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Actor Justin Long wants Tampa Bay restaurant tips. We’ve got some ideas.

The actor, who is in town directing a new movie, stopped by Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Tampa on Thursday
The actor Justin Long and his brother, Christian Long, posed for a photograph at Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Tampa on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. [Instagram]
The actor Justin Long and his brother, Christian Long, posed for a photograph at Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Tampa on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. [Instagram]
Published Jan. 31
Updated Jan. 31

Hey, Justin Long, we’ve got some restaurant suggestions for you.

The Jeepers Creepers actor, who is town working on his new movie project Lady of the Manor, has been posting about his dining and drinking adventures on social media, including a stop by St. Petersburg’s Black Crow Coffee Co. and meal out at the Gandy outpost of Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Tampa.

Related: Justin Long of 'Jeepers Creepers' to direct movie in Hillsborough

Donning bibs and wielding silver crab crackers, Long and his brother, Christian Long, posed for a photograph at the popular seafood chain on Thursday before posting it to Instagram. In the social media post, the actor thanks his fans for subscribing to his podcast, Life is Short. Then, like any social media savvy star, he gets to crowd sourcing and asks for restaurant recommendations:

“We love hearing from you and it only makes the show better,” Long wrote. “Also, we’d LOVE some restaurant recommendations in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area — we’ll be working here til(l) March! Thanks!”

We had the pleasure of hosting Justin Long and his brother today at our Gandy location! We wish you the best with your...

Posted by Mr. & Mrs. Crab Juicy Seafood & Bar Gandy South Tampa, FL on Thursday, January 30, 2020

OK, Justin. Let me see if I can be of some help.

Now, I love crabs as much as the next person, but we’ve got some serious dining contenders that you definitely shouldn’t skip during your stay here.

A good start would be Rocca, chef Bryce Bonsack’s new stunner of an Italian restaurant in Tampa Heights. While you’re in the area, why not pop over to Armature Works and take your pick of any number of restaurants at the food hall, from refined contemporary European fare at Oak & Ola to quality steaks and cocktails at Steelbach and dazzling views from the rooftop bar at M. Bird.

And if you’re back in St. Petersburg, you can’t go wrong with a stop by Brick & Mortar or Italian darling Il Ritorno.

But, if you’re still somewhat of a newcomer to the Tampa Bay area, you can’t go wrong by getting a little background on our restaurant scene. Our recently published list detailing the area’s 25 most iconic restaurants is a solid primer, and there are plenty of great restaurant choices to be found on both sides of the bay. From the most iconic spots to grab a Cuban sandwich to your best bet at a white tablecloth evening, there’s plenty here to keep you busy for the next couple of months.

Related: Tampa Bay's 25 most iconic restaurants


  1. Columbus, Ohio-based Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams plans to open two locations in Tampa this summer.
  2. New Orleans-based Dat Dog offers exotic sausages like alligator, duck and crawfish, along with multiple vegan options and more than 30 toppings. The chain is seeking franchisees to bring a location to Tampa Bay.
  3. The Cheesecake Factory will bring an iconic selection of more than 50 cheesecakes and desserts to Clearwater mall Westfield Countryside this year.
  4. The Shamrock Shake returns to stores nationwide today for the first time since 2017 as McDonald’s celebrates the 50th anniversary of the mint-flavored treat.
  5. Expect to see lots of traditional Mardi Gras masks like this during the annual Mardi Gras parade in downtown Dunedin on Feb. 22.
  6. After nearly four decades of operating a restaurant on Fourth Avenue in Ybor City, Cephas Gilbert has a new location. He now runs a juice hut inside Tequilas Ybor in Tampa.
  7. The Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival, which will return to Temple B'nai Israel in Clearwater on Sunday, has featured desserts like mini linzer tarts in the past.
  8. Plant City's Fancy Farms off County Line Road will host its annual U-pick event on Feb. 22.
  9. Blue crab chilau at West Ybor Barterhouse.
  10. Johnson Barbeque's brisket berry tacos, served as part of Florida Strawberry Restaurant Month this year.
  11. Meatballs with fennel and lentils
  12. Strawberry chocolate tea cakes