Tampa Bay restaurants and bars 

11/01/2024
Home » Tampa Bay restaurants and bars 

Gain valuable knowledge on Tampa’s acclaimed cocktail culture, craft beers scene, lively rooftop bars and renowned eateries such as Koya, Lilac and Rocca, all of which have been awarded Michelin star status.

Michelin restaurants

There are more than 20 Michelin restaurants to choose from in Tampa Bay.

Well-known eateries include Rocca, which serves Italian dishes such as spaghetti al limone, tossed with knobs of blue crab and lemon, shaved garlic and zucchini; Koya, a Japanese restaurant serving staples such as bluefin tuna and uni, which are flown in weekly from Toyosu Market, and Lilan, serving Mediterranean food, situated in the stylish Edition hotel. Main dishes include Ora King salmon with a Florida stone crab salad or Colorado lamb chop with tender leeks and house-made lamb sausage.

Other Michelin-starred options include Bern’s Steak House, Greek restaurant Psomi and a taste of Himalayan cuisine at Gorkhali Kitchen.

There’s a guide to the Michelin restaurants here and a YouTube video here.

Eateries

Sparkman Wharf is a vibrant area on Tampa Bay’s downtown waterfront, with exceptional dining options, while the Armature Works offers eating options ranging from Asian to BBQ and everything in between.

For visitors who haven’t got time to sit down, DelMoros Fresh Pasta To Go serves high-quality Italian food to go. Or try Empamamas, for empanada, tacos and street eats including its signature empanada, the Tampa Girl, a twist on the Cuban sandwich.

Hemingway’s Cuban Cuisine offers a modern twist on Cuban classics.

More details about Armature Works are here.

Tampa Bay’s Oldest restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant has been providing live music and gourmet food for 120 years and has been named one of Florida’s top restaurants since 1967.

It was opened in December 1903 as the Columbia Saloon by Spanish-Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez Nr, and became the Columbia Restaurant two year later.

Over nearly 120 years, the original restaurant has expanded to an entire city block and is now the largest Spanish restaurant in the world, with 1,700 seats and 15 different dining rooms. It is still owned and operated by family members. As well as live music, guests can enjoy live flamenco shows.

Diners can enjoy specialities such as Cuban Black Bean Soup, Gazpacho Andalucia, tapas, the Cuban sandwich or main dishes such as chicken and rice, snapper or el combo de Cuba, a feast of roast pork, boliche, empanada de picadillo, platanos, black beans, yuca and yellow rice.

Cocktails and breweries

Tampa Bay has the greatest concentration of craft breweries in Florida and has firmly established itself as one of the top craft beer scenes in the country.

It has a long history, with its first commercial brewery, Florida Brewing, opening in Ybor City in 1896.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay began life in 1959 as a brewery and botanical garden, and these days Tampa Bay brewers make beers with local ingredients, including citrus and Cuban coffee.

The Bay Crafted Pass is an easy-to-use digital pass that guides visitors to participating breweries and distilleries around Tampa Bay, unlocking prizes when they visit different locations.

Find out more about Tampa Bay’s breweries here and watch a video here.

A guide called Tampa With A Twist gives details of the area’s hip cocktail scene, and there is a video about Tampa’s cocktail bars here.

For the chance to win a place on a fam trip with Visit Tampa Bay and Jetset, visit our new Tampa Bay Hub.

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