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

Everything up for bid during CL's Holiday Auction benefiting Metropolitan Ministries (11/22-11/29)

Get your shopping list ready! Our annual virtual Holiday Auction is a unique opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items and experiences you won't be able to find…

By CL Staff

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Shaquil Barrett Signed Custom Football
39 slides

All the bites and drinks at our upcoming Brunched Tampa Bay party

Check out this year's Brunched restaurant sampling preview! With everything from blueberry & ricotta pancakes to Gasparilla shrimp & grits, there is…

By CL Staff

    Various locations, (813) 269-1500
    Gasparilla Shrimp & Grits
    Photo via Grillsmith
19 slides

Photos from Tampa's Dessert Wars at Armature Works

Over 50 local vendors competed for the crown at the largest dessert-only competition in America Sunday afternoon. Participants, which included spots like…

By CL Staff

Photos from Tampa's Dessert Wars at Armature Works
91 slides

25 kid-friendly spots in Tampa Bay where parents can get a damn drink

Sometimes you need to bring the little ones to a kid-friendly adult place, so you can have a little fun too. And…

By CL Staff

Sparkman’s Wharf  
    615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602, (727) 317-5751, (813) 345-5881 
    A large, waterfront space filled with restaurants, live music, a biergarten (for mom and dad) and a spacious astroturf area for the kids to run around, Sparkman’s Wharf is the ideal family destination. Kids love that astroturf. 
    Photo via Sparkman’s Wharf/Facebook
24 slides

All the photos from the 2019 Meet The Chefs photobooth at The Vault

The Vault in downtown Tampa played host to this year's Meet The Chefs, our annual spotlight on the areas top chefs. Here's…

By CL Staff

All the photos from the 2019 Meet The Chefs photobooth at The Vault
164 slides


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Everyone we saw at Meet The Chefs 2019 at The Vault in downtown Tampa

To kick off Tampa Bay Restaurant Week, the area's top chefs got together at The Vault for Meet The Chefs, our annual…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at Meet The Chefs 2019 at The Vault in downtown Tampa
172 slides

20 hidden gem restaurants only found in Tampa strip malls

Not all great restaurants are easy to find. Sometimes you have to hook a few U-turns and let your GPS reroute until…

By CL Staff

 Tara’s Roti 
    10006 N 30th St, Tampa, Florida, (813) 866-8272 
     Probably the most authentic Trinidadian food you’ll find in the Tampa Bay area, and Tara’s Roti is a little hard to find hidden in a large plaza next to about dozen other storefronts. Fresh dishes are made daily, and yes the 75 year old Tara herself stills serves customers.  
    Photo via Google Maps
20 slides

Everyone we saw at the 2019 Tampa Bay Bloody Mary Festival

The 2019 Tampa Bay Bloody Mary Festival went down last Sunday at the Tampa Garden Club. The ultimate Sunday Funday event featured…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at the 2019 Tampa Bay Bloody Mary Festival
88 slides

Best Tampa Bay events and things to do, January 16-23

Behold, the best things to do in Tampa Bay, from January 16-23. This week, our kick-ass list is  jam-packed with live music…

By CL Staff

Ride a horse in the freaking bay
    Multiple days and times available
    Photo via Pixabay
20 slides

Things to do in Tampa Bay January 2-9

Your weekly rundown of things to do in Tampa Bay, from Jan. 2-9.

By CL Staff

Giant Pong at Rec Dec in St. Pete
    Jan. 5: 12 p.m.
    Photo via Facebook
14 slides

What to do the week after Christmas in Tampa Bay (Dec. 26-Jan. 2)

With the presents unwrapped and the fam headed home, take some time this week to remember why we love Tampa Bay —…

By CL Staff

A Black Tie Affair at St. Petersburg’s Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe
    Dec. 31: 5 p.m.-midnight
    Photo via Scott Harrell
41 slides

Take your pick from these New Year’s celebrations in Tampa Bay

Let's ring in 2019 together — take your pick from these New Year's Eve celebrations & New Year's Day parties in Tampa…

By CL Staff

NYE 2018 Celebration at The Hideaway in Clearwater
    Dec. 31: Noon
    Photo via Unsplash
46 slides

Tampa Bay's weekly what-to-do, Dec. 5-12

Here's your photographic guide to what's happening in Tampa Bay. Click on the event name to get more info.

By CL Staff

Tillamook Road Trip
    Dec. 7: 1-7 p.m.
    Photo via Tillamook
15 slides

All the things to do in December in Tampa Bay

It's the home stretch for 2018, and here's the year's last gasp of fun — all the events in Tampa Bay you…

By CL Staff

Hallucination Before Christmas 2018 @ The Castle
    Dec. 15 
    Photo via Drunk Camera Guy
32 slides

What to do in Tampa Bay over the Thanksgiving weekend

Tampa Bay events over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend don't have to be all about turkey. Take a look at these events —…

By CL Staff

Chris Walker plays The Landing at Jannus
    Nov. 21
    Press Photo
28 slides

What's happening in Tampa Bay — best things to do Nov. 7-14

Looking for something to do this week in Tampa Bay? Look no further than this week's what-to-do. From Tampa to Tarpon, here's…

By CL Staff

Dogtoberfest in Dunedin
    November 10
    Photo via Cathy Salustri
15 slides

Every Tampa Bay November event we love

Looking for the fall fun? Check out our listing of Tampa Bay things to do and events for November, including everything from…

By CL Staff

MOD at MIZE Gallery in St. Petersburg
    Opens Friday, Nov. 9
    Photo via Brandon McLean
34 slides

Things to do in Tampa Bay Oct. 31-Nov. 7

Find Tampa Bay events here, whether it's a local art show, LGBTQ events or a cooking class. We have all that and…

By CL Staff

Holiday Wine & Spirits Tasting in Holiday
    Sunday, Nov. 11: 2-5 p.m.
    Photo via Pixabay
28 slides

Great Tampa Bay events Oct. 24-31

Looking for events in Tampa Bay this week? Look no further! Creative Loafing has you covered with all kinds of great stuff,…

By CL Staff

Voodoo on the Bayou
    Saturday, Oct. 27: 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
    Photo via Pixabay
21 slides

Things to do in Tampa Bay, Oct. 3-Oct. 10

Looking for the best Tampa Bay events? Get your live music, local art and tastiest events for Oct. 3-Oct. 10 right here,…

By CL Staff

Tribute to The Last Waltz @ The Palladium Theater
    Sat. Oct. 6
    Photo via Mike Dunn
29 slides

The best Tampa Bay restaurants of 2018, as chosen by our readers

CL's annual Best of the Bay is finally here for 2018, and it's a big one. To celebrate, peruse this assortment of…

By CL Staff

Best Cheese Course
    RUNNERS-UP: Bern’s Steak House, Cheese Please and Clooney’s Wine Bar
    Photo by James Ostrand
122 slides

Here's what we ate at St. Petersburg's Champagne restaurant Flûte & Dram

For our latest issue, CL Restaurant Critic Jon Palmer Claridge visited downtown St. Pete's Flûte & Dram, which doesn't have a kitchen,…

By CL Staff

Burrata with black lumpfish caviar.
8 slides