25 hard-to-get restaurant tables in Tampa Bay that are always worth the wait
There's busy restaurants, and there's ones that seem to always be slammed. Tampa Bay has a thriving restaurant scene and some of our local favs have the crowds to prove it. From high-end dining, to comfort food and neighborhood dives, here are a few of our favorite local haunts where you'll almost never eat alone. Remember, it doesn't hurt to call ahead!
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500 Channelside Dr, Tampa, (813) 771-8022
This new Mediterranean restaurant is on the ground floor of The Tampa Edition hotel, and helmed by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser. A menu highlight is the four-course prix fixe dinner, which highlights vegetable-forward selections like Handmade Herb Fusilli and Tuna Tartare Mont Blanc and more. Dress your best, because this intimate dining room is not for slouches.
Photo via Google Maps
1010 Gramercy Ln, Tampa, (813) 582-7755
Renowned chef Chris Ponte’s new Midtown restaurant features modern American cuisine with French and Italian influences.The menu has a variety of steak and seafood options like Chilean sea bass, New Bedford scallops, Denver steak Wagyu and Kansas City bone-in. Ponte also owns the sleek Italian restaurant Olivia and New American concept On Swann.
Photo via Google
2710 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, (727) 954-7425
Vibrant neighborhood bistro and cocktail bar Wild Child made its big debut in 2020 and is a partner project of The Bends owner Matt Kaye and Rob Reinsmith, former executive chef at Noble Crust. Featuring indoor and outdoor seating, the concept serves up exotic cocktails, as well as a seasonal menu, spanning items like mushroom and kale paella, octopus al pastor, and more.
Photo via Wild Child
615 Channelside Dr #112, Tampa, (813) 542-2021
Noble Rice, a modern Japanese restaurant that recently opened a new location in Sparkman Wharf, features a menu with nigiri and sashimi, as well as appetizer-style shareable plates, ramen bowls, grilled dishes and desserts. Diners can expect high quality selections such as bluefin tuna otoro, hokkaido scallops, and uni. There is also an extensive Japanese whiskey selection and signature cocktails that include the Hibiscus 75, a blend of Roku gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon and sparkling wine. Frank Anderson, Noble Rice’s executive chef, was most recently the creative culinary director at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Photo via Google Maps
912 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, (813) 254-7111
Acclaimed chef Jeannie Pierola’s Industrial gastropub sells inventive American plates inspired by the chef's experiments. Dishes like cracker-fried red snapper with smoked cheddar grits and sugar snap tomato bacon salsa and sushi with fois gras are just examples of what to find the inventive menu. You're going to want to RSVP for this spot. But if you ignore this advice and just pop in, then at last head to the bar while you wait, and make it an Edison's signature cocktail, which features fire from Lima a cilantro-infused Fontana Pisco, lime juice, jalapeño simple syrup, and egg whites.
Photo via Edison