Hot Restaurants in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a culinary hotspot, positioned comfortably on the Gulf of Mexico with a large Latin American flair combined with Mediterranean style and fresh seafood staples. True dining bliss for those who love spicy seafood that simply bursts with flavor.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place calls its cuisine Modern American but it may be so modern that it comes across as nouvelle cuisine to many. Mise en Place takes its inspiration from what surrounds it, an American crowd with many global influences. When dining at Mise en Place, look for fresh, local ingredients that are touched with the chef’s particular sense of indulgence. The menu changes daily so no matter how often you visit, you’re bound to find a new favorite among the selections. It’s a dining experience that needs to be savored. First time visitors may want to get a little extravagant and look to the tasting menus for inspiration.

The Laughing Cat

Not sure what the name has to do with anything, but its one that’s fairly easy to remember. The Laughing Cat restaurant in Tampa Bay is an Italian restaurant that claims to be the most authentic around. Whether truly authentic or not, the food is simply delicious and the sheer size of the menu is tremendous, ensuring every guest will find something that is exactly what they were looking for. This no frills dining treat shouldn’t be judged by its cover, let the food do the talking and you’ll be happy you did.

Pelagia Trattoria

Pelagia Trattoria is considered the place to see and be seen in Tampa, but it delivers much more than that. The West Florida flavor is there, but its enhanced by a number of different influences including Italian, French, Greek, African and Portuguese. The open kitchen design gives the dining room a sense of excitement and makes your dining experience feel more vibrant than a traditional static dining room. Pelagia changes their menu seasonally to accommodate growing seasons, ensuring their foods are fresh and exciting. The fact that every meal is also prepared from scratch makes it a dining experience you just will never be able to duplicate.


Simply yet appealing, that’s what Water brings to its diners. The atmosphere is sophisticated and has a big city feel, yet the comfortable seating gives diners an intimate feeling that is clearly romantic. If you think you know sushi, then you don’t know Water. This is a great treat for experienced sushi diners who are ready for a little excitement, each roll is wrapped in clear rice-paper, no nori around, and requires the perfect pairing of fresh ingredients (some direct from the sea) with the best dipping or drizzling sauces around. This is a must for the sushi lover as it will expand your repertoire and give it more meaning.

The Bamboo Club

The Bamboo Club is another Asian inspired restaurant but it is better suited for those not brave enough to try sushi. Wildly popular, this Pan-Asian establishment sets the mood with just the right décor and the menu is easy to decipher for those not familiar with these flavors. If possible, get as close to the exhibition kitchen as you can, so you can enjoy the free show. Cooking at The Bamboo Club is a bit of an art form and adds some thrill to the dining experience.

Catch Twenty-Three

I’m actually not sure what the catch 23 is here, as it appears to be a win/win situation for the diners at this stylish restaurant. The setting is upscale, but casual diners are more than welcome. There is a tropical feel and guests can hang out inside or on the patio where live jazz musicians often entertain the crowd. The standard fare is fresh seafood but there is a touch of Latin and Caribbean influence in the flavor. A great way to relax and enjoy flavors that have a truly tropical Floridian feel.

Restaurant BT

A unique combination of French and Vietnamese flavors, Restaurant BT is a delight for adventurous palates. The chef has a unique background that features both French and Vietnamese influences as well as culinary experience and a design background. These odd mates come together for a wonderful union of presentation and style with unexpectedly flavorful dining.

Six Tables Tampa

If you’re sick of run of the mill dining and looking for something really great and unique, then Six Tables Tampa is it. This is intimate dining at its finest as Six Tables literally features six tables. Whether you’re coming as a couple or a large group, you’ll get the same individualized attention that will make you feel like royalty. Designed as a Prix Fixe, Six Tables is currently charging $90 per person for the six course meal which will keep you entertained for most of the evening. Expect to pay extra for wine and other beverages. The meal typically begins with appetizers and champagne, followed by soup, salad and sorbet. Entrees follow and change regularly so check before you make your reservations if there are food issues for anyone in your party. After your entrees you’ll enjoy a cheese and fruit selection and finally a dessert that is worthy of this uniquely intimate dining experience.


You may have heard of Donatello in Tampa Bay because its reputation proceeds this fine dining establishment. And keep in mind that this is really fine dining, wear your best as you don’t want to be outdone by the wait staff. Northern Italian cuisine is the specialty and Donatello has proven that it does it right by garnering several awards and a lot of recognition. The wine list is really very lengthy so wine snobs will be able to choose exactly the right wine for their meal, but those who aren’t entirely in the know might be overwhelmed, ask the knowledgeable staff for their suggestions to get just the right pairing. If you want to extend your evening at Donatello a little bit, slide over to the lounge for an after dinner drink and experience the local live music scene.