Feature image: The Mediterranean Chickpea in Tampa
There are plenty of ‘Best Of’ lists out there in Tampa Bay. Let’s be honest, we know most publications and websites put out these ‘Best Of’ contests as a way to generate website traffic. Not gonna lie, we’ve thought about it too, but we haven’t gone there yet.
It’s no surprise that Tampa has some of the best restaurants around (we’re looking at you, Bern’s Steakhouse, Columbia Restaurant, and Mise En Place). In fact, WalletHub just named Tampa the 8th Best Foodie City in America.
So, when Yelp released its list of 100 Best Places to Eat in Florida in 2022, we were surprised to see that some of the usual spots you’d expect to see on a’ BEST OF’ list did not make the cut. In fact, most of the places that DID make the Top 100 are small restaurants you might not have even heard of, hidden gems so to speak.
We wondered–how did Yelp come up with this list in the first place? The easiest answer is…you. The users of Yelp. Yelp said this about its methodology:
“To create Yelp’s Top 100 Florida Restaurants 2022 list, Yelp identified businesses in the restaurants category, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews between January 1, 2017, and April 13, 2022. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of April 20, 2022”
Okay, sounds pretty legit. So, let’s dive in and see which places whose menu you can’t get enough of who earned a spot as one of the best places to eat in Florida!
Tampa Bay area restaurants on the 100 Best Places to Eat in Florida in 2022:
3217 S MacDill Ave, Suite C
Serving up fresh, Mediterranean cuisine, standout items include Falafel Bowls, Quinoa Salad, Moussaka, and Lentils with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
119 2nd St N.
Another Mediterranean inspired spot. You don’t wanna skip the Homemade Rolled Cheese Pie, Mio’s Yogurt Kebap, or the Beef Gyro Salad.
3214 W Kennedy Blvd.
This grab-and-go kitchen in south Tampa features daily menus with items such as Asian Sesame Noodles, Coconut Bacon, Buffalo Macaroni Salad, and Roasted Brussel Sprout and Bean Salad.
21. German Knodle
951 Central Ave.
Serving up some of the best authentic German food in town! Be sure to try the Schnitzel and Sausage Plates.
1100 N Tuttle Ave
Said to serve up the best fries in Florida, Antoine’s also offers some amazing seafood dishes such as Lobster and Salmon Lasagna, U8 Scallops, and an array of different style mussels.
34. Chicago Paulies
1301 N Howard Ave
Paulie’s is known best for their Chicago-style hot dogs. They also have some mouthwatering beef sandwiches and burger baskets.
36. Cafe Soleil
St. Pete Beach
4695 Gulf Blvd.
This quaint French bakery and deli is THE place to go if you wanna feel like you’re on vacation far away. Try their Oh La La Quiche, their Marcel Sandwich, or one of their toasted croissants or pastries. On a beautiful day, enjoy your food on their outdoor patio to really feel like you’re on vacay.
3648 Henderson Blvd
From breakfast specialties to pressed paninis, this place proves that food can be super healthy AND delicious. Try their healthy spins on Vegan Avocado Toast, Cuban Sandwich, Healthy N Fresh Chicken Salad, or a Strawberry PB Smoothie.
535 13th St W.
This hot spot in downtown Bradenton has a menu inspired by the tastes of France, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. From a prix-fixe menu specially designed by the chef to upscale appetizers such as Seared Fois Gras, Chili Garlic Gulf Shrimp, to entrees like the Duck Leg Confit and Dry-Aged Duroc Bone-In Pork Porterhouse, this is the place to be for an elegant date night.
47. Savanh of Laos
5667 Seminole Blvd
Savanh specializes in authentic and vegetarian Lao cuisine. Some of their favorite Asian comfort foods include Tom Som Koong, Lao Style Crispy Rice, Pork Belly Nam, and Yellow Curry.
49. German Bistro 2
1300 E Bay Dr.
The second German spot to pop up on the list, German Bistro 2 is a Bavarian style bistro serving up authentic dishes such as Knackwurst, Schnitzel, and Sauerbrauten.
51. Uptown Eats
698-D Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street
This St. Pete neighborhood eatery offers an array of specialty coffees, breakfast, and lunch. Try the Gouda Cheddar Grits, the Malted Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Waffle, the BLT on Marble Rye or the Steakhouse Salad. They also offer brunch all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
7206 N Dale Mabry Hwy
One bite into the Marlene’s Way breakfast sandwich and you’ll understand why it’s a hot spot for breakfast in Tampa. Their breakfast sandwiches are like no other and although that’s all they serve, it’s worth standing in line outside their food truck on any given morning. They also offer discounts on Wednesday and Friday.
1443 S Belcher Rd
Carribean cuisine is what’s on the menu at Kpicu. Try their Giant Porkchop, Surf and Turf with Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank, or their Vegan Mofongo.
69. Flan Factory
1718 N Nebraska Ave
Located in Ybor City, the Flan Factory was started by a son of a Cuban immigrant who wanted to pay homage to their culture. Whether you’re craving a traditional Cuban Sandwich or want something unique, Flan Factory is the place to go. Try the Pan Con Bistec, Cuban French Toast, Mojo Pork, and of course, the array of different flans.
80. Veggie Thai Cafe
3690 E Bay Dr, Suite H.
If you love Thai food but can’t eat meat, this is your place. Vegan Thai Rangoon, Tofu Rice Soup, and Papaya Salad are just a few things that will satisfy your cravings and deliver tons of fresh, delicious flavors.
83. Pacific Counter
660 Central Ave.
Get a taste of the west coast at Pacific Counter. Indulge in fresh poke bowls, hot dogs, bubble teas, and dole whips.
84. La Dolce Vita
2704 Stickney Point.
There’s a good reason that La Dolce Vita is on the list of best restaurants in Tampa. This Italian eatery has a menu filled with unique pasta dishes using homemade pasta. They also serve up meat and seafood entrees, calamari, and bruschetta.
1200 S Dale Mabry Hwy.
You can’t visit Tampa without trying one of Wright’s giant deli sandwiches. Though their deli counter is always busy, their best known for their cakes. Their Alpine and Red Velvet cakes are known to be some of the best in the city.
93. Kombo Kitchen
5009 S MacDill Ave
Thai and American specialties are on the menu at Kombo. It’s probably one of the new places where chicken wings, cheese steaks, Pad Thai, and Tom Yum Soup can be found on the same menu.
6584 Superior Ave
This savory Sarasota Italian restaurant has some staple dishes such as Eggplant Parmigiana, and unique dishes like the Ravioli Green in Parmesan Cheese with fried Artichokes.
Want to see the entire list? Check out the top picks here.
We see some of our own favorite spots on the Yelp’s list and many more we can’t wait to try.
Mediterranean Chickpea in Tampa and Pure Kitchen in Tampa are both on our TOP PICKS of the best vegan restaurants in Tampa. When it comes to the best cakes you’ve ever had and yummy sandwiches and quiches, you really can’t be Wright’s Deli in South Tampa.
So, as you’re out and about, considering popping into one of these local restaurants and show some love. You just might end of discovering a new favorite place!
Florida Michelin Restaurants
Speaking of expert guides to restaurants, the MICHELIN Guide has finally made its way to Florida in 2022. While no Tampa Bay Area restaurants earned a MICHELIN Star, a few did earn a Bib Gourmand recognition, which are restaurants they’ve determined to not only offer great quality, but also good value.
Here are the inaugural Florida Bib Gourmand Restaurants in Tampa Bay:
- Ichicoro Ramen, Tampa: 5229 N Florida Ave
- Rocca, Tampa: 323 W Palm Ave (next to Armature Works)
- Rooster and the Till, Tampa: 6500 N Florida Ave