Top 10 Must-Visit Dining Spots in Tampa

Tampa is a vibrant city known for its diverse culinary scene. From upscale steakhouses to trendy eateries, there is no shortage of dining spots to explore. In this article, we highlight the top 10 must-visit dining spots in Tampa that offer a unique and unforgettable gastronomic experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the exquisite flavors of Bern’s Steak House, a renowned dining destination in Tampa.
  • Indulge in the delicious cuisine and waterfront views at Ulele, a popular restaurant with a creative menu.
  • Savor the traditional Spanish dishes and historic ambiance at Columbia Restaurant, a culinary gem in Tampa.
  • Explore the innovative and experimental dishes at Edison: Food+Drink Lab, a culinary laboratory pushing the boundaries of taste.
  • Enjoy fresh seafood and stunning views of the bay at Oystercatchers, a waterfront restaurant offering a memorable dining experience.

1. Bern’s Steak House

1. Bern's Steak House

When it comes to fine dining in Tampa, Bern’s Steak House stands out as a legendary establishment. Known for its exceptional service and an extensive wine collection, Bern’s offers a dining experience that is both classic and unforgettable.

  • Wine Selection: Boasting one of the largest wine collections in the world, wine enthusiasts are in for a treat.
  • Dry-aged Steaks: Their signature dry-aged steaks are a must-try for any meat lover.
  • Dessert Room: A visit to Bern’s is incomplete without indulging in their famous Dessert Room.

Bern’s Steak House is not just a meal; it’s a culinary journey that tantalizes all the senses. Make sure to book your table in advance to secure a spot in this iconic Tampa destination.

2. Ulele

2. Ulele

Nestled on the banks of the Hillsborough River, Ulele offers a unique fusion of indigenous Floridian ingredients and modern culinary arts. The restaurant’s name pays homage to a Native American princess, reflecting its commitment to native-inspired dishes.

  • Ambiance: Ulele’s rustic yet elegant decor complements the waterfront setting, providing a serene dining experience.
  • Menu Highlights: Expect to find a variety of seafood, wild game, and vegetarian options, all sourced locally when possible.

Ulele is not just a meal; it’s a journey through Florida’s rich culinary heritage.

With an emphasis on freshness and sustainability, Ulele’s chefs craft dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious. The open kitchen design allows diners to witness the magic as their meals are prepared.

3. Columbia Restaurant

3. Columbia Restaurant

Steeped in history and flavor, Columbia Restaurant stands as a testament to Tampa’s rich cultural tapestry. Established in 1905, it is recognized as Florida’s oldest restaurant, and it has been delighting patrons with its authentic Spanish cuisine for generations.

The menu at Columbia is a celebration of Spanish culinary traditions, featuring a variety of tapas, paellas, and other classic dishes. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

  • Tapas: A selection of small plates perfect for sharing.
  • Paellas: Prepared in the traditional style, these rice dishes are a house specialty.
  • Sangria: Made fresh daily, the sangria is a refreshing complement to any meal.

Embrace the vibrant atmosphere and indulge in a dining experience that transcends the ordinary. The live flamenco performances add an extra layer of authenticity, making every visit memorable.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to Explore fishing at Lake Murray, relax in Finlay Park with family activities, and enjoy live music at The Senate and jazz at Pearlz Oyster Bar in Columbia.

4. Edison: Food+Drink Lab

4. Edison: Food+Drink Lab

At Edison: Food+Drink Lab, innovation meets culinary excellence, creating an unforgettable dining experience. With a menu that changes frequently, Edison offers a fresh take on global cuisine, emphasizing unique flavor combinations and modern techniques.

  • Inventive cocktails
  • Seasonally inspired dishes
  • Artisanal desserts

Edison is not just a meal; it’s a journey through a landscape of taste and creativity.

Ranked #30 on Tripadvisor among Tampa’s bustling dining scene, Edison has garnered a reputation for its dynamic menu and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re in for a casual evening or a special occasion, Edison’s commitment to quality and innovation ensures a memorable culinary adventure.

5. Oystercatchers

5. Oystercatchers

Nestled right at the edge of Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers offers more than just a stunning view; it’s a culinary journey that emphasizes fresh seafood and local ingredients. The ambiance is perfect for a romantic dinner or a special family gathering.

The menu at Oystercatchers is a testament to Tampa’s rich coastal offerings. From the succulent Gulf oysters to the perfectly grilled catch of the day, each dish is crafted to perfection. The restaurant’s commitment to freshness is evident in every bite.

At Oystercatchers, the focus is on the purity of flavors and the art of plating, ensuring that each dish is not only delicious but also a feast for the eyes.

For those who appreciate a good wine pairing, the restaurant boasts an impressive selection. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:

  • Starters: A variety of fresh oysters, ceviche, and shrimp cocktail
  • Main Courses: Grilled fish specialties, lobster tails, and scallops
  • Desserts: Key lime pie, chocolate mousse, and crème brûlée

6. Armature Works

6. Armature Works

Nestled in the heart of Tampa’s Heights district, Armature Works is a fully restored mixed-use building that breathes new life into the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood. This premier destination for dining, shopping, and entertainment is housed in a beautifully renovated industrial building.

With a variety of culinary options, Armature Works caters to all tastes and preferences. Here’s a quick glimpse of what you can expect:

  • Heights Public Market: A food-lover’s dream, featuring an open-concept dining area and a range of artisanal vendors.
  • Multiple Restaurants: From casual eats to fine dining, there’s something for everyone.
  • Event Spaces: Ideal for weddings, corporate events, and social gatherings.

Embrace the vibrant atmosphere and the blend of old and new at this iconic Tampa spot. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a special night out, Armature Works has you covered.

Don’t forget to take a stroll along the Riverwalk, enjoy the live music, and if you’re up for a short trip, the Columbia Museum of Art is not too far away. It’s the perfect way to digest after a satisfying meal.

7. On Swann

7. On Swann

Nestled in the heart of Hyde Park, On Swann offers a contemporary twist on American cuisine. The kitchen’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients and a seasonally changing menu ensures a fresh and unique dining experience with every visit.

The atmosphere at On Swann strikes a balance between casual and sophisticated, making it perfect for any occasion. From the artful plating to the attentive service, every detail is carefully curated to create an unforgettable meal.

The restaurant’s bar program is equally impressive, featuring handcrafted cocktails and a thoughtful selection of wines and craft beers.

Here’s a quick glimpse at what to expect:

  • Seasonally inspired dishes
  • Artisanal cocktails
  • Farm-to-table ethos
  • Vibrant ambiance

Whether you’re in for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, On Swann is a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts and casual diners alike.

8. The Refinery

8. The Refinery

Nestled in the heart of Tampa’s burgeoning food scene, The Refinery stands out as a beacon for food enthusiasts. With its ever-changing menu that adapts to the seasons, diners are guaranteed a unique experience with each visit. The chefs at The Refinery pride themselves on transforming locally sourced ingredients into culinary masterpieces.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is casual yet inviting, making it a perfect spot for both a laid-back dinner or a special occasion. The service is known for being attentive and knowledgeable, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

The Refinery is not just a meal; it’s a journey through Tampa’s local flavors and culinary innovation.

While The Refinery does not shy away from creativity, it also pays homage to classic flavors and dishes. For those looking to explore the essence of Tampa’s dining culture, this spot is a must-visit.

9. Rooster & the Till

9. Rooster & the Till

Nestled in the heart of Tampa’s vibrant food scene, Rooster & the Till stands out as a beacon of culinary innovation. This modern American restaurant has quickly become a favorite for its dynamic menu that showcases local ingredients with a creative twist.

The atmosphere at Rooster & the Till is both intimate and energetic, making it an ideal spot for a casual dinner or a special occasion. The service is known for being attentive and knowledgeable, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

  • Dynamic menu
  • Local ingredients
  • Creative twist
  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Energetic vibe
  • Attentive service

Rooster & the Till is not just a meal; it’s a journey through the flavors that make Tampa’s cuisine unique.

With accolades like being rated 4.5 out of 5 on Tripadvisor and a ranking of #122 out of 2724 restaurants in Tampa, it’s clear that Rooster & the Till is a must-visit dining spot for both locals and visitors alike.

10. Datz

10. Datz

Datz is a culinary cornerstone in the Tampa food scene, known for its inventive American comfort food. This gastropub offers a whimsical take on traditional dishes, ensuring a unique dining experience with every visit. The menu is a playful mix of classics and creative twists, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

  • Famous for their hearty brunches, Datz serves up generous portions that are perfect for a lazy weekend morning.
  • Their dinner menu features a range of options from burgers and sandwiches to more sophisticated entrees.
  • Don’t miss out on their extensive craft beer selection and signature cocktails.

At Datz, the atmosphere is as vibrant as the food. It’s a place where the spirit of Tampa’s culinary diversity is celebrated with gusto and a touch of humor.


In conclusion, Tampa offers a diverse and vibrant dining scene with a plethora of must-visit spots for food enthusiasts. From upscale restaurants to cozy cafes, there is something for everyone in this culinary paradise. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, authentic Cuban cuisine, or innovative fusion dishes, Tampa has it all. Explore the top 10 dining spots mentioned in this article and embark on a culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Bon appétit!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a dress code at these dining spots?

Dress codes vary by restaurant, but most of these spots are casual to smart-casual. It’s always a good idea to check the specific restaurant’s website for their dress code policy.

Are reservations required at these dining spots?

Reservations are recommended, especially for popular dining spots like Bern’s Steak House and Ulele. It’s best to make a reservation in advance to secure your table.

Do these dining spots cater to dietary restrictions?

Yes, most of these dining spots offer options for various dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more. It’s advisable to inform the restaurant staff about your dietary needs when making a reservation.

What is the average price range at these dining spots?

The price range varies depending on the restaurant and the dishes you choose. Generally, these dining spots offer a range of prices to accommodate different budgets, from affordable options to more upscale dining experiences.

Do these dining spots offer outdoor seating?

Some of these dining spots offer outdoor seating options, especially in the pleasant Tampa weather. It’s recommended to check with the restaurant in advance if you prefer outdoor dining.

Is parking available at these dining spots?

Most of these dining spots offer parking facilities, either on-site or nearby. Some may have valet parking services as well. It’s advisable to check the parking options when planning your visit.

Do these dining spots have a kids’ menu?

Many of these dining spots offer a kids’ menu with a selection of child-friendly dishes. It’s best to inquire with the restaurant about their kids’ menu options when dining with children.

Do these dining spots have any special events or promotions?

Some of these dining spots may host special events or offer promotions at different times. It’s recommended to follow their social media pages or subscribe to their newsletters to stay updated on any upcoming events or promotions.

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