Ultimate Guide to Restaurants in Downtown Tampa

With so many fun things to do along the Tampa Riverwalk, knowing the best places to eat in downtown Tampa is a question I’m asked quite often.

There are so many great options for dining in Downtown Tampa. This isn’t a complete list, but it’s some of my favorites.

If you’re visiting Tampa for the Superbowl, most of these restaurants are within walking or biking distance from all of the downtown activities.

Where to eat in Downtown Tampa?

The Columbia Cafe in the Tampa Bay History Center

restaurants in downtown tampa

This a great spot for lunch in downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk. It’s not the full menu offered by the other Columbia restaurant but you can get the famous Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad®. This salad is one of my favorites.

*Outdoor seating

Ulele

restaurants in downtown tampa

Ulele is a Tampa Riverwalk waterside restaurant with one of the most unique menus around.  I love the Ulele Burger, chargrilled oysters, popcorn mashed potatoes, and fried okra. The inhouse made ice cream is delectable too.

*Outdoor Seating, Curbside To-Go

The Sail

tampa riverwalk
restaurants in downtown tampa

360-degree waterfront bar behind the Tampa Convention center with great views and drinks. This is a popular place to watch a game on tv and have a drink.

*Outdoor seating

Big Ray’s Fish Camp on the Riverwalk

places to eat on tampa riverwalk

No frills seafood options like peel and eat shrimp and fried grouper sandwiches right on the Tampa Riverwalk, overlooking the Downtown Tampa Marina and Harbor Island.

*Outdoor Seating

Anchor and Brine

restaurants in downtown tampa

Anchor and Brine is a seafood restaurant inside the Tampa Marriott Waterside hotel. The outdoor seating area is one of my favorites in the city of Tampa. There are outdoor couches and a massive bar with seating right on the Tampa Riverwalk.

Remedy

restaurants in downtown tampa

Remedy is an open air restaurant and bar just beneath the Sykes building with delicious food and serious mixology options.  You can take in breathtaking views of University of Tampa at night while enjoying a cocktail. 

*Outdoor seating

Public Heights Market at Armature Works

restaurants in downtown tampa
restaurants in downtown tampa
Lobster Volcano Roll – Zukku Sushi / Photo Credit: Lauren R. Gay

Armature Works is a food hall on the Tampa Riverwalk that is walking distance from downtown or just a boat taxi ride away. There are plenty of restaurants from sushi to vegan to Cuban and places to grab a drink. There is an outdoor lawn with seating and views of downtown on the water. This is definitely a popular choice of places to eat in downtown Tampa.

Oxford Exchange

restaurants in downtown tampa

A bookstore meets a knick-knack boutique, tea bar, coffee and pastry bar, champagne bar, and restaurant. I love the aesthetic of OE. They serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch items on the restaurant menu. The simple breakfast sandwich with potatoes and hot tea service is my go-to.

OE is just across the bridge from the Tampa Riverwalk and across the street from University of Tampa.

places to eat in downtown tampa

If you can, request seating in the courtyard. It’s the most peaceful ambiance to be outside but inside with greenery and a fountain as the focal point. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Tampa I like to bring people to when they visit.

Sparkman Wharf

sparkman wharf on tampa riverwalk

Outdoor food hall made from shipping containers with plenty of pet-friendly green space and a beer garden. It’s located conveniently near the arena and right next to the cruise terminal.  There is a variety of all types of food vendors so check the website for current restaurants.

*Outdoor seating

Eclectic Six – JW Marriott

American bistro style restaurant overlooking the rooftop pool and views of the bay.

*Outdoor seating

Fly Bar

Tapas style small plates. The Asian wings, lamb ribs, and steak tacos are my favs.

Jackson’s Bistro

Great for Sunday brunch and special dinners. Pan-seared grouper and crabs stack is my favorite entree. Eating outside gives beautiful panoramic views of the Tampa skyline.

*Outdoor Seating

American Social

restaurants in downtown tampa

Great for brunch and waterside views from Harbor Island. The cinnamon french toast crunch and country biscuits and gravy.

*Outdoor Seating

Upscale Restaurants in Downtown Tampa

CW’s Gin Joint

restaurants in downtown tampa

CW’s gives speakeasy vibes and reservations are recommended. I love their lobster mac n cheese, the pork chop, and the risotto. The decor, the ambiance, and the drinks round out the experience for a wonderful dinner. When they ask if you want dessert, say yes. The dessert cart presentation is an experience.

Edison: Food + Drink Lab

buffalo cauliflower edison

Edison is home to 5 time James Beard award-winning chef that presents unique and interesting menu options, world-class wine offerings, and delightful mixology. While the ambiance is far from stuffy, the menu is definitely one for adventurous eaters and those who appreciate the attention to detail, unusual flavor combinations, and refined palettes.

Insider Tip: If you find yourself here and the menu is a bit too much for you, go with the off-menu black cheddar truffle burger. It’s not on the menu but you can ask your server for it.

*Outdoor Seating

Mise en Place

Modern cuisine rooted in the French is how Mise en Place describes its style. The menu has entrees like duck breast and rack of lamb, so yes it is a place to go if you’re feeling fancy or you just want something out of the norm.

Malio’s Prime Steakhouse

Malio’s is a traditional fine dining steakhouse with low light ambiance and the smallest 6oz steak starting at $45. This is a popular special occasion restaurant.


You can’t wrong with any of these downtown Tampa restaurants. Most of them offer to-go options so we can continue to support them and stay safe.

Stay safe and follow all city, county, state, and CDC guidelines.

Check out my Tampa weekend getaway itinerary.

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