Tampa Bay's best restaurants, food and drink of 2022, according to our readers

More than 500,000 votes were cast in the 2022 Best of the Bay reader's poll, and the results are finally in. These…

By CL Staff

Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
Winner: Willa's Tampa
Runners-up: Ciro’s Speakeasy, The Saint
Photo via Willa’s Tampa/Instagram
134 slides

The most-anticipated new restaurants coming to Tampa Bay this fall

It's time to fall into some restaurant openings, Tampa Bay. Supply chain issues aside, we totally think most of these much-anticipated spots…

By Molly Ryan

Torchy’s Tacos

     2314 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg
    This winter, Austin staple, Torchy’s Tacos, is bringing “damn good” tacos to the Bay. Known for its decadent and creative combinations, Torchy’s signature, and most acclaimed, taco is its Trailer Park taco with fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar jack cheese and poblano sauce—don’t forget to make it “trashy” by replacing the lettuce with green chile queso.
    Photo via torchystacos.com
20 slides

The best new restaurants to open in Tampa Bay this summer

Along with this summer's record hot temps, Tampa Bay also witnessed some steamy restaurant openings. From new halal and pierogi spots, to…

By Molly Ryan

Krate at the Grove
6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel
Lookout Sparkman Wharf, there’s a new shipping container park in the Bay. Located at Wesley Chapel’s shopping center, the Grove, Krate hosts 55 container concepts, an outdoor stage and play area. To add to its retail and dining, Krate also has spots to pick up drinks.
Photo via Krate at the Grove/Facebook
20 slides

Here's what happened to every Florida bar featured on 'Bar Rescue'

The state of Florida has been a longtime favorite for the reality show "Bar Rescue," where host Jon Taffer – inventor of…

By CL Staff

Cerealholics Cafe and Bar 
    1909 N 15th St., Ybor City
    With less than two years in service, Cerealholics in Ybor City didn’t take long to attract the attention of the “Bar Rescue” team. During Taffer’s stint at Cerealholics, the bar ditched its nostalgic-centered theme for a more modern approach under The Loft Elevated Bar + Food. However, The Loft recently announced they would close due to family reasons. 
    Photo via The Loft Ybor City/Facebook
27 slides

You've seen 'The Bear,' now here's where to find a hot Italian beef sandwich in Tampa Bay

Thanks to the new hit FX television show, “The Bear,” there’s been a recent booming demand for hot Italian beef sandwiches. And…

By Max Steele

Mike’s Pizza and Pub
14477 Walsingham Rd., Largo, 727-724-4100
After spending the day at Indian Rocks Beach, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite. Swing by Mike’s to try its version of a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich and you shouldn’t be disappointed. Mike’s Italian beef tabs $10, the same as its steak and cheese, chicken Philly, corned beef and reuben sandwiches.
Photo via Mike’s Pizza and Pub/Google
19 slides

Photos from Bolts Brew Fest 2022 at downtown Tampa's Amalie Arena

Thousands of guests and over 200 breweries got together last weekend to celebrate beer and hockey at the 5th annual Bolts Brew…

By CL Staff

Photos from Bolts Brew Fest 2022 at downtown Tampa's Amelie Arena
239 slides


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The best Tampa Bay restaurants when you have $15 or less

Great food doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. From delicious empanadas and sub sandwiches to burgers, tacos and even…

By CL Staff

Xtreme Tacos
    5609 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-304-2639
    Prepare for your mouth to be overwhelmed, as Xtreme Tacos offers some of the most bold flavors in all of Tampa, including its signature $3.79 Xtreme taco and $9.99 Xtreme burrito and bowl. You’ll also find $5.49 tostadas, $6.99 sopes and $8.99 quesadillas. 
    Photo via Xtreme Tacos/website
39 slides

The 20 best Tampa Bay bars and restaurants for ‘golden hour’ cocktails

Golden hour, that magical time right before sunset that makes even a half-eaten grouper sandwich look ethereal. A beachfront, a cocktail, your…

By Molly Ryan

M. Bird
1903 Market St., Tampa, 813-296-2702
Allow M. Bird’s ”tropical mod-deco” aesthetic, vibrant cocktails and rooftop sunset views do the work for your next Instagram photoshoot. Pose with the bright blue “Billy Ocean Water”on the rocks cocktail in that golden hour light or let the phone eat first with shareables like the jerk chicken egg rolls and entrees like the sesame-seared tuna. 
Photo via M. Bird/Facebook
20 slides

15 essential all-you-can-eat restaurants in Tampa Bay

Sometimes, you're just an insatiable bottomless pit, and standard restaurants with basic entrees just won't cut it.  Though the pandemic put the…

By Max Steele

Fat Willie’s Fish Camp
1912 Main St., Valrico, 813-571-7630
Fans of fried fish, listen up. Fat Willie’s serves all-you-can-eat fried haddock, catfish, shrimp and clam every Sunday from noon-30 to 7:30 p.m. for $23.99 per person. If you're somehow still hungry, you can order fried pickles, cajun hushpuppies and famous onion rings off the appetizer menu.
Photo via Fat Willie’s Fish Camp/Facebook
15 slides

All the breweries pouring at the upcoming 2022 Bolts Brew Fest

Hockey and beer? That's a no-brainer! That's why your favorite hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is bringing back everyone's favorite craft beer…

By CL Staff

Cigar City Brewing
Jai Alai IPA
Fancy Papers IPA
Frost Proof Belgian White
Cosmic Crown Belgian Strong Ale
69 slides

25 Tampa Bay restaurants that aren't just for tourists

Yes they're popular, but that doesn't mean that these Tampa Bay spots aren't worth your time. Whether your strolling down Tampa's Riverwalk,…

By Max Steele

Bait House  

45 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, 727-446-8134
After hanging 10 at Surf Style, enjoy some beach bites like spicy tuna nachos, buffalo shrimp, island fish tacos and more at the Bait House. Located off the Clearwater Beach roundabout, soak in the salty breeze on Bait House’s waterside deck seating and indulge on a local craft beer.
Photo via The Bait House/Website
25 slides

The 20 best new Tampa bars and restaurants that opened so far this year

In the past year, Tampa has become a playground for celebrity chefs, out-of-the-box concepts, reinvention, new franchising and fine dining. To make…

By Molly Ryan

Dang Dude  

615 Channelside Dr., 813-582-1770
Created by 2017 James Beard semifinalist Ferrell Alvarze and other associates, Dang Dude is one of the newest spots in Sparkman Wharf’s brigade of container restaurants. The fast-casual Asian fusion restaurant offers contemporary American food, like its fried grouper bits, alongside more traditional selections like rou jia mo Chinese-style baked buns.
Photo via Dang Dude/Facebook
20 slides

20 essential Tampa Bay tiki bars everyone should visit at least once

Frozen piña coladas, blackened grouper sandwiches, and mai tais are on the horizon. Tiki bars are a Florida staple, and here in…

By Max Steele

Cruisin’ Tikis
Tampa Bay, 727-477-8454
Cruisin’ through Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater, these six-person tiki boats are a ton of fun. Grab your buddies, hop on one of these floating adventures and drink ‘til the sun goes down. Whether you're a saltwater local or a visiting tourist, the tiki boat’s scenic views of Tampa Bay are an experience all can appreciate. BYOB!Photo via Cruisin’ Tikis Tampa Bay/website
20 slides

The 20 best new St. Pete bars and restaurants that opened so far this year

It's safe to say today's St. Petersburg is nearly unrecognizable from the city it was a decade ago—much of it due to…

By Molly Ryan

Salty Nun  

2501 Central Ave.
Grand Central’s Salty Nun comes from the minds behind two of Gulfport’s finest: Stella’s and Salty’s. With brunch and dinner menus, Salty Nun keeps the good eats and live music coming until the evening, serving Stella’s classics like its famous fried green tomatoes and Salty’s assortment of morning and evening cocktails.
Photo via Salty Nun/Facebook
20 slides

Tampa Bay's best places to eat, according to Yelp's 'Top 100 Florida Restaurants' of 2022

Yelp released its "Top 100 Florida Restaurants 2022" list and a handful of Tampa Bay food spots made the final cut, including highly-ranked…

By Max Steele

Uptown Eats
689-D Dr Martin Luther King Jr St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-810-3287
”They have a large variety of pastries and baked goods. I ordered a cappuccino and it was really really good. As for the food, I had a berry scone and then I also purchased the yogurt with granola, fresh fruit and coconut flakes. Delicious and nutritious!” - Noaa B.
Photo via Uptown Eats/Facebook
20 slides

20 essential suburban restaurants in Tampa Bay you should've tried by now

These spots aren't located in the heart of the city, but they still have our heart. Along with subdivisions, Tampa Bay's suburbs…

By Max Steele

12639 N 56th St., Temple Terrace, 813-515-7415
Babushka means grandmother, who’s also usually the best person at cooking in your family. Serving traditional Russian and Eastern European cuisine in an underrepresented Tampa Bay, Babushka’s menu is full of foods that look really good but are hard to pronounce. From brunch foods like oladi pancakes and hachapuri breakfast pie to dinner specialities like golubtsy cabbage rolls and lamb plov, there's so many unique dishes that will be hard to find anywhere else in Florida. A new South Tampa location has that SoHo shine, but the OG in Temple Terrace is where it’s at.
Photo via Babushka’s - Temple Terrace/Google
20 slides

Everyone we saw during Meet the Chefs 2022 at The Orlo in South Tampa

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's annual celebration of the Tampa Bay culinary scene returned this week when celebrated local chefs took to South…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw during Meet the Chefs 2022 at The Orlo in South Tampa
207 slides

The best places to eat and drink outdoors in Tampa Bay right now

In Florida, it's almost always a good time to be outside. So it makes sense that Tampa Bay would be come to…

By Molly Ryan

Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill  

6100 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 727-360-7041
Enjoy live music, sunsets and “the best darn coastal-American food in St. Pete” as day fades into night at Coconut Charlie’s Beach Bar & Grill. Whether taking a midday nap on the hammock after too many boozy slushies or sitting around the firepit at night with friends, Coconut Charlie’s offers something for everyone with its direct beach access.
Photo via Photo via Coconut Charlie’s/Facebook
20 slides

All of the Tampa Bay locations offering prix fixe menus during Restaurant Week (6/16-6/26)

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's annual Food Issue hits stands on June 16th, and to celebrate, we're hosting our 16th annual Tampa Bay…

By CL Staff

Rooster & the Till
6500 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 374-8940
39 slides

The 25 most-anticipated new restaurants coming soon to Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay's massive amounts of growth and development in the last year does not only mean shiny new buildings and clogged highways…

By Molly Ryan

Dave’s Hot Chicken  

Multiple locations
It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Area is becoming a haven for chicken lovers, and L.A.-based Dave’s Hot Chicken is coming to hop in on the action. Signing a deal to open eight locations in the greater Tampa area in the coming years, the chicken spot carries something for all eaters with spice levels ranging from “no spice” to “the reaper”.
Photo via Photo via Dave's Hot Chicken/Website
25 slides

20 essential old-school ice cream shops in Tampa Bay

Florida and ice cream go together like spotty bananas on a chocolate sundae, and it's been this way for a long, long…

By Molly Ryan

Dairy Joy
3813 S Manhattan Ave., Tampa, 813-839-5485 
While scooping ice cream since 1958, Dairy Joy fell under new management in 2018 and received a revamped, '50s-inspired pastel makeover. Located in the true heart of South Tampa, Dairy Joy, complete with an Elvis outside, offers outdoor seating and serves a vast selection of soft serve, dipped cones, and old-fashioned sundaes and shakes. 
Photo by Molly Ryan
20 slides

The 25 hottest new restaurants in Tampa Bay right now

From vegan sushi to pierogis, the cuisine across Tampa Bay has never been more expansive. We're already halfway through 2022, and the…

By Max Steele, Molly Ryan

Black Radish Grocer
246 Dr M.L.K. Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-623-9877
Though this vegan grocer opened its St. Pete location last December, Black Radish has earned a spot for its expansive fare and cuisine. Like its sister location in Tampa’s Ybor City, the store offers a variety of items beyond your run-of-the-mill supermarket finds in addition to vegan staples like Impossible meats and Daiya cheeses. The new location also offers a deli, serving made-to-order sandwiches and other daily specials. 
Photo via blackradishgrocerdtsp/Instagram
25 slides

Everyone we saw at Margarita Wars 2022 at Tampa's River Center

Margarita Wars, one of the biggest booze-related battles in Tampa Bay, went down at Tampa's River Center last night, with over 16…

By CL Staff

Everyone we saw at Margarita Wars 2022 at Tampa's River Center
319 slides

The 20 best kid-friendly Tampa Bay restaurants, that aren't Chuck E. Cheese

Don't get us wrong, kid's love Chuck E. Cheese, aka a child casino that sells pizza and beer. But you can't eat…

By Sofía García Vargas

Caddy’s Treasure Island
9000 W Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, 727-360-4993
Another perfect beach day location is Caddy’s at Treasure Island. The restaurant offers dining and drinks directly on the sand plus views of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, Caddy’s has live music every day so you can dance the worries away and take in beautiful sunsets.
Photo via Caddy’s Treasure Island/Facebook
20 slides

All of the Tampa Bay restaurants and bars coming to Margarita Wars (5/19)

Your favorite tequila battle is back! Join Creative Loafing for a unique opportunity to sample margaritas created by more than a dozen…

By CL Staff

Bogota Kitchen + Bar
19 slides

25 can't-miss restaurants in Clearwater

From surf-and-turf to pizza and beer, Clearwater has an extensive offering of unique restaurants. Pair your beach day with a meal at…

By Sofía García Vargas

Big Storm Brewing Co.
12707 49th St N, Clearwater, 727-201-4186
As one of Tampa Bay’s most prolific breweries, you will try unique and local flavors at Big Storm Brewing Co. Pair your beer with bar food, including chicken wings, tacos and handhelds. The brewery also hosts trivia nights on Mondays and live music on Fridays.
25 slides

25 Tampa Bay brunch spots worth getting out of bed for

Falling between breakfast and whenever they kick you out, brunch is that beautiful boozy meal best enjoyed on lazy weekends. Whether it…

By Sofía García Vargas

Counter Culture
2909 W Bay to Bay Blvd Suite 100, Tampa, 813-570-8660
Offering weekend brunch only, Chef Jeannie Pierola creates a modern homage to classic dining in its barstool dining and kitchen. Choose from Counter Culture’s individual meals from its fresh bakery, griddle and eggs menu, or from its three-course brunch option paired with a recommended “domaine font mars” wine. 
Photo via Counter Culture/Website
25 slides

25 essential Tampa Bay pizza spots everybody should try at least once

Tampa Bay may not be known for pizza, but that's starting to change. Recently, the area was ranked among the top pizza…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Madison Avenue Pizza
2660 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin, 727-754-6144
The reigning champ, Madison Avenue Pizza, bagged this year's CL Best of The Bay "Reader's Choice" award for best pizza, so you know they take their pie seriously. Keep it tame with your usual order, or test your stomach’s limits with its 32” pizza challenge (I’d pay good money for the crass t-shirt you get as a prize).
Photo via Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
26 slides

23 hidden Tampa Bay taco spots you should’ve tried by now

Sometimes the best street tacos require a bit of a scavenger hunt. Throughout this list you'll find plenty of hole-in-the-wall spots with…

By Brandalynn Nuñez Cepeda

Ranchero Tacos
4901 N Florida Ave, Tampa, 813-495-2635
This joint was CL's Best of the Bay's 2021 "Best Seminole Heights Restaurant," and for good reason – tortillas are fresh and pressed to order and carnitas are juicy and crispy. Also, don’t sleep on the weekend-only tamales.
Photo via Ranchero Tacos/Facebook
23 slides

23 small-town restaurants worth the road trip from Tampa

Tampa Bay is a melting pot of cuisines and flavors from all around the world, but you don't have to be a…

By Sofía García Vargas

Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar
148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin, 727-733-2151
Founded four decades ago, Bon Appetit provides a near undefeated setting for delectable cuisine, craft cocktails and special moments with special people just 50 minutes away from Tampa. This restaurant is a tad more upscale than the rest, offering dishes like bouillabaisse, rack of New Zealand lamb, lobster tails and more. 
Photo via Bon Appetit Restaurant and Bar/Facebook
23 slides