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The Tampa Bay space presents all kinds of eating places. Some are upscale eating; others are down-to-earth waterfront locations the place you choose shrimp or crab and toss the shells on the desk. However wherever you go within the space, you’ll discover scrumptious meals. 

From Anna Maria Island, which divides Tampa Bay from the Gulf of Mexico, via St. Petersburg with its city allure and Tampa with its mixture of cultures, the meals displays in all of those Florida places.

I’ve numbered my favourite eating places however not so as of desire. I used to be additionally comped at most of them however all style selections are my very own.

A selection of appetizers at Columbia

A number of appetizers at Columbia

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

1. Columbia Restaurant

A lot of Tampa’s meals historical past started at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s Ybor Metropolis. Based in 1805, it’s the oldest in Florida and the most important Spanish restaurant on the planet.

What To Order At Columbia

It claims to be the inventor of the Cuban sandwich.

James Joyce Irish Pub

James Joyce Irish Pub

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

2. James Joyce Irish Pub

James Joyce Irish Pub is an Ybor Metropolis restaurant with an Irish taste. I felt like I had stepped into an Irish pub in Dublin with its darkish wooden, stained-glass home windows, and plenty of plaques on the partitions and ceilings. The 30-foot-long darkish wooden bar has about 50 beers on faucet, in addition to 30 Irish whiskeys, and plenty of different spirits. They’re a seven-time winner of the Tampa Bay Occasions Final Bar of the Yr Award.

Chef Trey Taylor’s Jamison Burger gained Greatest Burger at Burger Showdown, an annual occasion at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. He blends tender floor beef with Jamison whiskey and particular seasonings.

Rueben quesadilla at James Joyce

Rueben quesadilla at James Joyce

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

What To Order At James Joyce Irish Pub

I attempted their rueben quesadilla. It’s a candy and bitter mix of German and Mexican cultures.

Ulele Restaurant in Tampa, Florida


Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

3. Ulele

Ulele is on Tampa’s Riverwalk. The identify honors Princess Ulele, daughter of the Tocoboga tribe’s Chief Hirrihigua. Legend says, in 1528, she saved Juan Ortiz, a member of the Pánfilo de Narváez expedition, by throwing herself over his physique when the tribe sentenced him to dying by roasting.

The décor here’s a mixture of Spanish and Native American. There’s a larger-than-life wild horse, stained-glass home windows, and brick partitions. The surface patio has vibrant orange and black seating protected against the climate by giant yellow umbrellas. There are Native American sculptures, together with a statue of Ulele within the courtyard. The restaurant has an outdoor bar, a 10-foot barbacoa grill, and an on-site brewery.

Dishes mirror Native American tradition just like the Native Chili with alligator, wild boar, venison, duck, floor chuck, cranberry beans, and chili spices. You’ll be able to add jalapeño, purple onions, and white cheddar to make it Loaded Native Chili.

What To Order At Ulele

I attempted the gator tails. They have been tender with a crisp coating, seasoned with chili marinade, and served with a remoulade sauce for a little bit of spiciness. The perimeters of untamed rice blended with crispy carrot ribbons and asparagus have been a pleasant distinction.

For dessert, we shared candied bacon maple ice cream and pineapple upside-down bread pudding. The ice cream had a crispy cornflake crust. The pineapple gave the bread pudding a tang and the toasted coconut ice cream combined nicely. The darkish rum sauce added a buttery-liquor taste.

Professional Tip: It’s pronounced You-lay-lee.

4. Housewife’s Bakery And Cafe

If you wish to dine with locals, Housewife Bakery & Cafe is the place. It’s a small household enterprise serving Tampa since 1959. The meals is a mixture of the household’s Italian recipes and Tampa’s Cuban tradition. You’ll be able to select a Cuban pork roast or Italian sausage with peppers and onions served with rooster and yellow rice. They’ve their very own tackle the Cuban sandwich utilizing their very own Cuban bread with salami, ham, cheese, pork, pickles, and a mixture of mayo and mustard. One in all their specialties is an Italian-inspired dish, Scacciatta, associated to pizza.

The facet of the constructing is adorned with a mural displaying pies, cookies, and a gingerbread home.

What To Order At Housewife’s Bakery And Cafe

They bake an enormous number of cookies. I had to decide on between about 32 varieties. I settled for brownies and rum balls. Pastries, guava turnovers, mini cream puffs, mini eclairs, and extra occupy one other case. Carrot cake, cream pies, assorted muffins, and cheesecake tempt from a revolving case.

Cuban sandwich at Doc Ford's in Tampa, Florida

Cuban sandwich at Doc Ford’s

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

5. Doc Ford’s Rum Bar And Grill

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille is owned by Marty Harrity and Mark Marinello in partnership with Randy Wayne White, writer of the Doc Ford books. It sits on St. Pete Pier the place the restaurant and White’s Books meet. Marion “Doc” Ford is a marine biologist who lives in his home lab in Tampa Bay. Doc Ford, as soon as a authorities agent, is usually known as again for secret jobs. Each Ford and his restaurant specialise in seafood, so eating right here and watching boats cruise throughout the bay made me really feel like I used to be in one among his books. White’s favourite is the Yucatan shrimp, a spicy boiled peel-and-eat shrimp.

What To Order At Doc Ford’s Rum Bar And Grill

I selected the Cuban sandwich with ham, Swiss cheese, slow-roasted pork, mustard, and pickles served on a crispy Cuban roll. For a facet, I went wholesome and had a recent fruit bowl.

Ginny's and Jane E's

Ginny’s and Jane E’s

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

6. Ginny’s And Jane E’s

Ginny’s and Jane E’s on Anna Maria Island started because the creation of two sisters — one a farmer, the opposite an artwork and vintage seller. The cafe/retailer they opened in a former IGA grocery is a novel mix of native artwork and collectibles mixed with down-to-earth meals like salads, sandwiches, and bakery gadgets.

Round me, distinctive folks artwork, bicycles hanging from the ceiling, fish mounted on the partitions, racks of clothes, and antiques all created a enjoyable ambiance. Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Complete Lotta Shaking Goin’ On” enjoying within the background took me again to the Nineteen Fifties. Like within the ‘50s, the meals is actual farm-raised merchandise.

What To Order At Ginny’s And Jane E’s

My juicy, chunky rooster salad sandwich was a one-of-a-kind expertise.

Seafood Platter at Floridays

Seafood Platter at Floridays

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

7. Floridays Woodfire Grill And Bar

How usually are you greeted by a life-sized shark hanging over the bar? Floridays is a cross between an previous Florida fish home and a Key West seashore restaurant. It overlooks Anna Maria Sound. We dined within the tiki hut to benefit from the waterfront views.

What To Order At Floridays Woodfire Grill And Bar

We shared mussels cooked in garlic butter and white wine sauce for our appetizer. I went all out and had a seafood boil with shrimp, mussels, clams, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. It was boiled in an herbed beer broth that added a depth of taste to it. We completed up with a shared key lime pie and the P-nut Butter Chocolate Bar. The important thing lime was my favourite, as I may style the tartness of the recent key limes.

French toast at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

French toast at Anna Maria Island Seaside Cafe

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

8. Anna Maria Island Seaside Cafe

For breakfast, Anna Maria Island Seaside Café’s all-you-can-eat-pancakes are a convention on the island, however I had the French toast.

We sat outdoors to benefit from the breezy sandy seashore view. They’re open from breakfast via dinner.

What To Order At Anna Maria Island Seaside Cafe

A few of us couldn’t resolve between the French toast with blueberries or strawberries, so we obtained each and shared. The egg-dipped toast was properly browned and the candy fruit topping plus the whipped cream was a flavorful addition

Oysters Sampler at Swordfish Grill

Oysters Sampler at Swordfish Grill

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

9. Swordfish Grill And Tiki Bar

Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar in Cortez Fishing Village is a waterfront treasure. It’s a spot the place locals ramble in on a lined pier and boaters tie up and dock for nice seafood recent out of the native waters. You’ll be able to dine indoors or outside. There’s a facet patio, if you would like a quiet spot, and the again deck the place a musician competes with the diner’s conversations from a small stage. The ocean breeze wafts the odor of frying fish over the world.

What To Order At Swordfish Grill And Tiki Bar

We unfold out on the facet patio at a picnic desk. The menu is intensive and principally seafood. For starters, we ordered one thing you seldom discover outdoors the Keys, Bahamian conch fritters. In accordance with the menu, these are from “a secret recipe from the islands handed down via generations.” The seasoned outer crust was crisp, and the within comfortable and chewy. Conch meat tastes just a little like chewy oysters. Remoulade sauce added a layer of spiciness.

I ordered the oyster sampler with 4 every of the oysters Rockefeller, garlic parmesan oysters, and bacon jalapeno oysters. My favourite was the oysters Rockefeller.

The courtyard at Mar Vista

The courtyard at Mar Vista

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

10. Mar Vista

Mar Vista is a cross between high-quality eating and a Florida fish home. It’s on the water in Longboat Key and presents seashore eating beneath softly-lit oak bushes or a lined patio. We loved a four-course meal paired with high-quality wines.

What To Order At Mar Vista

Probably the most fascinating dish was the principle course, Shogun Farms pulled pork. Chef Aaron Kulzer advised us the meat comes from wild boars. Shogun Farms captures them, feeds them wholesome diets for at the very least a month, after which they slaughter them. The meat is tender and tastes recent, not gamey. The paired wine was Lola Russian River pinot noir.

Food at Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Meals at Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Photograph credit score: Kathleen Partitions

11. Anna Maria Oyster Bar

In 1995, John and Amanda Horne opened an oyster bar that grew into one among Bradenton’s most beloved seafood eating places, Anna Maria Oyster Bar. They now have 4 websites. The one I visited is on Anna Maria Island’s Historic Bridge Road Pier with a view of Tampa Bay. Boaters can dock on the pier and are available dine.

Naturally, oysters are a specialty. They arrive uncooked; steamed; tequila lime, what you get when an oyster marries a margarita; garlic parmesan; Grandma Georgie’s chipotle, a bit spicy; or oysters Rockefeller. There’re numerous different selections too.

What To Order At Anna Maria Oyster Bar

I had coconut shrimp with a candy and spicy apricot horseradish sauce. The big shrimp had sufficient coconut within the crust I may style its sweetness. My facet selections have been French fries and cheese grits. Drinks vary from comfortable to all variations of exhausting.

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