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Jun 14, 2010 08:11 PM

Michigan Hound Comes to Tampa - Needs Recs Please!


I'm going to be in Tampa next week (Monday through early Sunday morning), staying at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. My transportation options are limited to trolley and bus and after reading the extensive archives on the delicious options in Tampa... am I completely out of luck for a decent meal during my visit? It seems like all of the great places are too far of a trek.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated. My budget range for lunch is $10 - $20 and dinner is $15 - $30. Thanks!

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  1. You could take the trolley over to Bernini in Ybor. I always enjoy dining there, and they are running a special right now of 1/2 price entrees and pasta dishes and $2 Finlandia martinis from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM daily. You could have a really nice meal and a couple of cocktails for under $30 with that deal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sweet_polly

      Right. There is a bunch of stuff in Ybor. Some much better than others, but you could definitely stay entertained.

      Tampa bay Brewing Co - Brew Pub with great burgers and great beer
      Bernini as mentioned
      Columbia - for cuban/spanish
      El Puerto - Argentine - may have the best steak sandwich I've ever had
      Cephas' - Jamaican dive

      Tons of others

      Taps for beer and such
      I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of. Its mainly a lunch scene.

      I'm not sure there is anything left in Channelside. Maybe someone can chime in.

      There are lots more options a quick cab ride from downtown in Hyde Park.

      Hyde Park Cafe
      1806 W Platt St, Tampa, FL 33606

      1. re: Old E.

        I put together a list of all the area restaurants just a couple of weeks ago -- if you search for "DOWNTOWN TAMPA", it should appear.

        All the recs above are great ... a few others pop to mind. For lunch:
        Bamboozle (Downtown) - great Vietnamese "fusion"
        Paninotecca (Downtown) - Mediterranean
        L'Eden (Downtown) - French
        Cafe Dufrain (Harbour Island) - right across from your hotel and one of my favs
        Mise en Place (Downtown) - delicious food, hit or miss service, prices more reasonable at lunch. You could also try their new outpost at the brand new Museum of Art
        Five Guys Burgers (Downtown at Skypoint) - great, simple burgers and fries
        AVOID the restaurants in your hotel. Even Champion's messes up a simple bar food menu.

        For dinner:
        Malio's (Downtown) at Happy Hour - I think the burgers at the bar are still $5 and the drinks are half priced from 5pm to 7pm. Very expensive afterwards
        New World Brewery (Ybor) on Wednesday evenings - they have a barbeque for $5 which I found delicious, plus great selection of beers that you won't see elsewhere
        Tinatapas (Channelside) - Not the best restaurant but I always find it, at least, good. You could easily escape with 2-3 tapas dishes and a sangria for under $30

        New World Brewery
        1313 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

        615 Channelside Dr Ste 127, Tampa, FL 33602

        400 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

        Cafe Dufrain
        707 Harbour Post Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

        1. re: kentski

          Thanks everyone! I'm so grateful for your suggestions. I'll report back when I'm home - again, thanks!

    2. Lunch - Bamboozle, L'eden, (downtown) or Columbia, Acropolis (ybor)
      Dinner - Fly Bar (downtown), Cafe Dufrain (Harbour Island)

      500 N Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602

      Cafe Dufrain
      707 Harbour Post Dr, Tampa, FL 33602