718 S Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
Cost range: 10.01-20.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Full bar
More in this neighborhood: South Tampa
The real Neapolitan pizzas are the anchor at Ava, bubbled and puffed and chewy at the outer crust and tender at the pie's center. But they not nearly the only stunners at one of Times food critic Laura Reiley's picks for top 50 restaurants. You can find outlandishly good braised octopus with dilled fingerlings and pickled fennel. The weekend brunch has the added allure of Eggs in Purgatory (gorgeous house-made bread smothered in spicy San Marzano tomatoes and poached eggs). Benedicts come on flaky-sturdy biscuits, with a great Florentine version that beds down on a juicy portobello.
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., until 11 p.m. Thur.-Sat., 5-9 p.m. Sun., with lunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.