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Food & Drink

Best Restaurants In Downtown Tampa

August 24, 2012 3:00 AM

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Downtown Tampa at night (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Downtown Tampa at night (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Downtown Tampa has much to offer in the way of quality and variety of sustenance. Whether you’re craving pizza, steak or international cuisine, it’s all tucked away in the heart of the city. Read on to learn about some of the locals’ favorites.


Paninoteca Mediterranean Café

519 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 341-2525
paninotecacafe.com

Paninoteca is one of downtown Tampa’s most popular lunch spots. With choices of tapas, soups, salads and sandwiches, guests come away pleasantly satisfied without feeling over stuffed. This Mediterranean-style cuisine is loaded with the flavors of Greece and Italy, and includes timeless favorites such as antipasti, hummus, bruschetta and spanakopita. Panini and pitas populate the sandwich menu with options such as herb-roasted lamb pita or chicken fontina panini. If you’re having an office luncheon, no problem. Paninoteca offers catering. Choose shareable salads, panini and desserts to share with the whole office.

Related: Best Food Challenges Around Tampa

Bamboozle Café
516 N Tampa St
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 223-7320
bamboozlecafe.com

Bamboozle is a health nut’s paradise. Boasting vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menus in addition to its regular menu, healthful eating is a top priority at this Vietnamese café. Bamboozle Rolls are a house specialty and are made with rice paper, rice noodles, fresh vegetables and fruits with grilled meats or tofu if desired. They range in flavor from sweet to spicy, encompassing such explosive flavors as papaya, hoisin and chicken with chili sauce. If rolls aren’t your thing, Bamboozle also offers salads, pho soup boats, rice dishes, crepes and sandwiches, all with Vietnamese flair.

Malio’s Prime Steakhouse
400 N Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 223-7746
maliosprime.com

If you’re more of a carnivore, Malio’s is the place for you. Chicken, seafood, lamb and pork are all on the menu — along with lots of steak. New York strip, rib-eye and prime rib are served with freshly-baked bread and your choice of two sides, or you can order a caesar or gorgonzola salad for $3 more. If you fancy a steak for two, you can order a 16-ounce Chateaubriand or 40-ounce Prime Porterhouse steak.

Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza
203 E Twiggs St
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 229-8500
eddieandsamspizza.com

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.

RelatedTampa’s Best Pizzerias

L’Eden
500 N Tampa St
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 221-4795
dine-at-leden.com

This charming French restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and an extensive wine list. Stop in before hitting the office and try an omelette made with your choice of filling or savory breakfast croissant baked with ham, eggs and Swiss cheese. Or, perhaps you’d like to swing by for lunch and sample one of eight choices of savory crepes such as a Lavandou stuffed with apple, bleu cheese and walnuts. Salads, paninis and other specialties are also freshly made at lunch time. If you really want a treat, try L’Eden for dinner. The dinner menu, called “La Cuisine du Monde” or “the cuisine of the world,” offers dishes from around the globe. Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi from Asia, Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad from Lebanon and Shaslik from Russia are all on the menu, along with two dozen other choices.

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.

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