20 Tampa Bay bars and restaurants competing at Margarita Wars 2023 (4/7)

The area's best bars and restaurants are battling it out for the title of Tampa Bay's Ultimate Margarita on Friday, April 7th,…

By CL Staff

American Social
20 slides

Tampa Bay's essential women-owned restaurants of 2023

It's easy to see why Tampa Bay's women-owned restaurants are making a huge mark on an otherwise male-dominated history.  Since March is…

By CL Staff

Independent Bar
Veronica Danko
5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-341-4883
With a fun indoor-outdoor environment and wide selection of drinks and bites, this neighborhood staple European-inspired bar and cafe offers wine, beer, coffee and pastries with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options fit for everyone.
51 slides

20 Tampa Bay restaurants every new resident needs to try to call themselves a local

If you're gonna live in Tampa, you have to eat like a Tampeño.  Last summer, the Florida Legislature estimated that 850 people…

By Tyana Rodgers

Antojitos Latin Cravings
2302 W Columbus Dr., Tampa, 813-251-9688
For over 25 years Antojitos has been serving up classic Colombian dishes. The menu spans Cuban sandwiches and various baked goods like chicharrón De Guayaba and pan de yuca.

Photo via  Antojitos Latin Cravings/Facebook
19 slides

All the new bars and restaurants coming to Tampa Bay this year

Sure, 2022 was undoubtedly a great year for new eats in Tampa Bay, but we're here to tell you that this year's…

By Tyana Rodgers

Cane & Barrel 
110 2nd St. N., St. Petersburg
The newest rooftop destination located in the heart of downtown St. Pete—Cane & Barrel, a Cuban-inspired rooftop bar and cocktail lounge—is expected to open in February. Set for the 8th floor of the 36-story hotel and apartment tower Ascent St. Pete, the new location will feature two separate bars. The spot has plans to offer signature cocktails to match the decor and ambiance. The star of the new rooftop bar’s menu will be rum, as the name itself is a homage to the spirit's voyage from "cane" to "barrel."
Photo via Cane & Barrel/Facebook
20 slides

Here's where to get a good mezcal cocktail in Tampa Bay

A fun and somewhat surprising fact is that the United States as a country consumes the most tequila overall each year, although…

By Jourdan Ducat

Saigon Blonde
Inspired by 1960s Saigon, this tiki bar on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg offers a warm and inviting oasis for those looking to relax with a craft cocktail. There’s a set list of specialty cocktails that can be made with mezcal as well as rotating mezcal specialties like the Baked & Famous, which combines mezcal, aperol, lime and yellow chartreuse.
265 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. saigonblonde.com
11 slides

Photos: Everyone we saw when Brunched 2023 took over the Tampa River Center

You came, you saw, you ate way more bacon than you ever expected. We all had a great time when Creative Loafing…

By Ray Roa

Photos: Everyone we saw when Brunched 2023 took over the Tampa River Center
212 slides


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Tampa Bay's 25 most romantic restaurants of 2023, according to Yelp

Here you'll find a few of the best local spots for Valentine's Day, or just a good date night for that matter.…

By Tyana Rodgers

4 out 5 stars, 111 reviews
 1015 Gramercy Ln., Tampa
”BellaBrava has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area! Their service is incredible, the food is always delicious and fresh, and their drink selection is super extensive and also delicious. I can't leave the restaurant without having their calamari, stuffed gnocchi and their freshly filled cannolis! Each of their locations is phenomenal, but I love having one in Midtown with so many other things around it. Also, Jenny is an amazing waitress if you want to ask for someone who knows the menu like the back of their hand and will help you have the best experience possible at this restaurant!” - Tiffany B.
Photo via Google Maps
25 slides

The 25 Black-owned restaurants in Tampa Bay everyone should know about

There's plenty of praise to pass around when it comes to Tampa Bay's restaurants. But any examination of our local dining scene…

By Tyana Rodgers

1821 E 7th Ave and 9024 W Hillsborough Ave., Town 'N' Country
 At Yuppi's two locations—and especially at its Ybor City counter on 7th Avenue—Executive Chef Kyle Luke is known for whipping up the infamous “Yuppi Wings,”  with a sauce that is sweet, savory, and tangy (definitely squeeze the lime on it). The half and half special is great for newcomers because it features a little bit of everything, two proteins, and two sides. Choose between fish, shrimp and the Yuppi pattie, which is actually a plant-based burger.
Photo via website
25 slides

All the Tampa Bay businesses sampling at Brunched 2023

Looking for the ultimate brunch experience with your besties? Brunched is back at Tampa River Center on Saturday, February 18th, with an…

By CL Staff

22 slides

25 hard-to-get restaurant tables in Tampa Bay that are always worth the wait

There's busy restaurants, and there's ones that seem to always be slammed. Tampa Bay has a thriving restaurant scene and some of…

By Tyana Rodgers

Noble Rice
615 Channelside Dr #112, Tampa, (813) 542-2021
 Noble Rice, a modern Japanese restaurant that recently opened a new location in Sparkman Wharf, features a menu with nigiri and sashimi, as well as appetizer-style shareable plates, ramen bowls, grilled dishes and desserts. Diners can expect high quality selections such as bluefin tuna otoro, hokkaido scallops, and uni. There is also an extensive Japanese whiskey selection and signature cocktails that include the Hibiscus 75, a blend of Roku gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon and sparkling wine. Frank Anderson, Noble Rice’s executive chef, was most recently the creative culinary director at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. 
Photo via Google Maps
25 slides

Tampa’s Deviant Libation brewery opens in Ybor Heights next weekend

Nearly three-and-a-half years after getting the keys to his Ybor Heights brewery, longtime Tampa brewer Tim Ogden is ready to open the…

By Ray Roa

Tampa’s Deviant Libation brewery opens in Ybor Heights next weekend
14 slides

The 25 hottest new restaurants in Tampa Bay right now, according to Yelp

Sure, we love letting readers know about new places to eat around Tampa Bay, but sometimes you need to hear from someone…

By Tyana Rodgers

Del Taco
4.5 out 5 stars, 15 reviews
5610 Manatee Ave., Bradenton
”Excellent food! It was so nice to learn that a Del Taco was coming to this area. I have only seen them in California, so it's nice to see them around here.
The menu is nice and big with burritos, tacos and much more. The prices are fair and the quality is great. Combos come with fries, instead of tortilla chips. I definitely will be back.
I think more Del Taco locations are planned for the surrounding area too! Keep it up!!” - Robert W.
Photo via Google Maps
25 slides

All the Tampa Bay bars and restaurants that closed in 2022

It's been a tough year for Tampa Bay's restaurant scene, especially following the aftermath of the pandemic. Some major local institutions decided…

By Min Craig

Faedo Family Bakery
 5150 N Florida Ave, Tampa
Faedo Family Bakery has closed its doors, opening up room for La Segunda to expand. La Segunda has baked in Ybor City for over a century, and is now expanding with this, a fourth location in Tampa Bay. It is still unsure when this new location will be opening, but the La Segunda in Seminole Heights is fully open.
Photo by Kyla Fields
24 slides

The 25 most-anticipated Tampa Bay bars and restaurants opening in 2023

Without a doubt, 2022 was a great year for new eats in the Tampa Bay area, and it actually looks like 2023…

By CL Staff

Boulon Brasserie 
1001 Water St., Tampa
Boulon Brasserie, the latest concept from Next Level Brands, announced its plan to open at Water Street’s Thousand & One building in downtown Tampa last fall. The French bistro-style restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a three-in-one space featuring a restaurant, bar, and cafe. The Brasserie joins other recently announced projects that are currently in the works—at various stages of development—for the new work-live-play waterfront neighborhood including Ohio-style pizza spot called Small Giant Bar & Restaurant and Wine on Water, a modern neighborhood wine and liquor shop with around 200 wines plus some spirits as well.
Photo via Rockaway PR
25 slides

Everyone we saw at Tampa Bay's 2022 Highball craft cocktail competition

Last week, Tampa Bay's top mixologists showed up at Nova535 for Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's annual Highball craft cocktail competition. Presented by…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at Tampa Bay's 2022 Highball craft cocktail competition
150 slides

Tampa Bay's 25 best new restaurants of 2022

Tampa Bay's restaurant scene has been serving up great eats for years, but it's safe to say this year has been one…

By CL Staff

 Lucky Tigre  

 1101 S Howard Ave. Ste B, Tampa, 813-761-2088
Lucky Tigre, Tampa's first Filipino 'sari-sari' counter, opened back in October, and has been selling out on a daily basis ever since. Covered in vintage Filipino magazine advertisements, your titas and titos will certainly enjoy the menu, which spans everything from beef and pork dumplings, to steamed bao buns, and traditional rice dishes. 
Photo by Rickey Kim
25 slides

All the bars and restaurants competing at Tampa Bay's 2022 Highball Cocktail Competition

Highball is back on Dec. 8, and this year, we're switching things up a bit by highlighting the namesake drink, the highball…

By CL Staff

Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro
Competing with Haku Vodka
799 Highland Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698
15 slides

Breaking bread: A culinary history of Tampa in 10 meals

If food defines culture, then what kind of city is Tampa? The answer can be found in these 10 notable meals, which…

By Andrew T. Huse

Tampa Bay Hotel opens, 1891
When tycoon Henry Plant brought his railroad to Tampa in 1884, he found a pathetic hardscrabble town of 700 people. But in the years after the railroad connection, Tampa’s elite clamored for Plant to open a luxury hotel in his latest terminus. On Feb. 5, 1891, Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel opened with a grand ball. At 9 that evening, the capacity crowd enjoyed an opera. Then Mayor Herman Glogowski led a grand procession to the dining room for a reception and dancing. At 11, a buffet offered oysters, fish, cold roasts, salad and desserts. The party didn’t wind down until 1 a.m.; the guests slept on couches and chairs in the lobby, as the bedrooms had not yet been furnished.
The Tampa Bay Hotel frequently made headlines, especially during the Spanish-American war when journalists and generals commiserated from the veranda’s rocking chairs. The kitchen served up lavish meals with menus written entirely in mangled French. But with a short tourist season of just four months, the hotel never really flourished. The old Tampa Bay Hotel is now home to the University of Tampa and the Henry Plant museum.

Photo via Burgert Brothers/USF
11 slides

23 under-the-radar Tampa Bay taco spots you need to try before you die

When it comes to tacos, Tampa Bay has some very classic, well-known haunts. But there are also smaller spots with some cult…

By Alexandria Jones

Hector’s Mexican Food 
3121 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813-234-3646
Looking for a midnight snack? Hector’s extensive menu will get you right each and every time. Find this hidden gem close to two other Tampa gems: Sanwa Farmer’s Market and basically across the street from Esther’s Cafe.
   Photo via Hector’s Mexican Food/Google
23 slides

20 legit Hillsborough County dive bars, and why you should get a drink at all of them

The local watering hole has long been a source of comfort for what ails you. There's just something about the sight of…

By Jourdan Ducat

123 S Hyde Park Ave., Tampa, 813-254-2014
At this long-running bar across from the University of Tampa, you’re likely to be sitting next to a service industry worker who’s either just finished a shift or is having some liquid courage before starting one. It can get pretty packed with the college crowd on nights and weekends, so your best bet is grab a seat at happy hour if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience. This is another spot that allows smoking indoors, plus all day specials and bar snacks to soak up that Rumplemintz shot you just did with the bartender. 
   Photo via Retreat/Facebook
20 slides

All the new chain restaurants calling Tampa Bay home in 2022

A recent study ranked the Tampa area among the nation's top cities in 2022 for "fast food lovers," and it's easy to…

By Min Craig

Dave’s Hot Chicken  

Location TBA, Phone number TBA
Earlier this year, this popular Los Angeles-based chicken shop announced eight new locations in the Tampa Bay area, with outposts planned for Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties. The menu is simple and straightforward, including chicken staples, as well as mac & cheese, cheese fries and house made kale slaw. 
   Photo via Dave’s Hot Chicken/Facebook
25 slides

20 essential dive bars in St. Petersburg you should know by now

When it comes to bars in Tampa Bay there's no shortage of bartenders in suspenders, themed drinkeries, and influencers hoggin' patio space…

By Min Craig

The Bends  

919 1st Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 727-202-8931
 The Bends gives local musicians a space to thrive, hosting frequent live music tucked away in the back of the bar. This newer bar is now popular with a second generation of ‘Burg-er bar goers, and is the obsession of a famous bathroom instagram @bendsbathroom
   Photo via The Bends/Facebook
20 slides

30 Tampa Bay burgers for $10 or less during Burger Week (11/3-11/13)

Tampa Bay, are you ready for some beefy deals? From Thursday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, Creative Loafing is teaming…

By CL Staff

2612 N Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602

The Killer Tampa - $10
1/2 pound Angus beef patty served on a La Segunda roll with Swiss cheese, roasted chili crema, fresh jalapenos, Shuffle sauce, lettuce, and tomato Add tots for +$3

$5 Funky Buddha seltzers
$7 Special Shuffle Remix Tito’s cocktail

Takeout (call-in), Online ordering (pickup), Dine-in
30 slides

20 essential Indian restaurants to celebrate Diwali in Tampa Bay

Diwali, the Hindu religious holiday known as the Festival of Lights, usually runs between mid-October and mid-November,  with festivities lasting about five…

By Min Craig

Flames Indian Cuisine

    2601 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-252-8069
    Winner of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s Best of the Bay’s reader’s poll, and located in the Palma Ceia neighborhood of Tampa, Flames Indian cuisine offers dine-in, delivery, and catering. Flames suggests pairing wine with the traditional Indian dishes that they offer. Its website mentions special dishes that occasionally are offered in addition to their daily menu. One menu highlight is the vindaloo chicken, “A Goan chicken specialty with Malt vinegar, red chilly, potato, peppercorn, and spices.”
 Photo via Flames Indian Cuisine/Google
20 slides

The arrival of Tampa Edition and Chef John Fraser marks major shift in flavor and palette of local culture

Inside his Lilac restaurant last Friday afternoon, Chef John Fraser explained that he’s been learning more about Tampeño flavor. “I’ve gotten to…

By Ray Roa

'There is depth of flavor and sort of a heft that’s expected in what would be considered a great meal here,' Chef John Fraser told CL.
243 slides

20 underrated new restaurants that opened in Tampa Bay this year

This year we've seen a ton of new eateries pop up across the Bay, so here are some of our picks for…

By Min Craig

I.C. Sharks
10020 Gandy Blvd. N, St. Petersburg, 727-914-4987
I.C. Sharks began as a seafood market and recently relaunched as a new bar and grill, serving fresh catch and ice cold drinks. It still provides plenty of fresh fish to go, so you can make your own seafaring delicacies from the comfort of your own home.  
Photo via I.C Sharks/Facebook
20 slides

Tampa Bay's best restaurants, food and drink of 2022, according to our readers

More than 500,000 votes were cast in the 2022 Best of the Bay reader's poll, and the results are finally in. These…

By CL Staff

Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
Winner: Willa's Tampa
Runners-up: Ciro’s Speakeasy, The Saint
Photo via Willa’s Tampa/Instagram
134 slides

The most-anticipated new restaurants coming to Tampa Bay this fall

It's time to fall into some restaurant openings, Tampa Bay. Supply chain issues aside, we totally think most of these much-anticipated spots…

By Molly Ryan

Torchy’s Tacos

     2314 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg
    This winter, Austin staple, Torchy’s Tacos, is bringing “damn good” tacos to the Bay. Known for its decadent and creative combinations, Torchy’s signature, and most acclaimed, taco is its Trailer Park taco with fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar jack cheese and poblano sauce—don’t forget to make it “trashy” by replacing the lettuce with green chile queso.
    Photo via torchystacos.com
20 slides

The best new restaurants to open in Tampa Bay this summer

Along with this summer's record hot temps, Tampa Bay also witnessed some steamy restaurant openings. From new halal and pierogi spots, to…

By Molly Ryan

Krate at the Grove
6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel
Lookout Sparkman Wharf, there’s a new shipping container park in the Bay. Located at Wesley Chapel’s shopping center, the Grove, Krate hosts 55 container concepts, an outdoor stage and play area. To add to its retail and dining, Krate also has spots to pick up drinks.
Photo via Krate at the Grove/Facebook
20 slides

Here's what happened to every Florida bar featured on 'Bar Rescue'

The state of Florida has been a longtime favorite for the reality show "Bar Rescue," where host Jon Taffer – inventor of…

By CL Staff

Cerealholics Cafe and Bar 
    1909 N 15th St., Ybor City
    With less than two years in service, Cerealholics in Ybor City didn’t take long to attract the attention of the “Bar Rescue” team. During Taffer’s stint at Cerealholics, the bar ditched its nostalgic-centered theme for a more modern approach under The Loft Elevated Bar + Food. However, The Loft recently announced they would close due to family reasons. 
    Photo via The Loft Ybor City/Facebook
27 slides