Whether you’re catching a Lightning game or hot concert at Amalie Arena, deciding where to eat beforehand is just as important as the event itself. Fortunately, the Channel District in Tampa has plenty of great restaurants where you can grab dinner before a long night of fun. You can’t go wrong choosing any of these restaurants near Amalie Arena in Tampa:

Jackson's Bistro Bar & Sushi

Jackson’s Bistro & Sushi is one of Tampa’s best waterfront restaurants with a view of the channel and Downtown skyline. The interiors are dark and rich with candlelit tables, inviting guests to relax and dine. Jackson’s is especially ideal for a romantic dinner before the show.

Related Content:  20 Best Date-Night Tampa Restaurants You Need to Try

Waterside Grill

Overlooking the Tampa Riverwalk, Waterside Grill provides dinner with a view from inside the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. The atmosphere here is relaxed and casual, but Waterside Grill is unmistakably upscale with menu items like wild mushroom and goat cheese flatbread and lobster chorizo as well as steaks and seafood.

Related Content:  Tampa Marriott a Waterside Gem and Friendly Neighbor

Champions Sports Bar

Also at Tampa Marriott Waterside, Champions Sports Bar is all about “good food, good times, and good sports,” the perfect prelude to a Lightning game. If you are looking for action before the game, this is the place! Stop in the bar between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM for “Thunder Hour” deals on tasty appetizers and drinks. Look for their digital craft beer board!

Related Content:  Marriott Waterside Craft Beer Happy Hour Has Gone Digital

Cafe Dufrain

A quiet little cafe also on the channel, Cafe Dufrain is an award-winning restaurant. Their self-proclaimed "new American comfort food cuisine" takes a different approach to cafe favorites with a seasonal menu and use of local, organic, and sustainable ingredients.

Firestick Grill

Amalie Arena has upscale dining options within the stadium, most notably Firestick Grill. Treat yourself to one of Tampa’s most beautiful buffets with a full line of all-you-can-eat soup, salad, appetizers, entrees, and desserts specially prepared each evening.

Columbia Cafe

Columbia Cafe, the sister restaurant in Tampa to the famous Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, serves up the same authenticity and charm as the original with its ornate, Spanish interiors and sizeable Spanish-Cuban menu. Don’t know where to begin? The Columbia Restaurants are well-known for their Cuban sandwiches, beloved 1905 salad, and their wide selection of Tapas.

Fabrica Woodfired Pizza

Fabrica invites you to design your own pizza creation from a menu of eight core pizzas, each one as tasty as the next!

Related Content:  Best Pizza in Tampa | New York, Delivery, Hand Tossed

Hooters - Channelside

On the corner of Channelside Plaza, this Hooters location is always a hopping place, serving many pre-game fans and concert goers. In addition to their world-famous wings, their menu consists of sports bar favorites like burgers, wings, sandwiches, tacos, and seafood.

Precinct Pizza

In the mood for pizza? Precinct Pizza is an authentic New York-style pizzeria using fresh, high-quality ingredients, their homemade marinara sauce, and pizza dough made from scratch. Precinct bakes all of their pizzas in a brick oven and in addition to spectacular pies, Precinct Pizza also serves up hot calzones, hero sandwiches, and some of the best burgers in town.


Open only for dinner, Cena is an upscale Italian restaurant with al dente' pasta, risottos, and meat entrees like chicken marsala and hanger steak. They also prepare creative cheeseboards and have a comprehensive wine menu.

The Channel District gives residents and visitors a variety of awesome local restaurants in Tampa, so make sure to check out one of these restaurants near Amalie Arena before your next big event!

For more restaurants in Tampa explore our Dining Guide and register on 813area to stay connected to things to do, events, sports, and much more. It's free!

(Cover photo by Josh Rose; all other photos are from businesses' Facebook pages.)