If you are in town for the RNC, make sure you are familiar with the road closures. Downtown and Channelside do not have a ton of parking. For the locals, Friday August 24th through Friday August 31st, new traffic patterns are set in Downtown. The parking garages in downtown have limited access.
I luckily live in Ybor City and will be taking the Teco Street Car to go see the madness. Street car service will only operate from Station 1 to Station 8. If you visiting, tke some time to see the history Tampa has to offer. You must visit Historic Ybor City. I have a Foodspotting Guide for Ybor City which you can check out here. As an Ybor resident, I strongly suggest the following.
Grab a 22oz Churrasco steak at El Puerto. This place is as authentic as they come with the best chimichurri in town. The ceviche is also to die for. Wash it down with a pitcher of sangria or authentic cafe con leche. Note, while the food is great, service is a little slow. So if you are in a hurry, you can order yours to go. This is one location I always tell visitors and new residents to check out.
|Columbia Cuban Sandwich and 1905 Salad lunch combo|
Demmi's Market on 7th
For you late nighters, grab a slice of Pizza from Demmi's Market on 7th. Best pizza in town. This is a bar, not a pizza joint. You can get your pizza to go or eat it at one of the few tables. Demmi's is open daily at 5:00 and has live music and comedy shows. This pizza is out of control, with tons of garlic. Garlic in their sauce, garlic oil on the crust. This is one of the only pizza crusts I actually eat. My boyfriend and I can shamelessly put down an entire large pizza between the two of us. It is that good.
|Demmi's Market Pepperoni Pizza|
|Datz Chicken and Waffles|
|Bacon Bloody Mary - Datz a Mary|
Check out the Yummy House on Hillsborough and start off with Salt & Pepper calamari. The garlic topping is addicting. For your entree, you cannot go wrong with Duck Fried Rice (you will thank me later) and Hot and Sour soup. Yummy House has Dim Sum on their lunch menu and everything I have tried has been wonderful
|Salt and Pepper Calamari|
|Hot and Sour Soup|
A few other notables in town:
Edison Food + Drink Lab A new restaurant with a well known chef in Tampa. The duck confit foie gras tacos are to die for.
Side Berns Beautiful restaurant who has one of the best happy hour in town daily from 5-7 + their menu changes monthly.
Oystercatchers Grab some oysters over an amazing sunset. They also have the best champagne brunch you will find in town.
Timpano's Where I go to feel like I was personal friends with Frank. Excellent martini list, live music and the food is always great. Twice I have seen Tampa Lightning players dining at the bar.
You can also click on the Tampa Dining page within my blog to see my reviews on Tampa Bay restaurants.