Top Three Restaurants for Foodies in Tampa, Florida

tampa american restaurant lab

bayshore middle eastern tampa

By now, I have reviewed a LOT of restaurants in Tampa. I am very familiar with the cuisine, and I have been there as restaurants come and go. My opinions on the best restaurants in Tampa are always changing, so it helps to stay up to date on my articles. Unless you like eating at bad Tampa restaurants that aren’t good, of course. These three are different from any past one that I have reviewed, because nobody wants to hear about the same restaurant multiple times in a row. Plus it helps them garner more positive reputation.

tampa mediterranean restaurant bayshore

Bayshore Mediterranean Grill serves the best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food that I have had in a while. Located near the Ballast Point neighborhood in Tampa, if you live there then you should be satisfied for a while. It would be nice to live in an apartment above a restaurant, so I could just head downstairs, get some food, and head back up to eat it. Bayshore is one of the few restaurants in Tampa with so many different things to order that it’s hard to get the same thing over and over.

I think that a lot of people recognize Bayshore Mediterranean Grill for their baked hummus, which I also happened to have the pleasure of trying. To accurately summarize it, the baked hummus was amazing. But I have also enjoyed ordering other items in the past, such as the salads and the Cold Dip Platter. Also, if you are a bread person, then you will be in heaven. I’m not sure what the chefs do to that hot bread to make it taste so great but is always the highlight of my evening whenever I eat at Bayshore Mediterranean Grill.

It’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but somehow manages to never get cold. Amazing. Another thing that people will (and do) love about Bayshore Mediterranean Grill is the atmosphere. It may not be located next to all of the steakhouses that charge upwards of $100 per meal, but you should always be able to find something to do before or after eating your meal. The atmosphere is not just all about location, however. Noise level, sanitation, and lighting are some of the biggest gripes that I see when reading reviews for other Tampa restaurants.

Personally, I felt a giant burden lifted off of my shoulders when first entering Bayshore Mediterranean Grill. It was relatively quiet, the music was kept to a perfect volume and there were no servers stomping and clapping to a song like the Texas Roadhouse. I had a few friends with me, and it was nice to be able to carry a conversation without needing to raise my voice. There are a nice amount of windows as well, so you’re not exclusively at the mercy of whatever lightbulbs are above you. I think the natural lighting looks a lot better, plus I like to watch the people go past as I wait for my food.

Window seats will always give a restaurant bonus points in my book, but I can still understand if the conditions don’t allow for windows. If you want to know more about individual dishes or you don’t believe all the great things that I have stated (I have said a lot), then you are in luck.

 Bayshore Mediterranean Grill has more great online reviews than I can count, and it would take me a lifetime to read all of them. I know that I haven’t said a single negative thing about Bayshore Mediterranean Grill, but when you reside in a city with over 40 restaurants then there will be some pretty stiff competition. It’s not easy being at the top, especially in a Florida town such as Tampa or Miami.

steakhouse and seafood tampa restaurant

Now, if that was not enough to impress you, then this New York restaurant should be. Roy’s Restaurant is both a steakhouse and a sushi bar, and the chefs didn’t just one-trick their way to a positive reputation. Everything on the menu, no matter what style of cuisine, is delicious. I’m speaking from experience, after all. People gotta eat. Roy’s Restaurant is located right near the University of Tampa campus, and I have seen a lot of students eating there so you would not be the first one.

When I first looked at Roy’s Restaurant’s Menu, I was shocked at how amazing all of the dishes looked. No restaurant could offer such lavish dishes and still keep their prices so affordable, right? Wrong. Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé is also one of the best desserts I have had in a very long time, and that is saying something.

Roy’s Restaurant has it all, and by all I mean service, quality food, and great prices. Service is one of the things that I value most in a restaurant, so I only mention so often because it is vital. Service is the one thing that I see mentioned most in amazing online reviews.

tampa american restaurant lab

Last, there’s Edison: Food+Drink Lab. Here, you will be eating near Carver City in Tampa. I decided to include this restaurant because I think the food that they provide is very unique. With the word “lab” in the title, obviously they’re making some kind of great concoction in the kitchen, right? If the kitchen is an actual lab, then I am sure it is messy all of the time. My cooking class teacher always reminded me about the importance of cleaning up after yourself, as clumsiness was a hazard to all of those around you.

From what I have seen, Edison: Food+Drink Lab is a very clean restaurant. That should be expected, after all. These are the top three, not the top 100. I have passed a Tampa hood cleaner that’s not too far from this restaurant’s location, so I’m sure the management is set when it comes to keeping messes out of their kitchen.

Especially because Tampa Hood Cleaning Pros are one of the top-rated hood cleaners within the state. If you click now, you can check their website out and even schedule an appointment. Unless you don’t own a restaurant, of course. Regardless, having a clean restaurant is just another step on the way to garnering positive reviews for your restaurant like Edison: Food+Drink Lab has.

My Top Four Favorite Tampa Restaurants

tampa jamaican restaurant

fancy table restaurant tampa

I’ve always lived in Tampa, and I’ll always love it. Not many people think about food when they decide to come here on vacation, so I have taken it as my duty to change that. I have professional experience as a food critic, so my opinion is not one to be taken lightly.

tampa jamaican restaurant

First up, there’s my favorite restaurant in Tampa: Yah Mon. Yah Mon is a Caribbean restaurant, which I personally think is a very unique style of cuisine. It doesn’t take much to serve regular old American food or Latin food. If you had to ask someone to name a Caribbean restaurant that they’ve been to, I’m sure they would be at a loss for words. This restaurant is located in Hyde Park in Tampa, right next to the waterfront, and they serve the best Jamaican food I’ve ever eaten. If it’s your first time eating there, make sure to order the curry chicken and the fried plantains, or “maduros”. To kick off the review, I’ll talk even more about their food.

The menu is filled with tons of things to order, so you can even bring your picky kids. Everything on the menu is modestly priced, so don’t be afraid to order whatever you want. If you want to try everything on Yah Mon’s menu, it will take more than a few visits. Trust me. The chefs make sure that you’re full before you leave, and the food is already really filling, to begin with. In addition, the service here is also very good. In fact, this might be one of the most professional restaurants I have eaten at.

The waiters are always respectful and make sure your glass is always full, but they don’t pester you like flies while you’re trying to enjoy your meal. When I ate here for the first time, the waiter was very helpful in letting me know what customers have enjoyed in the past. Now I’ve been there so many times that I’m essentially a regular. If you do decide to bring your kids, don’t worry about them getting their hands dirty or touching gum under the table or anything like that. Yah Mon is also one of the cleanest restaurants I’ve eaten at in Tampa, and their kitchen is just as clean.

One time I asked the owner if I could take a look inside the kitchen as he was making his rounds around the restaurant, and he agreed without hesitation. I looked all over in their kitchen and couldn’t find anything with visible dirt on it. Even the kitchen’s grease trap was clean, which lead me to believe that it had been cleaned that day. After all, with all of the items on the menu that are fried, you know there’s gonna be grease in the air.

I’ll have to ask the owner which Tampa hood cleaning business they get their spotless exhaust hoods from, so I can recommend them to other restaurant owners I know in Tampa. Believe it or not, Yah Mon is actually Tampa’s highest-rated Caribbean restaurant. Look at all of their amazing reviews online if you don’t believe me. Always a pleasure to dine here.

tampa restaurant lobster

Next, a trip to Tampa wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t visit a great steakhouse before leaving. Black Rock Bar & Grill gives the feel of a super high-class steakhouse, but doesn’t expect you to pay top dollar for the same quality of service as one. This restaurant is found by Cedar Hollow in Tampa. Although it’s a steakhouse, my absolute favorite item on the menu is their lobster bisque. Every time I order it, I can taste how fresh all of the ingredients are. It’s probably not that difficult to procure fresh seafood, since Florida is so close to the coast. Black Rock Bar & Grill doesn’t skimp either, always giving me a big lobster claw.

I’ve been to a few restaurants in Miami where my meal cost upwards of $100 and I get a piece of lobster the size of a sushi roll. It surprised me that they can offer such quality food at affordable prices and still manage to stay in business, but I guess it helps that the place is always packed. Don’t worry about being crowded though, because the interior is very roomy open. As busy as the restaurant always gets, the owner always manages to find me a spot.

Probably because I’ve eaten at this restaurant so many times that he knows me by name now. I’m sure my words are enough to convince any of you stragglers, but if you’re still on the fence then just check Yelp or any other review site. I looked at google’s reviews section before eating at Black Rock Bar & Grill for the first time, and I didn’t believe the amazing online reviews at first. I do now.

tampa restaurant potato dish

On Swann is my go-to place whenever I get bored with the other restaurants, and it always hits the spot. Not only a restaurant, the chefs also specialize in desserts. In my opinion, the tomahawk pork chop is the single best item on the menu. On Swann serves some unique food, like parm zeppole with whipped ricotta corn dip. I was actually kind of scared to order it at first because it sounds so strange, but there has never been a time where I was disappointed with this restaurant’s food.

Here’s another restaurant in the Hyde Park area of Tampa, right next to the shoreline. If you wanted to take your dessert to go, you could even walk along the beach and look at all the boats launching from the dock. I love On Swann’s open-air kitchen because it fascinates me to watch chefs prepare food. Also, the interior is well decorated to the point where I would bring food in from any other place just to eat it inside this restaurant.

Not that I would want to eat another restaurant’s food, considering how good these desserts are. I left my great online review after eating here for the first time, and it would be nice if I could leave positive online reviews after each time I enjoyed Swann’s food since then. There would be a LOT of reviews, though.