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Neighborhoods

Downtown Tampa

  • Events

  • Kid-friendly

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Movie theaters

Events:

Restaurants:

  • Bamboozle Cafe

    Editor's pick


    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.

     

  • Bavaro's

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Pizza
    Features: Catering, Party room

    Downtown Tampa: 514 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    In Tampa's deliciously blossoming downtown, this is pure Neapolitan know-how. Dan Bavaro spent time roaming Italy, falling deeply in lust with the mosaic-tiled, rounded brick pizza ovens handmade by Stefano Ferrara and his family outside Naples for the past 100 years. He bought one and had it shipped by container while a pizza maestro was imported by plane. His task: Stretch the ball of dough, toss rakishly for ideal thinness, then give it a topping of hand-crushed and deseeded San Marzano tomatoes and other ingredients (less is more) and slide it into the maw of the blistering oven. You can build your own, but you're better off letting the experts concoct one of caramelized onion and provolone or soppressata and buffalo mozzarella. Follow immediately with the Nutella dessert pizza.

    Read more here.

  • Anise Global Gastrobar

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Breakfast or brunch, Korean
    Features: DJ/Techno, Late-night dining, Outdoor seating

    Downtown Tampa: 777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    A small posse of seasoned restaurant pros jumped on the gorgeous space at the bottom of SkyPoint, unveiling Anise Global Gastrobar early in 2013. Its focus is Korean-ish, with a southeast Asian palette of flavors that's fairly hard to pin down. With many of the share-friendly plates under $10, from crispy red curry coconut wings with a cucumber mint yogurt dipping sauce to pork belly buns with kimchee, the menu is largely in support of the short-but-smart list of house cocktails overseen by mastermind mixologist Ro Patel (Ciro's). In the space that was previously the dark-as-crypt Point, designer Jaime Rogers has lightened and reinvigorated the gorgeous room with a wall of photos and Asian decorative prints providing dramatic statements. Live deejays on weekend nights lend Anise a nightclub feel.

    Hours: 4 to midnight. Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch, then 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch, then 4 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.

    Read a review here.

    Read more about their cocktails here.

     

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant

    Editor's pick


    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

    This bastion of hip, one of the first in downtown Tampa, has maintained a devoted following among Tampa foodies and revelers, with a concept of 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, and is nearly as sparkly and inviting as the Tampa Theatre marquee down the street. The brainchild of Tampa native Leslie Shirah, who has a restaurant of the same name in San Francisco, it boasts a rooftop bar with 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.

  • Paninoteca Mediterranean Cafe

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Casual Dining, Mediterranean
    Features: Outdoor seating, Takeout

    Downtown Tampa: 519 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

Bars:

  • Anise Global Gastrobar

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Breakfast or brunch, Korean
    Features: DJ/Techno, Late-night dining, Outdoor seating

    Downtown Tampa: 777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    A small posse of seasoned restaurant pros jumped on the gorgeous space at the bottom of SkyPoint, unveiling Anise Global Gastrobar early in 2013. Its focus is Korean-ish, with a southeast Asian palette of flavors that's fairly hard to pin down. With many of the share-friendly plates under $10, from crispy red curry coconut wings with a cucumber mint yogurt dipping sauce to pork belly buns with kimchee, the menu is largely in support of the short-but-smart list of house cocktails overseen by mastermind mixologist Ro Patel (Ciro's). In the space that was previously the dark-as-crypt Point, designer Jaime Rogers has lightened and reinvigorated the gorgeous room with a wall of photos and Asian decorative prints providing dramatic statements. Live deejays on weekend nights lend Anise a nightclub feel.

    Hours: 4 to midnight. Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch, then 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch, then 4 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.

    Read a review here.

    Read more about their cocktails here.

     

  • Fly Bar & Restaurant

    Editor's pick


    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

    This bastion of hip, one of the first in downtown Tampa, has maintained a devoted following among Tampa foodies and revelers, with a concept of 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, and is nearly as sparkly and inviting as the Tampa Theatre marquee down the street. The brainchild of Tampa native Leslie Shirah, who has a restaurant of the same name in San Francisco, it boasts a rooftop bar with 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

    Editor's pick


    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.

  • Taps Restaurant Bar and Lounge

    Editor's pick


    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

    Editor's pick


    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:

  • Tampa Theatre

    Editor's pick


    Features: Date night, Icon, Indoor play zone

    Downtown Tampa: 711 Franklin St., Tampa, 33672

    The landmark Tampa Theatre is a restored vintage movie palace known for its classic architecture and independent film showings. The venue, opened in 1926, seats 1,446 and hosts various film festivals.

    The dazzling night-sky ceiling, plush red velvet draperies, gold inlaid facades, Renaissance statues - it's all breathtaking, distracting audiences from the show they paid to see. The theater is one of a handful of restored cinema palaces, built in a Florida-Mediterranean style, which includes touches of Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, Spanish, Mediterranean, Greek Revival, Baroque and English Tudor.

    The above-average concession stand sells popcorn, soda, beer, coffee, pastries, fresh-baked cookies, candy and other snacks at reasonable prices. Smoking is permitted outside by the front entrance.

  • Downtown Tampa: 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa, 33602

    Downtown Tampa's dazzling performing arts venue sits on nine acres on the east bank of Hillsborough River. The 330,000-square-foot complex contains five theaters offering one of the nation's best Broadway touring series, grand opera, concerts and a variety of events and performances.

    The five individual theaters are Carol Morsani Hall (2,610 seats), Ferguson Hall (1,042 seats), the Jaeb Theater (268 seats), the TECO Energy Foundation Theater (250 seats) and the Shimberg Playhouse (130 seats).

    You can dine before the performance on site at Maestro's Restaurant (buffett, upstairs from the Jaeb Theater; opened for Broadway series, opera and selected events), Maestro's Cafe (in Carol Morsani Hall lobby) or Maestro's On The River (near the fountains). The restaurant also offers late night dining (menu service) on Friday and Saturday post-show for selected performances.

    Educational/work facilities include the 45,000-foot Patel Conservatory, featuring 20 studios, including two dance studios with sprung floors, a sound/lighting laboratory, technical theater workshop, rehearsal hall, costume shop and media arts/TV studio. 

    The venues are available for performance related events, including concerts, lectures, meetings, recitals, plays, graduations and pageants.

    The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, which opened in 1987, was renamed for philanthropist David A. Straz Jr. in November 2009.

  • Tampa Bay History Center

    Editor's pick


    Features: Beach/Waterfront, Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Private room

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

    The history of the Tampa Bay region comes alive within these walls.  Located on the waterfront in Tampa's bustling Channelside District, the 60,000-square-foot Tampa Bay History Center's three floors contain interactive  exhibits, theaters, a map gallery, research center, event hall and museum store.

    Permanent exhibits include: Tocobaga and Calusa artifacts from the first native inhabitants; Cigar City, which chronicles Tampa's cigar industry and immigrant communities, and features one of the most extensive cigar memorabilia collections in the world; Cowmen & Crackers traces Florida’s cattle ranching history, putting viewers in the middle of a cattle drive; A Place of Our Own offers kid-friendly and interactive history; and War Stories focuses on how the area has been affected by various wars dating back to the 1830s.

    Have lunch in the stunning atrium at the Columbia Cafe -- this branch of Tampa's famed Spanish restaurant offering tapas, Cuban sandwiches and a limited number of entrees -- or at nearby restaurants.

    Visitors can park at the Tampa Bay Times Forum East Lot (just north of the History Center) and the Channelside parking garage. The museum offers discounts for groups of 10 or more adults, and after-hours tours and events. It also has family-friendly before-hours tours. Active and retired service members with ID and their families receive a $2 discount.

     

  • Downtown Tampa: 410 Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    This grassy spot on the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Franklin Street provides a respite from downtown Tampa's bustle. Lykes Gaslight Square Park hosts some of the Florida Orchestra's Pops in the Park concerts, Latin Fest and other events.

  • Downtown Tampa: 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, 33602

    The museum has an extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, contemporary photography, contemporary American art and works on paper and an impressive LED installation by Leo Villarea along the south facade.

    On display: Kiss and Tell is artist Wolfgang Flad's installation of individual wooden elements that have been treated and hung from a grid. Through Dec. 2017. Peter Max: 50 Years of Cosmic Dreaming celebrates the 20th century pop culture painter with a selection of 90 works spanning 50 years. Through Sep. 11. Norma Kamali-CITY: Fashion, Art and Culture celebrates the designer's prolific career spanning five decades. Through Sep. 25. From Dada and Op to Color Field and Pop: 50 Years of Prints from the Permanent Collection. Through Sep. 18.

    Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 11a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission to the museum is free on Fridays from 4-8 p.m., as part of an Art on the House program to encourage museum attendance. The museum closes at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and is closed on Christmas Day.