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

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

Here are the Tampa Bay restaurants and bars that closed in 2021

The restaurant industry has never been easy, but the last couple years created a whole new host of challenges. While plenty of…

By CL Staff

Coney Island Sandwich Shop
    250 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg
    We’re still holding on to hope that this iconic restaurant will reopen at some point. It’s hard to imagine a St. Pete without the family-owned hot dog spot run by 85-year-old Hank Barlas—whose father opened what was then-called Coney Island Grill back in 1926.
19 slides

20 Tampa Bay rooftop bars with incredibly scenic views

Tampa Bay actually has plenty of rooftop bars, but not all of them are paired with a scenic view. Here are a…

By CL Staff

SIX at JW Marriott   
    510 Water St., Tampa 
    Overlooking the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop pool and bay views, SIX creates an IG-worthy backdrop for visitors and hotel guests. Open for lunch and dinner reservations, the menu is an eclectic mix of chef crafted specialties from cocktails to hearty entrees. 
    Photo via EDGE’s website
20 slides

25 essential suburban restaurants that opened in Tampa Bay in 2020

Despite all of *points to the world outside* this, plenty of new restaurants sprang up in Tampa Bay this year, and while…

By CL Staff

Side Piece
    587 Main St., Dunedin, (727)-351-5105
    From the owners of popular Dunedin restaurant The Restorative comes this casual concept, Side Piece. Standouts on the menu are paninis like the “liz lemon” with turkey, pastrami, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing or the vegetarian “fungus amungus.” The concept also offers dishes like hot dogs and pad thai popcorn.
    Photo via Side Piece/Instagram
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The 20 best new restaurants to open in Tampa Bay in 2020

This year has thrown a wrench into a pastime that for so many years we took for granted: eating out without feeling…

By CL Staff

Wild Child Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
    2710 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, (813) 769-9983 
    Take a visit to bistro and cocktail bar Wild Child and enjoy meals ranging from a tomato and peach salad to a Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich, all while relaxing under the restaurant’s covered patio space.
    Photo via Wild Child Restaurant & Cocktail Bar/Facebook
14 slides

The 20 hottest restaurants in Tampa Bay right now

Since COVID-19, many Tampa Bay spots have closed, re-opened, instituted changes or debuted for the first time. It's been a tough few…

By CL Staff

Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz
    6305 Gulf Blvd., St Pete Beach, (727) 498-3205
    The brainchild of Celebrity Chef and Food Network contestant Robert Hesse, Fo’Cheezy serves up signature grilled cheese sandwiches like the Cluck Norris “Ass Kickin Chicken” served with smoked gouda, aged cheddar, Nashville hot sauce, southern fried chicken, pickled red onion, dill pickles and cut slaw.
    Photo via Fo’Cheezy/Facebook
20 slides

20 Tampa Bay restaurants with rain-friendly outdoor patios

If you're not ready to eat inside a crowded restaurant yet, an outside patio is the way to go. As Florida approaches…

By CL Staff

Columbia Cafe
    801 Water St., Tampa, 813.229.5511
    Located inside of the Tampa History Center, it’s a convenient place to stop by after touring the museum. You can also enjoy a nice, secluded waterfront view. Also, how many deviled crab croquettes can you eat in one sitting?
    Photo via Columbia Cafe/Website
19 slides

The 25 best Tampa Bay restaurants for takeout and delivery, according to Yelp

Looking for a new go-to takeout spot? Sick or hearing our opinion? Well, Yelpers have plenty of opinions, especially now that takeout…

By CL Staff

11. Farmacy Vegan Kitchen & Bakery 
    4.5 out 5 stars, 228 reviews
    Vegan, bakery, breakfast, brunch
    803 N. Tampa St., Tampa
    "We were at Glasers Children's museum and we got hungry so we used Yelp to help us find a dinner spot. It's in the duckweed urban grocery so we were a bit confused at first. There is limited seating and this is definitely more of a take out place. I ordered the Frisco melt which was delicious. Honestly best vegetarian I have had. We also got the cashew Mac and cheese and my husband got the jerk burger which was also very good. The food is 5 stars but it is not a sit down place more of a take out place and also it's a bit pricey." - Tiffany D. 
    Photo by via Farmacy Vegan Kitchen & Bakery/Facebook
25 slides

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

While the pandemic took a lot of restaurants and small businesses down with it this year, Tampa Bay is still seeing new…

By CL Staff

Pickford Sundries  
    2606 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
    The historic Pickford Sundries is reopening with a new restaurant concept, Lesiak’s Counter. With a section of the spot dedicated to the history of Pickford Sundries, the new restaurant concept will feature modern twists on classic southern menu items. 
    Photo via Ben Pomales
22 slides

30 new Tampa Bay restaurants that opened this spring

It's been a turbulent few months for Tampa Bay's food industry, to say the least. But through it all some new and…

By CL Staff

Red Mesa Quatro  
    128 3rd St., St. Petersburg
    Part of the Red Mesa Cantina’s line of restaurant concepts, Quatro is a ghost kitchen serving a little bit of everything. Located on the second floor of Red Mesa Cantina, Quatro is offering pickup or delivery options, but its dining room remains closed.
    Photo via Red Mesa Quatro/Facebook
30 slides

25 Tampa Bay restaurants with outdoor patios open this weekend

In Phase One of Florida’s plan for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are permitted to open their patios with six-feel social…

By CL Staff

The Salt Shack
    5415 W Tyson Ave, Tampa, (813) 444-4569
    The Salt Shack, one of Tampa’s largest outdoor tiki bars and waterfront patios, has reopened to the public. Guests can expect their regular full menu featuring their staple grouper sandwich, fish tacos and frozen daiquiris, as well as increased precautions like spaced out tables and a limited capacity.
    Photo via Salt Shack/Website
25 slides

33 Tampa Bay restaurants offering family-style meals for takeout or delivery

Stuck in the house with the whole family? Just don't feel like cooking for a few days straight? This list is filled…

By CL Staff

    727-443-7227, 1101 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg. drbbqs.com  
    Takeout and delivery. Dr. BBQ is still out here smokin' butts and makin' cornbread. Quarantine Date Night Kits available for $70, featuring one bottle of Nieto Senetiner Malbec, one wedge salad, shareable Hatch Chile Mac n’ Cheese, 4oz. pork brisket, 4oz. beef brisket, and one slice of peanut butter pie. Plus, curbside booze available: beer, wine, and cocktails to go. Use code HERE4U to receive 15% off your pickup order.
    Photo via Dr. BBQ The Restaurant/Facebook
33 slides

25 essential Tampa Bay taco spots offering delivery or takeout

Quarantine doesn't necessarily mean you have to miss out on Taco Tuesday...or tacos any day of the week. Here you'll find a…

By CL Staff

Taco Dirty
    (813) 314-7900, 2221 W. Platt St., Tampa,
    Takeout and delivery. Family-sized (serves 8) meal packages, plus beer and wine to go. 50% off for first responders.
    Photo via Taco Dirty/Facebook
25 slides

How to support Tampa Bay's food and drink scene while social distancing

Tampa Bay restaurants and breweries are reacting to concerns about the novel coronavirus by being even cleaner than normal, offering carryout and…

By CL Staff

    1101 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. 727-443-7227
    Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg is offering 15% off takeout orders through any delivery app.
    Photo via  Dr. BBQ’s Instagram
55 slides

Tampa Bay's women-owned restaurants you should've tried by now

Talk about girl power. In a male-dominated industry, these Tampa Bay women are making a huge mark in the culinary world. That…

By CL Staff

Bodega and Baba 
    Debbie Sayegh  
    Bodega: 1120 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Baba: 2701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg
    This Latin street food joint serves its hot pressed Cubans, fresh juices and more from a boxy little building on Central. Bodega’s come-as-you-are atmosphere and high-quality fare have made this hole in the wall a Tampa Bay favorite. Duo Debbie and George Sayegh also own Greek eatery Baba, located down the street.
    Photo via Bodega on Central/Facebook
41 slides

All the Guy Fieri 'Triple D' restaurants within driving distance of Tampa Bay

Guy Fieri’s frosted tips and kooky catchphrases have captivated audiences for years. Inspired by his “gangsta” outlook on life, we decided to…

By CL Staff

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish 
    1350 S. Pasadena Ave., South Pasadena
    When Guy Fieri visited Ted Peters, he was able to get in the kitchen to see how the restaurant has been smoking fish since the late ‘40s. Raw fish is cooked over the course of four-six hours over Floridian red oak. Alton Brown, another Food Network celebrity, featured the smoked mullet fish dinner on the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” 
    Photo via YouTube
16 slides

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

Tampa Bay's vibrant restaurant scene has been making a name for itself for awhile now. But any examination of our restaurant scene…

By CL Staff

Pop Goes The Waffle  
    Sara Gerald Fludd  
    Location varies
    Sara Gerald Fludd has been crafting different waffle concoctions since receiving a Belgian waffle iron for Mother’s day. Founded in 2017, Pop Goes the Waffle is a food truck, so you’ll need to check their schedule if you want to try sweet or savory waffles.
    Photo via Pop Goes The Waffle website
15 slides

The 25 best Tampa Bay restaurants when you're broke AF

Great food doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are a few of our favorite Tampa Bay restaurants where…

By CL Staff

Chicago Paulie’s  
    1301 N Howard Ave, Tampa, 813-494-4275
    Hot dogs, sandwiches, and chili fries all for under $10. It’s located within a gas station parking lot with about three stools near the order window. Have a seat and make a new buddy, or snag a dog and hit the road.
    Photo via Chicago Paulie’s/Facebook
25 slides

21 hole-in the-wall Largo restaurants everyone should try at least once

Largo is sometimes left out of the conversation when it comes to good eats in Tampa Bay, but in reality locals are…

By CL Staff

Authentic Famous Filipino Restaurant   
    Restaurant 6721 Ulmerton Rd, Largo
     As if the name isn’t reassurance enough that this joint is a must. Grab The Filipino Sampler Bamboo Platter to try a little of everything. You’ll want to bring some friends, this experience should be shared. 
    Photo via Ray Roa
21 slides

24 Florida-based restaurant chains that are actually good

Florida is rich in chain restaurants, Tampa Bay is too, but that isn't always a bad thing. Not all chains are crap,…

By CL Staff

Kahwa Coffee
    Locations: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota
    UPDATED:05/21/20 5:45 p.m.Arguably one of Tampa Bay's most celebrated coffee shops, Kahwa is one of those chains that locals actually like, and for good reason. Don't come asking for a caramel machiato though (Kahwa's version of a caramel latte is a a traditional Italian espresso, which you can add caramel to). Do grab a few of those ham and cheese croissants, however, and order a "salted caramel latte" if you must.  
    Photo via Kahwa/Facebook
24 slides

24 essential St. Pete area restaurants that aren’t on Central Avenue

Don't us get wrong, Central Avenue in St. Pete is a culinary destination in itself, but there's tons of eateries worth exploring…

By CL Staff

    3119 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport, 727-498-8950
    Established in 2009, this waterfront eatery caters to tourists and locals providing tasty breakfasts all day. Because this spot is so popular, they will soon be moving to a larger location.
    Photo via Google Maps
23 slides

25 small town restaurants worth a weekend road trip from Tampa

Time to venture out to parts unknown. Get adventurous and let your tastebuds decide where you should travel during the weekend for…

By CL Staff

Peachey’s Baking Co.  
    Traveling food truck
    Stationed all around the Sarasota area, this truck bakes up the best pretzels and glazes sourdough doughnuts to perfection. Make the drive, get a dozen and try not to eat them all before making it back to Tampa. Check in on Peachey’s Facebook page to see where the trucks are stationed.
    Photo via Peachey’s Baking Co./Facebook
25 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

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

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

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

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