August 16, 2019

25 Tampa Bay dishes you need to eat before you call yourself a local

Whether you're just visiting Tampa Bay, or you've been here for generations, here are a few local staples you should get to know. If you haven't sampled these iconic Tampa Bay dishes, then you've got some work to do. Ditch the chains for a while and get to know your foodie rich city.

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Lechon Sandwich at Bodega 
1120 Central Ave, St. Pete
Fuck, man. If there was a place to eat alone at Bodega, then we’d eat the frita, Cuban and lechon in one sitting. There’s no secret room at the St. Pete food window and courtyard, however, and if we had to pick one, we’d go with the simple, garlic mojo pork sando with onions.
Photo via  Bodega/ Facebook

Lechon Sandwich at Bodega

1120 Central Ave, St. Pete
Fuck, man. If there was a place to eat alone at Bodega, then we’d eat the frita, Cuban and lechon in one sitting. There’s no secret room at the St. Pete food window and courtyard, however, and if we had to pick one, we’d go with the simple, garlic mojo pork sando with onions.

Photo via Bodega/ Facebook
Macadamia Nut Ice Cream at Bern’s Steak House Dessert Room 
1208 S Howard Ave, Tampa
Bern’s Steak House opened back in 1956, and quickly became a staple in town. But the Macadamia Nut ice cream has become an addiction. This scoop is Bern’s signature recipe, which took Bern Laxer seven years and more than 300 iterations to perfect.
Photo via  Bern’s Steak House/ Facebook

Macadamia Nut Ice Cream at Bern’s Steak House Dessert Room

1208 S Howard Ave, Tampa
Bern’s Steak House opened back in 1956, and quickly became a staple in town. But the Macadamia Nut ice cream has become an addiction. This scoop is Bern’s signature recipe, which took Bern Laxer seven years and more than 300 iterations to perfect.

Photo via Bern’s Steak House/ Facebook
Lobster Corn Dog at Big Ray’s Fish Camp  
6116 Interbay Blvd, Tampa
Tampa Bay is nuts over fish shacks, and Big Ray’s knows what’s up. Although there is a second location at The Sail in downtown Tampa, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not going to the original location and grabbing a massive lobster corn dog. While your at it, order a fresh grouper sando to really call yourself a local.
Photo via Big Ray’s Fish Camp/ Facebook

Lobster Corn Dog at Big Ray’s Fish Camp

6116 Interbay Blvd, Tampa
Tampa Bay is nuts over fish shacks, and Big Ray’s knows what’s up. Although there is a second location at The Sail in downtown Tampa, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not going to the original location and grabbing a massive lobster corn dog. While your at it, order a fresh grouper sando to really call yourself a local.

Photo via Big Ray’s Fish Camp/ Facebook
Paella at Columbia 
2117 E 7th Avenue, Ybor
This joint has been around for over a century, and once you go, you’ll get why. Locals know that eating at it is a rite of passage. So go big and get the paella for the table, because this visit should always be an experience.  
Photo via Columbia Restaurant Group/ Facebook

Paella at Columbia

2117 E 7th Avenue, Ybor
This joint has been around for over a century, and once you go, you’ll get why. Locals know that eating at it is a rite of passage. So go big and get the paella for the table, because this visit should always be an experience.

Photo via Columbia Restaurant Group/ Facebook
Bolognese at La Terrazza Ristorante Italiano 
If you’ve ever had a real goomba in your life, then they’ve made you bolognese. Everyone makes it different, and there are a few good ones in town, but nothing beats actually scoring a reservation at this relatively-affordable 23-year-old Ybor City staple where the the fettucine bolo is just one of many stars on a menu full of northern Italian classics.
1727 E 7th Ave, Ybor
Photo via Google Maps

Bolognese at La Terrazza Ristorante Italiano


If you’ve ever had a real goomba in your life, then they’ve made you bolognese. Everyone makes it different, and there are a few good ones in town, but nothing beats actually scoring a reservation at this relatively-affordable 23-year-old Ybor City staple where the the fettucine bolo is just one of many stars on a menu full of northern Italian classics. 1727 E 7th Ave, Ybor

Photo via Google Maps

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