Next Up

Welcome to Tampa: A Newcomer’s Eating Tour

This Gulf of Mexico city is currently undergoing a major gastronomic renewal. Here are 10 top spots that local food experts suggest visiting first.

1 / 21

Welcome to Tampa

While not quite as well-known as Orlando or Miami, Tampa makes up one-third of Florida’s Bay Area, alongside Clearwater and St. Petersburg. This Gulf of Mexico city is currently undergoing a major gastronomic renewal. Where once there were only chain restaurants to choose from, there are now independently owned gems sourcing local produce and food trucks keeping traditional Florida cooking alive. Tampa is now even home to a culinary-focused hotel, The Epicurean, where guests can enjoy wine tastings and gourmet meals as well as chocolate spa pedicures. To help craft the ultimate newcomer's dining tour, we reached out to local food experts Jeff Houck, food writer for the Tampa Tribune; Dorangela Mazzone Bobet, creator of Two Prince Bakery Theater; and Jeff Gigante, owner of Ciccio Restaurant Group. Here are the places they suggest visiting first. 

 

By Delia Paunescu

More photos after this Ad

2 / 21

Taco Bus

913 E. Hillsborough Ave.

Before food trucks became the rage, Taco Bus was serving authentic northern Mexican fare from its school-bus kitchen parked behind a small dining room on Hillsborough Avenue. It’s now up to five different locations, all popular with vegetarians and vegans, but the original bus stays true to its humble roots. 

More photos after this Ad

3 / 21

Taco Bus

Carne desebrada and cochinita pibil tacos, butternut squash tostadas, octopus and shrimp ceviche, and housemade agua frescas are always on order, while the dulce de leche cake is something you’ll enjoy taking home for later.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 21

Edison Food + Drink Lab

912 W. Kennedy Blvd.

Chef Jeannie Pierola’s imagination runs wild here, producing a menu that merges science with comfort food. 

More photos after this Ad

Next Up

We Recommend