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  1. Byblos Cafe

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2832 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33629

    The local rebirth of Middle Eastern cuisine gets its most stylish display thanks to smart Lebanese entrepreneurs. Yogurt, grape leaves and kibbe are deliciously fresh. Stay late and finish with intoxicating bellydancing or a dreamy draw on the water pipe (hookah).

  2. Beirut Cafe

    St. Petersburg : 5281 Park St. N, St. Petersburg, 33709

    Hana Lakkis has been making Lebanese pastries for decades in Pennsylvania, and is now filling a bakery display case here with baklawa, maamoul and nammoura. But before dessert, her husband, Fisal Houssein, offers up shawarma, kabobs and falafel for lunch and dinner. BYOB.Read a review.

  3. Mykonos

    Editor's pick

    Tarpon Springs : 628 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    Loud and crowded and why not? Tourists who squeeze in among the locals get a true taste of Greek in anything grilled in lemon and oregano along the Sponge Docks. Andy Salivaras has been in Tarpon a long time, having opened Mykonos in 1991. It's been one of the anchor restaurants on the main drag …

  4. Taverna Skara

    Clearwater : 2454 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 33759

    The interior is pleasant but fairly bare-bones, the Greek radio piped in adding as much atmosphere as the Greek frieze reproduction on one wall. The menu is large, both in physical size and scope. Start with a little plate of warm pita triangles and kalamata olives, then head toward the lesser-k …

  5. Chloe's Family Restaurant

    Tarpon Springs : 1722 S Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    The newest restaurant in Tarpon is a bit off the beaten path, near the Tarpon Springs Golf Course. After opening the place in May, owners Sophia and John Pappas recently received an award from City Hall, the city clearly pleased to have seasoned pros inhabit a space that has hosted a number of f …

  6. Flambe @ Fusion

    Channelside : 615 Channelside Drive, Suite 123, Tampa, 33602

    Formerly Taverna Opa, the waterfront views along Channelside stay, along with the belly dancers, and cuisine expands to include Mediterranean, Italian, Indian, besides Greek, with full bar, and a Happy Hour.

  7. Crystal Dining Room at the Floridan Palace Hotel

    Downtown Tampa : 905 N Florida Ave, Tampa, 33602

    Looking up, it's a visual smorgasbord: shimmering chandeliers, ornate gilded wrought-iron balustrades and immense white and gold-trimmed drapes Scarlett O'Hara could have made a whole wardrobe out of. But the best is the ceiling, hand-painted medallions and cupids and scrolled crests that nearly …

  8. Pizza Bizzar

    North Pinellas beaches : 1261 Gulf Blvd. # 110, Clearwater, 33767

    Hours: noon-midnight daily.Read a review here.

  9. Little Greek (South Tampa)

    South Tampa : 1155 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33629

    Little Greek president Nick Vojnovic and founder Sigrid Bratic have quickly opened eight in the Tampa Bay area. Vojnovic was the previous president of Beef 'O' Brady's, helping that company grow from 30 units to 270. This new venture is a clean, pleasant, order-at-the-counter affair with a tiny  …

  10. Mirage Restaurant

    Clearwater : 2284 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, 33765

    The most dynamically flavored dishes don't seem to appear on the weekday lunch buffet; thus a dinner visit is in order (caution: belly dancing Friday and Saturday evenings). Two of the most famous Persian dishes, fesenjan and shirin polo, are elegantly rendered at Mirage. The former is chicken b …

  11. Pappas Famous Greek Salads

    Carrollwood : 10041 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

  12. Acropolis Greek Taverna (Tampa)

    Ybor City : 1833 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

    Look for a frenetic bouzouki band and the stirring Greek song stylings of Babi Lavidas, plus belly dancers on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Then add in people leaping up to gyrate through a quick zeibekiko or sousta, punctuated by the occasional sound of breaking plates, and you have yourself  …

  13. Acropolis Bar & Grill

    Tampa : 14947 Bruce B Downs Blvd. # 100, Tampa, 33613

    Sam and Costa Waez tweaked their Ybor City Acropolis formula for suburban sensibilities, opening at the site of the defunct Tampa Brickyard. The kitchen serves until 3 a.m. on the weekends, midnight during the week. The staff is young, attractive and prone to launching into fits of grapevine dan …

  14. Kouzzina Restaurant at Disney's Boardwalk

    Lake Buena Vista : 2101 EPCOT Resort Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 32830

    Cat Cora-inspired Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Also: (407) 939-3463.

  15. Greektown Grille

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Clearwater : 1230 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 33755

    A huge menu of traditional Greek dishes is served in a gorgeous earth-tone dining room, outdoors on a wide patio, and in a lovely banquet room that doubles as a dance club on the weekends with live "new Greek" music. This particular Grecian formula is one that relies equally on the kin …

  16. Lakeview Grill & Restaurant

    Clearwater : 1510 Lakeview Road, Clearwater, 33756

    Nicolas Paloma took over a small Greek restaurant and reopened it as Lakeview Grill, an odd mix of American, Mexican and Greek cuisine. But go for the soups. Paloma, who formerly owned Little Mexico in Clearwater, is from Hidalgo, Mexico. The soups reflect this, many with a slowly accumulating  …

  17. Costas Restaurant

    Tarpon Springs : 521 Athens St., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    Not on the main drag, it's two stories with a few tables out front, boasting a clean and pretty interior. This is a good choice for the rookie, not because the food is training-wheels Greek, but because all the dishes get snapshots out front, so you can tell a moussaka from a pastitsio.Go grille …

  18. Dimitri's on the Water

    Tarpon Springs : 690 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    This may be the most gastronomically ambitious restaurant in all of Tarpon, a recent entry that has set up in the old Santorini location (one of only two restaurants downtown that are directly on the water). Right across the street from Mykonos, it is presided over by Andy Salivaras' son, Dimitr …

  19. Hellas Restaurant

    Editor's pick

    Tarpon Springs : 785 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, 34689

    Someone must be charged with constantly Windexing the glass cases in the bakery, there are so many eager noses pressed against it every day. Hellas has been one of the big guns in Tarpon since 1970, its reputation boosted by the huge attached Greek bakery (clearly doing well enough to have recen …

  20. Mama's Greek Cuisine

    Tarpon Springs : 735 Dodecanese Blvd. # 40, Tarpon Springs, 34689

    At the corner of Dodecanese and Athens Street, Mama's, started by a woman from Kalymnos, Greece, in 1978, is housed in a simple, casual blue building, with belly dancers on Sundays and live Greek music on the weekends (canned bouzouki piped out of speakers during the off times). Dogs and their o …

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