Meaghan Habuda - Times Features Producer

Times Features Producer

I’m a Florida native who began covering the Tampa Bay bar and restaurant scene more than five years ago. After graduating from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, I cut my teeth in journalism with local alternative weekly Creative Loafing, where I served as food and drink editor. I joined the Times in 2019 and will continue to sniff out all sorts of food news — openings and closings, events, chef moves, you name it — while spearheading other print and web duties on the Features team. So, yes, tip me off to all of the scoops, including the ice cream kind.

  1. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani inside Osteria in downtown Tampa.
    The high-end spot is called La Pergola, and it’s set to launch next year.
  2. Neighbors with Cafe Ten-O-One, CellarMasters Wine Bar & Bottle Shop aims to debut before Thanksgiving.
    Appetizers and small plates are planned alongside wines by the glass and bottle.
  3. The fun, witty menu at Brandon's Strandhill Public features a six-minute egg wrapped in ground Irish pork. The whole thing is panko-fried, then served with pickled red peppers and spicy hollandaise.
    The modern bar and restaurant doesn’t feature any harps or shamrocks, but it does embrace present-day Ireland without losing sight of the past.
  4. Rick's on the River has called West Tampa home for 25 years.
    Rick’s on the River celebrates 25 years in Tampa, Oktoberfest, wine tastings and Taste of Laura Street in Plant City.
  5. On Friday, Joella's Hot Chicken will debut the Southern menu its known for in Largo.
    Best part? There’s a drive-through.
  6. Opened in Brandon last week, Your Pie's signature 10-inch rounds are baked in a brick oven in less than four minutes.
    Plus, Gyro City in Kenneth City, St. Petersburg wine cocktail lounge Copa and Whiskey Joe’s in Ellenton.
  7. Chef-restaurateur Richard Sandoval's second Tampa Marriott Water Street restaurant, Anchor and Brine, serves a coastal lineup that includes tuna tataki.
    The hotel’s new restaurant is its second from chef-restaurateur Richard Sandoval.
  8. The I Like It Hot Festival will return to Largo's Minnreg Hall for its 19th year this weekend, sampling everything from sauces to salsas.
    Nab a bottle of Farmhouse As F#&k Deux at Saint Somewhere or eat for a cause during the Columbia’s Community Harvest, too.
  9. Anise Global Gastrobar launched in 2013 on the ground floor of downtown Tampa's SkyPoint condo building.
    The swanky restaurant and bar opened more than six years ago across from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
  10. Patrons gather at the bar of Gulfport favorite Salty's.
    Plus, A Fresh Connection’s Handmade Pasta Class, the Clearwater Beach Crawl and Vino Simpatico’s Tasty of Italy Wine Dinner.