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Favorite markets in Tampa

limetruk Jul 17, 2011 08:59 AM

Hi All,

Two months back in Tampa, and I've been enjoying eating everywhere I can. But I love to cook, and was wondering what you all feel are the best markets in Tampa and surrounding areas to get your food and produce from.

I love Cox seafood and the Din Ho market, but really haven't gone much further that those and Whole Foods. Also are there any good CSA's or butchers that everyone would recommend.


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  1. rhnault RE: limetruk Jul 17, 2011 10:33 AM

    I like Cox and Din Ho and also Cacciatore Brothers on Hanley and Ambassador. 98% of the time I can get nice fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and other produce. They also have good deals on olive oil and vinegars and meat.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rhnault
      gfr1111 RE: rhnault Jul 18, 2011 08:05 AM

      I looked up on the internet "Ambassador Supermarket in Tampa" and got a listing for a branch of the convenience store chain Farm Stores at 5502 Ambassador Drive. This like 7-11, isn't it? It does not sound right to me, but on the other hand, it is just north of Hillsborough Avenue and close to the Cacciatore Brothers outlet on Hanley which you recommended. So I am wondering, rhnault, is this the Ambassador you were referring to, or am I entirely off base? Thanks!

      1. re: gfr1111
        rhnault RE: gfr1111 Jul 18, 2011 09:39 AM

        Cacciatore Bros is at Ambassador and Hanley in a plaza. There is not an Ambassador supermartker that I am aware of. Maybe Ambassador is the other cross st.

        Cacciatore Bros
        5610 Hanley Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

        1. re: rhnault
          TampaPete RE: rhnault Jul 20, 2011 12:22 PM

          Cacciatore Bros is at the corner of Hanley Rd. and Paula Dr., it's called Cacciatore's Plaza
          Paula Dr. runs E-W, Hanley Rd. to Ambasador Dr.
          The Farm Store is long gone, replaced by the parking lot for the library.
          That I know of, there is no "Ambassador Supermarket" in the T&C area.

          Cacciatore Bros
          5610 Hanley Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

          1. re: TampaPete
            limetruk RE: TampaPete Jul 22, 2011 05:43 AM

            So i went to Cacciatore Bros yesterday and fell in love. Place is great, butchers were super helpful.

            Cacciatore Bros
            5610 Hanley Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

            1. re: limetruk
              rhnault RE: limetruk Jul 22, 2011 06:32 AM

              Norky's, the little Peruvian place next door, also has really good chicken! Also, across the street is the Indian market where you can get wonderful spices. We probably should have mentioned that before....

              5610 Hanley Rd Ste 110, Tampa, FL 33634

              1. re: rhnault
                CFishman RE: rhnault Jul 22, 2011 10:46 AM

                As long as we are on Indian, Patel's on Fowler is awesome. There are many nice middle eastern grocery stores. I like Java on Bush.

          2. re: rhnault
            gfr1111 RE: rhnault Sep 5, 2011 08:48 AM

            Thanks, rhnault, for the clarification. I went to Ambassador and Hanley a few days after your post and found Cacciatore Bros., which I absolutely loved, especially the meat selection.

            Cacciatore Bros
            5610 Hanley Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

      2. Mild Bill RE: limetruk Jul 17, 2011 10:41 AM

        A larger version of Din Ho is 'Oceanic' near downtown... Wow!

        Next to Cox Seafood is the 'Churrassco' Latin grocery store... Good things there...

        In my neighborhood (Town 'n Country) is 'Cacciatore Brothers' off of Hanley Road...
        Full-on Italian grocery, but a pretty darn good meat department as well...
        Often there are Delmonico steaks in the display that would qualify as Prime in my book, for $6.99lb... MASSIVE marbling.... I make them all the time and they are delicious...
        Yes I eat two...

        At Hanley & Waters is the El Grande Supermarket... Another WOW...
        They cater to all the various regions in the spanish world... Cheap!
        The jarred Peruvian Panca Pepper Paste is a secret ingredient of mine... Soups, Stews, meatballs, whatever---- not too spicy...

        Maybe I'll think of more later...
        I'm ALWAYS popping in to ethnic grocery stores...

        1. l
          limetruk RE: limetruk Jul 17, 2011 06:14 PM

          Thanks guys. I'm excited to try out these all out. Especially oceanic and cacciatorre brothers. I'm in Seminole Heights so any of the places around that radius are great got me.

          1. m
            Miss E RE: limetruk Jul 18, 2011 07:59 AM

            As an alternative to Whole Foods, try Rollin' Oats sometime, at the corner of MacDill and Cypress in Tampa. They stock a lot of the same brands and products, have good prepared food, and a smaller, friendlier vibe than WF, IMO. (It used to be locally owned but was bought out by a small chain.)

            Rollin' Oats Cafe
            2842 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33704

            1. s
              sspharbor RE: limetruk Jul 18, 2011 09:04 AM

              Regarding CSA's, in Tampa there is Sweetwater Organics which does Nov-May produce only memberships. I have heard great things about them and they post their harvest list by week for previous seasons on their website in case you want to see what they usually offer. I personally use a year-round CSA up in Masaryktown that has organic produce, pork, chicken, rabbits, lamb and eggs, but it would be a hefty drive for you. For beef, the only good grass fed beef provider around that I've found that has multiple cuts besides just some sirloin or ground beef is HoWa Farms. They harvest their black angus cattle every few months but the smallest order you can place is a 1/4 of beef, which comes out to being well over 100 lbs. so depending on your freezer capacity that may not fly with you. Good luck!

              8 Replies
              1. re: sspharbor
                Miss E RE: sspharbor Jul 18, 2011 10:46 AM

                Sweetwater also holds a Saturday market day in season, so you can go check them out before committing to a membership.

                1. re: Miss E
                  ospreycove RE: Miss E Jul 19, 2011 08:13 AM

                  I was at the Tampa Wholesale Produce Market???? once, and there were numerous vendors in front of the warehouses, great prices on some hard to find veg and fruits. Does anyone know where this is located????


                  1. re: ospreycove
                    CFishman RE: ospreycove Jul 20, 2011 07:00 AM

                    Osprey, you are in luck. It's right across from the new Yummy House:


                    1. re: ospreycove
                      TampaPete RE: ospreycove Jul 21, 2011 06:39 AM

                      The Tampa Wholesale Market sadly is not what it used to be (many years ago) you can still get some good stuff, but is run largely like flee market stalls. The prices and quality at the flee market in the Fun Land drive-in are sometimes better than at the TWM.
                      There is another place before the railroad tracks on the right (going west on Hills.) before you get to TWM that may be of interest to you.
                      It used to be called SAWA (don't know what it stood for) and is called something else now, it has kind of an asian twist to it,
                      It's easy to find
                      Good luck

                  2. re: sspharbor
                    TampaPete RE: sspharbor Jul 20, 2011 12:27 PM

                    Regarding the CSA in Masaryktown, do you have to be a member to purchase products?
                    I am interested in fresh rabbit

                    1. re: TampaPete
                      sspharbor RE: TampaPete Jul 20, 2011 12:54 PM

                      No you don't have to be a member to purchase individual cuts of their rabbit. I don't know what hours they are open each day of the week for sales, but I do know they are open Saturday for most of the day. You should call ahead to make sure they have whatever individual cut you want. Their phone number is 352.796.0459 and the address is 16362 Wilson Blvd. in Masaryktown. They sell loin, legs, liver, and a 2lb. package of rabbit sausage for around $10 each. I've had all of the above and while I don't have many other rabbit experiences to compare it to I think all the cuts were very good. Make sure you specify you want it fresh and not frozen because they usually freeze all cuts (besides the liver) before giving them to their CSA members. Good luck!

                      Farm's website link - http://www.rabbitsetc.us/

                      1. re: sspharbor
                        Kristique RE: sspharbor Aug 24, 2011 03:47 PM

                        I helped out at this CSA a couple of weeks ago. The entire farm that they run to supply their CSA is right on the property. They strive for organic gardening but are too small of an operation to actually obtain "organic" status.

                        Let me tell you, as many weeds as I helped pull and mosquitoes that I slapped off of me, they are DEFINITELY chem-free. They are also genuinely nice people who are doing their best to give their CSA members their money's worth.

                        I also helped them care for the rabbits. Those little guys are pretty well taken care of. They used the standard "off the ground" cage system which I have read about several times before as housing. Everyday, any cobwebs that popped up overnight are knocked off of the cages. They have a very detailed breeding program that they use to track which does are from which bucks and who produces the biggest litters. They do not use chems on the rabbits except where needed for injuries. The rabbits were well fed, happy and healthy looking. They do have a small selection of rabbits available as pets.

                        They offer guided tours on Saturday afternoons for a small fee. It is well worth it, especially if you are planning on signing up for the CSA. It is a trip to see where all the food comes from and how hard these guys are working to wring life from the soil.

                        I didn't spend too much time with the other animals, but I did tour their other livestock when the work for the day was done. Everyone looked really happy and healthy. I fed one of the bulls a handful of grass (lol I couldn't help myself, they're so big, you feel obligated) and also saw what had to be the BIGGEST pig I've ever seen in my life. I thought it was a black cow laying down until I got close enough to make out the snout.

                        They also grow worms, both earthworms and red wigglers. Good for fishing, composting, or both!

                        To sum it up: I drove 100 miles to buy a pound of worms and give a free day of labor to see what it was like to work on a farm. I wound up buying a pound of rabbit sausage before I left and regretting that I didn't live close enough to help out more often or join the CSA. It was the most fun I ever had breaking my back and I got to see that a farm can be run successfully chem-free. If you are considering a CSA, I very highly recommend them. They take great care of the animals that you will eventually eat and you stand a good chance of getting a large amount of that week's selections as long as the season is with them and all of the plants thrive as well as hoped.

                        1. re: Kristique
                          ospreycove RE: Kristique Sep 5, 2011 10:04 AM

                          This CSA/Farm sounds great! Only wish it was closer to Sarasota!!.

                  3. deet13 RE: limetruk Jul 19, 2011 04:27 PM

                    Cacciatore Bros on Hanley Ave.

                    Sanwa Market (veggies) on East Hillsborough Ave (near the new Yummy House)

                    Land and Sea Meat Market (butchers shop)

                    Do we have a local CSA?

                    Yummy House
                    2202 W Waters Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

                    Cacciatore Bros
                    5610 Hanley Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

                    1. b
                      Birdcage_Chef RE: limetruk Jul 26, 2011 07:43 PM

                      In addition to everything listed here are some more that are really good:

                      M&D Oriental Market - 1106 E Fowler Av. best to go early Sat. Fresh veggies, live blue crabs, fish tanks full of lobsters, dungeness crabs, fish, seasonal items, meat etc. Also they have a whole roasted hog that they sell by the lb. Lots of teas, spices, sauces, fresh noodles. I can go on but you get the idea.

                      Patel Brothers Indian Grocery. Across the street from M&D. Simply put anything you want in Indian food you'll find here.

                      Bravo Supermarket - 4340 W Hillsborough Av. Think El Grande on Hanley but on a grander scale. Lots of fresh veggies, rice, grains, beans, meats, cheeses, etc. They bake great guava pastries and breads. There is a mini deli/cooked food area where you can buy freshly cooked dishes and sit in a little cafe style area to enjoy your meal.

                      1. l
                        limetruk RE: limetruk Aug 8, 2011 04:54 PM

                        I wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions. Ive been trying out as many as I can. You all rock.

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