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Arriving for a Port of Tampa Cruise.....what would be the Number ONE restaurant near the Port for lunch?

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  1. Your best bet is to eat elsewhere on your way to the ship and eat on the boat. We have great food in Tampa, but it's not at the Port. If you have to eat before your board, Thai Thani is respectable Thai food at the Port. Enjoy your cruise.

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    Thai Thani Restaurant
    615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

    1. Yeah, Channelside is pretty barren.

      If you don't mind eating within a couple of miles of the port, you could hit TC Choy, Mangroves, Mise En Place, Jacksons, Malios, or any other number of smaller joints along the Platt/Channelside/Bayshore strips, or take a stroll up Franklin St. Plaza to the Twiggs intersection and hit the Jerk Hut (the best oxtail soup in the area).

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      Jackson's Bistro-Bar-Sushi -Rocks
      601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602

      Mise En Place Restaurant
      442 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

      Mangrove Bar & Grill
      208 S. Howard Ave., Hyde Park Tampa, FL 33606

      Jerk Hut Downtown Cafe
      207 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL 33602

      Tc Choy's Asian Bistro
      301 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

      Malios
      400 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

      5 Replies
      1. re: deet13

        x2 on all those except Jackson's (mediocre IMHO) and Malios (WAY overpriced). Mise is good lately, TC Choy has great Dim Sum, and there are a dozen places within a 10 minute drive, are you willing to take a cab?

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        Malios
        400 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

        1. re: askdrtodd

          You know, I have to give credit where it's due. Jackson's has always been consistently decent (if not spectacular, it's usually decent) every time I've been there.

          Jackson's and Malios are both nice establishments in the downtown area to take friends and family who might not be quite so willing to try new and unusual things i.e., the meat and potatoes crowd.

          As such, I view them as a solid benchmark for most of the restaurants within that area.

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          Malios
          400 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

          1. re: deet13

            Cafe Dufrain is a good pick too, if you're heading over by Jacksons. Maybe I need to try Jacksons again, last couple visits were awful (same thing happened to a couple different friends)

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            Cafe Dufrain
            Tampa, FL, Tampa, FL

            1. re: askdrtodd

              Jackson's was good when they first opened about 13 years ago. Since then they have declined into mediocrity. I would still take out of towners there for drinks but not for food. Last time I ate there the sushi was laughable and the regular food from the menu was at hotel banquet chafing dish quality.

        2. re: deet13

          I vote for Mise en Place, They have a wonderful lunch menu (I used to go there all the time for lunch when I worked downtown). They serve it on weekdays only, however...unless I'm mistaken.

          I agree with some of the other posters that Malio's is overpriced and not all that exciting.

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          Malios
          400 North Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

        3. Friends took us to BackFin Blue over in Gulfport....great meal!

          4 Replies
            1. re: askdrtodd

              No, it is privately owned. Cute place.

              1. re: rhnault

                Ooh u guys are right, that looks good! There is a national chain that sounds something like that though, what's it called?

              2. re: askdrtodd

                LOL dr todd and his aversion to all things CHAIN.