The 20 best kid-friendly Tampa Bay restaurants, that aren't Chuck E. Cheese

Don't get us wrong, kid's love Chuck E. Cheese, aka a child casino that sells pizza and beer. But you can't eat…

By Sofía García Vargas

Sparkman Wharf
615 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 813-618-5844
Whatever you’re looking for, Sparkman Wharf has you covered. Everything from dining and entertainment to offices and retail can be found here. In addition to the plethora of businesses ready to serve you and your family, there is a lot of green space for the kids to roam free and play. It also hosts live music every weekend to spark up the downtown Tampa life. 
Photo via Sparkman Wharf/Facebook
20 slides

All of the Tampa Bay restaurants and bars coming to Margarita Wars (5/19)

Your favorite tequila battle is back! Join Creative Loafing for a unique opportunity to sample margaritas created by more than a dozen…

By CL Staff

Bogota Kitchen + Bar
Competitor
19 slides

25 can't-miss restaurants in Clearwater

From surf-and-turf to pizza and beer, Clearwater has an extensive offering of unique restaurants. Pair your beach day with a meal at…

By Sofía García Vargas

Big Storm Brewing Co.
12707 49th St N, Clearwater, 727-201-4186
As one of Tampa Bay’s most prolific breweries, you will try unique and local flavors at Big Storm Brewing Co. Pair your beer with bar food, including chicken wings, tacos and handhelds. The brewery also hosts trivia nights on Mondays and live music on Fridays.
25 slides

25 Tampa Bay brunch spots worth getting out of bed for

Falling between breakfast and whenever they kick you out, brunch is that beautiful boozy meal best enjoyed on lazy weekends. Whether it…

By Sofía García Vargas

Counter Culture
2909 W Bay to Bay Blvd Suite 100, Tampa, 813-570-8660
Offering weekend brunch only, Chef Jeannie Pierola creates a modern homage to classic dining in its barstool dining and kitchen. Choose from Counter Culture’s individual meals from its fresh bakery, griddle and eggs menu, or from its three-course brunch option paired with a recommended “domaine font mars” wine. 
Photo via Counter Culture/Website
25 slides

25 essential Tampa Bay pizza spots everybody should try at least once

Tampa Bay may not be known for pizza, but that's starting to change. Recently, the area was ranked among the top pizza…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Madison Avenue Pizza
2660 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin, 727-754-6144
The reigning champ, Madison Avenue Pizza, bagged this year's CL Best of The Bay "Reader's Choice" award for best pizza, so you know they take their pie seriously. Keep it tame with your usual order, or test your stomach’s limits with its 32” pizza challenge (I’d pay good money for the crass t-shirt you get as a prize).
Photo via Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
26 slides

23 hidden Tampa Bay taco spots you should’ve tried by now

Sometimes the best street tacos require a bit of a scavenger hunt. Throughout this list you'll find plenty of hole-in-the-wall spots with…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Ranchero Tacos
4901 N Florida Ave, Tampa, 813-495-2635
This joint was CL's Best of the Bay's 2021 "Best Seminole Heights Restaurant," and for good reason – tortillas are fresh and pressed to order and carnitas are juicy and crispy. Also, don’t sleep on the weekend-only tamales.
Photo via Ranchero Tacos/Facebook
23 slides

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

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

23 small-town restaurants worth the road trip from Tampa

Tampa Bay is a melting pot of cuisines and flavors from all around the world, but you don't have to be a…

By Sofía García Vargas

Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar
148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin, 727-733-2151
Founded four decades ago, Bon Appetit provides a near undefeated setting for delectable cuisine, craft cocktails and special moments with special people just 50 minutes away from Tampa. This restaurant is a tad more upscale than the rest, offering dishes like bouillabaisse, rack of New Zealand lamb, lobster tails and more. 
Photo via Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar/Facebook
23 slides

24 essential Brandon and Riverview restaurants everyone should’ve tried by now

The suburbs of Hillsborough County hold a lot more than fast-food chains and never-ending real estate construction. Whether you're searching for a…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Tiki Docks
10708 Palmetto St., Riverview, 813-683-8454
Overlooking the Alafia River in the fast-growing suburb of Riverview is this tropical-themed restaurant that truly contrasts the country riverside surroundings. A raw bar with ahi-tuna poke and fresh oysters or the unique varieties of “Alafia Tacos” await patrons that enter the waterfront eatery.
Photo via Tiki Docks Website
24 slides

20 essential restaurants in Wesley Chapel you should've tried by now

Pasco County is blowin' up. The area has experienced an insane amount of growth over the last decade, with a 21% spike…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

The Bacon Boss
5888 Grand Oro Lane no. 112, Wesley Chapel, 813-922-9290
 Chow down on mobster-labeled entrees like Fat Tony tater tots and McCullough mac and cheese at the bacon-centric eatery.
Photo via The Bacon Boss/Facebook
20 slides

20 tiny restaurants in Tampa Bay that draw big praise

Square-footage is not an issue with these Tampa Bay institutions. In fact, being small is part of the charm. Here are a…

By Sofía García Vargas

Taco Baby
​​235 Main St, Dunedin
This ATM turned taqueria is simple but effective. With only five menu items, including chips and queso, chips and salsa, yucatan popsicles, nachos with your choice of chicken, jackfruit or pork and tacos with the same meat offerings, Taco Baby is perfect for a delicious meal on the go.
Photo via Taco Baby/Facebook
20 slides

All of the specials you can try during Tampa Bay Taco Week (3/31-4/10)

Live every day like it's Taco Tuesday during Tampa Bay Taco Week, with ten straight days of exclusive dine-in and takeout specials.…

By CL Staff

Taco Dirty
2221 W. Platt St., Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 314-7900
4447 4th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33703
(727) 325-2973
tacodirty.com

$2 Build-Your-Own Tacos & $3 Corona Lights
Available Tuesday, Saturday, & Sunday during Taco Week
$5 margaritas daily during Taco Week

Dine-in
26 slides

25 Tampa Bay restaurant patios with incredible scenic views

Rooftop views, ocean views, skyline views, Tampa Bay restaurants and bars really do have some top-notch patios. Here you'll fine some of…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

360 Rooftop Bar
3701 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, 727-456-8660
Found along the same scenic landscape as the historic Don Cesar, just two minutes down the road, take in the hotel bar’s stellar view of the Gulf of Mexico while sipping on a tropical Rum Runner.
Photo via The Hotel Zamora/Facebook
25 slides

35 Tampa Bay restaurants to take an-out-of-towner, and what to get

It's spring break, and with a house full of guests, feeding everyone can be tough. However, Tampa Bay has something for everyone.…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda, Sofía García Vargas

SuperNatural Food & Wine
What to get: Breakfast sandwich and sour doughnuts
305 E Polk St., Tampa, 813-758-6230
Offered from 7:30 a.m.-2:29 p.m., SuperNatural's breakfast menu and doughnuts are its staple, along with its selection of mighty wine available any time. The breakfast sandwich, which celebrity chef Alton Brown recently called  the "best I’ve ever had," is made with fresh focaccia bread roll and egg with the option to add cheese and bacon (BEC is where it's at). The doughnuts are made with cinnamon sugar, organic flours and single-origin spices, but most importantly, it’s all vegan!
Photo via SuperNatural Food & Wine/Instagram
34 slides

Tampa Bay's essential women-owned restaurants of 2022

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 Sofía García Vargas, Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Michelle Faedo's Tampeño Cuisine
Michelle Faedo
601 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-284-5756
The restaurant location in downtown Tampa at the County Center offers made-to-order bites like tostones, plantains, deviled crab, crab cakes and its famous Cuban sandwiches. 
Photo via Michelle Faedo's Tampeño Cuisine/Facebook
41 slides

20 truly beachside restaurants and bars in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has plenty of great tiki huts, waterfront bars, and fish shacks, but not all of them are directly on the…

By Sofía García Vargas

Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill
7720 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, 813-281-0770
With its own private beach and Causeway locale, Whiskey Joe’s is one of Tampa’s most visible beach bars. You can brave Ben T. Davis, or pay a small fee to access Whiskey Joe’s beachside bar and party area. 
Photo via Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill/Website
20 slides

Everyone we saw at Brunched 2022 in St. Pete

The vibe shift was evident this weekend at Brunched 2022. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's annual celebration of the day's best meal went…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at Brunched 2022 in St. Pete
170 slides

Photos from Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's Brunched 2022

A few of Tampa Bay's essential brunch spots joined forces to celebrate the best meal between breakfast and lunch. On Saturday,  Feb.…

By CL Staff

Photos from Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's Brunched 2022
165 slides

The 20 most-anticipated new bars and restaurants coming to Tampa Bay this spring

From Chicago-style glizzies, to new karaoke bars and tasting rooms, Tampa Bay has a lot to look forward to this spring. Here…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Portillo’s
2302 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg, 630-954-3773
St. Pete residents can now transport themselves to the suburbs of Chicago in the vintage chain’s next location. Commuters have noted the building is close to completion, so let’s hope we can pick up our chocolate cake shake in the coming weeks.
Photo via Portillo’s Website
20 slides

The 25 most popular Tampa Bay restaurants right now, according to Yelp rankings

Look, we've already told you our picks for Tampa Bay's top 50 restaurants, but sometimes it helps to have  another perspective. Here are…

By Sofía García Vargas

8. Bodega
 1180 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-623-0942
“Dude. I love Bodega. You will too. Eat here, right now. Vegan options, meaty options, yummy aguas frescas, robust cafecito AND the most friendly staff. For real. Thank you Bodega!” -Amber S.
Photo via Bodega/Facebook
25 slides

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

Forget "peak hours," most of these Tampa Bay hot spots always have a wait, and it's understandable,  they're all really great. From…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Meat Market Steakhouse
1606 W Snow Ave., Tampa, 813-280-1113
 While making it into the highly sought after lounge setting is more difficult than dine-in seating, the cocktail menu makes for a fun night out for those that can get a reservation.
Photo via Meat Market/Facebook
25 slides

All the Tampa Bay restaurants coming to Brunched 2022

Saturdays are for brunch, and Creative Loafing has an absolutely irresistible invitation for you: a unique opportunity to sample unlimited brunch bites…

By CL Staff

7th + Grove
For the comfort food connoisseur searching for fresh authentic taste with a down home flair 7th+ Grove delivers an elevated southern menu, warm ambiance, extraordinary service and creatively crafted cocktails.
7thandgrove.com
16 slides

25 essential date night restaurants in Tampa Bay

As Valentine's Day approaches, the quest to find the perfect place to bring your significant other begins, and the deadline to make…

By Sofía García Vargas

Luv Child
Luv Child
516 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-213-0100
Luv Child brings the flavors of Cuban and Latino cuisine through its colorful presentation of both the restaurant and its dishes. If you’re looking for a different and fun date, you can also book a “Drag Brunch” for some extra money to dine with some of Tampa Bay’s most famous drag queens.
Photo via Luv Child/Facebook
25 slides

25 Black-owned restaurants in Tampa Bay you should support

Tampa Bay restaurants get plenty of local and national accolades. But any thorough examination of our dining scene isn't complete without recognizing…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Mr. B’s Southern Kitchen
3401 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, 813-333-5338
After being revived with a “Restaurant Impossible” makeover, co-owner Calvin Jefferson is able to continue his mission of making a menu that showcases meals he grew up with. 
Photo via Mr.B’s Southern Kitchen/Facebook
25 slides

25 hidden gem restaurants only found in Tampa Bay strip malls

With expansive sprawl, comes near never-ending strip malls, and Tampa Bay has quite a few.  And while standalone restaurants often get a…

By Sofía García Vargas, Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Taj Indian Cuisine
2734 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, 813-971-8483
Open since 1991, Taj specializes in butter chicken, chicken madras, chicken tikka masala, fish tikka and many more Indian meals willing to test your spice tolerance. Its authenticity makes it stand out from its competition around the university area.
Photo via Google Maps
25 slides

Florida State Fair's new food lineup is here, who's ready for Donut Hot Dogs?

The Florida State Fair is nearly two weeks away and the highly-anticipated menu has officially debuted. Outside of the trademark deep-fried Oreos…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Donut Dog         
"A homemade long John Donut, fresh grilled all beef Hotdog, applewood bacon and drizzled with icing on top."    
Where to find it: DeAnna's Diner
16 slides

25 lounges, speakeasies and hidden bars in Tampa Bay, and how to find them all

From speakeasies where a password is always required, to laundromats that are actually great watering holes, and no-frills lounges that are way…

By Sofía García Vargas

Dirty Laundry
1742 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-493-0040
You better pick up the phone when it rings in this ordinary-looking laundromat. A voice will tell you a code to punch into the washing machine, unveiling a vibrant indoor space and a relaxing outdoor patio.
25 slides

Everything to see and eat during Mardi Gras at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

[image-4] Busch Gardens brought Big Easy cuisine and entertainment to Tampa a little early with Mardi Gras. But the beads and bites…

By Chelsea Zukowski

Beignets NOLA Creamery and Sweet Beignets both right next to the Garden Gate Café, is where to get sweet fried doughnuts that are a must at any Mardi Gras festival, and the options at Busch Gardens include traditional with powdered sugar, ones topped with Woodford Reserve bourbon chocolate drizzle and banana’s foster beignets. The Busch Gardens beignets also stand out for their flaky, croissant-like texture.
16 slides

Tampa Bay's 50 best restaurants of 2021

[image-51] In spite of the last two years taking so many beloved restaurants away, some local chefs and restaurateurs have found ways…

By Ray Roa, Kyla Fields, Jon Palmer Claridge, Daniel Guess, Alexandria Jones, Colin Wolf

Tampa Bay's 50 best restaurants of 2021
51 slides

The Tampa Bay restaurants and bars that have closed since the beginning of the pandemic

The past two years have been incredibly tough for local restaurants and bars, and while many have survived, adapted, or even completely…

By CL Staff

Cafe Ponte  
    13505 Icot Blvd., Clearwater
    After 18 years of serving the Tampa Bay community with its modern Italian cuisine and fine dining atmosphere, Cafe Ponte closed down for good following complications stemming from the pandemic. However, last year the owners opened a new Italian restaurant, OLIVIA, in Tampa.
    
    Photo via Cafe Ponte/Facebook
30 slides

The 20 most-anticipated new restaurants coming to Tampa Bay in 2022

Well, 2021 was a great year for new eats in Tampa Bay, and it looks like 2022 might top it.  From more…

By Stephanie Powers

Portillo’s
St. Petersburg
 Chicagoland favorite Portillo’s is opening its third Tampa Bay location near Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg in the first half of next year. The Chicago-style weiner and steak sandwich slinging, fast casual concept already has locations in Tampa (2102 E Fowler Ave.) and Brandon (1748 Brandon Blvd.), but this is the restaurant's first foray into the ‘Burg.
20 slides