Tampa Bay's 25 Most Iconic Restaurants

Helen Freund is a new Food Critic for the Tampa Bay Times. She recently decided that before she dove into the culinary scene in the area, she first wanted to gain a greater historical context of the places that make up our community. She put out a question to Tampa Bay Times readers: What are the most iconic restaurants in Tampa Bay? Almost instantly, her inbox was flooded with responses. 

A lot went into the determination of what made a restaurant genuinely iconic. Longevity was considered, as most of the restaurants here have all been open for at least a decade, and some even longer than that. These iconic restaurants have also made an impact on the Tampa Bay community, and are popular among locals. 

After public input and lots (and lots) of eating, here is the list that Helen came up with:

  • Bern's Steak House
  • Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber
  • Cafe Ponte
  • Casa Tina
  • The Chattaway
  • The Columbia Restaurant
  • Donatello
  • El Cap
  • Frenchey's Original Cafe
  • Harvey's 4th St Grill
  • The Jerk Hut
  • La Teresita
  • Lorene's Fish House
  • Lunch on Limoges
  • Mise en Place
  • Munch's
  • Mykonos
  • Oystercatchers
  • Pia Trattoria
  • Red Mesa
  • Salt Rock Grill
  • Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish
  • Wat Mongkolratanaram Thai Temple
  • West Tampa Sandwich Shop
  • Yummy House

Helen suspects that with new, emerging culinary trends, and concepts like like Armature Works, the Hall on Franklin and Sparkman Wharf, this list will look entirely different in 10 years. For more information on the history of the selected restaurants, as well as menu recommendations, check out the full story here.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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