From amazing bakeries and casual eateries to historic cafes and elegant restaurants, there are many great things to do in Tampa. Plan a romantic lunch or dinner at one of these unique places which serve some of the most delicious seafood, pizza, steaks, barbeque, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Foodies can look forward to tasting flavors from around the world, including American cuisine, Creole and Cajun food, Mexican, French, Italian and Mediterranean favorites. Here are the best romantic restaurants in Tampa.
1. Columbia Restaurant
© Columbia Restaurant
The original Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood is a Florida legend and the oldest still-operating restaurant in the state. It is also one of the largest, with space for 1,700 guests in 15 beautifully decorated dining rooms. The restaurant was established in 1905 by the Hernandez/Gonzmart family, who still own and operate it. Columbia is famous for its traditional, authentic Cuban and Spanish food. Its wine list has over 1,000 labels and more than 50,000 bottles. There are several wine labels created in honor of various family members. Columbia’s sangria is mixed at the guests’ table and is extremely popular. In the evening, the floor shakes from the beat of the flamenco dancers while traditional music fills the rooms. Check out these fun day trips from Tampa to explore the nearby area.
2117 E. 7th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605, 813-248-4961
More ideas: Best Romantic Getaways in Florida
2. American Social
© American Social
American Social is a delightful upscale dining experience offering several locations throughout the American South, including a location opened in Tampa in 2017. The restaurant, which is helmed by restaurateurs Tony and Laurie Mijares of the American Social Hospitality Group, offers an award-winning menu in a charming music-centric sports bar space. Four full-service bars are located throughout the concept restaurant space, along with an intimate waterfront dining room, indoor and outdoor VIP spaces, and a full-service raw bar. Diners can enjoy hip all-American food selections throughout the week at brunch, lunch, and dinner, ranging from seafood platter options like Old Bay-seasoned peel and eat shrimp to creative shareables like black truffle pizzas, hickory-smoked chicken wings, and ropa vieja tacos. Signature cocktails are served up alongside an extensive craft beer menu, perfect for relaxing and watching live music performances throughout the evening. Tampa beaches are among the most beautiful in the state.
601 S Harbour Island Blvd #107, Tampa, FL 3360, Phone: 813-605-3333
3. Restaurants in Tampa, Florida: Bern's Steak House
© Bern's Steak House
Bern's Steak House serves some of the best steaks and meats in the city. Sample exquisitely prepared dishes like the Delmonico Steak or the Goat Cheese & Portobello Ravioli. The produce the kitchen uses is either locally sourced or comes from Bern’s Farm. In addition to their internationally renowned dessert room and 21 choices of caviar, Bern's Steak House is also home to one of the world’s largest wine collections.
Bern Laxer founded Bern’s Steakhouse in 1956 with the help of his wife Gert. Their son David now owns and operates the restaurant. Bern's Steak House is nestled between the Hyde Park and Parkland Estates areas. Find the best Tampa resorts that fit your budget.
1208 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-251-2421
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4. Tampa Bay Brewing Company
© Tampa Bay Brewing Company
The award-winning Tampa Bay Brewing Company offers some of the city’s best beer and classic American pub fare. Try the Beer Battered Cod Sandwich, Wild Warthog Spicy Curry Mussels, or TBBC’s Famous Cheese & Ale Dip and wash it all down with a selection from their line of eight core and 38 seasonal proprietary beers.
John G. Doble, III founded the Brewing Company in 1995, and it is now owned and operated by the Doble family – John, Vicki, David, and Mike. Their original joint is located in the historic Ybor City, and they opened a second location in Tampa’s Westchase neighborhood in 2015. Check out our list of free things to do in Tampa on vacation.
1600 East 8th Avenue, Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-247-1422; 13937 Monroe’s Business Park, 813-247-1422
5. Ocean Prime
© Ocean Prime
Ocean Prime is an upscale restaurant that specializes in steaks, seafood, and cocktails done right. Savor exquisitely prepared dishes such as the White Truffle Caviar Deviled Eggs appetizer, Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs, or the Pork Porterhouse. Be sure to check out their delectable raw bar and honored wine list.
Renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell originally founded Ocean Prime in 2006, and the establishment has since expanded to 14 locations nationally, including the Tampa site, which opened in 2009. Stop in to Ocean Prime, located at the entrance of the International Plaza Shopping Center, for a sophisticated and delicious dinner.
2205 N. West Shore Boulevard, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-490-5288
6. Gourmet Pizza Company
© Gourmet Pizza Company
Gourmet Pizza Company has something for everyone, but pizza is their specialty. Create your own pie or try a signature classic like the Mellow Yellow (curry-infused garlic oil base, capers, garbanzo beans, sweet red grapes, fresh cauliflower, and drizzled with peanut butter sauce) or the Cajun Crawfish pie.
Numerous vegan and gluten-free options are available, and they also offer pastas, calzones, and more. Owner Kristina Lima opened Gourmet Pizza Company in 1999 and has committed to serving only the finest local ingredients and making everything in house from scratch. You will find this delicious pizza place in Tampa’s Hyde Park district. Tampa Bay Beaches are free and relaxing.
610 S. Armenia Avenue, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-258-1999
7. Al's Finger Lickin' Good Bar-B-Que
© Al's Finger Lickin' Good Bar-B-Que
Al’s Finger Lickin’ Good Bar-B-Que serves up some of the best Tennessee-style BBQ in the Tampa area. Stop in and treat your taste buds to Sparky’s Pulled Pork Sandwich, a half slab of ribs, or Ericka’s Spicry Collard Greens. All meats at Al’s are smoked for hours at a time.
A daily special is also offered, as is beer. Al started his business out of a concession stand in 2003 and expanded it into a sit-in restaurant in 2009. His wife, Jackie, and daughter, Tia, help him run the joint. Al’s Bar-B-Que is located in a bungalow off 7th Avenue in historic Ybor City. Florida beaches offer a cheap way to enjoy the state's natural beauty.
1609 Angel Oliva Sr St., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-956-0675
Besito (“Little Kiss”) serves authentic Mexican cuisine with bold flavors. Enjoy the intimate, romantic setting as you delight in incredible dishes such as the Pescado a LA Parilla, Chile Relleno Con Hongos, or Costilla Torta (with braised short ribs, queso asado, avocado jalapeno salsa, pickled jalapenos, and frijoles refritos).
Wine, beer, and cocktails are always available. John Tunney, who spent years traveling Mexico, originally founded Besito in 2006. In partnership with restaurateur Chris Sullivan, Tunney expanded the restaurant into a chain with seven locations in five states. The Tampa site, located in the Westshore Plaza, opened in 2015. Browse our things to do in Florida guide for more ideas.
205 WestShore Plaza, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-287-4800
9. Restaurants in Tampa, Florida: Datz
The iconic, award-winning Datz is a retro American gastropub that serves comfort foods with flair, as well as craft beers, handcrafted cocktails, and gourmet groceries. Dive into incredible signature dishes such as Roger’s Rockin Reuben or the Cedar Plank Shimburger. The Fusion Fries (with black truffle-infused oil, San Joaquin cheddar, and sea salt) are also delicious! Stop in early and try the Sriracha Egg Sammie.
Restaurateur owners Roger and Suzanne Perry opened Datz in 2009, and they also own the next-door bakery Dough and local Creole joint Roux. You will find this fun eatery in the heart of Tampa’s Palma Ceia neighborhood.
2616 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-831-7000
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10. Wright's Gourmet House
© Courtesy of koss13 - Fotolia.com
Wrights Gourmet House has been a Tampa staple for decades, and they serve hearty deli sandwiches, fresh salads, and desserts. Stop by and try their signature Beef Martini Sandwich (rare roast beef, mushrooms marinated in white wine, and crisp bacon) or the Golden Gate Sandwich (roast pork, crisp bacon, and Jarlsberg cheese). You might also enjoy the quiche or the Hawaiian Princess Cake.
Marjorie and Pete Wright founded the joint in 1963, and it originally started as a gourmet shop before expanding into an eatery. It is now owned and operated by their grandson, Jeff Mount. Visit this classic restaurant in the Golfview community. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.
1200 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-253-3838
11. Pane Rustica Bakery Cafe
© Pane Rustica Bakery Cafe
Pane Rustica Bakery & Café is a charming artisan bakery that also serves delicious Italian cuisine from a menu that changes daily. Here, you will feel right at home, as though you’re in an Italian grandmother’s kitchen. Treat yourself to incredible dishes like Acorn Squash Salad, Ale-Braised Kurobuta Pork Cheeks, or Bacon, Smoked Cheddar, & Leek Risotto. Don’t miss the Sticky Buns! Pizzas are available too.
Owners Chef Kevin Kruszewski and his wife Karyn first opened Pane Rustica in 1999. Enjoy the warm, welcoming, and casual atmosphere at this adorable eatery located in the Palma Ceia area. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways for an extended stay.
3225 S. MacDill Avenue, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-902-8828
12. Restaurant BT
© Restaurant BT
Restaurant BT serves light, subtle, and elegant French-Vietnamese cuisine in an equally beautiful and sophisticated setting. Your taste buds will appreciate exquisitely prepared dishes such as the Duck Pho, Beef Tenderloin Banh Mi Baguette, or Tuna Sashimi.
A lovely wine list is also available, as are beer, sake cocktails, and mimosas. They also offer a wide selection of loose teas. Restaurant BT was founded in 1988 by Vietnam native, Chef Bt Nguyen (who appeared on The Cooking Channel’s Emeril’s Florida). Enjoy the gorgeous garden patio at this classy eatery located in Tampa’s Palma Ceia neighborhood. Check out our romantic weekend getaways guide for more ideas.
2507 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-258-1916
13. Romantic Restaurants in Tampa, Florida: edison: food+drink lab
© edison: food+drink lab
edison: food+drink lab serves creative New American cuisine, including appetizers, soups, salads and entrees. Delight in innovative dishes like Fennel Pollen-Seared American Red Snapper, Achiote Citrus-Seared Duck Breast, Buffalo Cauliflower, or Potato-Crusted Oysters. Craft cocktails, beer, and wine are also served.
The restaurant is intended to be a food and drink lab where a simple equation is used in their culinary creations: product + technique + creativity2. Chef Jeannine Pierola first opened the posh joint in 2012, and it has quickly become a favorite of many. edison: food+drink lab is located at the West Riverfront district close to the University of Tampa. Check out these Gulf Coast beaches for an inexpensive relaxing day out.
912 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-254-7111
14. Brocato's Sandwich
© Courtesy of artemiykas - Fotolia.com
Brocato’s Sandwich is a local favorite when it comes to gourmet sandwiches and warm, friendly service. You can’t go wrong with their Cuban or signature Nano Henry Sandwiches, or the Chicken Parmesan and homemade soups. Stop in early and try their Finger-Cut Breakfast Sandwiches.
The Brocato family founded Brocato’s in 1948. Over the years, it has transformed from a grocery store to a meat market and, finally, to the current sandwich shop. It is now owned and operated by Joe and Michael Brocato. You will find them near Ybor City, not far from Myrtle Hill Cemetary.
5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33619, Phone: 813-248-9977
15. Romantic Restaurants Near Me: Osteria Natalina
© Osteria Natalina
Plan a casually intimate night at Osteria Natalina, which serves authentic northern coastal Italian cuisine. Savor the Polenta e Pesce (polenta with seafood ragu) appetizer before dining on tasty dishes like the Il Misto Alla Griglia (large shrimp and scallops lightly breaded and grilled) or the Ravioli All’Aragosta (lobster and ricotta cheese stuffed ravioli). Wine and beer are also available.
Osteria Natalina is named after the owner’s mother, who still resides in Rimini, Italy. Restaurateur and owner Spartaco opened the restaurant in 2009 and has been bringing his passion to the kitchen ever since. Visit his charming eatery in Tampa’s Palma Ceia area.
3215 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-831-1210
16. Mission BBQ
© Courtesy of ani Vincek - Fotolia.com
Mission BBQ serves up delicious, classic, All-American BBQ foods in a very patriotic setting. Dive into the Tampa-inspired, Oak-Smoked Brisket, the St. Louis Style Ribs, or the Jalapeno & Chz Sausage.
Don’t miss the Green Beans & Bacon! Bill and Newt, two friends who are passionate about both barbeque and patriotism founded Mission BBQ in 2011. Together, they traveled the country in search of the nation’s best BBQ.
They used what they found and learned to start Mission BBQ, which has since blossomed into a popular restaurant chain. You will find Tampa’s site in the Town and Country neighborhood.
5602 West Waters Ave., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-999-0922
17. Fresh Bites
© Fresh Bites
Fresh Bites serves some of the best Mediterranean cuisine (with strong Lebanese influences) – all made from the freshest, locally grown, organic ingredients. Pop in for a bite and enjoy a Fresh Mezza, Lamb Kafta Kabab, Mudardara (wrap), or the delicious Falafel. Organic and exotic beers and wines are also available.
Owners Samir Khalife and his wife Anissa opened this charming eatery in 2012, and their four children (Joey, Diana, Joyce, and Melissa) help them run the joint. Enjoy the refreshing, contemporary setting at Fresh Bites, located in the heart of the Westchester of Hillsborough community.
11665 Countryway Blvd., Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-336-4936
Oystercatchers is an upscale, secluded seafood restaurant inside the Grand Hyatt Hotel & Resort. You can’t go wrong with any of their expertly prepared dishes, some of which include the Golden Calamari Fries appetizer, Salmon Tartare Tacos, or the Coconut Key Lime Mussels. If you’re feeling more turf than surf, try the Pistachio Chicken Piccata. An extensive wine list is available, as are beer and cocktails.
Chef de Cuisine Adam Schaffer is at the helm of Oystercatchers, which is named after the Florida State Bird. You will find this modern, elegant restaurant inside Tampa’s Hyatt Resort, very close to the Tampa International Airport. The romantic terrace is perfect for outdoor dining.
2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-207-6815
19. Mise En Place
© Mise En Place
Mise En Place has become one of Tampa’s premier restaurants for Modern American cuisine. They boast innovative dishes such as the Chipotle-Crusted Softshell Crab Sandwich, Seared Pork Belly, or Coriander Fennel Rubbed Duck Breast. An eclectic wine list and selections from a full bar are also offered.
A “Get Blitzed” tasting menu is available if you feel like putting all your trust in Mise En Place owner Chef Marty Blitz. He owns the restaurant with renowned restaurateur Maryann Ferenc. They opened the place way back in 1986. Find it just outside of downtown Tama, across from the University of Tampa.
442 West Grand Central Avenue, Tampa, Florida, Phone: 813-254-5373
The 20 Best Romantic Restaurants in Tampa, Florida near me today according to local experts:
Attraction Spotlight: Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida, is a non-profit, community-based institution that is dedicated to encouraging and advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. The mission of the Museum is to stimulate an interest in science and make it available for all.
The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science center in the southeastern United States and features more than 450 hands-on activities, as well as an IMAX Dome Theatre, the Florida Hospital DOME Theatre.
With over 450 hands-on activities across a variety of topics from science to technology, the Museum of Science and Industry has something for everyone. ‘Imagination Playground’ is an interactive experience and play space concept that encourages creativity and creation through play, using bricks, cubes, cogs, curves, and cylinders. Children are invited to build and engineer together, promoting creation and collaboration with each other. The exhibit’s innovative hands-on zone allows children to create, connect, engineer and piece together large foam pieces to bring their visions to life.
‘3D Printing the Future’ highlights 3D printing's endless and inspiring potential to re-shape how we live, work and play through 3D Printing. The display gives visitors a glimpse into the future with an array of 3D-printed objects, from fashion to toys, hands-on live demonstrations on how it works, and an in-depth look at how 3D printing technology works and how it is used. This new display allows visitors to watch 3D printers in action as they take an incredible and interactive journey through all the applications of 3D printing, including 3D-printed medical objects, how it can help solve crimes, and how ancient sites and artifacts are brought to life in 3D Archeology. Other 3D displays include 3D Fun, which includes everything from 3D-printed fashion and jewelry to musical instruments and toys, a 3D Workshop, where visitors can try their hand at 3D printing and make their 3D-printed models. The 3D Live Showcase is a live stage featuring a variety of impressive demonstrations, including step-by-step walk-throughs of the 3D printing process, and a 3D Music Jam Show with real 3D-printed instruments.
Kids in Charge! Features four main exhibits, namely Activate, Investigate, Kids Create, and Fields to Meals, where children are encouraged to use different learning skills to test a variety of scientific concepts, such as lying on a bed of nails ant tug-of-war. ‘Slippery Science’ can be found inside Kids In Charge! and includes a series of interactive exhibits that teach the science behind reaction time, physics and friction.
Mission: Moonbase is a futuristic display of a simulated permanent lunar base in the year 2070 and offers a fascinating look at how it would operate with farming and mining facilities, while Gulf Coast Hurricane puts visitors inside a wind generator to experience winds ranging from a simple rain storm to a Category One Hurricane.
The Bio-Works Butterfly Garden consists of a butterfly garden, which is home to over 30 species of butterflies, and a self-sustaining fish pond, which features several aquatic species, most of which are native to Florida. Butterfly species include Florida’s state butterfly, the zebra longwing, the tiger swallowtail and the giant swallowtail - two of North America’s largest butterflies. The self-sustaining fish pond is home to tilapia and a variety of other species.
The Amazing You! Exhibit is a 13,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art exhibition about health and wellness at each developmental stage of life from birth to death. The display provides information about developmental milestones in life, how to stay healthy at each stage of life, and how to back to health after an illness or surgery.
Bay News 9 Project Weather Weather Quest can be found within Disasterville, which features several interactive exhibits on the science of natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, volcanoes, wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, and lightning. The display also offers children the opportunity to participate in a mock Bay News 9 newscast.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is located at 4801 E. Fowler Avenue in Tampa.
MOSI offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and classes for learners of all ages, including the popular STEAM-powered programs for school-goers. MOSI also provides Science Camps during vacation times, which cover various scientific topics from designing video games to using DNA to solve crimes. The S.T.E.A.M. Career Camp gives teenagers the opportunity to explore careers in various fields such as math, science, technology or art, after which they receive a Certificate of Achievement for successful completion.
4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33617, Phone: 813-987-6000