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Who Has the Best Onion Rings - Tampa Bay

If you don't mind sharing, please tell me who you think has the best onion rings in the Tampa Bay area. Also, please include a description of the rings.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Someone does a burger in tampa that has a huge onion ring on it, i forget who? I remember that one being pretty solid. Also Bern's onion strings are pretty tasty.

    1. Brocato's makes great onion rings. Now I have a craving coming on.

      1 Reply
      1. Dockside Dave's, with locations in Madeira Beach and St. Pete Beach, has very good, large onion rings. They are the beer battered variety and freshly made. At certain times of the year, the onions are sweeter than other times. They also have a breaded/ fried veggie appetizer platter which includes various vegetables breaded and fried the same way as the onion rings, and some of the onion rings are included in the veggie platter.

        1. Finley's Irish Pub in largo http://www.finleysirishpub.com/Home_P... has some tasty black and tan rings with horse radish sauce side. the beer batter includes a mix of Guinness and Bass as one might expect from the name, they are good sized rings, and my favorite thing about them is they tend to bite cleanly, meaning the onion doesn't slide out of the crust to scald your lip when you bite into it. BTW they also have the best Reuben I have ever eaten.

          1. Thanks so far you all. But keep em coming. There has to be more of them out there.

            Anyone know of a place that makes the small thin crispy ORs?

            1. My favorite onion ring place in town is Gino's Restaurant & Bar's onion rings, they are large and juicy usually a perfect golden color. They go great with any kind of dip, but I think they go especially well with some Mayo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blitzchamp

                I agree plus there inclued as an option with their burgers with out any surcharge

              2. You won't go there just to get the OR's but Bern's Steakhouse on South Howard Ave. has little strings of onion, lightly coated, freshly fried, slightly crisp, and very tasty. They are the best onion rings I have ever had in my life. The steak's not bad, either.

                Bern's Steakhouse
                1002 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

                14 Replies
                1. re: steakman55

                  I've NEVER been to Bern's!!!
                  Been in Tampa since '82...

                  1. re: Mild Bill

                    I still don't understand this. Next birthday/anniversary/whatever you gotta give it a shot. I usually order everything but a steak and come away happy. The steak there rarely achieves the metric for which I judge steak by.

                    1. re: askdrtodd

                      Okay, I must ask Dr. Todd: by what metric do you judge steak? I have read and enjoyed your posts and usually agree 100%. I love steak and have eaten in 95% of the major independent steakhouses east of the Miss. River and all of the upscale chains multimple times. Bern's remains the gold standard to me: USDA Prime, dry aged to perfection, and cooked over charcoal. What could be better? I must know. Thanks

                      1. re: steakman55

                        When I am in the Tampa Bay area it is BERN'S. In NYC it is PETER LUGER, don't mess with "art in steaks" or tradition since 1887!!!

                        1. re: ospreycove

                          Amen to both....but also give Keen's in the garment district a shot

                        2. re: steakman55

                          Steakman- I was actually going to bring up Pete Luger in Brooklyn, I absolutely love Berns, it's just that everything but the steak shines to me. The service is typically excellent to impeccable, the soups/apps/salads are delightful, the deserts are quite good and the desert room is a fun experience, and I love sitting at the bar and eating their burger, it's among the best in the bay. The steak though, just never impresses. I've had better steaks at Del Friscos. It's impressive to see them carving the beef in the kitchen. I've had most of the different steaks on the menu, from the strip to the filet to the chateaubriand, still nothing wow'd me. I actually enjoyed council oak more (for steak) I believe. With steak I use your typical metric-

                          -Is crusted on the exterior, moist and tender on the interior
                          -Did the grilling method impart the wood flavor into the meat (if that was their intention)
                          -Did they "improve" the meat with meat tenderizer or a pat of butter (I'm not really fond of either of these, my roommate in college worked at Charlie's in Orlando and would tell me some interesting stories)
                          -Is it actually cooked the way I asked for it (no, "Pittsburgh" does not mean "medium")

                          Et Cetera. I'm not a steak nazi, but dammit if I'm paying thru the nose for something as (reasonably) simple as a piece of grilled meat, and the restaurant has specialized in grilled meat for decades, it ought to be flawless.

                          1. re: askdrtodd

                            Askdr.....At Peter Luger's, They do it just the way you want it.....As long as it is the way it should be done!! Do not ask for your steak uncut, etc. Luger is pure tradition in its best sense!! Steak sauce is for the tomatoes...NOT the steak....

                            As for Bern's I seemed to feel a difference after Bern had the accident and sadly never recovered. There have been some changes, but it is still the Region's best.

                            1. re: askdrtodd

                              Ok, you obviously do have a well-considered metric for steak, we just disagree!! The main difference as I see it, between a Bern's or Luger or Keen's and the Del Frisco's of the world ( I have enjoyed a steak at all the above on multiple occasions) is dry aged vs. wet aged beef. We can safely assume that all the meat at these is USDA Prime. (with exception of filets where it makes no difference), but the aging does. There have been many threads on dry aging and it can be Googled with great results, but in summary it tenderizes the meat naturally, it is not bloody even when cooked rare, and the taste is enhanced vs. wet aging. As for the butter, BSH always asks if you want it brushed with garlic butter, and it can be left off. The drowning of steaks in butter, a la Ruth's Chris, is a coverup.

                              At any rate, I have never had a steak cooked improperly at BSH in more than 100 meals there over the past 40 years....always medium rare. Since you frequently comment on Tallahassee as well, next time you are here, my wife and I will feed you a charcoal grilled prime dry aged bone in strip cooked to your liking with all trimmings except the great onion rings at Berns's!!!

                              1. re: steakman55

                                Steakman- you're a gentleman and a scholar. I will totally take you up on that, maybe my wife and I can buy you guys lunch one day at Cluster & Hops or Moziak or something. Looking forward to it!

                                ooh- and we'll bring a killer bottle of vino!

                                1. re: askdrtodd

                                  ---- and me.... He's gonna bring me...... ;-)

                              2. re: askdrtodd

                                I am with you. I have eaten at Berns a few times and have never thought it was among the better steakhouses. It certainly does not belong in the same league as Luger's, etc. I have enjoyed a hamburger and a bottle of red there, and the o rings are really good. Not trying to start an argument. It's good for sure and a Tampa food traditon (to be grateful for as there aren't many). To me it just seems old and not in a good way.

                          2. re: Mild Bill

                            Don't feel too bad Bill, I have never been there either.

                            1. re: Mild Bill

                              Ya gotta try it, if only to say you did. Yes, it's expensive, but it's actually a good value, IMO, given the quality and quantity of the food and the excellent service. I find it to be a period piece and therefore don't drag all my visiting friends there. Hip and cutting edge it ain't! But it's great in its own, time warp-y way.

                              1. re: Miss E

                                While the rest of their food is kinda blah... Cheddar's in Brandon makes some good onion rings. They are jumbo with a flaky coating and served with 2 dipping sauces. One order is enough for 4 people...

                          3. My favorite onions rings come from The Lucky Dill. They are light and crispy. And when you bite into one the whole piece of onion doesn't come sliding out. I could eat a platter full of those things.

                            1. Marley's on 19 makes tasty thin & crispy Onion Rings...

                              1. I love onion rings and always have to try them wherever I go. I would definitely agree with Dockside Dave's. I'm not sure if they're still there but the ones I had at Dunedin Brewery a long time ago were fantastic. They had some sort of sweet glaze made from their stout striped across them. Even found a picture of them online!


                                Now for my question re: onion rings. Does anyone know where I can find one that's got some spice to it? I like heat along with the sweetness of the onion but the only place they seem to exist is in my kitchen.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jeff6806

                                  Yes, Dunedin Brewery is still there and so are their onion rings. I never get them, however, as I love their chicken wings, cheese curds and chips and salsa.

                                2. Technically North Pinellas, but Miss Vicky's on the River has amazing onion rings. Thick crispy batter but not too greasy. Perfect.

                                  1. O'Maddy's in Gulfport has great onion rings.

                                    1. The very best onion rings locally are found at Harvey's Fourth Street Grill inSt Pete. They are substantial but have an excellent crunch. A basket is plenty for 2 or 3. They are never greasy, served immediately from the fryer. Oil is fresh, never a residual taste. We get them every time we can.