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Feb 19, 2009 04:36 PM

Tampa restaurant recommendations?

I will be attending a 4 day business meeting with some friends - all women - at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay next month. We like good food. Hope Chowhounds can recommend some nearby restaurants. Prefer locally owned (especially if Mom or Dad or Grandma is cooking, not some trained chef), not a chain, not fancy but good, not touristy, local ethnic groups, seafood...not steakhouses or bars. Assume the hotel has some fancy pricey places but don't want to eat there, prefer places where the locals enjoy eating and not for special occasions. We will have a car and don't mind driving but prefer not to drive too far. Hope y'all can come up with suggestions! Thanks for your help.

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  1. You are not too far from Arco Iris a well known local cuban eatery. It is cafeteria style and VERY Tampa. I am sure others will have many more recommendations for you.

    Arco-Iris Restaurant
    3328 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33607

    1. Golden Orchid
      5224 S Dale Mabry Hwy
      Tampa, FL 33611
      (813) 837-6484

      Great Thai, very fresh, and Mom is, in fact, in the kitchen doing the cooking, while her daughter is usually at the front of the house.

      Cappy's Pizza
      3200 W Bay To Bay Blvd, Tampa
      (813) 835-0785

      This is where locals go in droves for great pizza, IMO the best in South Tampa. Ultra casual, friendly.

      Lebanese, authentic, yummy food, cool atmosphere.

      Pane Rustica
      Fabulous food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Bustles during the day, transforms into a casually elegant bistro at night. Seasonal menu, talented chef/owner.

      1. Caffe Paradisio on MacDill is a great little Itallian spot. One of my favorites in town.

        1. Well if you really like bbq and truly want that down home experience, you should drive north on Dale Mabry until you get to Land o Lakes and try Hungry Harry's BBQ (3116 Land O Lakes Blvd
          Land O Lakes, FL 34639-4404
          Phone: (813) 949-2025 ) I have first hand knowledge since I'm a member of the family but I don't live there. Harry and his son-in-law, Chad run the place and there's usually a family member serving the bbq. Harry is a well-known local "character". The bbq is very very good.