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Recommendations near Tampa Airport

Chitowneater Feb 17, 2012 08:58 AM

I am flying into Tampa airport then driving to Sanibel Island. Any suggestions for a place to stop for lunch in Tampa area that isn't too far out of the way?

  1. c
    crewsweeper Feb 17, 2012 10:36 AM

    If you like Vietnamese, Mekong on W 34th St in the Kenneth City section of St Pete has great Pho.
    It's not far off I-275, Exit 28 Gandy Blvd/US 19. Hang to right, take Gandy for about a mile and 1/2 to US 19, left onto 19 the down to split and bear right, that's W34th. Mekong is bout a mile further down just past 62nd Ave. Onc finished keep on W 34th to 54th Ave, take a left and you'll get back on I-275.

    Just down the street from Mekong is Thuy which has Vietnamese subs, banh mi.

    If you turn right on US 19 off Gandy instead of left and head toward 70th Ave, you'll see the Egg Platter which serves fantastic omelets.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crewsweeper
      kempshark Feb 18, 2012 10:45 AM

      If you were going to stop in St. Pete for Pho.....Taste of Saigon on Park Blvd is vastly better than Mekong or Pho Quyen for a bowl of Pho (and their iced coffee). For banh xeo, beef fondue, banh hoi, and some really good appetizers I would recommend Ben Thanh on 62nd Ave. Of course these are just recommendations for Vietnamese food for lunch. I'm sure other members can recommend a vast array of places for other cuisines.

    2. j
      jeff6806 Feb 17, 2012 01:28 PM

      Assuming you're driving through St. Pete to get to Sanibel, I'd stop at Mazzaro's Italian Market on 22nd Ave. N. just a few blocks west of the highway. They have great sandwiches which are all really cheap and you can also grab some snacks for the rest of the car ride while you're there.


      2 Replies
      1. re: jeff6806
        RibDog Feb 18, 2012 05:27 AM

        Mazzaro's is an excellent suggestion. Ditto on that!

        1. re: RibDog
          Delucacheesemonger Feb 18, 2012 05:36 AM

          Another vote for Mazzaro's

      2. deet13 Feb 17, 2012 08:34 PM

        If you want to try some good Colombian food, Mi Bandera is just about a mile away from TIA, on Hillsborough Ave.


        1. f
          Florida Hound Feb 20, 2012 05:06 PM

          Whenever this question comes up, I always put in a plug for Lee Roy Selmon's, only a mile or 2 or 3 from Tampa Airport. Just down-home stuff. Southern chicken, pulled port, glazed salmon, various salads... we live out of town, but when we are close-by, that's our choice for a reasonable lunch. 4302 W. Boy Scout Blvd. They have a St. Pete location, too, and a few others

          1. c
            Chitowneater Feb 24, 2012 02:12 PM

            Thanks everyone!

            1. r
              rlcole4346 Jan 14, 2013 12:55 PM

              Same question re lunch not miles from the Tampa airport, heading for Sarasota.
              However, I would be looking for casual or bistro afternoon seafood (snapper sandwiches, seafood chowder, and so on). We live in a landlocked area and really miss fresh seafood. Thank you, rlc

              3 Replies
              1. re: rlcole4346
                sarge Jan 14, 2013 04:18 PM

                Mid-peninsula seafood is casual and very good= and not really out of the way.

                1. re: sarge
                  RibDog Jan 14, 2013 06:47 PM

                  Ditto to what Sarge said!

                  1. re: sarge
                    rlcole4346 Jan 15, 2013 07:04 AM

                    Thank you. That looks perfect and really is convenient. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Since we will be at a large family wedding in Sarasota, we won't have many opportunities to find our own little foodie places. Thanks again. rlc

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