13 Cool Restaurants in Tampa, Florida

Places to Beat the Heat and Chow Down in Some of the Trendiest Restaurants in The Big Guava

The city of Tampa, located on an inlet on the west coast of Florida, has many sights to see and beautiful beaches you can visit. While you’re there, you’ll want to know all of the trendy restaurants so you can be sure to visit them while you’re in Tampa!

Luckily for you, all of the popular restaurants on this list also happen to be supported by GiftYa, a virtual gift card company that allows you to send a friend or family member money for a participating restaurant or other location via an app! The recipient can set the balance up with an existing card so they don’t have to remember anything extra.

Next time you’re in Tampa, consider visiting one of these restaurants! And, if you know someone who will be in the area, consider buying them a GiftYa!

1. Datz

You can dine-in or takeout for any meal, or order catering!

2616 S MacDill Ave | Tampa | datztampa.com 

With locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Riverview, Datz is open for all three meals every day of the week. They offer online catering for events, and you can order right on the website.

On the brunch menu are eggs, handhelds, burgers, shareable plates, and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options can all be found on the daily menu, and Datz offers a separate menu for draft beers, bottles, and wine. 

“This place is perfect for so many different occasions... breakfast, lunch or dinner with family, spouse, friends or even a date! I really enjoyed the atmosphere, you can't tell from the outside what to expect but it's pretty rustic and great service!” - Yelp Review

2. Ulele

A “vibrant fusion” of ingredients on Tampa’s Riverwalk.

1810 N Highland Ave | Tampa | ulele.com

Named after a Native American princess, Ulele has classic Florida seafood flavors with a beautiful presentation to match. You can make reservations online for Ulele and stop there while on your way down Tampa’s Riverwalk. 

Ulele’s varied menu has both lunch and dinner options, many cooked on their 10 inch barbacoa grill. With appetizers, sandwiches, sides, salads, desserts, and three kinds of entrees— water, land, and plant-based.

“Wow. Just wow. Where to begin. This spot is one of my favorites at the moment. There were so many good options on the menu I didn't even know where to choose.” - Yelp Review

3. Columbia Restaurant

A large Spanish restaurant with a lot of history in Tampa

2117 E 7th Ave | Tampa | columbiarestaurant.com 

Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant in history, as it was first founded in 1905 by Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., a Cuban immigrant. It’s also the largest Spanish restaurant in the world, and there are other locations now, but the first opened in Tampa’s Ybor City.

Columbia Restaurant serves both lunch and dinner, with a selection of salads, tapas, soups, entrees, desserts, and an extensive drink menu that includes cocktails, wine, and sangria. They also offer catering!

“What a gem! Columbia Restaurant is a must-go if you're in Tampa. The outside is adorned in these beautifully painted tiles that construct murals and intricate designs. The inside is just as beautiful.” - Yelp Review

4. Bern’s Steak House

Fine dining in Tampa since 1956

1208 S Howard Ave | Tampa | bernssteakhouse.com 

Bern’s Steak House has been open since 1956, bringing steaks aged to perfection paired with world-famous dessert and an extensive wine collection. Even the vegetables served on the side are grown in their own farm.

Appetizers, cheese, caviar, soups, salads, steaks, other entrees, sides, and of course, dessert— this restaurant has everything you could want for your fine dining experience.

“I have never had a full beginning to end dining experience like what I had at Berns. My boyfriend and I went to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and it was everything and more I could have imagined.” - Yelp Review

5. Ocean Prime

Not just seafood on the menu!

Buy an Ocean Prime Gift Card

2205 N Westshore Blvd | Tampa | ocean-prime.com

Ocean Prime has locations all over the United States, all of which are unique with a great atmosphere to add to your dining experience. The seafood, steaks, wine, and hospitality do a pretty good job of that already, though!

On the menu at Ocean Prime, you’ll find lunch, dinner, dessert, wine, cocktails, and beer. You’re spoiled for choice with sushi, soups, salads, seafood, steaks, and more, plus you can always find the perfect beverage to go with it.

“Great dining experience.  Went to dinner last night with family in Tampa. The restaurant is beautiful inside and they have a few dining table options with reservation(s) which I highly recommend even on a weeknight.  Bar tables can be reserved as well as outside dining.” - Yelp Review

Buy an Ocean Prime Gift Card

6. Edison Food + Drink Lab

Popular restaurant in Tampa with a modern feel and a great atmosphere.

912 W Kennedy Blvd | Tampa | edison-tampa.com

Edison Food & Drink Lab has placed in both the Top 100 and Top 50 restaurants in Tampa by the Tampa Bay Times— #5 for the former in 2018 and #1 for the latter in 2016. Both the flavors and decoration here are very creative, with a great atmosphere and great food!

There’s bites, starters, soups, salads, and of course main dishes and dessert. If you’d rather skip the meal and go straight to the bar, however, the wine, cocktails, and beers served at Edison Food & Drink lab are all just as popular.

“What a wonderful experience we had here. It's perfect for a date night. While not super intimate (you can hear people's conversations around you), the lighting is dim for the perfect mood. Edison lights - who would have imagined.” - Yelp Review

7. Bahama Breeze

An island atmosphere and tropical flavors!

Buy a Bahama Breeze gift card

3045 N Rocky Point Dr E | Tampa | bahamabreeze.com

If you want to feel like you’re enjoying an island getaway in Tampa Bay, this is definitely the place to go. The Caribbean-inspired food and tropical cocktails will not disappoint, and neither will the sheer number of choices you have on the menu!

There’s outdoor deck seating and patio seating available, as well as valet parking. Bahama Breeze serves gluten sensitive and vegetarian options, plus a range of non-alcoholic beverages.

“The service once we sat down was excellent!  The drinks were amazing. We were happy then. But when the food got there we were super happy!  The food was hot and [had] amazing latin flavors.  We were pleasantly surprised with everything.” - Yelp Review

Buy a Bahama Breeze gift card

8. Seasons 52

Seasonal menus and flavors in cities across the country.

Buy a Seasons 52 gift card

204 Westshore Plaza | Tampa | seasons52.com

Seasons 52 has locations all over Florida, as well as in many other states, however the one in Tampa is still worth a visit. You can order or reserve a table online for your convenience. Whether you want a delicious meal or a glass of wine, this is the place to go.

The menus change seasonally, which is what gives this restaurant its name, but the oak-fire grill and brick-oven roast are in use year round to give you the flavors you want!

“Do yourself a favor and sit at the bar, order a drink and be taken back to a time when people gave a shit about their jobs and loved to make sure you're happy.” - Yelp Review

Buy a Seasons 52 gift card

9. Level 11 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant 

One of the Coolest Spots in St. Pete’s Beach

5250 Gulf Blvd | St. Pete Beach | bellwetherbeachresort.com

The Grand Plaza Hotel’s rooftop restaurant has one of the best views in St. Pete. With dazzling views of the beach and the Gulf of Mexico, Level 11 puts you in an immediate vacation state of mind. Sip cocktails in the glow of golden hour as  you listen to waves crash on the shore. Level 11 has plenty of local flavor – with spirits and beers from local distilleries and breweries, you’ll truly get a taste of Big Guava.

“My wife and I had our first date there and that's where I proposed to my wife, it was perfect,  I love the view.” – Yelp Review

10. Velvet Gypsy 

It’s THE Bar & Grill For Quirky Creatives in Tampa

https://www.instagram.com/p/Co6gxGysnSh/?img_index=1

5210 N Florida Ave | Seminole Heights | facebook.com/Velvet_Gypsy

Seminole Heights is known as one of Tampa’s artsier districts, so it’s no surprise that the nightlife is just as unique. Velvet Gypsy is our favorite dive-but-not-dive. Decked out in lights and eclectic boho decor, it’s unlike any other bar in the area. Locals love the energy and the abundance of indoor and outdoor seating. And don’t even get us started on the cocktails.

Perfect for hanging out with friends, kicking back on date night, and having a great time.

“Amazing artsy chill but fun vibes. The bar is such a beautiful vibe that represents the artsy culture of Tampa's beautiful Seminole heights area. You will find nothing but amazing staff, drinks and patrons here.” – Yelp Review

11. Jackson’s Bistro 

Upscale Modern Waterfront Dining for All Your Seafood + Sushi Needs

Text a Jackson’s Bistro gift card

601 S Harbor Rd | Harbour Island | jacksonsbistro.com

Jackson’s Bistro has been a staple in the Tampa Food scene since 1997, when it was established by chef and restaurateur Jack Campbell. And it’s not just a local favorite – it’s a destination for travelers, too. With fresh seafood and sushi, a delicious weekend brunch spread, and beautiful views of the water, it’s no wonder that Jackson’s is the place to be in Harbour Island.

Be sure to check out the coconut shrimp, scallop plate, and sexy lobster roll – they’re fan favorites!

“Amazing lunch spot. Lots of space to sit inside and outside. Staff is very nice. Food was great. Parking can be validated both valet as underground.” – Yelp Review

Text a Jackson’s Bistro gift card

12. Luv Child

Fun and Funky Locally Owned & Operated Restaurant

516 South Howard Ave | SoHo | luvchildsoho.com

Taste the love at LuvChild, Tampa’s coolest modern cubano restaurant. Located in SoHo, LuvChild’s bright and kitschy decor is the perfect backdrop to brunch, girls’ night, or grabbing drinks. With plenty of vegetarian-friendly and gluten free-friendly options, there’s something at this locally owned and operated restaurant for everyone.

Be sure to try the Aji Verde Chicken or the Big Papi Sandwich!

“What a fun and delicious restaurant! Warm and positive vibe. Awesome service, great decor and delish food! Highly recommend!” – Yelp Review

13. Meat Market Tampa

A Sexier, More Glamorous Take on the Traditional Steakhouse

1606 W Snow Ave | Hyde Park | meatmarket.net

Think steakhouses are old hat? Think again. The Meat Market is an updated take on the classic steakhouse, bringing an immersive nightlife experience to the steak restaurant scene. Enjoy the resident DJ, local musicians, and live entertainment as you savor tender steaks, fresh sushi, and creative large plates like the umami duck and “American Style Kobe” meatloaf.

“I love this place for lunch or dinner. But most importantly happy hour!  They are pricey but well worth it. I love the outdoor seating when the sun is down. Open 365 is crazy but yup they are! Lol!“” – Yelp Review

There you have it, the coolest and trendiest restaurants in Tampa, Florida.

If you happen to be in the Tampa area, are making plans to travel there, or know someone who might have a chance to visit one of these amazing restaurants, then you should consider GiftYa! Every venue on this list is supported, and each one will give you a delicious dining experience.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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