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Tampa restaurant recs?


foodiehall
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The hub and I will be visiting Tampa in a couple weeks to attend the mens' ACC basketball tournament at the St. Pete Forum, arriving on a Wed. and leaving on Sunday. We'll be staying at the Marriott Courtyard on Cass Street and will not be renting a car. Since we usually sit through all the games when attending these tournaments, many of our meals will consist of arena food. We'll probably be eating only a couple of dinners outside the Forum. I'm seeking advice/suggestions on dining options in this general area of the city...either within walking distance or a short cab ride. After eating said arena food, we'll be interested in real food/local specialities. Any places we should avoid? Thanks in advance for your help---either suggestions or referral to existing threads.

Cheryl

CBHall

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Cheryl,

First of all, have fun in my fine city. :)

Second, I am blanking out about what's near by, but I *do* know that the Channelside complex is practically next door, and it has many passable and some very good restaurants. One of my favorites is Thai Thani (if you like thai food).

Some of my friends like Stumps Supper Club, but I have not personally been there.

Anyhow, there are lots of places there, and you won't be able to miss Channelside, so if you have no other recommendations that should hold you!

Again, have fun, and if you respond with any questions I will do my best to answer.

Beverly

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We'll probably be eating only a couple of dinners outside the Forum.  I'm seeking advice/suggestions on dining options in this general area of the city...either within walking distance or a short cab ride.  After eating said arena food, we'll be interested in real food/local specialities.  Any places we should avoid?  Thanks in advance for your help---either suggestions or referral to existing threads.

Cheryl

My advice is to stay away from Channelside, except for Thai Thani. The restaurants there are chain places with no distinction or true flavor.

You'll have access to the tram which takes visitors east to Ybor, and east to Hyde Park.

My recommendations below are casual and good value. Everyday food by local owners.

Downtown- Spain (tapas- try the sangria!), Au Rendezvous (French bakery), First Watch (breakfast and lunch- it's a franchised chain but one of the best places to eat- fast, cheap and healthy). Jackson's on Harbour Island has a great happy hour sushi menu.

I would advise Laughing Cat (comfortable Italian, great lunch buffet) , Carmines (longtime part of Ybor- cuban sandwiches and spaghetti pair together perfectly here) , Mema's Alaskan Tacos (latenight alcohol absorbtion hangout), Samurai Blue (sushi), La Tropicana (historical, try the Deviled Crab) in Ybor.

In Hyde Park, The Food and Wine Exchange (best priced and sourced wine and beer list in town - besides the heavy hitters below)- also has a fantastic menu. Bella's for into the late-night great Italian.

Pizza- Gourmet Pizza Company, the best in Tampa, also delivers salads and pasta, and the best cheese sticks ever created.

You'll hear a great deal about Columbia, Berns and SideBerns, Cafe BT and Mise en Place. These are the "finest" establishments in Tampa. They are definitely special occasion dining, although Mise en Place has well priced lunches and Columbia is more about the wow/history/tourist factor. If I got to choose out of all of them- I go to SideBern's who has the most creative and cutting edge chef in town. Her prices also echo this and sometimes they try too hard- but how is that negative in the long run?

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My favorite place is Ceviche Tapas Bar on South Howard. It's close to down town, but you'll have to take a cab to get there. There plenty of good places to eat on Howard Ave. Oasis, 717, Berns, and Sideberns. All great places to eat.

Oasis is Lebanese, and Bern's is one of the best aged steak places in town.

You can always check out the Bay's finest: Hooters in Channelside... :cool:

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  • 4 weeks later...
The hub and I will be visiting Tampa in a couple weeks to attend the mens' ACC basketball tournament at the St. Pete Forum, arriving on a Wed. and leaving on Sunday.  We'll be staying at the Marriott Courtyard on Cass Street and will not be renting a car.  Since we usually sit through all the games when attending these tournaments, many of our meals will consist of arena food.  We'll probably be eating only a couple of dinners outside the Forum.  I'm seeking advice/suggestions on dining options in this general area of the city...either within walking distance or a short cab ride.  After eating said arena food, we'll be interested in real food/local specialities.  Any places we should avoid?  Thanks in advance for your help---either suggestions or referral to existing threads.

Cheryl

Mise en place all the way. Not to expensive and a fantastic meal!

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  • 8 months later...

My favorites have been the new BT and Sideberns. For lunch, Pane Rustica has been as good as anywhere in the country. I agree with most of what other people said.

Anybody else? I'm going back for Christmas.

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Hi

We're in Tampa this weekend with our 10 month old son, who is usually very well-behaved at restaurants but occasionally gets yippy. We'd love to go to Sideberns but aren't sure if he'd be welcome there... Any input? Where can we go for a great meal and bring our kid? We're happy to go at off time-early etc.

Thanks

Sara

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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  • 3 weeks later...
I'm headed down to the Outback bowl, and I can't afford things like SideBerns or La Columbia.  The name that keeps coming up in my searches for cheap places is La Teresita.  What can y'all tell me about it?

La Teresita is fine but my go to place for cuban is Arco Iris. In fact, it is just down the street from La Teresita. I have always preferred not only the food at Arco Iris but also the atmosphere. There seem to be more locals at AI.

Here is a link to a menu from Arco Iris. Not sure how old the menu is but it does not seem too far off from current prices.

http://www.menusearch.net/menus/1009general.pdf

John

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