Where To Eat and Drink in Tampa & St. Petersburg

oxford exchange tampa

A few months ago I was in Tampa with my husband. He was there for work for a few months (yes, that totally sucked) so he found a ton of amazing places to eat and drink. I went to visit and asked you all for recommendations and got so many that I thought I’d share with you where we went and other recommendations that came in!

I didn’t do a great job of taking photos because I was just being present, but honestly I was really impressed with the food and vibe of almost everywhere we went. It was really fun! Tampa/St. Pete is totally underrated! This post is mostly about food, but also a few things to do/places to go.

The day I arrived (Friday) we went to Ulele, a native-inspired (as in Native American) restaurant and brewery. It was recommended by multiple people and we absolutely loved it. It took a while to get in without a reservation but it was worth it. We sat outside, watched the sunset, and had a drink while we waited for our table. For dinner, I can’t remember exactly but we had some sort of steak and the crab mac & cheese. Both dishes were delicious and memorable, which is hard to do.

don cesar hotel tampa

Saturday morning we tried to do the famous brunch at the Don Cesar Hotel, but apparently the brunch is only on Sunday and they stopped serving breakfast about 5 minutes after we sat down. You know when you just really want breakfast food but you have to order off the lunch menu? The food was fine but nothing special.

Then we rented chairs and an umbrella on the beach at the hotel. Expensive, but if you are going to be there for several hours, it’s totally worth it. My pale skin hadn’t seen serious sun in a while, so two hours was enough for me.

On our way back to my husband’s place we stopped by to see an old friend (we lived in Sarasota a long time ago — our first year married — and an old friend lives in St. Pete) so we went over to her place and out to eat with her. She took us to her favorite casual neighborhood spot Casita Taqueria. It was SO GOOD. I’d be there all the time if I lived there.

dali museum tampa

Sunday morning I developed a heat rash — probably from too much sun at the beach the day before — so I needed to stay out of the sun. I talked my husband into going to the Salvador Dali Museum after we had brunch at Platt Street Borough. The Dali Museum is very cool, probably smaller than you would think, but the collection is amazing if you are an art lover or appreciate Dali.

That evening we went to Roux with some friends, and honestly we didn’t like it at all. So I can’t recommend it but if any of you love it, say so in the comments. Maybe we just ordered the wrong thing.

Monday my husband went to work and I met up with my friend Sabrina who has the most amazing beauty blog. She swatches everything better than any other blogger (in my opinion). She’s super thorough! After we hung out she remembered all the products I mentioned I wanted to try and then she sent them to me! She’s good people.

oxford exchange

We went to Oxford Exchange which is Instagram pic heaven. The building is BEAUTIFUL and full of not just eye candy, but a restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore, home shop, Warby Parker, and Aesop.

hyppo ice pops

After having a delicious lunch at Oxford Exchange we went to The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops. Refreshing for a hot summer day in Tampa.

That evening my husband and I went to Hula Bay Club for a few drinks and then to Armature Works and had dinner. The Armature Works building is a must-see when you go to Tampa. It’s right by Ulele and is just an awesome spot to get a drink and eat.

At some point over the 5 days I was there we tried an ice cream spot my husband had been telling me about, Twistee Treat. He thought it would be bad because it was in one of those cheesy ice cream cone shaped buildings, so our expectations were low, but I love ice cream and I was like, we HAVE to try the ice cream cone shaped ice cream spot!

First of all, the portions were HUGE. Like way bigger than any other ice cream place I’ve ever been to in my entire life. And I must say, it’s some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Ever. We had it twice over the course of a few days it was so darn good. I would fly back to Tampa to go there. It would be DANGEROUS if I lived near one.

The last day I was there, I went to Treasure Island Beach (map to 10400 Gulf Blvd) in the morning with my friend from Sarasota. We drank mimosas and chatted for a few hours while I soaked up as much sun as I could before I flew out that evening.

I picked my husband up from work and we had a late lunch at this place near MacDill AFB called Bayshore Grill. Not somewhere you’d probably see on a restaurant recommendations list, but if you need to eat somewhere in that area, it’s good.

Obviously I can only go to so many places in 4 days, but you all sent me so many great recommendations and my husband had a few more, so I made a list below for you to check out if you are headed to Tampa or St. Pete.

fountain tampa


4 Rivers Smokehouse

American Social

Armature Works

Bar Taco

Bayshore Grill

Belleair Bluffs

Bern’s Steak House

Better Byrd

Boca Tampa


Bulla Gastrobar


Columbia Restaurant

CW’s Gin Joint

Daily Eats

Don Cesar Hotel



Fort De Soto Beach

Fresh Kitchen 

Front Porch

Green Bench Brewing

Green Lemon

Hula Bay Club

Hyde Park Village

John’s Pass

Kahwa Coffee

La Casa Del Pane

Maggie Mae’s


Mermaid Tavern

Oxford Exchange

Platt Street Borough

Postcard Inn

Rooster & The Till

Salvador Dali Museum

Sand Key

Stillwaters Tavern

Sunken Gardens

Sweet Brewnette

Ted Peters

The Getaway

The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops

The Sail

Twistee Treat


WTR Pool

Ybor City for Cuban

Zeno’s Sweet Shop

Don’t see your favorite spot? Add it in the comments!