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Food & Drink

Best Cajun Food In Tampa Bay

March 18, 2014 9:00 AM

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(Photo by Patrick Semansky/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Semansky/Getty Images)

For a taste of New Orleans in Tampa, one doesn’t have to search very far. A signature aspect of Cajun culture comes in the form of its cuisine. This melange serves as a metaphor for the diverse, multicultural melting pot that the United States has become. For this list, we highlight some of the best Cajun cuisine-themed restaurants around the Tampa Bay area.

Ricky P’s Po Boys Shop
6521 4th St. N.
St Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 525-2023
www.rickyps.com

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If you’re looking for a no-frills, simple and straight-to-the-point delicious Cajun food experience, there’s no better option than Ricky P’s. While the shop doesn’t offer the largest variety on its menu, what it does offer is exceptionally delicious. Don’t miss the classic po boy, fried to perfection, nor the Floridian take on this sandwich with shrimp. Another unique offering with a local spin is the crab and corn chowder. On the side, Ricky P’s potato salad takes this classic, often-bland accompaniment to star status. Specials vary but can include sausage and shrimp gumbo or shrimp étouffée. Even Louisianan transplants rave about the authentic and delicious recipes at Ricky P’s.

Hank’s Catfish & BBQ
8546 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 936-5555
www.hanksplacetampa.com

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Hank’s Catfish offers a specifically Southern country bayou spin on Louisiana’s Cajun classics. Here you’ll find specialties such as catfish and BBQ chicken and pork alongside more original concoctions, such as gator tails. Delicious fried okra, baked beans and cheesy grits round out the savory courses, and many recommend trying Nana’s unique pudding for dessert. With fast service and accessible prices, Hank’s is sure to please BBQ and Cajun food fans alike.

Wild Cajun Blue Crab & Shrimp
2005 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727) 642-6365
www.facebook.com//Wild-Cajun-Blue-Crab-Shrimp

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Another unassuming “crab shack,” Wild Cajun Blue Crab & Shrimp delivers great quality food at affordable prices. Because Wild Cajun prides itself in freshness, the menu changes regularly in order to feature the latest Gulf-caught seafood. Some favorites include the garlic crab and shrimp, crawfish, crab shala and Wild Cajun’s famous garlic peanuts. Word has gotten out about this place, so be prepared for a bit of a wait at peak times, especially around lunch time.

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Related: Best Restaurants That Serve Crab In Tampa Bay

AnnaStella Cajun Bistro
300 Beach Drive N.E. #128
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 498-8978
www.annastellacajunbistro.com

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With a superb location in the center of downtown St. Petersburg, AnnaStella Cajun Bistro differentiates itself from other Cajun offerings in the Bay area with its touch of class. Luckily for the owners, this has proven a successful adventure in transposing the flavors and recipes of New Orleans to our shores. Fiendly service and authentic Cajun recipes make AnnaStella a culinary experience not to miss. Classics like the homemade jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, gumbo and po boys will not disappoint. While the prices may seem a bit elevated compared to the other restaurants reviewed, as the adage goes, “you get what you pay for” in the case of AnnaStella.

Del Rio’s Cafe & Catering
3210 N. Armenia Ave.
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 870-0217
www.delrioscafetampa.com

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Some may overlook Del Rio’s because of its unassuming location or its unpretentious, family-run style. This shouldn’t stop you from a visit though, for it offers another innovative take on Cajun food, this time with a Creole and Latin twist. Regulars rave about the seafood croquettes, bollitas (black-eyed pea fritters) and andouille sausage. Cajun classics such as gumbo and shrimp dishes include an authentic level of spice and flavor to wake up the sense. Be careful around rush hour though, because the affordable prices and fame gathered by Del Rio’s kitchen have attracted quite the following.

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Related: Best Places To Eat Before The Show In Tampa Bay

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Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he’s excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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