Top Restaurants of Tampa Bay 2019: Laura Reiley explains how she picked the top 10 spots

Our food critic's annual list is bigger than ever before.
Published Jan. 31, 2019

The past few years, I've celebrated the Tampa Bay area's Top 50 restaurants, breaking them down into categories and calling out the Top 10 overall. This year, an unprecedented period of growth for the local restaurant scene, that number was insufficient. I've expanded our dining guide to nearly 100 restaurants, divided into 24 useful categories. It's a reflection of what many national magazines seem to have breathlessly concluded in recent months: Tampa Bay is increasingly one of the country's more exciting dining destinations.

Of those nearly 100 spots, I have deemed 10 restaurants the very best. Here's my thinking behind those picks.

See the full list at