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  1. A Taste for Wine

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 241 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33701

    Bern's may have the better wine list, but many of us would rather hang out at A Taste for Wine. The wrought-iron balcony offers a great view of Central Avenue in St. Pete. Inside, there's art on the walls from JJ Watts gallery, and live music on weekends: jazz, folk, flamenco, pop, etc. They als …

  2. World of Beer Carrollwood

    Editor's pick

    Carrollwood : 12904 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

    It's a sweet formula: 500 beers, ales,lambics and stouts from just about every corner of the globe, live music, a largely professional crowd and servers that know an Ayinger Brau-Weisse from aWeltenburger Hefe-Weizen Hell at a squint. The hophead's dream destination features a clean, snug indoo …

  3. 717 South

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 717 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Read a review here.

  4. The Brass Mug

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 1450 Skipper Rd, Tampa, 33613

  5. Mad Dogs & Englishmen

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 4115 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33611

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen has a sense of humor. Perhaps that explains its longevity. Its new menu sports the old joke: "Two cannibals eating a clown. One says to the other, 'Does this taste funny to you?' " Talking about things tasting funny on a menu? Is this a good idea? Co-owner Wilto …

  6. Dunedin Brewery

    Editor's pick

    Dunedin : 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 34698

    The Scottish regalia is fitting, since the stone-walled Dunedin Brewery looks a bit like a highlander's castle. Equally breathtaking are the ginormous brewing vats inside, which are known for producing nine phenomenal, award-winning beers like the Redhed Red Ale, as well as a swimming selection  …

  7. Cafe Dufrain

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 707 Harbour Post Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Boasting one of Tampa's best views, this Harbour Island bistro is one of downtown's best getaways. Get smart eating from lemongrass soups to diver scallops, risotto, short ribs and salmon with frizzled leeks. Flavors come from the Pacific and the Americas, but the style is Tampa lofty. If you pu …

  8. Kelly's for Just About Anything

    Editor's pick

    Dunedin : 319 Main St., Dunedin, 34698

    The day's fun could start with Butterfinger muffins or French toast with chocolate and Cognac, drift through lunch of banana pancakes or Hell-burgers and head into dinner of duck breast, Emeril's escolar and house-smoked pork chops. Virgel Kelly and pals always add an extra smile and a kick, lik …

  9. Mermaid Tavern

    Editor's pick

    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 water …

  10. The Birchwood

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    One of St. Pete's swankiest spots, this renovated hotel opened in the summer of 2013 to large crowds waiting to schmooze on its rooftop bar overlooking St. Petersburg.The place on Beach Drive consists of a 225-seat fine-dining restaurant called Birch & Vine on the hotel's first floor, and th …

  11. Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 1600 E Eighth Ave., Suite 123, Tampa, 33605

    They brew their own beer, and it's damn good. They make their own pizza dough with that beer, and it's damn good, too. Beer-infused menu items like the Iron Rat Stout crab cakes and jalapeno beer cheese soup - well, they're also pretty damn delightful. But if you've lived your entire life in Tam …

  12. Aqua Bar & Grille

    Editor's pick

    Rocky Point : 7627 W Courtney Campbell Parkway, Tampa, 33607

    What was Aquaknox at the Westin Tampa Bay was rechristened Aqua Bar & Grille in recently when parent company E-Brands was sold to Tavistock. Chef Matt Mangone unveiled a new menu with dishes like yellowfin tuna tartare, a lovely plate with daikon and pickled chiles and a swoosh of avocado mo …

  13. Mise En Place Restaurant

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 442 W Kennedy Blvd. # 110, Tampa, 33606

    New American doesn't get old when Marty Blitz is in the kitchen and the likes of hamachi crudo with watermelon radish and cucumber salad are on the menu. He and partner Maryann Ferenc pioneered here 25 years ago; their spot is now a downtown Tampa shrine and the skillets still hot. Game, vegetab …

  14. Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Tampa : 333 S Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    However you arrive at the Sail Pavilion — by foot, boat, bike or car — just get there by sunset.What? Never heard of it? The Tampa Convention Center's circular bar opened on the Riverwalk in 2009. In-the-know cyclists and boaters find it, conventioneers and hotel guests wander over.  …

  15. Bern's Steak House

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 1208 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Naysayers can grouse, but there's no denying the fine meat and one of the world's best and cheapest wine lists. You can drink back through 20 years in Spanish, Italians, Rhones and zins for $75 or less. Lighten up and relax; just exploring the menu's new additions takes time. Dessert takes more. …

  16. New World Brewery

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 1313 E Eighth Ave., Tampa, 33605

    Beloved by the Chucks-and-hornrims set for hosting early concerts by artists like My Morning Jacket, Animal Collective and Okkervil River, New World is a fixture for any local band that hopes to make a name for itself in Central Florida. The shedlike outdoor stage is still as intimate a setting  …

  17. Ceviche St. Pete

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 95 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33701

    That cocktail of marinated fish is only one item on the biggest spread of hot and cold tapas laid out on both sides of the bay. The Tampa location is dark and cozy, St. Pete's open to the embarcadero. Crowds and food are fast and fun: olives, quail, sherried chicken livers and albondigas. The ba …

  18. Empouria, the Art of Beer

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 29 Third St. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Formerly the Independent, John Vellines' new venture emphasizes high end Belgian, German, and other European varieties including Polish and Czech, plus rare and vintage beers. Cork-finished beers and international beers from around the globe showcased different days of the week.Hours: open 4 p.m …

  19. Queens Head

    Editor's pick

    Grand Central District : 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33713

    The work of Darren Conner and Paul Smith, Queens Head is an adorable, cheeky and emphatically stylish addition to St. Petersburg's Grand Central district. The small bar-restaurant is a delightful addition, a British pub with a little South Beach glamor and New York club smarts (it's hard not to  …

  20. Beak's Old Florida

    Editor's pick

    Grand Central District : 2451 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33713

    It makes sense in a way. Jamie Farquharson was ready to be out from under his plastic pirates, birdcages imprisoning fake birds and mountains of kitschy Florida memorabilia. He was ready to sell Beak's, one of the stalwart Grand Central District good-time bar/restaurants. And who bought it? Dan  …

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