The last few years have seen Tampa on the rise. Historically one of Florida’s less celebrated cities, there has been a renaissance in recent times, and Tampa is now one of the state’s most exciting places to visit…and not just because of the Bucs and the Lightning!
One area where Tampa has really taken enormous steps has been its drinking and dining scene. Sure, the city is best known for its beaches, and there might not be a traditional Tampa cuisine per se, but The Big Guava has a dining scene that is the envy of Florida, with wine bars, restaurants, and amazing eating experiences everywhere you turn.
So if you are leaving Florida on a last minute cruise and want to dive into something delicious, why not check out the best wine tastings, gastronomic tours, and gourmet restaurants that Tampa has to offer.
Ybor City Wine Bar
Ybor City Wine Bar is one of Tampa’s finest spots for connoisseurs of fine wines. The bar is charming, intimate, and extremely elegant, located in the gorgeous Ybor City Historic District, and makes a lovely choice for an early evening tipple. It boasts a selection of over 200 hand-picked wines, as well as a superb choice of local, national, and international craft beers. It also hosts regular tastings and events, where expert sommeliers pair choice wines with delicious meats, cheeses, and other delicacies.
Keel & Curley Winery
For something a little different, it is well worth taking a short trip out of Tampa to Plant City to visit Keel & Curley Winery. This alternative spot was founded back in 2003, in the farmhouse kitchen of local farmer Joe Keel, as an innovative solution to a bumper crop of blueberries! Since then, the winery has been producing remarkably sophisticated blueberry wines, as well as brewing small-batch ale and cider. The farm shop is pretty special too, with an amazing selection of local produce and artisanal goodies, and there’s a farm-to-table restaurant on site where you can sample everything they have to offer in comfort and style.
Although it is designed primarily for couples, Harbor Food Tours is a great option for any foodies traveler. It is a delightful excursion around the best eateries situated in the charming town of Safety Harbor, one of the best corners of Tampa Bay. The town is famous for its food and its culture, and this tour mixes up the two, stopping at some of the most delectable dining options as well as taking in the area’s unique and eye-catching public art along the way.
Koya is one of the newest, most exclusive, and best restaurants in Tampa, an intimate, tasting-menu-only experience that expertly blends Japanese omakase-style cuisine and stunning Tampa Bay seafood. If this sounds appealing, be sure to book well in advance, as at only 8 covers the space books up fast!
Ybor City Food Tours
The Ybor City Historic District is probably the most exciting and interesting part of town, a wonderful area filled with history, culture, and an amazing food culture. Ybor City Food Tours offers various options to take you on a journey through the tastes, smells, and traditions that make the food of the area so special, from the Cuban Sandwich Food Tour to the Dessert Food Tour.
Whatever Miami might claim, Tampa is where the Cuban sandwich was invented, and so no foodie visit to the city would be complete without trying one. [kū´bå] puts an intriguing modern twist on this classic snack, and as a result has one the coveted accolade of Best Tampa Historic Cuban Sandwich several years running!