Being a longtime Michigander, I’ve gotten used to that late-February craving for warmth and sunlight. Thankfully, spring break is right around the corner, which gives us a chance to escape the snow and get to a beach. I’ve spent a few months over the past four years living in Florida and like to consider it my "home away from home."
Florida is full of diverse cities, beautiful beaches, and endless summers. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the Sunshine State over the next few weeks, here are the 13 best places to eat in Tampa over spring break, according to real Floridians (aka my friends who live there).
A day at the beach calls for meals to be quick, easy, and tasty. Wright's Gourmet House is known for being a delicious deli that serves up unique sandwiches (like the Golden Gate, which combines pork, bacon, and peach chutney) and yummy sides. They also have a large selection of desserts ranging from Hawaiian Princess cupcakes to old-fashioned Pecan Pie.
The bite-sized treats at Mini Doughnut Factory are the perfect compromise when you're trying to watch your beach bod but are still craving something sweet. Although, let's be real, with flavors like French Toast and Snickers, eating just one might be hard. They also offer the option to choose the flavor, icing, and toppings to create your own dream mini donut.
Ichicoro Ramen is new to the Tampa area, but it's already a local favorite for all things ramen. Check the time before you head over because they offer different delicious dishes for brunch, lunch, snack time, and dinner.
Paradise Grille is known for their inexpensive but tasty breakfasts, burgers, and sandwiches. It has a prime location on the beach of the Gulf Coast, which makes for it to be the perfect place to spend the day with your friends while enjoying the beautiful views.
If you want to take a break from the sun or you somehow catch a day of rain in the typically sunny Florida, then you should head to Oxford Exchange to enjoy a cup of coffee. This aesthetically pleasing cafe will satisfy anyone who loves taking pictures of their beverages.
6. The Taco Bus
The Taco Bus provides a fun way to satisfy your spicy cravings. Locations can be found in stand alone restaurants or at food trucks. The Taco Bus is known for its authentic Mexican cuisine as well as serving up vegan and vegetarian options, making it taco heaven for all.
7. Daily Eats
If your vacation calls for quirky eating, then you should check out Daily Eats. Their menu is inexpensive and offers a range of unique foods from Cap'n Crunch French Toast to Potato Chip Crusted Turkey Burger. They also serve breakfast all day and have plenty of vegetarian-friendly options, which basically makes them the coolest restaurant ever.
8. First Watch
If you're looking for a breakfast oasis, then check out First Watch. Their extensive breakfast/brunch menu covers all the bases from Power Bowls with fresh veggies and quinoa to classic favorites like Belgian waffles. If you really want to embrace all things Sunshine State, they have Floridian French Toast, which comes covered with banana, kiwi, and seasonal berries.
If you have a craving for traditional Thai while on vacation, then you should try Wat Mongkolratanaram. Their food market is only open on Sundays, but planning ahead is well worth all the delicious options. Aside from being tasty, you're guaranteed an authentic and pretty inexpensive experience.
10. Fresh Kitchen
Health food lovers rejoice. If you're making mindful choices while you eat in Tampa, Fresh Kitchen has your back. Fresh Kitchen is sort of like Chipotle in that they let you build your own bowls for lunch or dinner. You can choose your base, veggies, proteins, and sauce to create a delicious meal, catered perfectly to your tastes. To top it off, they also provide delicious cold pressed juices.
If you've had enough to eat in Tampa and are looking for something to drink, you should try Coppertail Brewing Co. This brewery crafts beer inspired by the Floridian lifestyle. You and your friends can check it out and try samples or go on a tour of the brewery.
You're bound to crave pizza during your Tampa getaway, and New York-style pizza is a classic. Eddie & Sam's even claim that they import tap water from New York to give it the authentic taste. Plus, they serve their creations by the (massive) slice for a pretty good price, so everyone's happy.
If you're looking for a delicious and unique way to cool off, Floridians will tell you that Jeremiah's is the place to go. They serve over 40 flavors of Italian ice, as well as simple chocolate or vanilla soft serve. But what makes Jeremiah's a crowd favorite is their perfect marriage between the ice and ice cream, creating the "Gelati." I promise it's just as tasty as it is beautiful.
Make the most of your spring break by checking out some of the best places to eat in Tampa. Don't forget to mix up your Instagram pictures of beautiful beaches with equally beautiful food.