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The Best Bars for Foodies in Tampa

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by The OpenTable Team
Updated February 26, 2020

As one of the American South's greatest cities, Tampa, Florida boasts a fun and sunshine-splashed center for commerce, culture, and cuisine. The best bars in the Tampa supply the fuel for the exciting nightlife of the city, delivering live music, multicultural eats, and craft drinks to locals and visitors alike. But where are the city's smartest, savviest diners headed out to when in search of the best bars in Tampa? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. Here, we've gathered information from the city's in-the-know diners and good-time partiers to put together this comprehensive list of the best bars in Tampa. From local favorites and dive bars to exciting sports bars and cocktail joints, the best bars in Tampa have something for every crowd. Grab a table (and a drink) tonight!

A photo of Renzo's-St Pete restaurant
4.4
4.4 (661)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
St. Petersburg
About the restaurant
This slice of Argentina in the middle of the city is one of the best bars in Tampa. With a classically colorful Southern American atmosphere, Renzo's delivers plenty of fun and classic Argentinian meals for locals and visitors. The wine list is exceptional, with a vast selection of South American wines imported from the Andes wine region. Grab a glass to pair with favorites like New York sirloin, beef Milanese, and the Renzo's "mighty burger." Stick around for the exceptional desserts, like the tres leches cake, coconut cream cake, or "chocolate overload."
Top review
TigerLilivip
Dined 2 days ago
Wonderful meal. Service was superb. We had the Parrillada de carnes and it was delicious. Same with the mollejas for appetizers. They make the best Manhattans in Tampa Bay.
A photo of Ocean Prime - Tampa restaurant
4.8
4.8 (10606)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Tampa
About the restaurant
The local outpost of this nationally-renowned chain is one of the best bars in Tampa. Looking out over the water with an electrically colorful exterior, this welcoming spot is a local favorite. Along with the excellent and fresh seafood, Ocean Prime has one of the city's most creative cocktail lists. Go for the "Rye on the Hudson," with cheery Heering, dry Oloroso sherry, and bitters. a "Pine Fin" martini includes fresh golden pineapple-infused Finlandia vodka, and the classic Old Fashioned comes with Aperol and Angostura bitters.
Top review
foodiecouple
Dined 7 days ago
Food was exceptional. We had East Coast oysters and chilled king crab legs for appetizers. We had scallops risotto and sea bass for entrees. We shared the butter cake for dessert. We had the Black Orchid and Whiskey Clover for drinks. They were phenomenal. Adam was our server and his service was OUTSTANDING!!! We will be back.
A photo of Forbici Modern Italian Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1709)
$31 to $50
Unspecified
Tampa
About the restaurant
A classic Italian spot in the middle of Hyde Park Village, Forbici Modern Italian Restaurant is one of the best bars in Tampa. It's the perfect spot to head into for a hearty meal after a day spent exploring the city. Try a red or white from the restaurant's extensive wine list and pair that with one of the Forbici's Italian classics. Try some of the bar snacks, like meatball sliders or shishito peppers, to go along with the Forbici cocktails. Try the "Marianne," made with Tito's vodka, a beet cordial, and fresh lime. Local beers include the Cigar City Jai Alai and the Green Bench Postcard Pilsner.
Top review
Jagloves2dine
Dined 5 days ago
Delicious beef carpaccio and veal Milanese! Wine was great, too!
A photo of Bulla Gastrobar - Tampa restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1642)
$30 and under
Tapas / Small Plates
Tampa
About the restaurant
Amid the hustle and bustle of the SoHo and Hyde Park sections, Bulla is one of the more stylish restaurants in Tampa Bay. The Tampa version of this Southern chain features a wide selection of classic Spanish tapas. Head in during happy hour for specials on draft beers like Mahou and Estrella from Spain or Cigar City Jai Alai from Tampa. Try one of the "Bougie Palmers," with Russian Standard vodka, lemon, and lavender syrup. Tapas bites feature croquettes de Jamon, gambas al ajillo, and cumin-marinated grilled pork skewers.
Top review
LauraN
Dined 2 days ago
Repeat customer. Menu has changed a bit and they removed the brussel sprouts, one of my faves, and no additional veggie side options. Very disappointed with menu options now - very focused on cheese, meat, rice, potatoes. Luckily there are decent fish offerings.Only veggie options would be salad. Quality and taste were mediocre with exception of the ceviche and calamari, not what I remembered last time I dined there. We had a great server so that was a plus. Even she wished they had more veggies available. We ordered calamari, ceviche, steak with mushroom foam and the brisket. Would not order either again: foam had weird taste (and I've had before - not the same), brisket was 4 pieces of shreeded meat stuff (very lightly) into bread. Not worth the money. Will not be going back anytime soon.
A photo of Ulele restaurant
4.8
4.8 (13985)
$31 to $50
American
Tampa
About the restaurant
A relaxed water-front spot close to the Tampa Rialto Theater, Ulele is one of the best bars in Tampa. There's a fun and engaging atmosphere in Ulele. Stop in for some of the restaurant's classic Florida cuisine alongside their house-brewed beers. The "Hydration Station" is a refreshing Mexican-style lager, and the "Wedding Beer" features a blend of natural black and red berries. Another favorite is the Buckhorn Stout Nitro, with coffee and chocolate notes. The Water Works Pale Lager is a menu highlight, brewed to pair with chargrilled oysters.
Top review
LochanaKvip
Dined 1 day ago
Amazing ! Food is delicious, pup friendly , beautiful atmosphere
A photo of American Social Tampa restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1890)
$31 to $50
American
Tampa
About the restaurant
For some of the best sports bar action in Tampa, American Social is the place to go. This exciting and colorful Tampa hot spot is one of the best bars in Tampa. Filled with classic decor and with plenty of favorites on the menu, American Social is the place in town to see a Lightning, Buccaneers, or college football game. Head out to the Harbor Islands to enjoy one of the Tampa's "1st" Cold Fashion drinks, made with Hochstader's Rock and Rye, Filthy Cherry, and orange peel. Craft cocktails also include the Harbour Island Iced Tea, with Tito's, Bacardi, Tanqueray, and more. There's also a full menu of "Ketel Your Way" Ketel vodka cocktails and other mixed drinks.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Great food, service and atmosphere. Also, easy to park. We’ll be back soon.
A photo of Haven restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2386)
$31 to $50
American
Tampa
About the restaurant
Right in the heart of Hyde Park, Haven is an elegant spot that is one of the best bars in Tampa. The food menu includes a wide selection of small plates perfect for group dining. Try the grilled shishito peppers or roasted cauliflower from the "roots and leaves" menu. The "curds and whey" selection features a chef's daily grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, or gouda fritters with fenugreek ranch. Pair the small plates with some of the restaurant's superb craft beers. Try the Motorworks V-Twin Vienna Lager or Coppertail Free Dive IPA. Other highlights include the Ommegang Hennepin saison and the 21st Amendment "Blah Blah Blah."
Top review
TampaLindavip
Dined 5 days ago
The food and service are both consistently good. Thank you!
A photo of Riviera Dunes Dockside restaurant
4.4
4.4 (895)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Palmetto
About the restaurant
For water-side drinking fun and good times, the Riviera Dunes in Palmetto is one of the best options in Tampa. Grab a seat outside to enjoy the many yachts and boats that sail by and enjoy the Dunes' excellent menu and cocktails. Head in for the Happy Hour, with oyster shooter, taco, and chips and salsa specials or a cheap classic margarita. The menu is full of classic bar and pub food favorites, and be sure to stick around at the Riviera to hear some of the restaurant's fabled live music.
Top review
WendiP
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
Food was delish and music was wonderful. perfect pairing with the beautiful setting
A photo of Veronica Fish & Oyster restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2216)
$31 to $50
Oyster Bar
Sarasota
About the restaurant
One of the most modern and welcoming spots in the Tampa area. This Sarasota hot spot is one of the best fish joints in Florida. It's also among the best bars in Tampa, with an exciting and welcoming vibe for locals and tourists. Be sure to check out the Veronica Happy Hour, with draft beer and wine specials along with cheap small plates and well cocktails. For dinner, try the smoked fish dip or spicy gazpacho shooters at the raw bar, or go for the chicken and crawfish gumbo with andouille sausage. Daily specials include tacos, fried chicken, clams, and halibut.
Top review
Jemlowvip
Dined 1 day ago
Great service and food. Never disappoints, cocktails are also delightful.
A photo of Tzeva restaurant
4.2
4.2 (294)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Sarasota
About the restaurant
This sleek and welcoming bar in the Sarasota Art Ovation Hotel is a hip spot for some drinks and a few bar bites with friends. The Overture's signature cocktail menu is full of favorites like the "Get On Your Feet," with pepper vodka, pepper juice, and simple syrup. The "Ghostnote" features Patron tequila, Averna, lemon juice, and peach bitters. Grab some of the Overture lounge menu bites to go along with the drink. Try the blistered Shishito peppers with sesame, soy, and miso butter, or melted brie with toasted almonds.
Top review
MaryRvip
Dined 4 days ago
We had wonderful food, and wonderful service each time we tracked down our server....the restaurant was half empty, so not sure why no servers were to be seen! Other than that, the experience was great.
A photo of Castile Restaurant restaurant
4.3
4.3 (1534)
$31 to $50
American
St. Pete Beach
About the restaurant
Exceptional views are on the menu at the Castile Restaurant, one of the best bars in Tampa. Head into the Hotel Zamora to enjoy the cocktails and Mediterranean Latin cuisine at this colorful Tampa favorites. For a great view of the water and the city, head up to the roof terrace and enjoy some of the excellent local craft beers on tap. Try the Tampa Bay Brewing Company's Reef Donkey or the Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. House cocktails feature the "Citrus Grove," with Absolute lime vodka along with rose liqueur and lemon sour. There's also a smoked Caribbean old fashioned with 12-year rum and simple syrup.
Top review
EricS
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
Great atmosphere, service and food! Right on a canal with fantastic ambience. Will definitely come back!
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