This Thursday is National Gumbo Day, which means that you can endlessly feast on the stew-like dish that originates from Louisiana without an ounce of guilt. Before you book a last minute flight to The Big Easy, rest assured that you can be transported to New Orleans without leaving the city limits as Tampa has many restaurants that serve up some delicious Cajun and Creole meals. Celebrate National Gumbo Day with the best restaurants in Tampa Bay featuring New Orleans inspired dishes listed here, including one that is offering a special!

Roux Tampa - At Roux on MacDill, guests are taken on a culinary journey through New Orleans in a dim lit, welcoming environment with inspired staple dishes of Southern cuisine. Behind the meals are famous Louisiana chefs that create the menu and are the masterminds behind the delicious gumbo that is made with Gulf shrimp and redfish, blue crab fingers, crawfish and white rice. To celebrate National Gumbo Day, Roux will offer guest a complimentary bowl of gumbo to every diner

Big Easy Bar - It's easy to say the Big Easy Bar lives up to its name with the mouthwatering dishes served at this slice of New Orleans located in the Ybor District. This is the spot to get classic Cajun food and sip on delicious homemade drinks such as the Smoked Old Fashion or Whiskey Sour. For spicy and decadent food, try the Cajun pasta, jambalaya or gumbo which is stock full of meat. 

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou- Authentic, down-home styled Cajun food is served here at this Pinellas Park treasure. There's crawfish cornbread, Crawfish Etouffee, remoulade sauce, creole gumbo, andouille sausage, fried Okra, whiskey bread pudding and plenty more! The Chicken gumbo is spicy and delicious so be sure to take some home!

Crispy Cajun- This Clearwater spot offers great inexpensive food served in large portions. Delicious options include scallop Etouffee, jambalaya, Catfish Po'Boy, Catfish tacos, corn nuggets, beignets and of course gumbo which is a fine art to make, and the one here has excellent texture and seasoning! 

Lee Roy Selmon's - The popular item at this BBQ joint on Boy Scout Boulevard in Tampa, may not be believed to be gumbo, but it may soon become your favorite meal! The "Mama's Cajun Gumbo" has shrimp, crawfish, smoked sausage, chicken, green and red peppers, onions, celery, okra, and tomatoes. It's delicious and a cup goes for just $4.29, so feel free to order two!

Mitchell's Fish Market - This seafood restaurant in Westshore Plaza has an extensive dining menu. Be sure not to miss the New Orleans inspired dishes including the Shrimp and Andouille Jambalaya and the tasty "New Orleans Seafood Gumbo" that sell for $9.99 a pint. 

Tampa Tap Room - This North Tampa restaurant has some highly ranked Po Boy sandwiches that are sure to satisfy Louisiana natives. Menu items that are a must try are the grilled hot Cajun wings, voodoo shrimp and gumbo with chicken and Andouille sausage. To wash down the hearty meals, there's a handful of craft beers on tap. 

Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen - Be taken to New Orleans with Tibby's in Brandon with their warm ambiance. You'll find beautiful artwork and live jazz bands, but that's not all to come to this place for. The food is amazing and there's a huge variety to choose from. The seafood gumbo with dirty rice is a favorite. Save room for dessert too, you don't want to miss this bread pudding! 

QT Crawfish - This mom and pop shop in Pinellas Park offers some tasty eats! The food is served in generous portions and the gumbo has chicken and andouille sausage. The crawfish, which is very yummy, is brought in live from Louisiana! 

Whiskey Joe's - If you're looking for a restaurant with a killer view, be sure to check out Whiskey Joe's that is steps away from the water. This place has an impressive menu with a favorite item being the jambalaya. Also, the "Spicy Island Gumbo" which is full of fresh local seafood and andouille sausage, is topped with spices for a Caribbean kick!

National Gumbo Day is a great way to honor cajun and creole specialty dishes and get a little of the Big Easy feeling in Tampa Bay without leaving on an airplane.  These New Orleans inspired dishes sure to please every foodie in your family! 

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Cover photo courtesy of Roux's Facebook Page