Tampa Bay's 25 small town restaurants everyone should try at least once

When it comes to Tampa Bay's best restaurants, it's not uncommon for the big metro eateries in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater to get all the shine. But, the burbs are filled with some serious hidden gems. Here are a handful of our favorite small town spots worth a quick trip this weekend.

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Breakfast Nook
1532 Land O' Lakes Blvd., Lutz
Located in Lutz, the Breakfast Nook serves breakfast and lunch for below $10. Orange cream French toast, eggs Benedict, chicken fried chicken and eggs and burgers are all available at the joint.
Photo via Breakfast Nook/Google Maps

Breakfast Nook

1532 Land O' Lakes Blvd., Lutz
Located in Lutz, the Breakfast Nook serves breakfast and lunch for below $10. Orange cream French toast, eggs Benedict, chicken fried chicken and eggs and burgers are all available at the joint.
Photo via Breakfast Nook/Google Maps
Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
8260 66th St. N, Pinellas Park
Open for 25 years, the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou is literally on the bay, and it serves Louisiana cuisine and craft ales from an old shack. The cafe is known for its soft shell crab dinner, shrimp bowl and crawfish cornbread. And just as you’d expect, it serves jambalaya and Creole gumbo. 
Photo via Cajun Cafe on the Bayou/Google

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou

8260 66th St. N, Pinellas Park
Open for 25 years, the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou is literally on the bay, and it serves Louisiana cuisine and craft ales from an old shack. The cafe is known for its soft shell crab dinner, shrimp bowl and crawfish cornbread. And just as you’d expect, it serves jambalaya and Creole gumbo.
Photo via Cajun Cafe on the Bayou/Google
Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar
148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin
Gulf views can be seen from every seat in the Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar. The beach eatery serves lunch and dinner inside and on the outside terrace. The Florida black grouper and lobster roll are some award-winning favorites.
Photo via Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar/Facebook

Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar

148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin
Gulf views can be seen from every seat in the Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar. The beach eatery serves lunch and dinner inside and on the outside terrace. The Florida black grouper and lobster roll are some award-winning favorites.
Photo via Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar/Facebook
Detroit Coney Island
32922 U.S. Hwy-19, Palm Harbor
Right off of U.S.-19, Detroit Coney Island is a breakfast, lunch and dinner stop. The diner serves classics like hamburgers and hot dogs, including the Coney Island hot dog. Detroit Coney Island also offers Polish dishes like two eggs with grilled Polish kielbasa and a Polish platter with pierogi, potato and cheese, sauerkraut and holiday-style kielbasa for dinner. 
Photo via Detroit Coney Island/Facebook

Detroit Coney Island

32922 U.S. Hwy-19, Palm Harbor
Right off of U.S.-19, Detroit Coney Island is a breakfast, lunch and dinner stop. The diner serves classics like hamburgers and hot dogs, including the Coney Island hot dog. Detroit Coney Island also offers Polish dishes like two eggs with grilled Polish kielbasa and a Polish platter with pierogi, potato and cheese, sauerkraut and holiday-style kielbasa for dinner.
Photo via Detroit Coney Island/Facebook
Gigglewaters
737 Main St., Safety Harbor
Gigglewaters is in the heart of downtown Safety Harbor, and it offers one screen for movies as well as food and drinks. The restaurant and movie theater inherited its name from the nickname of a 1920s cocktail, and the space ties in some of the old-timiness with a custom bar built from Biltmore doors and wood. The menu features the rare Wagyu beef on burgers, cherrywood smoked bacon and cocktails. As the owners are originally from Brooklyn, they also serve some New York favorites like Frito pie and ricotta cheesecake. Stop by for some good ol’ movie classics, and maybe even munch on their truffle popcorn..
Photo via Gigglewaters/Facebook

Gigglewaters

737 Main St., Safety Harbor
Gigglewaters is in the heart of downtown Safety Harbor, and it offers one screen for movies as well as food and drinks. The restaurant and movie theater inherited its name from the nickname of a 1920s cocktail, and the space ties in some of the old-timiness with a custom bar built from Biltmore doors and wood. The menu features the rare Wagyu beef on burgers, cherrywood smoked bacon and cocktails. As the owners are originally from Brooklyn, they also serve some New York favorites like Frito pie and ricotta cheesecake. Stop by for some good ol’ movie classics, and maybe even munch on their truffle popcorn..
Photo via Gigglewaters/Facebook

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

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