With palm-lined streets, quaint eateries, and impeccable sunshine, it is no surprise that Tampa is becoming a hot-spot for tourists and businesses alike. While my heart beats true for this mesmerizing city, my love is certainly not contained to it’s set of city limits, as the entire Bay Area fills my heart. Which brings me to my newest rendition here on the blog, ‘Best of the Bay’ – where I shed some light on my favorite spots around the Bay Area. For today’s ‘lil episode, I will highlight my favorite EATS.

Enjoy!

B R U N C H 

  1. Oxford Exchange | Nicknamed “OE” or “Oxford” among locals, Oxford Exchange has quickly become a South Tampa classic since it’s fairly recent opening in 2012. OE’s aesthetically pleasing interiors range amongst the book store, coffee + tea bar, gift shop, and restaurant –  making it the perfect spot to grab brunch and snap a few pics for the ‘gram.

2. Buddy Brew Coffee | Buddy Brew is another South Tampa favorite and is served in several locations throughout the city, including Oxford Exchange and their newest location inside Tampa International Airport. The main restaurant is located on W. Kennedy and serves a phenomenal breakfast – the arugula + bacon toast is my favorite! <— See featured photo for a sneak peek!

3. Datz | Datz has a little something for everyone and is known for their twists on America’s comfort food staples. Great little spot if you’re an ‘out-of-towner’ and want to try something different! Be sure to stop by Datz Dough next door for fun, gourmet donuts, as well as, ice cream served in a donut cone!

S A N D W I C H E S

  1. Wright’s Gourmet House | Let me just say, I have an undying love for sandwiches and Wright’s is by far my absolute favorite spot to cease my sandwich craving. Sliced thin and piled high, Wright’s sandwiches are every sandwich lover’s dream. Wright’s also has an assortment of desserts that will not disappoint.

2. Locale Market | Locale Market is a premier farmer’s market in Downtown St. Petersburg in the Sundial Plaza. It is home to a multitude of fresh produce and cuisine, including, salads, burgers, meat + vegetable skewers, and one of my very favorite sandwiches – the Cuban Reuben. It’s a definite must-try, y’all.

3. Red Mule Pub | Located about forty-five minutes north of Tampa in the one-horse town of Brooksville, lies the Red Mule Pub. While it is a little bit of a trek, the Red Mule mile-high sandwiches just couldn’t be left out. Well worth the scenic route!

A M E R I C A N

  1. Ulele | With a unique atmosphere and a menu decorated with native-inspired cuisine, Ulele is one not to miss while hanging, visiting, or even living in the Bay.

2. Roux | You’ll find an array of southern + creole dishes at Roux and the grits alone make the experience totally worth it. Roux actually shares founder with Datz, previously mentioned in this post, and does not disappoint.

3. Ella’s Ameriana Folk Art Cafe | Three words encompass the entirety of this cute ‘lil gem – modern, funky, comfort. Stopping by Tuesday-Saturday (closed Monday) is cool and all, but dining on a Sunday at Ella’s is a MUST, as Sunday’s are alternatively known as ‘Soulfood Sunday’s’. SO. GOOD.

S P E C I A L   O C C A S I O N

  1. Bern’s Steak House | Y’all, don’t ask me how, but I have yet to go to Bern’s. Bern’s is famously known as the Tampa staple, as well as, their impeccable steak and wine selection.

2. Colombia Restaurant | The Colombia Restaurant is a Tampa favorite that has expanded to several locations throughout the years. While the original Ybor location allows you to step back in time and is perfect for celebratory meals, my favorite is the Colombia Cafe that has recently opened as an extension of the Tampa Bay History Museum along the Tampa Riverwalk. Regardless of what location you decide to dine at, the 1905 salad is a must-order.

3. Malio’s Prime | The location of Malio’s is just reason enough to give this steak house a try. Located in the Sykes building right off of Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa, you have incredible views of the river and some of the Tampa skyline. Not to mention, the food is amazing.

M I S C.   B A Y   F A V O R I T E S

  1. Big Ray’s Fish Camp | Lobster. Corndog. Yes, I know. The greatest thing since sliced bread. I am not a huge seafood fan and Big Ray’s is a total 10/10!

2. Bartaco | Bartaco is one of my favorite go-to’s, as it is consistently good and has a great atmosphere. I love going to grab a bite and then browsing around Hyde Park after. Great spot for lunch or casual dinner!

3. Fresh Kitchen | If any of you know me at all, you probably already know that Fresh Kitchen is my absolute favorite place. Like, ever. Fresh Kitchen is owned + operated by the Ciccio Restaurant Group who also hosts a number of other restaurants around the Bay Area and all of them are phenomenal and relatively healthy. A few of my other favorite CRG restaurants are:

  • Ciccio Water
  • Daily Eats
  • Green Lemon

4. Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza | Super casual counter-service in the heart of Downtown Tampa, but amazing (understatement) pizza nonetheless. Eddie & Sam’s is great to stop by and grab a slice before heading to an event at Amalie Arena or just wanting to grab something quick + delicious.

I hope y’all enjoyed today’s post! What is your favorite Bay Area eatery? Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorites, as I am always looking for something new to try!