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Cheap Eats in Tampa

chynnagrl Jun 8, 2007 01:53 PM

My family is visiting Tampa/St Pete in July for a week & I am looking for great places to eat that are inexpensive. There are 8 kids whose ages range from 12-18 & the are all big eaters. Looking for casual to very casual, fun places & with meals being no more than $20/per person. Also looking for a great Cuban sandwich. I was in Tampa a few years ago & got the most incredible Cuban sandwich at a place that I believe was located off of Dale Mabry Dr. Since we stopped in and got it to go, didn't know how wonderful it would be, so I didn't write down the name of the place. I dream about that sandwich.

Here is a list of a few places that my friend recommended ...

Mel's HotDogs
Lee Roy Selmon's
Fourth Street Shrimp Store

If anyone can provide any assistance for breakfast lunch & dinner, that would be great.

  1. miznic Jun 8, 2007 02:23 PM

    Well, hmm.. Antojito's on Howard and Columbus in Tampa has some great Cubans... and the rest of their food is good, hearty and cheap, too. I relocated from Tampa recently and find myself missing this particular place... this one, and La Teresita. The Snack Shop is a good stop, too.

    6 Replies
    1. re: miznic
      chynnagrl Jun 10, 2007 10:24 AM

      Thanks! Antojito's we will definitely visit. What does The Snack Shop serve?

      1. re: chynnagrl
        PollyannaFlwr Jun 10, 2007 11:46 AM

        For cheap eats, I like Hugo's on Howard. Its Cuban if I'm not mistaken. I've had their Cuban Sammy and its nothing to rave about, however I am in love with their Ropa Vieja.

        1. re: PollyannaFlwr
          chynnagrl Jun 11, 2007 05:03 AM

          Cool - we'll try to make it there as well. Any thoughts on places for pre-teens & teens?

          1. re: chynnagrl
            joan Jun 11, 2007 11:54 AM

            Not sure what area you will be in, but my teens always loved Cody's Road House. There are 11 locations in the Tampa Bay area. Peanuts on the floor, great drink pour for the parents, love their salad and their steaks. Go on Wednesday for 2-for-1 fajitas. Here's the website:

            1. re: chynnagrl
              travelnfood Jun 11, 2007 11:55 AM

              Cappy's (pizza) 3200 W Bay To Bay Blvd. Cheap and a tampa favorite. don't miss the bread sticks :)

              1. re: travelnfood
                chynnagrl Jun 21, 2007 08:46 AM

                I think I heard of Cappy's when I was there! Great choice for hungry teenagers!

      2. k
        kyle798 Jun 11, 2007 08:28 AM

        you might be thinking of havana village on dale mabry for you cuban. its almost on the corner of dale mabry and kennedy.
        i would second mels hotdogs. its right next to busch gardens, which is also great for the kids. when i was younger, my parents would always leave busch gardens for lunch and walk to mels. i still love it to this day.
        breakfast i will rec. lennys on us. 19 in clearwater. they have excellent food for a reasonable price. they start you with a complimentary danish basket that is awesome.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kyle798
          Steffisews Jun 11, 2007 08:50 AM

          Definitely go to La Teresita on Columbus Drive. If you like soul food, there is a great place on 22nd street causeway called Simply Good. They have the best collard greens and mac n cheese I ever ate. The portions are huge. Its pretty much takeout only. Its right next to Liborios which is another good Cuban restaurant. They serve excellent hearty breakfast. Second the recommendation on Mel's. Luptons BBQ on Busch is a good old timey BBQ place; and its a buffet. First Watch is good for breakfast and lunch. The Columbia is a great place for a Cuban sandwich, cheap, and the ambiance cant be beat...either in Ybor city or at the Pier in St. Pete. Dont know if Cha-Cha Coconuts is still at the pier, but thats another good place, and its owned by the Columbia. Crazy Buffet on Dale Mabry is a Chinese buffet but they have just about anything you could want, and its not too expensive. Shells anywhere is good for cheap, plentiful seafood.

        2. p
          proboscidian Jun 12, 2007 05:56 AM

          For Chinese, try China Yuan on Armenia and Waters in Tampa.

          1. LunasMom Jun 13, 2007 06:17 PM

            Havana Village Sandwish Shop - good/cheap cuban on S. Dale Mabry 1/4 mile from I-275. Is this the one you were thinking of?
            120 N Dale Mabry Hwy
            Tampa, FL
            Phone: (813) 872-9049

            Shells - locations in St. Pete and Tampa (1/8 mile south of Havana Village) Great Seafood/cheap http://www.shellsseafood.com/process....

            I would second Mel's, but don't think Leroys' casually priced.

            1. w
              wishbugger Jun 14, 2007 01:50 PM

              Lee Roy Selmons is always good. But for economy and good food, you can't go wrong with 2 places that kids would love: A. Havana Village in Tampa, 1 bock north of Kennedy on Dale Mabry. Very economical, lots of food, delicious Cubans. B. In St. Petersburg, MLK Blvd., don't miss Coney Island, which is a circa-1940's hot dog joint with original, authentic food, counters, equipment (and waitresses). Very cheap hot dogs and burgers that are sinfully delicious

              3 Replies
              1. re: wishbugger
                chynnagrl Jun 21, 2007 08:40 AM

                Wow! Thanks for all of the suggestions! I do believe it was Havana Village where I stopped. That was the best Cuban I ever had. Coney Island, Shell Seafood I know we're going to stop in. A co-worker who just visited Tampa said that Interbay Meat Market had good cuban food? Has anyone heard of that place?

                1. re: chynnagrl
                  aynrandgirl Jun 21, 2007 10:12 AM

                  Yes. It's at the intersection of Interbay and South MacDill. I've never had their Cubans, but I like their chorizo and egg sandwiches.

                  1. re: chynnagrl
                    kyle798 Jun 21, 2007 10:57 AM

                    i have never been to interbay, however, there is a hispanic store called abuelas that has cuban food. it is on sligh ave and interstate 275. just west of the interstate. they have homade cubans, black beans, a couple different rices, plantains, yuca, and much more.

                2. c
                  Check Please Jun 21, 2007 11:14 AM

                  You can't go wrong with the 4th Street Shrimp store for families.
                  If you are in downtown St Pete someone else recommended Coney Island which is great, there is also Sunset Grill @ 30th ave and 9th street that has good burgers, etc. You can sit outside. Still in St Pete up 30th ave to 49th street is a good family run cuban restaurant called Cuban Delight. They have a good cuban and other cuban food, very inexpensive.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Check Please
                    RibDog Jun 21, 2007 12:14 PM

                    Sunset Grill is no more.


                    1. re: RibDog
                      Wineman Jun 25, 2007 08:43 AM

                      Sunset Grill is gone? When?

                      Or do you mean Sunshine City Grill on 4th St?

                      1. re: Wineman
                        RibDog Jun 25, 2007 09:56 AM

                        My mistake, you are right. It was Sunshine City Grill that bit the dust. My bad!


                  2. p
                    puppylover Feb 28, 2009 01:15 PM


                    Some good cheap eats in Tampa for breakfast and lunch with big plates and low prices is Nickys in Carrollwood
                    Nicki's Omelette & Grill - - (813) 908-3447 - 11610 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL .
                    For good mexican food try: El Taconazo, very good food, at low prices. (813) 232-5889 - 913 E Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: puppylover
                      RBTampa Mar 2, 2009 07:19 AM

                      I'll second the recommendation of Nicki's if you're looking for a good colon cleansing. What's up with the amount of grease in their food? My god, man. They really are contributing to heart attacks on a daily basis.

                      As for taconazo, good choice. Great tacos in a unique environment. I'll also throw out Pita's Republic. The hummus and chicken can't be beat there.

                      1. re: RBTampa
                        TampaAurora Mar 2, 2009 08:26 AM

                        Byblos Pita is my go-to for Lebanese food in Tampa. Their food is always fresh.Their tabbouleh is fantastic, their shwarma is delicious and they have pickled turnips!!! Their pita bread is sourced from local Sami's Bakery.

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