1. 717 South

    Editor's pick

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

    Read a review here.

  2. Stonewood Grill & Tavern

    New Tampa : 17050 Palm Pointe Drive, Tampa, 33647

    Like staring into a glass of Merlot, Stonewood offers dark comfort, with cherry wood and low-lit eating and drinking areas. Four-seater booths and hardwood floors orbit an oval bar, and little jail-cell-looking cabinets hold liquor bottles overhead. A wine case the size of a king-size mattress h …

  3. Bernini Restaurant

    Ybor City : 1702 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

    Back in the '90s, Bernini's lionhead roared with hipness, and it's still king of this jungle. The old gold interior is comfy now, the service is both old-pro and young. The menu's modern standards of crisp pizzas, rustic pastas and smart salads make it a fine room for dealmaking dinners or urban …

  4. 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. …

  5. Mangroves SOHO Restaurant and Bar

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 208 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Established in 1996, Mangroves has been a key player in making SoHo one of the region's top dining and drinking districts. The two-story restaurant and bar, which also features a deck with private cabanas, doubles as a nightclub on the weekends. Superior service makes this an excellent place to  …

  6. The Rack

    South Tampa : 1809 W Platt St., Tampa, 33606

    Eightball and tekka maki are a combo made in yuppie heaven. A poolroom sushi hall, The Rack opened to an enthusiastic audience in 2002 at the site of the Blue Gardenia restaurant. No one's bringing their own spiffy Schon or Predator cues, but there's decent play at most of the tables in the fun, …

  7. Taiga

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 10317 Causeway Blvd., Tampa, 33619

    One of Brandon's few nightlife hotspots, Taiga has a different theme each night of the week and gets crazy on the weekends. The two-story hangout looks like a sports bar with all the TVs and murals of sports scenes on the walls. But at night, the tables are pushed aside, the strobe lights kick o …

  8. Britt's Laguna Grill

    Clearwater Beach : 309 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater, 33767

    The beach theme is implicit in the name, and this place sure lives up to it. Britt's has a a wood bar and a neon-infused distorted glass wall that divides the room. The deck wraps around the restaurant, providing a stunning sunset view. The grill serves up a liquor-heavy list of island drinks, w …

  9. Duke's American Grill & Sports Brewery

    Spring Hill / West Hernando : 1320 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, 34606

    Take a brewery tour, watch sports on the 30 HDTV big screen TVs.

  10. Rick's on the River

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 2305 N Willow Ave., Tampa, 33607

    The Hillsborough River sluices through downtown Tampa, adding yet more watery splendor to a waterfront city. River hangouts just feel different from those where the salt air wafts. This particular one boasts cheap brews and good specials, with live music every day. Not to mention slips for boats …

  11. Snookers Grill

    Tarpon Springs : 606 N Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    Snookers has the salty whiff of a nautical-theme joint, the kind that appeals to Key West natives and Parrottheads. It looks like a boat inside and out, with the odd fish mural thrown in for good measure. Snookers' most hopping scene happens nightly in the outdoor tiki patio, which also features …

  12. Club Prana

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 1619 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

    Since adopting its current name in 2001, Prana has weathered Ybor City's ups and downs and remained one of its most popular clubs. With different music on each of its five floors - from hip-hop on the ground floor to house in the middle to reggae and live music on the roof - it offers something  …

  13. Brio

    International Plaza District : International Plaza, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    This casual, white-tablecloth restaurant serves Northern Italian cuisine with wood-grilled and oven-roasted steaks, chops and seafood. It also has a bar menu that includes a "shrimpitini" shrimp cocktail, beef carpaccio and mini burgers, all for $2.95. There's indoor seating for 190 gu …

  14. The Castle

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 2004 N 16th St., Tampa, 33605

    It's a Tampa landmark for a reason. Dark, twisted and pierced, it opened in 1992, and it kept going even as shiny new Centro Ybor opened across the street. Today, with all its spiderwebs and candles and curtains, the Castle is Tampa Bay's most popular goth club, by a wide, wide margin. But it's  …

  15. Press Box Sports Emporium

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 222 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33609

    We've been in a lot of press boxes over the years, and trust us — we've never seen one containing a stuffed bobcat. Plastered with sports memorabilia, jerseys and autographs — and yes, a stuffed bobcat — this dugout-like South Tampa mainstay is where you want to go for any pay-per-view box …

  16. Bishop Tavern

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 260 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The Bishop is a tavern with a velvet rope on weekends. An early 20th-century tin ceiling looms above the bar that has an eclectic selection of beer on draft. With great specials, such as Thursday ladies night where ladies drink free domestic draft, this is a hopping spot for college aged kids an …

  17. Take 2 Lounge

    Carrollwood : 14416 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

    If you're tired of your living room and want to watch the football game or play Nintendo Wii in another living room with a full bar and comfy couches, then Take 2 Lounge is the place. Attached to the Tampa Pitcher Show, a restaurant and movie theater in Carrollwood, the lounge radiates a '50s fe …