I always get asked for the best things to do in Tampa, so I thought I’d make a master post with all my favorite spots. I’ve written extensively about the best coffee shops, date night stops, and hotels in the area. I wanted to consolidate everything in one giant post. I’m a creature of habit, so I’ve visited many of these places multiple times. If applicable, I’ll include the neighborhood, price point, and favorite thing to order.
NEW AMERICAN: I rave about WILLA’S any chance I get. I’ve never had a bad or average experience there — the food and service are impeccable. I recommend the Rotisserie Chicken Dip sandwich for an entree and the Willa’s Fix for a cocktail. $$, North Hyde Park
CHARCUTERIE: THE C HOUSE is known for its charcuterie and cheesecake, so it’s no surprise that it’s my favorite place to get a cheeseboard in Tampa. My best advice is to just ask for the chef’s choice unless you have a strong preference. They’ve never steered me wrong. $$, Seminole Heights
SUSHI: There are a lot of trendy sushi places here, and IZAKAYA TORI isn’t necessarily one of them. It’s located in a strip plaza and easy to miss when driving down Dale Mabry, but it is worth the stop. The fish is fresh, and the prices are very reasonable. $$, South Tampa
ROOFTOP BAR:Located on the Epicurean Hotel’s rooftop, EDGE is a total vibe. There are a lot of rooftop bars here, but they’re often crowded (pass) or have limited parking (double pass). The view is incredible here, and ample seating and room to move around. $$, SoHo
COCKTAILS: I love any chance to support a locally owned bar, and COPPER SHAKER is one of our favorites. It’s never been too crowded when I’ve been, which is a huge plus, and the cocktail menu has many options. I recommend the loaded truffle fries if you need something to soak up the liquor in your stomach. $$, Ybor City and St. Pete
BREAKFAST: If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy brunch, I recommend 717 SOUTH. The cocktails are incredible, and it’s centrally located. But if you need a meal that’ll fill you up all day without breaking the bank, you must venture into the suburbs and go to BRUNCHIE’S. This has been our go-to weekend spot for years, and the biscuits and gravy are my favorite meal ever. Bonus: no judgment if you show up in your pajamas. $$, Lutz and Carrollwood
INDIAN:Most of my recommendations are in the cool parts of town, but I have to make an exception for our favorite Indian restaurant. SAFFRON is a way out if you aren’t planning to be in the suburbs, but it’s well worth the drive. The shrimp tikki masala is out of this world. $$, New Tampa
TACOS:There’s a ton of incredible Mexican food in town, and TACOS LAS CALIFORNIAS isn’t a sit-down spot. But the food is delicious. Vagner loves the quesabirria tacos, and I usually opt for the supreme burrito. Hot tip: order ahead of time because the line gets long. $, Seminole Heights and Town N Country
DESSERT: The strawberry cake and raspberry macarons at CHOCOLATE PI are seriously the stuff of dreams. This is a bit of a hidden gem and way less crowded than the dessert places you see downtown. Bonus: they have lattes. $$, Seminole Heights
ICE CREAM:I’ve only been to OH YEAH CREAMERY a couple times, but it left a good enough impression that I’m including it here. I’m more prone to ordering cake or pie over ice cream, but Vagner is a total ice cream snob and loved it here. They have many mix-in options, and the ice cream flavors are so good. $, North Hyde Park
COFFEE: I can’t pick a favorite Tampa coffee spot, but BLIND TIGER is at the top of the list. I usually order tea at coffee shops because I prefer the taste, but this is an exception. Also, the vibe is super cool, and they have locations all over town. $, Ybor, Seminole Heights, South Tampa, Westshore, Brandon
Anything you’d add to the list? Let me know!