Tampa, a vibrant city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is a gastronomic paradise. There are over 404 restaurants in Tampa, each offering a unique dining experience. Known for its rich culinary diversity, Tampa’s food scene is a melting pot of flavors, from the finest steaks and seafood to authentic Latin American cuisine.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast looking for the next gourmet discovery or simply someone who appreciates a good meal in a great atmosphere, Tampa’s best restaurants have something to delight your palate.
This blog post will guide you through the top-rated restaurants in Tampa, each known for their distinctive menus, exceptional service, and unforgettable dining experiences. Let’s discuss the details of the 15 best restaurants in Tampa.
1. Ulele: Best Restaurant In Tampa Florida
Ulele is a gem in Tampa’s dining scene, a delightful restaurant that celebrates the rich history and culinary traditions of Florida. Located on Tampa’s Riverwalk, Ulele offers a unique dining experience in an environment that reflects the area’s native culture and heritage.
The restaurant’s menu is a testament to its commitment to freshness and local sourcing. They serve dishes inspired by the early indigenous people of Tampa Bay, using ingredients sourced from local fishermen, farmers, and ranchers. This ensures that each dish not only tastes incredibly fresh but also supports the local community.
At Ulele, you can indulge in various flavorful dishes, from their signature chargrilled oysters to their mouthwatering Florida Pompano. Every dish is meticulously prepared, balancing traditional flavors with innovative culinary techniques. The result is a menu that’s both familiar and exciting, offering something for everyone.
But Ulele is more than just a restaurant—it’s a cultural experience. The restaurant is housed in the 1903 Tampa Heights Water Works building, beautifully restored to preserve its historical charm. The restaurant’s interior features works from local artists, further adding to its local appeal.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast or a history buff, Ulele promises an unforgettable dining experience. So, the next time you’re in Tampa, visit Ulele—it’s a taste of Florida you won’t want to miss.
2. On Swann
On Swann, a culinary gem nestled in the heart of Tampa’s Hyde Park Village opened its doors on May 29, 2016. This restaurant is a testament to Tampa’s rich history and vibrant modern culture. With an open-kitchen design, diners can observe the art of cooking as it unfolds, creating a unique and interactive dining experience.
Under the expert guidance of Executive Chef and Partner Chris Ponte, On Swann offers a menu that showcases the best of contemporary American cuisine. Chef Ponte began his culinary journey at Clearwater’s Pepper Mill Restaurant in 1991 before honing his skills at the renowned Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he graduated at the top of his class. His talent and passion are evident in every dish served at On Swann.
Heart of Community and Quality
The ethos of On Swann revolves around community, quality, and innovation. Co-founders John Cooper, Trudy Cooper, and Chris Arreola have established a culture prioritizing their people, customers, and the community. They’ve pioneered an evolution of high-service and high-quality products, setting a new standard for casual dining.
On Swann is more than just a restaurant—it’s a destination where guests can enjoy exceptional food in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Every visit promises a memorable gastronomic experience that reflects the spirit of Tampa.
3. Oak & Ola
Nestled in the heart of Tampa’s Armature Works, Oak & Ola is a restaurant that seamlessly blends European influence with Southern charm. This dynamic fusion is evident in their meticulously curated menu, which offers a delightful array of dishes inspired by European cuisine with a Southern twist.
Oak & Ola’s commitment to quality is reflected in every dish. They use only the freshest ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible, to create an authentic dining experience that leaves a lasting impression.
But Oak & Ola is more than just a restaurant—it’s an experience. The restaurant’s ambiance echoes the elegance and warmth of a European bistro, creating an intimate setting perfect for any occasion.
Their expansive wine list, featuring selections from around the world, complements their menu perfectly, ensuring that every meal is a celebration.
Moreover, Oak & Ola’s exceptional service sets them apart. Their staff is committed to providing a dining experience that exceeds expectations, making every visit a memorable one.
4. Rooster & The Till: Best Restaurants In Tampa Bay
Rooster & The Till, positioned in Seminole Heights, Tampa Bay, is more than a restaurant – an award-winning culinary adventure.
Since opening its doors in 2013, it has grown from a modest 37-seat establishment into a 72-seat dining destination renowned for its daring menu and wine list.
Co-owners Chef Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez have created an ever-evolving dining experience that introduces diners to new, exciting flavors.
This innovative approach to dining has earned Rooster & The Till numerous accolades, including the top spot on the Tampa Bay Times’ Top 50 list in 2018. Further testament to their excellence is Chef Ferrell Alvarez’s recognition as a semi-finalist for Best Chef South by the revered James Beard Foundation in 2017.
Commitment to Sustainability and Experiences
Beyond their culinary prowess, Rooster & The Till is committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing of ingredients. They understand the deep connection between the environment and the food we consume, creating dishes that not only satisfy the palate but also respect the planet.
Their dedication extends to the overall dining experience. Rooster & The Till offers personalized dinner experiences for special occasions, with the option of custom-made wine or cocktail pairings.
Leading this remarkable endeavor is a talented team including General Manager Karlyn Muzik, Executive Chef Martin DeJesus, Bar Manager Cara Dozier, and Sous Chef Aubrie Casiano. Each member brings their unique expertise and passion for hospitality, ensuring every visit to Rooster & The Till is a memorable one.
5. Bern’s Steak House
Bern’s Steak House, located on Howard Avenue in Tampa, has served its guests an extraordinary dining experience since 1956.
The restaurant, which started from an ordinary business block, was transformed by Bern and Gert into the iconic establishment it is today, complete with in-house carpenters, metalworkers, painters, and electricians.
The restaurant is renowned for its perfectly aged steaks, cut to order and dry-aged in-house for 5-8 weeks.
But that’s not all; Bern’s Steak House also offers oysters, escargot, and 16 different types of caviar, among other mouth-watering selections.
Each visit is not just a meal but a gastronomic adventure that defines Bern’s unique culinary experience.
Wine Collection and Dessert Room
Beyond the exquisite food, Bern’s Steak House boasts one of the world’s largest wine collections. With over half a million bottles and 6500 labels from around the globe, the restaurant’s wine cellar is a sight to behold.
Guests can choose from over 150 wine selections by the glass, including an extensive range of dessert wines and ports.
Adding to the unique dining experience is the internationally famous Harry Waugh Dessert Room. Here, guests can indulge in sweet treats that perfectly round off their dining experience, creating lasting memories of their visit.
6. The Deviled Pig
Located on South Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, The Deviled Pig is an exceptional barbecue restaurant that has been delighting customers since 2018. Its unique fusion of traditional roots and innovative dishes has earned it the title of Best BBQ in Tampa. The restaurant’s menu boasts a variety of tantalizing options, including Buccaneer Bones, Pitmaster Queban, and the signature Deviled Pig.
One standout dish is the Mojo Whole Hog Tostada, perfected by Chef-Owner Alex and Pitmaster Nerio.
This award-winning dish features a flavorful fusion of sesame mole, fresh avocado mousse, pickled red onions, and cilantro microgreens.
Smoked pork butt rubbed with Pirate Powder further showcases the establishment’s commitment to creating memorable barbecue experiences.
Catering and Special Events
Beyond its sit-down menu, The Deviled Pig offers comprehensive catering services for all occasions, including tailgates, weddings, and corporate events. Custom menus can be created to suit the needs of any event, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all guests.
A highlight of their catering service is the Whole Hog Feast. This involves a 72-hour process where the hog is brined, seasoned, and then smoked slowly for the perfect result. The feast is carved fresh for party guests, making it an ideal centerpiece for any themed party—from a luau to a medieval banquet.
So, whether you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience or planning a special event, The Deviled Pig promises excellent barbecue and more.
7. The Columbia Restaurant
Established in 1905, the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant. A family-owned and operated establishment for over a century, it stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of Spanish-Cuban cuisine.
The dream of a young Spanish-Cuban immigrant has evolved into a culinary legacy that spans seven locations across Florida, including Ybor City, Tampa, St. Augustine, and more.
Each location reflects the unique community it resides in, making every visit an immersive dining experience.
Columbia Restaurant’s menu is a fusion of Spanish and Cuban flavors, offering dishes that reflect five generations of family ownership.
Their exceptional wine collection, one of the largest Spanish wine collections globally, adds to the allure of the dining experience.
Beyond its delicious food and wine, Columbia Restaurant offers a Flamenco Show at its Ybor City location—an authentic cultural experience that pairs perfectly with its cuisine. They also provide curbside pickup, group dining, and catering services, extending their hospitality beyond the restaurant’s walls.
Columbia’s online store offers gift cards and other Columbia classics, perfect for gifting a piece of this historic restaurant’s charm.
With its rich history, delectable cuisine, and commitment to preserving tradition, Columbia Restaurant offers a dining experience like no other.
8. Rome + Fig
This restaurant blends local sourcing with global inspiration, delivering a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. Its location at 317 N. Rome Avenue makes it a convenient destination for anyone seeking an extraordinary dining adventure.
The menu at Rome + Fig Bistro is a testament to their commitment to freshness and quality. It’s a dynamic fusion of flavors, expertly crafted by seasoned chefs using locally sourced ingredients. Every dish tells a story, reflecting the rich tapestry of global cuisines while honoring the bounty of Tampa’s local farms and produce.
The Rome + Fig Experience
Beyond just providing exceptional food, Rome + Fig Bistro offers an inviting atmosphere that complements its exquisite menu. The bistro’s well-curated wine list and innovative cocktail offerings add another layer to the dining experience, making every meal a celebration of taste and culture.
In addition to dine-in services, Rome + Fig Bistro also provides catering services for special events. Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a large-scale event, their team is ready to deliver a memorable culinary experience that your guests won’t soon forget.
9. Spinners Rooftop Grille
It is the best rooftop restaurant in Tampa. Perched 12 floors above the St. Pete Beach shoreline, Spinners Rooftop Grille offers an unparalleled dining experience with literal 360-degree views.
Accessible via a private elevator from the Bellwether’s lobby level, patrons are treated to a slowly rotating panorama of the beachfront as they indulge in the restaurant’s laid-back yet luxurious offerings.
Spinners stands out not just for its unique location but also for its commitment to fresh, local ingredients.
The menu showcases the best of Florida, featuring locally caught seafood, fresh greens, sweet treats, and premium beef & pork sourced from across the country.
In partnership with local farmers at The Villages Grown, Spinners ensures that the freshest produce lands on your table within 48 hours of harvest.
Special Events and More at Spinners Rooftop Grille
Aside from its regular dining services, Spinners hosts special events like the one-of-a-kind Sunday Brunch Buffet. This event features breakfast favorites, a bagel station, frittatas, and more, all against endless sea views.
They’re also gearing up for a Thanksgiving Dinner that promises to be a delightful feast with a warm atmosphere and unmatched views.
To make someone’s day even more special, gift cards are available, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience at Spinners Rooftop Grille.
10. Goody Goody Burgers
Goody Goody Burgers, an iconic brand in Tampa, is known for its delectable burgers, fries, and pies. Purchased by Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group in 2014, the brand has two locations—one at Hyde Park Village and another at Airside C in Tampa International Airport (TIA).
Here are some key points about Goody Goody Burgers:
- Open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and curbside pickup services.
- Recognized by Southern Living Magazine as serving the “Best Breakfast in Florida”.
- Provides an online waitlist service during busy times.
More Than Just Great Food
Customers love Goody Goody Burgers not only for its food but also for its excellent service and great atmosphere. The staff is always smiling, quick to serve, and ensures every visit is memorable.
In addition to its mouth-watering menu, Goody Goody also offers a unique location advantage. Its Hyde Park Village location is surrounded by shopping areas, providing plenty of things to see and do while waiting for your table.
11. Oxford Exchange
It is located in the heart of Tampa, Oxford Exchange is far more than just a restaurant. It’s a culinary destination that offers a unique blend of dining, shopping, and cultural experiences.
The Restaurant at Oxford Exchange stands out with its art-filled dining room and sunlit Conservatory, providing an inviting atmosphere for guests.
Key Features of The Restaurant
- Serving weekday breakfast and lunch, weekend brunch, and afternoon tea.
- Offering a menu full of fresh, seasonal, signature dishes.
- It features an open kitchen and sunlit Conservatory seating.
- Complementing meals with premium coffees, teas, and cocktails.
The Champagne Bar: Where Style Meets Taste
The Champagne Bar at Oxford Exchange adds a touch of luxury to the dining experience. This stylish and vibrant space is nestled within The Shop, allowing guests to browse and shop while savoring select cocktails, champagne, or rosé.
Key Features of The Champagne Bar
- Serving a selection of champagne, rosé, and cocktails.
- Its location within The Shop enhances the browsing experience.
- Showcasing maximalist decor marked by pink and red shades, lush fabrics, and exuberant textures.
At Oxford Exchange, every visit is a feast for both the palate and the eyes.
12. Zukku Sushi
Tucked inside the historic Armature Works building in Tampa, Florida, Zukku Sushi is a dining hotspot that brings a unique twist to sushi. Renowned for its sushi burritos and poke bowls, this trendy spot has captured the hearts of sushi enthusiasts and food adventurers. The vibe is hip and fast-paced, yet the focus remains on the fresh, high-quality ingredients that make each dish a delight.
- The restaurant offers a unique concept of sushi burritos and poke bowls.
- Customers can customize their dishes from various proteins, bases, sauces, and extras.
- Despite the bustling atmosphere, the service is quick and efficient.
- Outdoor seating near chess boards adds a fun twist to the dining experience.
More Than Sushi at Zukku Sushi
But there’s more to Zukku Sushi than just sushi. The restaurant also offers a refreshing selection of boba tea, with flavors like Mango Green Tea being a crowd favorite.
Whether grabbing a quick lunch or enjoying a leisurely dinner, Zukku Sushi promises an unforgettable culinary experience.
13. Council Oak Steaks and Seafood
Council Oak Steaks and Seafood is a classic American and best Italian restaurant in Tampa, a steakhouse that offers more than just a meal—it provides a sophisticated dining experience steeped in elegance. Located at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, this restaurant takes pride in its open-kitchen concept, allowing guests to witness the culinary magic unfold right before their eyes.
Key features of Council Oak Steaks and Seafood
- U.S.D.A. prime cuts of beef, sourced and prepared with care.
- A signature raw bar that adds a refreshing twist to the menu.
- An array of local seafood celebrating Florida’s rich marine bounty.
- A lounge that serves a wide variety of well-known and approachable liquors, along with an exclusive list of high-end spirits.
- A comprehensive wine list boasting over 400 labels from around the world.
14. Noble Crust
Noble Crust combines the comfort of Southern cooking with the sophistication of Italian cuisine to create a unique dining experience. With locations in Carrollwood, St. Petersburg, and Wesley Chapel, Florida, this restaurant is renowned for its warm hospitality and innovative menu.
- A menu that offers an exciting blend of Italian dishes with a Southern twist.
- The availability of online ordering for convenient pick-up.
- Locations spread across Florida for easy access.
- An option to host private parties for special occasions.
Dining Experience Like No Other
But there’s more to Noble Crust than just its distinctive menu. The restaurant creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, making it ideal for both intimate dinners and large gatherings. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a meal out, Noble Crust promises a memorable experience.
Additional highlights include:
- A variety of specials that add an extra touch of excitement to your dining experience.
- The opportunity to become a VIP member for exclusive benefits.
- Gift cards are available for purchase, making it easy to share the Noble Crust experience with friends and family.
15. Gigglewaters Social Club and Screening Room
Gigglewaters Social Club and Screening Room are the best restaurants in downtown Tampa. Situated in the heart of downtown Safety Harbor, it offers an enchanting blend of upscale comfort food, delightful drinks, and classic movies. This makes it a must-visit for food enthusiasts and movie buffs alike.
- A menu brimming with gourmet comfort foods to satisfy diverse palates.
- A wide range of refreshing drinks to complement your meals.
- Regular screenings of classic films for a unique dining experience.
Gigglewaters Social Club and Screening Room goes beyond the conventional dining experience. It adds an extra layer of enjoyment by combining good food with great entertainment.
Wrap-Up: Best Restaurants In Tampa
In conclusion, Tampa’s culinary scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city. Whether you’re a meat lover or seafood enthusiast, prefer Italian flavors or Southern comfort food, the city has something for everyone. Council Oak Steaks and Seafood at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers an upscale dining experience with prime cuts and fresh seafood.
Noble Crust stands out with its unique fusion of Southern and Italian cuisine, spread across multiple locations for easy access.
Gigglewaters Social Club and Screening Room in downtown Safety Harbor takes dining to a new level by pairing gourmet comfort food with classic movies. Each of these establishments offers a unique atmosphere, innovative menus, and excellent service, making them some of the best restaurants in Tampa. All above are the best affordable restaurants in Tampa.
I’m Usama Ali. A Content Strategist, copywriter, and editor with over 10+ years in writing. I love to explore the beauty of the world and write about all the personal experiences I have, find the best deals of hotels, and write reviews on hotels after getting surveys, travelling to hotels, and also give tips and tricks to save money on tours using motel.com’s blog.