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Oct 8, 2009 10:54 AM

Tampa lunch recs

I will be attending a 4 day conference at the Hyatt Regency on North Tampa St. Could you please suggest places for lunch that are within walking distance of the hotel. All cuisines and price points are welcome.


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  1. Pizza: Eddie & Sams - no frills pizza place, but GREAT pizza.
    Mediterranean - Paninoteca - great salads, pita sandwhichs, light fresh
    Vietnamese - Bamboozle
    Sport Bar - great food - Hattricks
    Diner type - fresh and healthy - First Watch

    2 Replies
    1. re: rshally

      Thank you for your suggestions!!!

      1. re: MrsWheatie

        Spain has good Cuban food for lunch. It is classy tapas at night but they have good old fashioned Cuban for breakfast and lunch. Nothing better in the morning than a grande cafe con leche and a egg and cheese pressed Cuban.

    2. I agree with rhnault about Spain. It's excellent. Other possibilities include:

      1. Zudar's 201 W. Platt Street. Phone: (813) 250-6272. This is a sandwich place with a wide variety of sandwiches, cakes, and pies. I like the Cuban chopped salad, the North End (meat intensive) sandwich, and the Zorba, a vegetarian sandwich so good that you do not even miss the meat (lots of cheese, though). 12:00 to 1:00 in the afternoon is rush hour, so try to get seated before or after that time.

      2. Mise en Place 442 W. Kennedy Blvd., #10. Phone: (813) 254-5373. The entranceway for this restaurant is actually not on Kennedy Avenue but on the street parallel to Kennedy, despite the address. Anyway, if you get to this address (directly across from the entrance to the University of Tampa), walk around the block and you will find the entrance. Continentalish cuisine. Prices are under $20 for lunch. This restaurant gets consistently good reviews and has been around for a long time. Closed Mondays.

      3. Cafe Dufrain 707 Harbor Post Dr. Phone: (813) 275-9701. This restaurant recently had a change of chefs. The former chef du cuisine from Mise en Place is now the Executive Chef here. Continentalish. Artsy. A little feminine. Excellent food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gfr1111

        although the above mentioned by gfr111 are very good, they are NOT walking distance from the hotel.

        1. re: rshally

          Yeah, rshally, I have trouble with that. In a recent (similar) board about Tampa someone wanted "walking distance" restaurants and I was skeptical about the walking distance of many of the suggested restaurants, and remarked about it, but I figured that most people seemed to think the distances were okay. So this time I expanded my interpretation of "walking distance," apparently too far.

          Anyway, Mrs. Wheatie, the restaurants I recommended are short cab ride away, or walking distance, if you are a health nut.

          1. re: gfr1111

            They're all less than a mile from the hotel, which I consider to be walkable if you have a more leisurely trip. In this case it's just a short lunch period, so they may not be feasible in that timeframe if it's going to take 30-40 minutes round trip for a relatively fit person to get there and back.

      2. Also very close are Pizzaiolo Bavarra (514 Franklin St.) which is brick oven euro-style pizza and L'Eden (500 Tampa St.) which is simple French (salads, crepes, etc.) Both are very good and are tied with Bamboozled for "places that I like downtown."

        1. Bamboozle and L'Eden for sure. Eddie and Sams for a NY style slice, skip Piazzalo Bavaro (blah), and grab some apps in the evening at Taps, they have a trio of hummus/bean dips that's friggin spectacular with a nice craft beer. Also Malios is nice but brutally overpriced. Enjoy your trip!

          1. The Jerk Hut is good, too. I just went to Paninoteca a week ago for the first time and we had really good sandwiches. I'm planning to go back for meze (tapas) sometime.