Best Restaurants in Tampa: Top Dining Spots to Savor

Tampa, Florida, is known for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene, offering a rich variety of dining experiences to suit every taste and budget. From traditional Cuban and Spanish dishes to innovative farm-to-table fare, the city’s restaurants cater to both locals and visitors seeking unique flavors and memorable meals. For those looking to explore the best that Tampa has to offer, this guide highlights the top-rated restaurants that define the city’s gastronomic landscape.

Whether it’s enjoying fresh seafood by the waterfront or indulging in high-end dining in historic venues, Tampa’s restaurant scene is both dynamic and inviting. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the most acclaimed dining spots, ensuring that every culinary outing in Tampa is a delightful experience.


Ulele, located at 1810 N. Highland Ave. in Tampa, Florida, is a celebrated dining destination known for its unique fusion of native Floridian ingredients and contemporary culinary techniques. This Michelin-rated restaurant offers a diverse menu that highlights the flavors and heritage of the region.

The restaurant’s culinary expertise is evident in dishes such as grouper, pompano, steak, and local vegetables. Patrons can also savor craft beers made on-site.

Ulele’s ambiance is enhanced by its 10-foot diameter barbacoa grill, which plays a central role in the preparation of their visually appealing and intricately flavored meals. The interior design and riverside location on the Tampa Riverwalk make it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.

The restaurant has garnered numerous accolades and is ranked among the top dining establishments in Tampa. It is praised for its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to high-quality, native-inspired cuisine.

Bern’s Steak House

Bern’s Steak House is a well-known establishment in Tampa, Florida. It has been family-owned for over forty years. This steak house is often cited as one of the best in the country.

They serve only U.S. Prime beef, aged for five to ten weeks. The aging process occurs in specially-built lockers with controlled humidity and temperature. This meticulous process ensures a top-quality dining experience.

The restaurant has received numerous accolades, including recognition from the MICHELIN Guide. Bern’s Steak House is also noted for its extensive wine collection. Their menu features popular dishes such as Filet Mignon, Châteaubriand, and Dry-Aged Porterhouse. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available as well.

The dining experience extends beyond just steak. Bern’s offers a separate dessert room, enhancing the dining experience. Reservations are highly recommended. and can be made through platforms like OpenTable. It is a landmark in the Tampa dining scene and a must-visit for steak enthusiasts.

Columbia Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant in Tampa is renowned for its rich history and exceptional Spanish cuisine. Established in 1905, it holds the title of Florida’s oldest restaurant and the world’s largest Spanish restaurant.

Located at 2117 E. 7th Ave., in Ybor City, the restaurant spans 52,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,700 guests. It has been named one of Florida’s top restaurants since 1967.

The family-owned establishment is currently run by fourth and fifth-generation family members dedicated to preserving its authenticity and charm. Dishes such as their famous “1905 Salad” and Spanish Bean Soup attract both locals and tourists alike.

Reservations are recommended, especially for dinner and larger groups. Columbia Restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, offering a menu that showcases traditional Spanish flavors and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Oxford Exchange

Oxford Exchange stands out as one of Tampa’s premier dining destinations. Situated at 420 West Kennedy Boulevard, this restaurant has earned acclaim for not only its food but also its inviting atmosphere.

Known for its fabulous brunch menu, Oxford Exchange offers a delightful selection of dishes. Diners can enjoy their meals in a picturesque courtyard, making the dining experience even more memorable.

The restaurant features a blend of American and contemporary cuisine, offering a diverse menu that pleases a wide range of palates. Its ambiance blends modern elegance with historical charm, featuring classic decor with a touch of sophistication. Reservations for special events, like Afternoon Tea, can be made online, ensuring a seamless dining experience. Visitors often commend the impeccable service and the quality of food, making it a must-visit spot in Tampa.

This combination of culinary excellence and unique setting has earned Oxford Exchange national accolades. It remains a popular choice for both locals and visitors seeking an exceptional dining experience in Tampa.


Haven, located at 2208 West Morrison Avenue, is a standout dining destination in Tampa. This MICHELIN-rated restaurant offers a contemporary dining experience with a focus on high-quality ingredients and innovative dishes.

The menu features a range of options, including BBQ Oysters with chipotle, bourbon, and brown sugar butter, Hamachi Sashimi with watermelon and avocado, and Tuna Sashimi accompanied by wagyu tartare and Osetra caviar.

Haven is known for its vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. The restaurant’s atmosphere is modern and inviting, making it suitable for both casual dining and special occasions.

For those looking to book a table, Haven provides the convenience of online reservations via their website or the MICHELIN Guide’s platform.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place is a standout restaurant in Tampa, cementing its reputation as a go-to dining spot. Located at 442 W. Kennedy Blvd., it offers a unique blend of American and International cuisine.

Run by the well-regarded Chef Marty Blitz, the restaurant has been serving patrons since 1986. It is known for its innovative dishes and elegant ambiance, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors.

The dining experience at Mise en Place is upscale yet comfortable, steeped in local flavor. Patrons can expect a refined menu with vegetarian-friendly and vegan options, ensuring a wide appeal. In addition to its main dining offerings, the restaurant boasts an impressive wine list. The attentive and hospitable service adds to the overall appeal.

Mise en Place is not just recognized by diners but has also earned a spot in the prestigious MICHELIN Guide. This acknowledgment underscores its quality and consistency. Whether for a special occasion or a casual meal, Mise en Place delivers in every aspect.

Edison: Food+Drink Lab

Edison: Food+Drink Lab stands out as a unique dining experience in Tampa, Florida. Led by Chef Jeannie Pierola, a multiple James Beard Semifinalist, Edison offers a creative culinary journey. The menu frequently changes, showcasing inventive dishes crafted with top-notch ingredients.

The restaurant’s interior features an industrial science theme, contributing to its distinctive ambiance. Patrons can enjoy an array of “engineered” food experiments, such as potato-crusted oysters and jalapeno Cracker Jacks. This innovative approach has earned Edison acclaim, including recognition as one of Tampa’s top dining spots.

Conveniently located at 912 W Kennedy Blvd, Edison operates under extended summer hours. The commitment to precise execution, high-quality components, and collective creativity ensures a consistently outstanding dining experience.

Oak and Ola

Oak and Ola stands as a prominent dining destination in Tampa, located at 1910 N Ola Ave. It is recognized for its contemporary European dishes crafted by award-winning chef Anne Kearney.

The restaurant offers a variety of options including vegetarian and vegan dishes, making it accessible to diverse dietary preferences. The ambiance is both inviting and sophisticated, perfect for a casual brunch or an elegant dinner.

Guests often rave about the quality of the food and the creativity of the menu. Signature dishes, such as their fondue and carefully crafted cocktails, highlight the dining experience.

Oak and Ola operates from late morning to evening, allowing visitors to enjoy its offerings throughout the day. Reservations are recommended due to its popularity.

On Swann

On Swann, located in the heart of Tampa’s Hyde Park Village, opened its doors on May 29, 2016. This restaurant has quickly become a staple in the vibrant neighborhood, known for its hip and contemporary interior design that pays homage to Tampa’s rich history.

The restaurant features an open-kitchen dining area, allowing guests to observe the culinary process. This setup creates an engaging and dynamic atmosphere, enhancing the dining experience.

On Swann serves American cuisine with a focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients. The menu offers a range of options, including vegetarian and vegan dishes, catering to a diverse clientele.Recognized by the 2024 MICHELIN Guide USA, On Swann has received praise for its high-quality service and flavorful dishes. Diners often appreciate the attentive and friendly staff, which contributes to the restaurant’s welcoming ambiance.

Given its popularity, it’s recommended to plan ahead as the restaurant doesn’t take reservations for parties under six. Despite this, the relaxed yet lively atmosphere consistently attracts a bustling crowd. Whether visiting for a casual meal or a special occasion, On Swann provides a memorable dining experience rooted in both tradition and innovation.

The Oyster Bar

Tampa, known for its vibrant culinary scene, boasts several excellent oyster bars. Oystercatchers stands out with its waterfront location and diverse oyster selection. Situated within the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, it offers a dining experience that combines elegant ambiance with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including oysters, fish, and shellfish, as well as non-seafood options to cater to different tastes.

The restaurant is particularly popular for its brunch offerings and sunset views, making it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a special celebration, Oystercatchers provides a scenic and memorable dining experience. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak times and weekends.

Cuisine Variety

Tampa, Florida offers a diverse dining scene that caters to a multitude of tastes. From authentic Italian cuisine to fresh seafood specialties and high-quality steakhouses, the city has something for every palate.

Italian Cuisine

Tampa boasts numerous restaurants offering exquisite Italian dishes. Bernini of Ybor is a standout, providing a charming atmosphere paired with classic Italian fare like handmade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. Osteria Natalina, located in the South Tampa neighborhood, serves traditional Italian meals with a focus on fresh ingredients and flavors reminiscent of Italy. Another notable mention is Donatello Italian Restaurant, renowned for its upscale dining experience and authentic dishes prepared with an emphasis on quality and tradition.

Seafood Specialties

For seafood enthusiasts, Tampa does not disappoint. Oystercatchers offers a luxurious experience with stunning water views and a menu featuring oysters, shrimp, and fresh fish prepared to perfection. Ulele, located along the Tampa River, is known for its Native American-inspired cuisine and fresh, locally sourced seafood. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood is another prime spot, celebrated for its high-end dining experience and a wide selection of seafood dishes, including lobster, scallops, and seasonal fish.


Tampa’s steakhouses cater to those seeking hearty meals. Bern’s Steak House is legendary, offering a vast selection of steaks cooked to perfection along with an extensive wine list. Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse provides a unique dining experience with a variety of meats served tableside, including beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Council Oak Steaks & Seafood at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino provides both high-quality steaks and a selection of fresh seafood, ensuring an indulgent dining experience.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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