Tampa, Clearwater, St Pete ????
My girl and I are going to the Tampa area for 5 days for her birthday this week, and I was wondering what is absolutely not to miss. I know about Berns and sideberns, and heard about Ted Peters, but what else yall anything to die for mindblowing
You've cast a wide net. Could you provide more information about where you are staying (although you'll be here for five days, you probably don't want to spend most of them in a car), how much money you want to spend, and what types of food you want to eat? I would argue that we all want to eat "mindblowing" food, but even in Tampa, I would be here writing until next week about foods that fit that categorization for me. And would they come close to "mindblowing" for you? Maybe not.
I agree with Noice! There is SOO much in this area it's hard to narrow it down without a few more guidelines.
That said, if I were to apply my own standards, and only had 5 days in town, here's where I'd go:
1. Hapa Oldsmar for incredible Hawaiian Fusion cuisins.
2. Guppy's on the Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, for amazing seafood at reasonable prices.
3. Flemings in Tampa, for the best Filet Mignon and mac-n-cheese on the planet.
4. Ted Peters in St. Pete for their killer cheeseburgers. I'd buy some of their smoked fish at the adjacent smokehouse for later.
5. Oystercatchers at the Hyatt Grand in Tampa for excellent high-end dining. And I'd make sure I had a seat in one of the romantic two-seater alcoves at sunset.
Additionally, I'd hit the following:
--La Casona for awesome Puerto Rican cuisine. The mofongo is a must-try.
--Antojitos for great Colombian cuisine. I love their empanadas especially.
--Savanah in St. Pete for great upscale Southerm.
--Casa Tina in Dunedin for their Tacos Guadalajara--especially the panela con chorizo offering.
--Green Springs Bistro and/or Whistle Stop Grill in Safety Harbor for fab Southern with a twist.
--Ceviche in either Tampa or St. Pete for authentic Spanish tapas and great music, to boot.
--Mykonos in Tarpon Springs for authentic Green on the famous sponge docks.
--And of course, the original Columbia in Ybor City--because it's a landmark and because I crave their 1905 salad and Sangria Cava on a regular basis. Sit in the courtyard if you can.
I'll second the suggestion of Guppy's. I had the pleasure of dining there last weekend and absolutely loved it. They have a terrific patio outside that really allows you to enjoy a terrific Gulf breeze. Regardless, the food is even better. They have daily specials, half portions, and a terrific beer selection.
What's more, both Flemings and Ted Peters are great. However, let me throw Red Mesa into the ring, I'm a huge fan of Mexican/Southwestern food, and this place doesn't disappoint. Try the empanada appetizers, duck enchiladas, and the guava pastry for dessert. My wife knows that if I ever need a last meal ... well, this place is where I want it from.