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Tampa Bay restaurants make strong showing in Yelp’s top 100

Restaurants in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Oldsmar got top user reviews for creativity in their menus for the site’s 2024 top restaurants list.
 
Kebabs make up the bulk of the menu at Bayshore Mediterranean Grill in Tampa, which came it at No. 75 on the Yelp reviewers' list of the top 100 restaurants in the U.S. This shows a roundup of ground lamb Beyti kebab, set on lavash bread and napped with tomato sauce and tangy yogurt.
Kebabs make up the bulk of the menu at Bayshore Mediterranean Grill in Tampa, which came it at No. 75 on the Yelp reviewers' list of the top 100 restaurants in the U.S. This shows a roundup of ground lamb Beyti kebab, set on lavash bread and napped with tomato sauce and tangy yogurt. [ Times (2017) ]
Published Jan. 24|Updated Jan. 24

The Tampa Bay area had a pretty strong showing in Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. 2024 ranking.

The crowd-sourced restaurant review website collects user ratings and ranks the ratings, reviews and volume of submissions to spot trends. Florida was a big one this year, with the Sunshine State Yelpers talking up Orlando’s standing-room-only sushi hotspot EDOBOY (No. 44) and pizza lovers in Boca Raton digging the creative sourdough-crust pies at How Ya Dough’n (No. 70).

In the Tampa Bay area, Mio’s Grill and Cafe in St. Petersburg ranked high at No. 12 with its Turkish and Greek cuisine. The fast-casual Mediterranean-American joint is known for its baba ghanouj, falafel, Greek salad and baklava.

Oven-baked hummus is served with lavash bread at Bayshore Mediterranean Grill in Tampa.
Oven-baked hummus is served with lavash bread at Bayshore Mediterranean Grill in Tampa. [ Times (2017) ]

Coming in at No. 75, Bayshore Mediterranean Grill in Tampa also has Turkish food that can be stunning. The Tampa Bay Times restaurant reviewer in 2017 said:

The signature dish alone is worth the trip. They will tell you about it: oven-baked hummus ($10.99). Mmm, okay. Pureed chickpeas with tahini, only warm? Hummus is so ubiquitous these days it’s probably offered as a Lunchable.

But then it comes: an oval cast iron skillet on a wooden board, the hummus and its mantle of mozzarella cheese audibly bubbling. Next to it arrives a huge golden balloon, a just-from-the-oven sesame-dusted lavash, which you puncture to allow a whoosh of steam to escape, the whole thing deflating slowly like a birthday aftermath. Rip off a hunk of lavash — watch the fingers, still hot — and swipe it through the skillet. That’s a party.

Coming in at No. 80 is Shaker & Peel in Oldsmar. There are taco fillings such as General Tso’s cauliflower, Korean barbecue beef and hot fried chicken that might not seem traditional, “but that’s because we’re in deep fusion territory here,” Times food critic Helen Freund wrote in 2020. “Homemade tortillas serve as a traditional wrapper for a laundry list of unconventional taco accoutrements.”

A Salt Aire margarita is offered at Shaker & Peel in Oldsmar. The restaurant’s signature cocktail comes topped with an aerated salt foam.
A Salt Aire margarita is offered at Shaker & Peel in Oldsmar. The restaurant’s signature cocktail comes topped with an aerated salt foam. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times (2019) ]

The restaurant features a large, wraparound bar, with three glass infusion orbs suspended in the middle. Inside, mezcal, reposado and gin are specially infused for use in cocktails and margaritas. Local craft beer, bottled wine, and wine and prosecco on tap are also offered.

The restaurant’s signature cocktail, the Salt Aire margarita, comes topped with an aerated salt foam.