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Neighborhoods

Downtown Tampa

  • Events

  • Kid-friendly

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Movie theaters

Events:

Restaurants:

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night, Dog-friendly, Ladies night, Late-night dining, Live music, Outdoor seating, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 1202 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    The brainchild of Tampa native Leslie Shirah, this bastion of hip has gained a devoted following among Tampa foodies and revelers. Shirah honed the concept during a 15-year stint in San Francisco. And the concept is this: an all-day menu until late, late; a share-it-with-friends approach to world-beat small plates; suave cocktails; a little live music; and a minimalist-hip decor. It's a nightspot to rival any of those in Tampa Bay's entertainment districts, a restaurant that goes toe-to-toe with the best in SoHo. Its chef Fred Quinones is what has enabled it to stay a beacon downtown nearly as sparkly and inviting as the Tampa Theatre marquee down the street.

    The bar scene: The rooftop bar is smallish, but offers a great view of the Tampa skyline. The beer selection is outstanding, with choices ranging from Delirium Tremens to Lost Coast Great White to Titan India Pale Ale. Just be mindful if you have a couple that those steps back downstairs are waiting. The deck is also available for private parties.

  • Rivers Edge at Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Children's menu, Outdoor seating

    Downtown Tampa: 200 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Part of the Sheraton Riverwalk, this downtown Tampa restaurant offers views of the Hillsborough River and the minarets of the University of Tampa. Diners enjoy contemporary American food served in a relaxing setting.

  • Hattricks Tavern


    Cuisine: American casual, Pub, Sandwiches
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Gaming stations/trivia, Happy hour, Sports, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 107 S Franklin St, Tampa, 33602

    It's not the closest hockey bar to the Amalie Arena, but it's the best. The staff knows everything about the game, and TV analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor has been known to stop by. With a nice menu, tons of Lightning memorabilia on the walls, tasteful brick decor and a shuffleboard table (!), it's an amazing spot to celebrate after a win. It's located across from a trolley stop, too, and close enough to nearby parking garages to make it a convenient stop before or after an event.

    Read more here.

  • Bamboozle Cafe


    Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vietnamese
    Features: Catering, Takeout

    Downtown Tampa: 516 N Tampa St., Tampa, 33602

    It's Vietnamese quick-service downtown in all its vibrant, punchy glory, but served up in a way that's accessible and not intimidating. Step in line and order from the board. Fresh rolls are customized to suit, a water-moistened rice paper round cradling vermicelli, green leaf lettuce, chives and mint, and then whatever you point to. Choose four veggies (bean sprouts, vinegary daikon and carrot, cucumber, and maybe a few lengths of jicama?) and a meat (lemongrass beef, or maybe bouncy steamed prawns?), then watch as the agile-fingered women behind the counter wrangle it all into a tidy roll. The "sauce bar" offers up dunkables like spicy Sriracha, sweet/salty nuoc mam, or a sophisticated ponzu dipping sauce. Also vermicelli bowls and pho.

     

  • Columbia Cafe


    Cuisine: Spanish/Cuban
    Features: Outdoor seating

    Downtown Tampa: 801 Old Water St., Tampa, 33602

    The Tampa Bay History Center has hired the right restaurateur. Richard Gonzmart, great-grandson of Casimiro Hernandez Sr., founder of Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's Historic Ybor City, is passionate about Ybor City, about local food history and about Cuban sandwiches (not necessarily in that order). The center's Columbia Cafe concerns itself with authenticity. It has a gorgeous wooden bar that is a reproduction of the original Columbia's bar, with black-and-white prints of old Ybor on the walls. Its menu is dotted with chunky text explaining the Ybor staples (devil crab croquettes, Cuban bread, Spanish bean soup). Prepare for a treat in the spring or fall, when you'll be able to enjoy the outdoor deck that overlooks the channel separating Tampa from Harbour Island.

    Read the full review.

Bars:

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night, Dog-friendly, Ladies night, Late-night dining, Live music, Outdoor seating, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 1202 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    The brainchild of Tampa native Leslie Shirah, this bastion of hip has gained a devoted following among Tampa foodies and revelers. Shirah honed the concept during a 15-year stint in San Francisco. And the concept is this: an all-day menu until late, late; a share-it-with-friends approach to world-beat small plates; suave cocktails; a little live music; and a minimalist-hip decor. It's a nightspot to rival any of those in Tampa Bay's entertainment districts, a restaurant that goes toe-to-toe with the best in SoHo. Its chef Fred Quinones is what has enabled it to stay a beacon downtown nearly as sparkly and inviting as the Tampa Theatre marquee down the street.

    The bar scene: The rooftop bar is smallish, but offers a great view of the Tampa skyline. The beer selection is outstanding, with choices ranging from Delirium Tremens to Lost Coast Great White to Titan India Pale Ale. Just be mindful if you have a couple that those steps back downstairs are waiting. The deck is also available for private parties.

  • Hattricks Tavern


    Cuisine: American casual, Pub, Sandwiches
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Gaming stations/trivia, Happy hour, Sports, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 107 S Franklin St, Tampa, 33602

    It's not the closest hockey bar to the Amalie Arena, but it's the best. The staff knows everything about the game, and TV analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor has been known to stop by. With a nice menu, tons of Lightning memorabilia on the walls, tasteful brick decor and a shuffleboard table (!), it's an amazing spot to celebrate after a win. It's located across from a trolley stop, too, and close enough to nearby parking garages to make it a convenient stop before or after an event.

    Read more here.

  • Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar


    Cuisine: Spanish/Cuban, Tapas/small plates
    Features: Date night, Latin/Hispanic, Live music, Upscale

    Downtown Tampa: 513 N Tampa St., Tampa, 33602

    In a downtown that has tumbleweeds and buzzards (we're kidding about the first item but the second is oddly true) it's encouraging to know that there's a hot spot for swank mingling, great sangria and tasty tapas. Renovated in 2003 by Abell Garcia, the space features a dominant use of white, plus some arches and columns. The Spanish flag hangs above the bar in sharp contrast to the long ice-like bar. The bite-size treats and wine drinks are recipes of owner/chef Maria Castro, a native of Galicia, Spain. Check out the happy hour tapas menu on weeknights and dinner specials on Friday and Saturday.

  • Taps Restaurant Bar and Lounge


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    It's posh. It's urban. It's got pleasant food. It's got a massive wall of beers, at least a hundred bottles and dozens of drafts arranged by categories like lambics, India pale ales and pilsners. In short, it's everything the owners of SkyPoint want from a bar at its base. The wine selection's not quite as drop-dead amazing as you might hope, but Taps makes up for it with an electronic pay-by-the-glass Enomatic wine system (the first of its kind in Tampa), which dispenses some 30 wines by the ounce. You get on a real experimental roll here in a hurry. Newly added liquor bar includes specialty martinis and mixed drinks.

    Read more here.

  • The Hub


    Features: Beloved dive, Gaming stations/trivia, Jukebox, Live music, Rock, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 719 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    A Tampa icon, this downtown dive bar has a bad reputation for serving the strongest, most affordable cocktails in the city limits — maybe the entire state! And then there's the wildly eclectic crowd. Jobless vagrants, UT students, after-work professionals, well-dressed Tampa Theater concertgoers, skinny scenesters, off-the-clock servers and everything in between can be found inside the dark, dank, fabulously dirty setting sipping from fat glasses of whiskey or chugging cans of cheap beer. Famed for its no-nonsense jukebox, the Hub has also started hosting live, original music, which makes sense, since it seems not a night goes by without at least a dozen local rockers coming through the door.

Attractions:

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night, Dog-friendly, Ladies night, Late-night dining, Live music, Outdoor seating, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 1202 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    The brainchild of Tampa native Leslie Shirah, this bastion of hip has gained a devoted following among Tampa foodies and revelers. Shirah honed the concept during a 15-year stint in San Francisco. And the concept is this: an all-day menu until late, late; a share-it-with-friends approach to world-beat small plates; suave cocktails; a little live music; and a minimalist-hip decor. It's a nightspot to rival any of those in Tampa Bay's entertainment districts, a restaurant that goes toe-to-toe with the best in SoHo. Its chef Fred Quinones is what has enabled it to stay a beacon downtown nearly as sparkly and inviting as the Tampa Theatre marquee down the street.

    The bar scene: The rooftop bar is smallish, but offers a great view of the Tampa skyline. The beer selection is outstanding, with choices ranging from Delirium Tremens to Lost Coast Great White to Titan India Pale Ale. Just be mindful if you have a couple that those steps back downstairs are waiting. The deck is also available for private parties.

  • Rivers Edge at Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Children's menu, Outdoor seating

    Downtown Tampa: 200 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Part of the Sheraton Riverwalk, this downtown Tampa restaurant offers views of the Hillsborough River and the minarets of the University of Tampa. Diners enjoy contemporary American food served in a relaxing setting.

  • Hattricks Tavern


    Cuisine: American casual, Pub, Sandwiches
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Gaming stations/trivia, Happy hour, Sports, tbt* Top Bar

    Downtown Tampa: 107 S Franklin St, Tampa, 33602

    It's not the closest hockey bar to the Amalie Arena, but it's the best. The staff knows everything about the game, and TV analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor has been known to stop by. With a nice menu, tons of Lightning memorabilia on the walls, tasteful brick decor and a shuffleboard table (!), it's an amazing spot to celebrate after a win. It's located across from a trolley stop, too, and close enough to nearby parking garages to make it a convenient stop before or after an event.

    Read more here.

  • Bamboozle Cafe


    Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vietnamese
    Features: Catering, Takeout

    Downtown Tampa: 516 N Tampa St., Tampa, 33602

    It's Vietnamese quick-service downtown in all its vibrant, punchy glory, but served up in a way that's accessible and not intimidating. Step in line and order from the board. Fresh rolls are customized to suit, a water-moistened rice paper round cradling vermicelli, green leaf lettuce, chives and mint, and then whatever you point to. Choose four veggies (bean sprouts, vinegary daikon and carrot, cucumber, and maybe a few lengths of jicama?) and a meat (lemongrass beef, or maybe bouncy steamed prawns?), then watch as the agile-fingered women behind the counter wrangle it all into a tidy roll. The "sauce bar" offers up dunkables like spicy Sriracha, sweet/salty nuoc mam, or a sophisticated ponzu dipping sauce. Also vermicelli bowls and pho.

     

  • Aja


    Cuisine: Fine dining
    Features: Dance club, Date night, DJ/Techno, tbt* Top Bar, Upscale, VIP area

    Downtown Tampa: 290 S Meridian Ave., Tampa, 33602

    When it opened in January just before the 2009 Super Bowl, it was clear that AJA Channelside, the ultra-chic nightclub in the Towers of Channelside, was swinging for the fences. So far, it's hitting them. During the Super Bowl, guests included Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson and DJs AM and Jazzy Jeff, and one night, the club sold out of its $850-per-bottle Ace of Spades champagne. Since then, the crowds haven't left. Playmates and nationally known DJs have popped in for guest appearances, and Kardashian returned to host a Memorial Day bash. On a Saturday earlier this month, there was a line around the building of affluent party people waiting to get inside. In this economy, that's what we'd call a home run.