Melting Pot Social, or MeltSO for short, opened last summer and is carving its place in the landscape of downtown Tampa. With a freshly reimagined concept that is almost nothing like its predecessor, an ideal location, and a “something-for-everyone” menu, MeltSO may just be your next go-to spot. Celebrate a simple date night with dips and drinks.
Did I mention they have Happy Hour and weekly events? Even better. Come with us for a date night in Tampa Bay that checks all the boxes.
MeltSO Location & Atmosphere
On the corner of Ashley and Tyler, Melt Social is just steps away from The Straz, the Tampa Museum of Art, and all the entertainment of the Riverwalk. The perfect place for drinks and dinner before or after a show at the Straz or an event at the museum.
Parking is easy with multiple lots nearby, as well as street parking on Ashley and surrounding streets, all of which use the Park Mobile app.
The entrance will give you an idea of the space inside. Brightly colored umbrellas and chairs highlight the outdoor seating with a modern wood-slatted entryway. Step inside and you’ll be welcomed into an inviting, open room with an array of different spaces to choose from. The wrap-around bar is central and features multiple huge screens perfect for watching the Lightning play.
MeltSO is a great option if it’s just the two of you for date night or if you’re with a big group. There are long high-tops and extra-long booths to spread out in, plus tons of bar seating and smaller tables to choose from if you want a more intimate feel.
Now to get into the good stuff! Keep reading for an inside look at the delicious sips and eats at Melting Pot Social.
Melting Pot Social Drinks
MeltSO hosts a long list of rotating local and seasonal tap beers, plus wines and cocktails.
The cocktail list is divided into “Classics” and “Signature” sips. Their Classics all have a unique twist, like the Modern Old Fashioned with Earl Gray bitters. I love a good espresso martini and their Cold Brew Martini sounds delicious for dessert with Jameson Cold Brew, Kahlua, and ice cream.
Other tempting crowd-pleasers include their Lavender Lemonade and each of their different Sangria options (Hello, brunch carafes).
Although the favorites are hard to pass by, we chose two delicious sounding picks from their “Signature” list.
With cocktail names paying homage to this great city of ours, I chose the 813 Spritz, with Conniption Kinship gin, passion fruit, grapefruit, lemon, and prosecco. It was just what I wanted, not too sweet, bubbly, and refreshing. Not to mention it was so pretty I hated to mix it up.
My husband chose the TPA, with Gasparilla Key Lime rum, mezcal, pineapple, lime, hot honey-infused syrup, orange bitters and dried pineapple. We both eagerly ordered a second and that’s saying something for us, typically IPA drinkers.
The bulk of the Melting Pot Social menu is organized into: Fondue, Shareables, Mains, and Handhelds. There are plenty of lighter options, too, including soups, salads, and flatbreads.
I recommend trying at least one version of the dish that made them famous, though. When in Rome!
Spilling the Cheese (and Chocolate) on MeltSO Fondue
MeltSO Cheese Fondue is portioned to serve 1-2 and comes with their “signature dippers:” pretzel bread, tortilla chips, roasted potatoes, apples, broccoli, and grape tomatoes.
They have a few pre-determined curations to choose from, or you can make your own.
- Decide on the kind of cheese base you want
- Then pick your 3 mix-ins.
- You can also add-on additional dippers like rosemary fries or seasoned steak.
- Chocolate Fondues work the same way
We chose the Alpine base (gruyere/fontina mix) and added in spinach, basil pesto and scallions.
Dessert Chocolate Fondues include strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pretzel rods, pound cake, and crispy marshmallow treats to dip. Pay a little more to dunk caramel-filled churros or Belgian Waffles amongst other decadent selections.
For chocolate bases, choose from: Milk, White, Dark, or Vegan chocolates, and choose mix-ins like smoked bacon or candied pecans.
We chose Dark chocolate with pretzels, graham cracker crumbles and caramel mixed in – yum.
Just make sure to give your creation a few minutes to melt before you dive in!
Choosing from the Shareables menu was tough. If it weren’t for the fondue in the next course, the MeltSO Mac and Cheese or the Loaded Fondue Fries would be an easy pick. The Crispy Veggie Potstickers and the Sweet Spiced Sticky Ribs sounded good, too.
Ultimately, we chose a nostalgic favorite of mine that, go figure, they’re taking off the menu. The Fried Green Tomato Stack was delicious – perfect and crispy. I’m glad I got to try it!
Mains & Handhelds
From Chicken and Waffles to Shrimp Tacos, the MeltSO menu was eager to please and covered a wide variety of cuisines.
I was surprised to see multiple Asian-inspired dishes on the menu like the Miso Crunch Salmon, and I ended up deciding on the SOBowl which was delicious with extra sauce.
Their version of a poke bowl, it has a “supergrain trio” and greens base, topped with the most colorful assortment of ponzu tuna, edamame, avocado, radish, kohlrabi slaw, garlic crunch and sesame.
The Handhelds portion of the menu includes plenty of crowd-pleasers. Classics like the Turkey Bacon Club and the Fondue Burger are all served with yummy rosemary fries.
It was really nice to have fresh and healthy options to pair with the more decadent fondue courses. I noticed that they even have healthy options on the kid’s menu, which was refreshing to see.
Brunch, Late Night, & Happy Hour Menus
MeltSO hosts Brunch on Saturdays & Sundays starting at 11am. Featuring a whole new cocktail menu, they offer carafes of Bloody Mary’s and Sangrias, not to mention bottomless mimosas. The brunch food menu includes the signature fondues and favorites plus a handful of brunch plates.
I want to go back just to try their Chocolate Fondue Stuffed Beignets – wowza!
They also have a Late Night Menu (featuring boozy chocolate fondue) and a Happy Hour Menu. Happy Hour is for bar patrons only, all day Mondays, and then Tuesday-Fridays from 4-6pm.
Know Before You Go
Since it is a popular spot before shows, there are some reservation notes to be aware of. On Morsani Hall show nights at the Straz Center, MeltSO reservations can only be held for 10 minutes after the scheduled reservation time and all members of the party must be present to be seated. Dining time is also limited to 1 hour and 15 minutes on show nights at Morsani Hall.
As we were leaving, they were setting up for karaoke which happens every Friday.
With more weekly events promised this coming February, there are plenty of reasons to try MeltSO out for date night in Tampa Bay.
Melting Pot Social
105 W. Tyler St, Tampa, FL 33602
813-683-5707 | meltingpotsocial.com/tampa-florida/
Mon-Fri: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Sat-Sun: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM