Some local flavor in Tampa?
I 2nd Pho Quyen, I did'nt like Brocato's cuban though, thought it was pretty terrible.
Ever tried El Puerto in Ybor? Very good ARgentinian spot, steaks are good and very well priced, their fish is some of the better fish dishes in the area.
What about the Fish House in Ruskin? They are only open on Thurs, Fri and Saturdays.
Demmi's Market on 7th for good pizza, they open at 5:00 and are closed on Sundays and MOndays.
Brocato's for big sandwiches. I like the cuban, pork, meatball, and Italian Subs the best. I don't like the Spanish Bean soup, but the salads are big and fresh. House dressings is a nice vinaigrette. Somne of the very best Devil Crabs served anywhere. Wonderful, huge picadillo-stuffed potatoes. Excellent onion rings. Their sweet tea is a winner. A real Tampa institution, along with places like the Columbia, Bern's, La Teresita, etc.
I could never understand why this place isn't more famous. Though the crowds are already pretty thick.
Saigon Deli would be a farther drive, but Mr. Lee serves cheap high qualitry vietnamese food. The Bahn Mi sandwiches are almost too tasty to cost $3. The Pho is also great, and the fresh deli selections like Fresh Rolls and Steamed Buns are great to go options.
Pane Rustica serves excellent lunches and dinners and are moderately priced. The bakery rocks.
I love to eat quick simple meals at the counter at La Teresita, or seated at the Columbia's old bar. Arco Iris is my favorite in West Tampa.
China Yuan or Yummy House for excellent Chinese.
Antojitos for a giant pork chop, plantains, and the works. Empanadas and arepas.
Viet at Trang or Pho Quyen for meals more involved than Saigon Deli.