Many move to Tampa or travel there for one reason and one reason only: the beautiful weather year round. Some even compare it to the weather in California! When you are in a place with great weather, you want to spend as much time outside as you can. And honestly, everyone knows the vibes are better when you sit outside for dinner and drinks with friends. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular outdoor restaurants in Tampa right now so you can make the most of Tampa weather, and hopefully do so with delicious food and good friends.
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Independent eatery that doubles as a folk art gallery
5119 N Nebraska Ave | Tampa | ellasfolkartcafe.com
This outdoor restaurant is located in the heart of Seminole Heights, just minutes away from Downtown Tampa. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe is an independent eatery, music venue, and art gallery, showcasing folk art. And, most importantly, they have a really cute outdoor patio.
Here you will find elevated comfort food and barrel aged cocktails. Our favorite apps to share are the Tuna Cracka’ Stacka’, seared sesame ahi tuna, topped w Asian slaw, sriracha, and wasabi cream sauce on a wonton cracker, and the Rasta-Far-Fries, fried potato wedges tossed in Ella’s Mustard with cilantro and sriracha.
They have a long list of delicious 12” hand stretched pizza pies baked on stone that are also available as calzones. The Hippy, their vegan pie, comes with roasted garlic purée, arugula, portobello, sun dried tomatoes, toasted almonds, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, basil, and vegan mozzarella. It is delicious, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their pies.
Their other dinner items are just as hard to resist. Sulu’s Curry comes with vegetable panang, jasmine rice, tamari and cilantro slaw, and fried garlic, in addition to your choice of two proteins from shrimp, fried pork belly, mushroom, and tofu. We love that their salads are full-on meals as well. Skirt Steak Salad is loaded. It comes with fresh tomatoes and avocado, fried maduros, smoked corn, manchego, pickled red onion, mixed greens, and a delicious chimichurri vinaigrette.
We can’t say enough good things about the food - and we’re not done. Be sure to try one of Ella’s homemade desserts. They always have triple red velvet cake, key lime pie, and cheesecake, but ask your server about dessert specials in case there’s something tasty on offer that night!
“I didn't know I would need a southern style shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles with chocolate covered BACON!!! If you ever get the privilege of going to Ella's, you will learn that you NEED everything on their menu!" - Yelp Review
Tacos and margaritas on a rooftop
25 Causeway Blvd | Clearwater Beach | marinacantina.com
Marina Cantina is the largest rooftop bar on Clearwater Beach. This means a lively atmosphere and killer views. But aside from sheer size, they have delicious food and tasty margs.
Their Mexican fusion inspired menu offers plates with fresh seafood caught directly from their own fleet of boats. Not many restaurants can say that! Grouper del sol, casa ceviche, pork belly tacos, and carne asada are just a few menu favorites that are prepared fresh daily.
The Case Ceviche, made with fresh lime, ahi tuna, shrimp, scallops, octopus, spicy serrano chile, red onion, and baja olive oil, is a favorite for good reason. Their Tequila Salmon, salmon with char-grilled zucchini, corn salsa, mojo tequila glaze, and white sweet potato mash is a unique and yummy dish and the Baja Lobster Tails, twin brazilian lobster tails grilled with citrus butter, green onions, street corn, cantina rice, and habanero butter is a great choice if you want something a little fancier for a special occasion.
Now let’s talk drinks. You can’t go wrong with the Casa Margarita - just maestro dobel diamante, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice. You can get it by the glass for $10 or by the pitcher for $38. The Feelin Peachy, milagro reposado, peach puree, tamarind, fresh lime juice, and agave, and the Strawberry Fields, maestro dobel diamante, muddled fresh strawberries, mint, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, are two more outside the box choices that are just as tasty.
Marina Cantina also has great weeknight specials. They of course have Taco Tuesdays. From 4 pm to 6 pm, they offer $4 tacos from your choice of shrimp, pulled pork, chicken,
beef, and crispy cauliflower. This means you can get a meal of three tacos for only $12! Thursday night is “Ladies Night,” which means $2 off all margaritas and specialty drinks for the ladies.
“Great view and great food! We want to place to get brunch on the water. Please pass this place 100 times and never realized it was there. I found it on Yelp. We had an amazing time sitting up there on a Saturday morning.” - Yelp Review
Rooftop coffee shop and bar
500 E Kennedy Blvd | Downtown Tampa | atticcafe.net
This rooftop spot will quickly become one of your favorites, and surprisingly it’s not because of their rooftop views.
Well, maybe the rooftop views do play a part. We mean, think of all of the Instagram opportunities. But actually the reason this rooftop cafe is so popular is because they allow you and your friends to do brunch two ways: with coffee or with alcohol.
Of course you can do both, but Tampa residents really love that this is their-go to spot for whichever mood they’re in. Brunch and drinks with your friends is always a good time, but sometimes you’re just not in the mood! Some mornings, you just need a fat cup of coffee and a delicious plate of your favorite breakfast foods to carry you through the day.
From Breakfast Tacos and Chicken and Waffles to Vegan Pancakes and Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole, they’ve got both your sweet and savory cravings covered. We highly recommend the Pancakes & Eggs, which comes with one pancake, two eggs (any style), hash browns, and your choice of bacon or sausage.
As for drinks, their bottomless mimosas are only $20. They also have sangria, beer, and wine. If you’d prefer coffee, they offer hot or iced coffee, lattes, and more. They even have milk alternatives and tasty flavored syrups from hazelnut and mocha to seasonal flavors!
“I honestly came here for the view. But to my surprise, everything was really good! And best of all, the price is super good! The coffee comes in a huge cup, the pancakes are super fat and soft and the french toast has the perfect flavor!” - Yelp Review
Rooftop experience inspired by the Riviera Maya town of Tulum
3650 Midtown Dr | Tampa | salymarrooftop.com
It wouldn’t be right if we only had one rooftop on our list of outdoor restaurants, so let us introduce you to Sal y Mar, or “Salt and Sea.” This rooftop experience is inspired by the Riviera Maya town of Tulum. Here, you will find a setting and menu rich in old-world influence where guests can mingle effortlessly against the 360 degree views of the Tampa, Westshore, and St. Petersburg skylines.
Their menu boasts a variety of delicious tacos including, the Pescado Frito, crispy fish, purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and chipotle crema, and the vegan Pineapple Jackfruit, jackfruit, jalapeno, pineapple pico de gallo, avocado, and cilantro. But we also love the Papas Fritas con Carnitas, fried potatoes topped with pulled pork, choriqueso, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.
If you come for brunch, you have to get The Fruity French Toast, made with brioche bread, mascarpone, and mango blackberry syrup. Sal y Mar’s brunch deal - one starter, one brunch tapa, one side, and one cocktail from a choice of either a mimosa, bellini, Bloody Mary, or wine punch for $45 - is also really great.
“We enjoyed the whole vibe of this rooftop. Drink service and presentation was equally amazing. My marg was just right with tequila, spice and sweetness. Listening to music and enjoying the views set the tone and ended a wonderful night in Tampa.” - Yelp Review
400 N Ashley Dr | Tampa | remedytampa.com
This outdoor restaurant and bar, located on the Tampa Riverwalk, is the place to go if you want to take your pup out with you for the night. Your pups are more than welcome to join you as you sip your drink, eat some good food, and enjoy the beautiful views.
Menu favorites include the Filet Flatbread, the Salmon Sashimi, and the French Onion Burger. Yup, burger. Not soup. Who would have thought?
Some things to keep in mind with this spot: they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. They’re open Wednesday – Thursday 5 pm – 11 pm, Friday 5 pm – 12 am, Saturday 3 pm – 12 am, and Sunday 3 pm – 10 pm. Another thing: their menu is pretty limited, though what they have is good. This place is really more about the views and the drinks. So just be prepared!
Many say this is a great spot to stop in after a long day in the area for some easy drinks and food. Make sure you keep this in mind next time you’re in Downtown Tampa!
“I thought the views were amazing of the river and the drinks were fun and creative. Not much on the menu because it is a small bar. The food was really good though. I got the bacon jam burger which was just delicious!” - Yelp Review
A fun dining adventure
1809 W Platt Street | Tampa | theetreehouse.com
This indoor-outdoor space offers a refreshing blend of classic and contemporary eats, but honestly the reason we love it so much is because it’s a total vibe. There are actual swings to swing on, however they also provide a great photo spot, fun art on the walls, and even a tree etched onto the outside of the building. This place is just simply fun!
In terms of food, locals love their meatball menu offered Thursday-Saturday. They have Albondigas, Spanish pork style meatballs, Classic, Italian beef meatballs, and even Beyond Classic, Italian seasoned beyond meatballs.
They also have brunch with bottomless mimosas for only $22, taco Tuesdays with a variety of delicious street tacos and $22 bottomless margaritas, and happy hour Tuesday-Saturday from 5-7 pm with cocktails for $5. Best of all, these cocktails are not your average rum and cokes or vodka sodas. They offer Spicy Pineapple, Very Berry, Lightning Mule, Dragon Berry Peach Mojito, and White Gummy Bear.
“I loved the vibes of the restaurant. There were some great drink options for brunch. Bottomless Mimosas, mixed drinks, sangria. My friend and I shared a pitcher of mixed berry sangria which was yummy. I will definitely be back.” - Yelp Review
From cafes to cantinas to rooftop bars, there are so many outdoor restaurants in Tampa that are gaining popularity right now. All of these places will allow you to enjoy the beautiful Tampa weather while you enjoy a good meal and drinks. Let us know in the comments which of these restaurants you try first!