Are you going to be in Tampa visiting for the 2012 Republican National Convention?  Or maybe just want a place close to the convention area where you can grab some great food and drinks?  We've got you covered.  Read on to discover some of the best places to eat in Tampa during the RNC.

GrillSmith - Grillsmith is a Tampa Bay area favorite with multiple locations throughout the area.  The Grillsmith in South Tampa will be your best bet if you're looking for moderately-priced, contemporary American fare that'll fill you up and not disappoint.  Menu highlights include Spicy Thai Shrimp, Lemon Feta Chicken, and Stoli Ravioli.

Gaspar's Grotto - If you're looking to really experience that laid-back Tampa lifestyle, then Gaspar's Grotto is the place to be.  Located in Ybor City, Gaspar's Grotto offers a huge assortment of drinks from the bar, Florida-inspired fare, and one of the best outdoor patios in Tampa where you can catch some great live music and more.  Their Cuban sandwich has also been consistently rated as one of the best in Tampa.

Splitsville - Splitsville provides a one of a kind experience; bowling, dining, and drinking all under one roof.  This prime Channelside destination is a great place to catch some fun R&R during the convention with friends and provides a very nice assortment of bar drinks, finger foods, and fun times all around.

Malio's Prime Steakhouse - Looking for an upscale steakhouse near the convention?  Malio's is unquestionably your best bet.  Located inside the Rivergate Tower, this prime Tampa steakhouse was the late George Steinbrenner's favorite and offers a rich assortment of top of the line steaks, entrees, wine, and much more.

Columbia Restaurant - Nothing, and we mean nothing, beats the Columbia Restaurant when it comes to a beautiful assortment of authentic Cuban cuisine and culture under one roof.  This historic Ybor City restaurant is arguably the most famous in the city and provides a menu full of Spanish classics ranging from a decadent seafood paella to their famous 1905 Salad, fresh sangria, and so much more.

Taco Bus - Taco Bus has quickly become a Tampa dining favorite due to it's fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine served from their signature yellow school bus.  Taco Bus in Downtown Tampa is just a stone's throw away from the convention and will provide you with an affordable assortment of mouthwatering Mexican cuisine.

Green Iguana - For a Florida sports bar vibe with some great food to match, Green Iguana is a great bet.  Head out to Ybor City for lunch and enjoy a handful of drink specials and great fare like their famous burgers, salads, and much more.

Hard Rock Cafe and Casino - The Hard Rock is booked up with GOP patrons staying in their hotel, so you can bet there will be a lot of convention action going on at this huge, adult playground in Tampa.  For a great time, head to the Hard Rock Cafe for an assortment of delectably simple American cuisine followed by a few rounds at the craps table.  It's ok, we won't tell anyone.