If you work downtown, lucky you when it comes to lunch. Dozens of ethnic cuisines (Jerk Hut), lots of favorite chains such as Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, Jimmy Johns, Stagedoor Cafe or Carmen’s Sandwich Ship for Dagwood-sized sandwiches, Manhattan Bagels. Antonio Varrica or a cool, refreshing ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.
Many of the hotels in Tampa serve up super lunch fare, most notably Sheraton’s Ashley Street Grille and Avanzare American cuisine at Hyatt Regency Tampa. Looking for places to eat for business lunch? Drive over to nearby Hyde Park, SoHo, Café Dufrain, Jackson Street Bistro or Mise En Place for an upscale bite and close the deal.
Lunch in Downtown Tampa boasts hot donut and hot dog carts as well as these everyday lunch spots, busy but worth it.
Bamboozle Café: Hip Thai-Vietnamese cuisine both healthy and tantalizing. We love the pork, beef and prawn rolls wrapped in rice paper with vermicelli noodles, green leaf lettuce and your choice of veggies, Asian noodle salads, sandwiches and traditional pho as well as the five alarm chicken curry and five-spice BBQ pork sandwich.
Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza: Mozzarella sticks, salads, meatball and eggplant parmigiana subs, wings, ziti and every pizza topping you can imagine, all done Big Apple style.
Family Downtown Café
First Watch Restaurant: You love their crepeggs and pancakes for breakfast, now you’ll love them for lunch, from the Cobb and Asian salads to the black and bleu wrap, chicken salad melt, Reuben and chicken quesadilla. Home cooking and innovative sandwiches married in one happy spot.
Fly Bar & Restaurant: If you love the one in San Francisco, run (don’t walk) here! Global cuisine, arty atmosphere, hip crowd trickle in when it opens at 4, and between the rooftop bar and nightly specials, after work crowds like to gather here especially for ½ bottle wine Monday, $5 signature cocktail Tuesday and stay for the 10 p.m. live music. Appetizers include shredded braised beef with green olives, panko crusted goat cheese, authentic nachos, fish tacos, roasted garlic fries and Kobe beef sliders. Need we say more?
Fearon’s Country Kitchen: Diner food, from burgers to hearty soups and satisfying sandwiches will get you through the today.
Franklin Street Sushi: Spicy tuna roll, yellowtail sashimi, miso soup and some edamame are just the ticket for picking up your spirits at lunchtime. Reasonable prices sushi and awesome rolls.
Hattricks: Hockey themed sports bar and some of the best burgers, fish and chips, grinders and wings in town.
Lucky Dill Deli: Triple decker sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers and some of the best French fries in town caters to big eaters. One of the best of the Tampa Bay locations and sweet service, even when slamming.
Paninoteca Mediterranean Café: Savory homemade Greek dishes star here. Enjoy the hummus, roasted garlic and Greek feta spread, tzatziki served with homemade warm pita bread, Greek salad, tomato salad and a wide variety of paninis including salami, prosciutto, Calabrese, roasted lamb and more.
Pizzaiolo Bavaro: Authentic regional cuisine such as wood-fired sandwiches and pizzas plus calzones. Don’t miss the carne, uovo, arugula, cipolla or al crudo pizza dripped in fresh veggies and shaved aromatic Italian cheeses or the penna alla vodka. Nap later, eat now.
Primo’s Delicafe: Sandwiches, free wi-fi and free lunch delivery if you can’t get away from your computer.
Rojo Taco: Make your own burritos, tacos and taco salad from the array of grilled antibiotic-free meats and chicken mixed up with organic veggies. Limited indoor and patio seating, so plan on taking your healthy fun Mex treat back to the office or over to the park.
Sono Café (Tampa Museum of Art): Open daily at 11, this delightful café overlooks the river and serves wine and beer. Operated by Mise en Place, this slow food café is a garden of Eden in downtown Tampa and serves creative paninis such as grilled chicken with goat cheese and fresh basil, speck ham with gorgonzola, parma ham with sundried tomato, buffalo mozzarella and arugula as well as salads, espresso, gelato and dolce.