Hit the Road: a foodie foray to Tampa Bay

The final installation of our Hit the Road series is a foodie foray to Tampa, FL.

A flaky pastry filled with bright red guava filling and a layer of cream cheese

A guava cheese turnover a day keeps the cravings away.

Photo by @lasegundabakery

We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into the Tampa Bay area. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of downtown eateries, putting your cooking skills to the test at a Cozymeal, or trying the Michelin award-winning Cubano at La Segunda Bakery, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~40 minutes from downtown

Est. population: 395,912

Avg. high in August: 91°

A tray filled with fresh dishes like quiche, kielbasa, and more

A tray full of goodies is enough to get us on the road to Tampa Bay.

Photo via Tampa Bay Food Tours, Spain Restaurant + Toma Bar

🎟️ Things to do

Tampa Bay Food Tours

Enjoy fine food + drink on this 3.5-hour walking tour around downtown Tampa.

Tampa Treks and Tonic

Take the Florida Man pub crawl or party like Gatsby on The Roaring 20s tour.


Learn cooking skills like rolling sushi or perfecting the Cubano.


This isn’t your typical bowling alley fare. This dining and social club has full-service bowling and offers cuisine like sushi, shrimp cocktails, and gourmet burgers.

Brew Bus Brewing

Hop on a public or private tour and explore Tampa’s burgeoning craft beer scene.

Tampa Brew Tours

Maybe a limousine is more your scene. Have a chauffeur escort you around Tampa’s breweries from the luxury of a Chrysler 300 stretch limousine.

Glazer Children’s Museum

If your little ones are tagging along, bring them to this interactive museum. Kids can pretend to craft their own eats at the Ice Cream Parlor or Pizza Place exhibits. Pro tip: Make a reservation to see Big John, a 66 million-year-old triceratops skeleton. The dino will be on view starting Friday, May 26.

An exterior shot of Luv Child in Tampa

With a dreamy exterior like this, we know whatever is inside will be extra tasty.

Photo by @luvchildsoho

🍲 Memorable eats

La Segunda Bakery

Any Tampa eatery list would be incomplete without La Segunda, which has been considered the gold standard for Cuban bread. Pro tip: There’s no seating, so get your sandwich to go and then picnic at Centennial Park.

Luv Child

From brunch to dinner, this restaurant offers some of the tastiest Cuban + Latino cuisines. We’ll take a Cubano with a side of yucca fries, please.

Columbia Restaurant

Established in 1905, this is the oldest restaurant in Florida + the largest Spanish restaurant in the world — it encompasses an entire city block.


Watch the staff make authentic Italian dough + fresh mozzarella while savoring the flavors of a traditional trattoria in a modern setting.

Taco Dirty

Try this fast-casual Mexican cuisine with food made from scratch. Mix and match bowl-style or keep it classic with the tacos.


Enjoy Russian and Eastern European dishes (think: pierogies and blinchikis) in a warm, welcoming environment.


This ramen spot is a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient serving soulful ramen + snacks.

Bella’s Italian Café

Founded in 1986, this Tampa mainstay offers authentic Italian cuisine and house-made pasta.

This intimate restaurant with a Michelin star offers a hyper-seasonal Japanese tasting menu with ingredients at the peak of their season. Reservations are required and book about a month out.

Visit this new Michelin star-winning Italian eatery for a mozzarella cart, caviar service, or desserts like basil custard to round out your meal.

Hotel Haya's chef holding a plate of food

The professionals at Hotel Haya will make your stay a delicious one.

Photo by @hotelhaya

🏨 Accommodations with noteworthy cuisine

Aloft Tampa Midtown, 3650 Midtown Dr.

Enjoy Latin cuisine at the rooftop restaurant Sal Y Mar.

Epicurean Hotel, 1207 S. Howard Ave.

A self-proclaimed “foodie’s paradise,” this hotel offers cooking classes in its “Epicurean Theatre” and was launched by the owners of Bern’s Steak House.

Hotel Haya, 1412 E. 7th Ave.

This boutique hotel features Flor Fina, a restaurant showcasing the coastal cuisines of Latin America + the Mediterranean. Try the ceviche or book the semi-private dining space and enjoy the Porchetta Suckling Pig Feast.

The Current Hotel, 2545 N. Rocky Point Dr.

Come for the Rox Rooftop Bar, Tampa Bay’s tallest rooftop lounge. Or enjoy small bites at Julian Restaurant.

The Tampa Edition, 500 Channelside Dr.

Book a stay and make a reservation at Lilac, the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant that recently received a Michelin star.

Hungry for more? Catch up on the last two months of Hit the Road features: An outdoor adventure to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and A 30-mile getaway to Ybor City.

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