Whether you are a die-hard fan of the Bucs, Rays or Storm, all sports fans have one thing in common: you gotta eat. You can spend a fortune on snacks at the game or you can fill up on good food beforehand. These restaurants are within walking distance of your favorite team, so eat up.
Where to Eat Before the Rays Game
Ferg’s Sports Bar
1320 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33705-1654
This place is a monster sports bar and it’s located right next to Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field. Some may call it the ideal sports bar as it doesn’t make any excuses of what it is trying to be. Ferg’s wants to cater to creatures from all walks of life – even pets. There modest priced menu and strategically placed flat-screens always draw a massive crowd for Tampa Bay Rays’ games. Its baseball-themed atmosphere entices fans of a number of cities to come in and bask in baseball celebrations. They throw huge before and baseball game parties.
56 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
This fan favorite is known for its varied selection of incredible burgers. Burger lovers can get a “safe” choice like a chili burger or bacon cheeseburger, but the more adventurous might try something like the goat head, which comes with goat cheese, red peppers, vinaigrette and half-sour pickles. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, sign a waiver to order the ghost burger, which comes with jalapeños, smoked chipotle peppers, sliced habañeros, pepper jack cheese and ghost chili peppers. If you’re not really in a burger mood, you can order a hot dog, salad or pasta entreé.
Taps & Tequila
1235 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg. FL 33705
If you’re looking for a light but satisfying meal, Taps & Tequila is the way to go. Small plates are packed with huge flavor with offerings like the granny smith apple and brie quesadilla, watermelon feta salad, stuffed Anaheim pepper and chipotle mac ‘n cheese. The extensive drinks menu includes bottled beers, draft beers, libations, infusions (two or more drinks combined to make a new flavor) and, of course, tequila. Try an old favorite like a margarita or create your own infusion with flavors like sweet pepper, espresso bean and honey dew.
Where to Eat Before the Storm Game
Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza
203 E Twiggs St
Tampa, FL 33602
Eddie & Sam’s is proud to serve “real New York pizza made with real New York water.” New York tap water is delivered to the restaurant and gives the crust its mouth-watering taste and texture in every huge, foldable slice. The pizza menu covers all the usual bases and also features some unique pies such as Eggplant Parmigiana Pizza and Lasagna Pizza. Salads, calzones, heroes and pasta dishes are also up for grabs. Just remember to save room for a cannoli or a piece of tiramisu.
Related: Best Restaurants In Downtown Tampa
516 N. Tampa St.
Tampa, FL 33602
Who says sports nuts can’t also be health nuts? The Downtown Tampa area has a wide variety of great restaurants, but if you’re looking for the lighter side of dining out, Bamboozle is where you want to be. You won’t find greasy, deep-fried foods here, only whole, nutritious fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats. You can choose from the “Bamboozle Fresh Rolls” menu, which is somewhat like a sushi menu and includes rolls like savory tofu, BBQ pork and sesame veggie. You might also like a salad, pho soup or a specialty entreé. If you’re on a special diet, such as vegan or gluten-free, no problem — Bamboozle can accommodate your dietary needs.
Where to Eat Before the Bucs Game
3246 W. Columbus Drive
Tampa, FL 33607
This 24-hour restaurant serves authentic Cuban cuisine any time of the day or night. Roast pork, skirt steak, chicken, shrimp and fish are all on the menu, along with traditional Cuban favorites like ham croquettes, fried plantains, yucca and bean soup. There is also a tex-mex menu that includes nachos, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and more. If you’re bringing along the kids, no worries — the kiddie menu has entrees like hot dogs and chicken tenders to please young palettes.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
1600 E. 9th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
TBBC is Ybor City’s only microbrewery, but it’s far more than just beer. The menu includes plenty of sports-fan approved foods, like burgers, wings and pizza. There are also numerous foods for the more sophisticated foodie, such as goat cheese pomace, calamari balsamico, Asian salmon salad and shrimp alfredo. If you’re really going for the beer, you won’t be disappointed. One of the award-winning brews includes the Iron Rat Imperial Stout, a full-bodied beer with overtones of coffee, roast and chocolate balanced out with 80 IBUs of Northern Brewer Hops.
Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.