24 under-the-radar restaurants you must try in Tampa Bay

Maybe its hard to find, out of the way or just looks straight up sketchy, but certain restaurants have a way of slipping under the radar. True foodies know that sometimes you've got to go out of your way to find that diamond in the rough. Here are a few restaurants in the Tampa Bay area that deserve your attention and appetites.

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Ciro’s  
2109 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa, 813-251-0022
Password please. Ciro’s classy cocktails and decadent delights aren’t available to just anyone off the street. In order to gain access to the historic Bayshore Royal Building locale, you’ve got to call ahead and request the password, not to mention the dress code. The minds behind Ciro’s swanky speakeasy environment request a collared shirt for the fellas and that the ladies “show off their ritzy threads.”
Photo via Ciro’s/Facebook

Ciro’s

2109 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa, 813-251-0022
Password please. Ciro’s classy cocktails and decadent delights aren’t available to just anyone off the street. In order to gain access to the historic Bayshore Royal Building locale, you’ve got to call ahead and request the password, not to mention the dress code. The minds behind Ciro’s swanky speakeasy environment request a collared shirt for the fellas and that the ladies “show off their ritzy threads.”

Photo via Ciro’s/Facebook
Japanese Kitchen Dosunco  
3310 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-605-5741
Sharing a strip mall with a nail bar and an oriental rug shop, Japanese Kitchen Dosunco’s nondescript street view doesn’t do much for curb appeal. Those who happen upon this hole in the wall Japanese joint, ramen lovers in particular, know that appearances can be deceiving.
Photo via Japanese Kitchen Dosunco/Facebook

Japanese Kitchen Dosunco

3310 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-605-5741
Sharing a strip mall with a nail bar and an oriental rug shop, Japanese Kitchen Dosunco’s nondescript street view doesn’t do much for curb appeal. Those who happen upon this hole in the wall Japanese joint, ramen lovers in particular, know that appearances can be deceiving.

Photo via Japanese Kitchen Dosunco/Facebook
Lolis Mexican Cravings
8005 Benjamin Rd., Tampa, 813-886-7467
Just of the Waters Avenue drag, down Benjamin Road, the chain restaurants and big box stores begin to fade in favor of houses and one hot pink building, Lolis Mexican Cravings. This hidden gem is serving up some of the best Mexican food in town including, sopes, tamales, tortas, quesadillas and tacos made with your choice of 11 proteins like ribeye, fish, lengua and a vegetarian option.
Photo via Google Maps

Lolis Mexican Cravings

8005 Benjamin Rd., Tampa, 813-886-7467
Just of the Waters Avenue drag, down Benjamin Road, the chain restaurants and big box stores begin to fade in favor of houses and one hot pink building, Lolis Mexican Cravings. This hidden gem is serving up some of the best Mexican food in town including, sopes, tamales, tortas, quesadillas and tacos made with your choice of 11 proteins like ribeye, fish, lengua and a vegetarian option.

Photo via Google Maps
La V   
441 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, (727) 820-3500
La V’s muted walls feature red accents, black and white photography and feathered light fixtures that set the restaurants sleek interior apart from its unassuming St. Petersburg storefront. La V owner Thuy Le focuses on fresh ingredients for her herbaceous Vietnamese fusion cuisine.  
Photo via Visit W3Schools.com

La V

441 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, (727) 820-3500
La V’s muted walls feature red accents, black and white photography and feathered light fixtures that set the restaurants sleek interior apart from its unassuming St. Petersburg storefront. La V owner Thuy Le focuses on fresh ingredients for her herbaceous Vietnamese fusion cuisine.

Photo via Visit W3Schools.com
Brooklyn South   
1437 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-914-4967
This quaint Central Avenue deli is serving up a menu built around premium quality meats and domestic and imported cheeses. Brooklyn South’s menu focuses on the ingredients, from killer sandwiches to decadent charcuterie boards.
Photo via Google Maps

Brooklyn South

1437 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-914-4967
This quaint Central Avenue deli is serving up a menu built around premium quality meats and domestic and imported cheeses. Brooklyn South’s menu focuses on the ingredients, from killer sandwiches to decadent charcuterie boards.

Photo via Google Maps

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At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.