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Neighborhoods

Seminole Heights

  • Events

  • Kid-friendly

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Movie theaters

Events:

Restaurants:

  • Seminole Heights: 6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33604

    Without calling it this, Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez have launched the most diligently local-farm-to-table restaurant in the area, its name a veiled reference to farm animals and fertile earth. They use Buddy Brew coffee; Hooker Tea Company; local craft beers; pork from Pasture Prime in Summerfield; goat, lamb and duck from Lake Meadows near Orlando; and produce from Tampa's Urban Oasis and other farms in Manatee and surrounding counties. There are no processed foods or national brands like Budweiser or Coke. And they do all this without trumpeting it. There are no notations on the menu about the food's local provenance. Smallish portions are meant to be shared, and nearly the entire one-page menu can be eaten through with a few hungry buddies, augmented by craft beers or a bottle of something from the three price-tiered wine list. The hip interior suits the mission of the owners, with decor that is largely upcycled from elsewhere in Seminole Heights.

    Hours: 3:30-10 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 3:30-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., closed Sun.

    Read a review here.

  • Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American casual, Vegetarian
    Features: Date night, Kid-friendly, Live music

    Seminole Heights: 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 33603

    Ella’s has been embraced by Seminole Heights scenesters, everyone charmed by its collection of American outsider and visionary art (each artist's work getting a thoughtful page of explication on the menu). But what makes Ella's delightful is the bright, clean flavors of dishes with an eye to healthfulness and visual appeal. For example, tempura-battered shrimp and yams come with a pile of long romaine leaves and a tangle of mint, cilantro and basil. Roll it all, Vietnamese-style, and dip it in an updated fish sauce flavored with apricot. Try the house bruschetta, really a salad of tomato, cucumber, basil and fresh mozzarella, which you spoon onto garlicky toasts. It reads like healthy but sophisticated home cooking.

    Bar Scene:

    The vibe: A hip restaurant and bar doubling as an eclectic art gallery and live music venue.
    Specialty: The signature cocktails are plenty creative (Jagermeister and root beer!), but some of the best keep it simple, with a twist. For example, the Boozy Suzy — a great summer afternoon cocktail — uses a ginger-infused simple syrup to round out the double-shot of Jim Beam Rye, bitters, soda and lemon. Also simple but unusual is the Bungalow Juice — white rum, guava nectar and soda. Don't be surprised when your cocktail shows up in a pint glass!

    Read the full review.

  • The Refinery

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night

    Seminole Heights: 5137 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33603

    The Refinery is certainly Seminole Heights' most exciting culinary development since the opening of Ella's Americana Folk Art Café. Committed to sourcing local, seasonal and sustainable, they've got a weekly changing one-page menu of dishes that explore pretty much untrammeled ground in the area. Dishes show real moxie, with a decadent (read: caloric) streak running throughout. The restaurant itself is a sweet two-story house saved from demolition in 2000 when Hillsborough Avenue was widened. The menu's small-plate/large-plate prices, in the $2 to $20 range, make it an affordable Tuesday night impulse, especially if they're holding a "cheap date" wine night with select bottles for about $15. And the service staff — high funk factor and quick with the riposte — keep the proceedings far from formal.

    Read Laura Reiley's review.

    Read about the Refinery's nomination for a James Beard award and how that affected the restaurant

     

     

  • Seminole Heights: 5229 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33603

    Sapporo style ramen noodle house.

    Hours: 5-11 p.m. Sun., Tues. and Wed., until 1 a.m. Thur.-Sat.

    Read a review here.

  • Yummy House

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
    Features: BYOB, Kid-friendly

    Seminole Heights: 2202 W Waters Ave., Tampa, 33604

Bars:

  • The Refinery

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale
    Features: Date night

    Seminole Heights: 5137 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33603

    The Refinery is certainly Seminole Heights' most exciting culinary development since the opening of Ella's Americana Folk Art Café. Committed to sourcing local, seasonal and sustainable, they've got a weekly changing one-page menu of dishes that explore pretty much untrammeled ground in the area. Dishes show real moxie, with a decadent (read: caloric) streak running throughout. The restaurant itself is a sweet two-story house saved from demolition in 2000 when Hillsborough Avenue was widened. The menu's small-plate/large-plate prices, in the $2 to $20 range, make it an affordable Tuesday night impulse, especially if they're holding a "cheap date" wine night with select bottles for about $15. And the service staff — high funk factor and quick with the riposte — keep the proceedings far from formal.

    Read Laura Reiley's review.

    Read about the Refinery's nomination for a James Beard award and how that affected the restaurant

     

     

  • Mermaid Tavern

    Editor's pick


    Features: DJ/Techno, Happy hour, Live music, Outdoor seating, Top restaurant

    Seminole Heights: 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 33604

     

    If there’s one neighborhood in the Tampa Bay area that struck it rich last year, it’s Seminole Heights. On the heels of cult faves like Ella’s and the Refinery, Domani Bistro Lounge opened, the Capdevilla family (La Teresita) launched Sabroso and Mermaid Tavern became a go-to neighborhood watering hole. As with the Independent before it, the fly in the ointment was lack of grub. Yeah, there’s a great outdoor patio, '60s and '70s films projected on a screen in the back, “bring your own vinyl” night and a world-class beer list, but a girl gets hon-gry. A few months ago they added food (just like the Independent before it), and it’s a wonderful short list of sharable noshes, from hummus with warm pita triangles to truffle fries and a Middle Eastern kefta burger.

    This is part of Times Food Critic Laura Reiley's 25 Top Affordable Restaurants in Tampa Bay.

    Hours: 4:30 p.m.-3 a.m. daily.

    Read more here.

  • Ox & Fields Restaurant and Bar


    Cuisine: Asian, Florida, New American
    Features: Outdoor seating

    Seminole Heights: 7701 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 33604

    Hours: 4-10 p.m. Tues.-Thur., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

    Read a review here.

  • Blondie's


    Features: Darts, Jukebox, Karaoke, Pool tables

    Seminole Heights: 1735 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 33603

    Neighborhood bar that's great for low-key karaoke fun. Think of it as a Tiny Tap with people singing on a stage and not just into their beers.

  • Corner Club


    Features: Beloved dive, Big-screen TVs, Jukebox, Karaoke, Neighborhood, Pool tables, Sports

    Seminole Heights: 1502 E Sligh Ave., Tampa, 33610

    Don't be daunted by the exterior. The industrial gray-painted and brick building looks like something out of a post-Apocalyptic Western. Inside, it's a cozier and friendlier world, full of down-to-earth regulars who range from guys in punk bands to plumbers and real estate brokers. Get drunk on cheap bottled domestic beer. They have some imports, too, like Beck's Dark, Corona and Guinness.

Attractions:

  • Lowry Park Zoo

    Editor's pick


    Features: Catering, Kid-friendly, Play area, Playground, Private room, Public restrooms, Sprayground

    Seminole Heights: 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa, 33604

    Located north of downtown Tampa, this 56-acre, natural habitat zoological park has African animals, Florida wildlife, manatee center, primates, Asian animals, free-flight aviary, Stingray Bay and an Australian-themed children's zoo. The zoo in recent years has added more theme park-like rides, with a Gator Falls log flume ride and Treetop Skyfari aerial ride. The sprayground in the front of the zoo is a summertime favorite for kids.

    The zoo also offers a variety of ongoing classes, camps and workshops. And it has a popular Parents Night Out program that lets you park the kids there while to head out on a date. It's WaZoo and Zoofari fund-raisers are some of Tampa bay's most popular events.

    Adult and child guests can "pay for a day" and return to the zoo as many times as they choose until Dec. 31, 2016.

     

  • United Skates of America


    Features: Catering, Children's menu, Classes offered, Date night, Gaming stations/trivia, Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Party room

    Seminole Heights: 5121 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, 33603

    The 24,000-square-foot skating rink was singled out by USA Today as one of the top “jam skating” venues in the country in 2008. (Jam skating is similar to roller disco.) There are lots of specials, including all-you-can-eat pizza night, Kids Fun Skate to Disney Radio, Affordable Family Fitness & Fun, Family Cheap Skate and Adult Soul Roll nights. Public skating is 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays. 

    United Skates also offers arcade games and a pizza restaurant.

    Prices: $3.50 to $8, up to $10 for family specials; $2 skate rental.

  • Lowry Park


    Features: Biking trails, Boat ramp, Canoe/kayak trails, Fishing allowed, Grills, Hiking trails, Picnic shelters, Playground, Public restrooms

    Seminole Heights: 7525 N Boulevard , Tampa, 33604

  • Pin Chasers Midtown


    Features: Catering, Children's menu, Classes offered, Date night, Equipment rentals, Gaming stations/trivia, Indoor play zone, Jukebox, Kid-friendly, Party room, Pool tables

    Seminole Heights: 4847 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, 33603

    This Pin Chasers is one of three locations in the Tampa Bay area. The Pin Chasers Midtown has the usual wild neon decor, a snack bar and arcade games, plus 50 lanes. The bar is a little smaller than the East Hillsborough Avenue location but has pool tables and a digital juke box.

    Pin Chasers says its goal is to make bowling fun and easy, from a personal server to enclusive pricing. The server will help you get started bowling, even offer a few tips, and then bring your food, or a cocktail. Prices include use of bowling balls and shoes, and they'll even give you a new pair of socks. Pin Chasers uses the animated Qubica-AMF Bowler Entertainment System and high scoring, synthetic lanes. You can book online.

    Food includes pizza, burgers, club sandwiches and salads, kids meals, breakfast, Pepsi, coffee, tea, beer on tap, and a full-service bar.

    Every Friday and Saturday night it's Cyber Bowling, with music from DJs, videos on drop-down screens and light show.

  • Seminole Heights: 7921 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, 33604