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 world traveller to experience all the flavor. From traditional southern food to fine dining, Hawaiian food and so much more in between, these restaurants are all worth the drive (and gas no matter how expensive it gets).
Scroll down to view images
121 Historic Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, 941-896-9737
Located in one of the nation’s oldest fishing communities, Blue Marlin offers an intimate dining experience just over an hour away from Tampa. Enjoy live music, hand crafted cocktails and diverse small plates, salads and fish options.
Photo via Blue Marlin Seafood/Website
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
135 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, 941-778-4849
Open seven days a week, The Bridge Tender has three settings to choose from: the Packer Bar which has 18 TVs to watch sport events, the Tiki Bar with a relaxing tropical vibe and the dining room where you can order anything on the menu at any time.
Photo via The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar/Instagram
10800 Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island, 727-322-7040
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated burger experience, hop in the car for an almost 50 minute drive to reach Brgr Kitchen & Bar. Here you will enjoy custom seasoned burger grinds, paired with house-made sauces and bread baked fresh by a local boutique baker.
Photo via Brgr Kitchen & Bar/Website
2120 Harden Blvd, Lakeland, 813-752-7763
This buffet offers southern comfort food in many combinations with four different menus. After a 40 minute drive, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade breakfast casseroles, golden fried chicken, Jack Black oak smoked pork ribs and more. And no one will judge you if you take a food nap in the parking lot.
Photo via Fred’s Market Restaurant/Facebook
17788 Aprile Dr., Land O' Lakes, 813-575-9598
There's poke everywhere, but Hawaiian BBQ is the closest thing to the country stores found on the Kamehameha Highway drive that dominates the road during a drivefrom Honolulu and Haleiwa. A 30-minute drive from Tampa will lead you to healthy and fresh dishes always served with white rice, soybean, vegetables and that macaroni salad plus Spam and BBQ chicken musubi.
Photo via Hawaiian BBQ/Website
900 Broadway, Dunedin, 727-736-1179
Enjoy all things local with the fresh catch at Hog Island Fish Camp. Ranging from fried gulf oysters to a whole fried snapper, the Hog offers dishes fit for a perfect beach day.
Photo via Hog Island Fish Camp/Facebook
13350 Lincoln Rd., Riverview, 813-672-5111
Experience authentic Caribbean flavors with Little Habana’s pollo asado, bistec salteado and liver with peppers and onions along with guava, mango or papaya juice. If you are still wanting more after your meal, go for the desserts, including regular flan, coconut flan or tres leches.
Photo via Little Habana Cafe/Facebook
628 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, 727-934-4306
Walk into the bright blue doors of Mykonos and be immersed in Greek flavors with dishes like the restaurant’s lamb fricassee and cucumber-tomato salad, seasoned with green onions, parsley and olive oil.
Photo via Mykonos/Facebook
120 N Collins St., Plant City, 813-704-6015
Chef Andy brings creative dishes to a pretty simple concept. Just 35 minutes away from Tampa, this more-than-a-sandwich-shop has Cuban sandwiches, Mojo Chicken wraps, blackened chicken tacos, Cuban style bowl and salads.
Photo via Norma’s Plant City Cuban Sandwich Shop/Facebook