seminole Heights hotspot, make sure to download the OpenTable app to avoid a wait. 
    
    Photo via Ella’s Folk Art Cafe/Facebook
12 slides

12 craft beer breweries within walking distance of downtown St. Petersburg

Looking for a nice DIY brewery crawl in the Tampa Bay area? These St. Petersburg craft beer breweries are all in the…

By CL Staff

 Right Around The Corner
    2244 Central Ave.
    A nanobrewery inside a pub that specializes in free video games from every era? We’ll take it.
    Photo by Right Around The Corner via Facebook
12 slides

27 of the best Tampa Bay bars that are off the beaten path

Tampa Bay's downtowns and walkable urban neighborhoods have plenty of hip (and not-so-hip) watering holes. But sometimes you just want to get…

By CL Staff

Dead Bob’s
    6717 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
    A popular place for cheap drinks, music, sports-watching and food.
    Photo via Facebook/Dead Bob’s
26 slides

21 thrilling photos of this year's Florida State Fair foods

Florida State Fair foods are a notorious combination of outrageous and dreamy. Luckily for us, this year's bill of grub doesn't disappoint. Check…

By CL Staff

Cuban Pizza
    Pizza Emporium tops its Dijonnaise base with a mozzarella and Swiss blend — plus roast pork, ham and pickles — to present an oh-so-Tampa pie.
19 slides

Don't miss these Super Bowl parties planned all over Tampa Bay

The best part about football is the food, right? Check out our guide to Super Bowl parties planned for Sunday, Feb. 3,…

By CL Staff

Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen
    International Plaza, 2223 N. West Shore Blvd. #B-206, Tampa. 813-498-6200.
    Happy hour runs from open to close in honor of the big game. Expect dishes like organic oven-roasted chicken wings for under $12, plus $4 bottled beers, $6 brews on draft, $7 well drinks and $10 craft cocktails when the guys you’re rooting for score a touchdown.
    Photo via Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen
39 slides

11 of the best Tampa Bay cocktail events of 2019

There's no shortage of cocktail events in Tampa Bay. Keep track of the best ones that take place annually, as well as some…

By CL Staff

USBG Tampa Bay Repeal Day Conference
    When: December
    Tampa Bay’s chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild has turned what was once a small gathering into a multiday conference. However, the grand gala at the historic Cuban Club is really where it’s at for cocktail nerds, because you toast to the end of Prohibition while dressed the part.
    Photo via Kevin Tighe
11 slides

Here are all the photos from HighBall 2019 at St. Petersburg's Nova 535

Who makes the best cocktail in Tampa Bay? You decided at our 3rd annual craft cocktail competition, HighBall 2019! HighBall showcased 20 craft…

By CL Staff

Here are all the photos from HighBall 2019 at St. Petersburg's Nova 535
193 slides

20 delicious photos from Tampa's Sparkman Wharf

Wondering what the verdict is on Tampa's Sparkman Wharf? According to CL Food Critic Jon Palmer Claridge, the dining garden gets it…

By CL Staff

The Corners manager James Maldonado prepares a classic red Detroit-style pizza.
19 slides

26 new Tampa Bay restaurants and bars opening this spring

Compile all of the Tampa Bay restaurants and bars shooting for openings in spring and you've got one hefty list. (Click here…

By CL Staff

WEPA! Cocina de Puerto Rico
    2149 Third Ave. S., St. Petersburg. 727-420-7832.
    Mid-February is when this traditional Puerto Rican kitchen hopes to premiere. Anticipated dishes include mofongo and arroz con gandules.
    Photo via WEPA! Cocina de Puerto Rico
24 slides

Every Tampa Bay restaurant featured on the Food Network

Tampa Bay restaurants have welcomed the Food Network to their tables many times over throughout the years. (Especially the spiky-haired host of…

By CL Staff

Buya Ramen
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network)
    911 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-202-7010.
    Photo via Facebook
48 slides

21 alluring photos of St. Petersburg's Left Bank Bistro

St. Petersburg's Left Bank Bistro, inspired by 1920s Paris, is on course for smooth sailing. The sumptuous bouillabaisse worthy of Marseille —…

By CL Staff

French onion stout soup is pleasant with a nice cap of melted Gruyére and a toasted baguette crouton.
21 slides

17 photos of what to drink (and buy) before St. Petersburg's Miracle bar closes

St. Petersburg's Miracle bar — Miracle at Mezzo — has just a few more days before it closes in the EDGE District.…

By CL Staff

Photo via Melissa Hom
17 slides

25 splendid photos inside St. Petersburg smokehouse Dr. BBQ

St. Petersburg smokehouse Dr. BBQ is what happens when visionary restaurateurs Suzanne and Roger Perry get together with Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe to…

By CL Staff

The rustic, industrial restaurant is two stories high with a mezzanine and trophy case for some of Lampe's many awards.
25 slides

Here are the Tampa Bay restaurants open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Wondering which Tampa Bay restaurants are open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day — or both? Follow this guide to more than…

By CL Staff

The Queens Head
    2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
    The regular dinner menu mingles with traditional house-made ravioli, eggnog and peppermint cheesecake (um, yum). Reservations are appreciated.
    Photo via James Ostrand
36 slides

Here are all the photos from Brunched 2018 at St. Pete Shuffleboard Club

We celebrated out favorite meal of the day on Saturday, December 1st at St. Pete Shuffleboard Club! Attendees savored in a unique opportunity…

By CL Staff

Here are all the photos from Brunched 2018 at St. Pete Shuffleboard Club
108 slides

Get a sneak peek inside Tampa's Sparkman Wharf before its grand opening

In case you haven't heard, Tampa's Sparkman Wharf will formally debut to the public Friday, Nov. 30. CL explored the new Channel…

By CL Staff

Gallito puts its own modern spin on Mexican street food.
23 slides

20 delectable shots of 600 Block newbie Pacific Counter in St. Petersburg

CL Food Critic Jon Palmer Claridge's recent meal at Pacific Counter in St. Petersburg revealed a couple of things. For one, the…

By CL Staff

Tuna, avocado, edamame, greens, shredded nori, onion and sesame seeds make up this bowl with "poké classic sauce": The O.G.
20 slides

Here are all the photos from Whiskey Business 2018 at St. Pete's Nova 535

We followed our hearts and it led to whiskey! On Thursday, November 8th, we gathered the best whiskey, scotch, and bourbon offerings we…

By CL Staff

Here are all the photos from Whiskey Business 2018 at St. Pete's Nova 535
155 slides

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Tampa Bay with everything from dishes to drinks

Let someone else do the cooking (and bartending) on Thanksgiving. This seasonal guide steers Tampa Bay toward everything from Turkey Day dishes…

By CL Staff

4 Rivers Smokehouse
    Various locations, Tampa Bay.
    4 Rivers accepts holiday orders till Nov. 17. Turkeys, which can feed a family of 14 to 16, are brined, seasoned and slow hickory smoked; side dishes include Southern green beans and sweet potato casserole. The smokehouse’s seasonal sandwich, The Pilgrim, has also arrived for the month.
    Photo via 4 Rivers Smokehouse
59 slides

25 tempting photos of St. Petersburg restaurant The Peabody

Like the George Peabody Library in Baltimore, CL Food Critic Jon Palmer Claridge says downtown St. Pete's The Peabody is deserving of a…

By CL Staff

The George Peabody Library has inspired a splendid new restaurant on the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital campus — and it's deserving of a detour.
25 slides

Fenway Hotel's signature restaurant, HEW, starts remaking history in Dunedin

Last week, the revamped Fenway Hotel made its return during a private ribbon-cutting ceremony. The boutique property — originally opened in the…

Inside the sleek dining room of HEW Parlor & Chophouse.
6 slides

25 tasty photos of St. Petersburg's Hideaway Pizza Pub

St. Petersburg's Hideaway Pizza Pub is full of refreshing drinks and simple comfort food. CL Restaurant Critic Jon Palmer Claridge enjoyed the…

By CL Staff

Kitchen manager Jonathan Bunsfield presents the margherita pizza.
25 slides