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Tampa Airport - any good lunch spots close by?

We are driving from Orlando to Tampa to catch an afternoon flight. We will aim to get to Tampa a bit early (just in case). Can anybody recommend a good, quick place to have lunch? Any type of food is fine, we aren't fussy.

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  1. Arco Iris on Buffalo for good Cuban food. Holy Hog BBQ on Armenia for bbq.

    10 Replies
    1. re: RibDog

      Thanks. Any thoughts on Tampa Taco Bus?

      1. re: torontobelly

        Yes, they are good also. I was trying to recommend some closer to the airport for you but the Taco Bus is not too far out of the way. Depending on what time you get there, if can get very busy at lunch time. If you had enough time, I would recommend you try Tacqueria Monterrey on Fletcher Blvd. It's owned and run by the same people as the Taco bus but I think it has a better menu plus it has a help yourself salsa bar to boot.

        1. re: RibDog

          Thanks very much! The menu does look really good. We will probably be pressed for time so the Taco Bus may be a better option.

          1. re: torontobelly

            Taco Bus is not where you want to go if you are pressed for time around lunch. There are days it takes 20-30 minutes just to get your food. Still super tasty though

      2. re: RibDog

        Although those are both awesome spots, I wouldn't necessarily say they're "near" the airport... I assume you'll be taking a cab Torontobelly? What kind of food are you looking for? Point us in a direction, seafood, mexican, italian, cuban, what?

        If you want some pretty impressive seafood with an outstanding view (and don't mind spending a few bucks) Oystercatchers is literally right by the airport (the Hyatt has a free shuttle too) and has excellent seafood.

        1. re: askdrtodd

          I will have a rental car - we will be driving in from Orlando. We won't have much time as we need to be at the airport by around noon. So it will be an early lunch. I'll be with two teenagers and seafood would not be a good choice for them! I was thinking Mexican would be a good way to end our trip as we are from Toronto where there is no decent Mexican food anywhere.

          1. re: torontobelly

            Then skip Taco Bus, leave a bit early, and go to Taqueria Monterrey as RibDog mentioned, it's my favorite Mexican food in Tampa. Make sure you get at least one Torta for the table!

            1. re: askdrtodd

              If we get there at 11, which is when they open, can we get in and out in half an hour? Google maps says it is 26 minutes to the airport. Is it fast food or sit down service?

              1. re: torontobelly

                It is sit down and casual. You could be in and out in 30 mins. Their seafood guacamole is really good.

                1. re: torontobelly

                  The service at the Taqueria is pretty fast, it's the traffic going through Suitcase City that you'll need to worry about.

                  Barring any accidents, you should be able to get from the I-275/Fletcher intersection to the Taquria in about ten minutes. Just to warn you though, there can be heavy local, hospital, and college traffic in that part of Suitcase City/Fletcher Ave around noon, so plan accordingly.

                  And yeah, if the traffic gods smile upon your journey, you should also be able to get from the 275/Fletcher intersection to the airport in about twenty to thirty minutes

        2. Mi Bandera is a Colombian restaurant about a half mile northwest of TPA, on Hillsborough Ave. If you want something different, casual, near by, and easy to get to, you can't go wrong there...

          http://www.mibanderademitierra.com/

          I also noticed nobody suggested La Teresita. They do Cuban food fast, and are just down the road...
          http://www.lateresitarestaurant.com/e...

          2 Replies
          1. re: deet13

            I did not recommend La Teresita as I prefer Arco Iris for Cuban food. Just my personal preference though.

            1. re: RibDog

              Close to the airport and better for lunch than Cuban mentioned above IMO, La Ideal. Can't beat a cup of caldo, a Cuban sandwich, and a cup of coffee.
              http://laidealsandwichshop.com/menu