This February brought us several incredible new restaurants in Tampa, and the additions promise to make a permanent impact on the culinary scene of a growing city. From a warehouse turned trendy food market in Downtown Tampa, a tasty taco chain, a popular drool-worthy burger joint, and a new upscale spot in Tampa's casino, dining out in Tampa this February will prove to be far from boring.
In 1910, if you visited this building in Downtown Tampa, you would discover a warehouse TECO used as a maintenance facility for streetcars. In 1946, when automobiles took over the roads and the streetcars were shut down, the warehouse was purchased by Armature Works. Last year, they made plans to repurpose the building into a multi-purpose area for restaurants, events, and space for people to relax and enjoy themselves.
Armature Works opened to the public on the waterfront in Tampa in the beginning of February. The building houses 15 food stalls, many affiliated with other restaurants in Tampa such CRU Cellars, Ava Inspirato Italiano, and Ichicoro. From burgers to sushi, and wine to healthy juices, the Armature Works open market area has eclectic taste and is perfect for foodies to enjoy anything they want in one building.
Among the new tastes is Zukku Sushi Heights Public Market, featuring hand-crafted sushi rolls you might consider more of an art form than a food. They also feature a "canvas" menu, letting you create your own roll with artistic features and many add-on options. If you're not a sushi person, no worries -- Armature Works also has burger joints, an ice cream shop, pizza, and more for you to snack on!
Love tacos, tequila, and more tacos? Look no further -- the famous Rocco's Tacos has arrived at International Plaza & Bay Street in Tampa's Westshore district. With a Tex-Mex inspired menu, complete with table side guacamole and drool-worthy margaritas, Rocco's suits the late night partygoer or the everyday tourist all in one venue. While the food is incredible (don't forget to try the pastor tacos and add extra cilantro!), there is no shortage of tequila in the building. Rocco Mangel, a known lover of tequila and creator/namesake of Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar, boasts a collection of 425 tequilas in every restaurant. Their brunch menu is also to die for, spotlighting the ever-popular avocado toast and healthy juice options like their "green power," with cucumber, apple, kale, romaine, spinach, parsley, celery, and lemon.
If you're looking for burger excellence, one of the new restaurants in Tampa has a bit of a Miami feel as well. Shula Burger has arrived on Howard Avenue in Hyde Park. Don Shula, an NFL legend and Hall of Fame coach for the Miami Dolphins, says he knows perfection from his perfect 1972 season with the Dolphins, and he produces perfection with his burgers! Shula Burgers is one of Don's many restaurants, but it's his only burger joint and one that he's proud to bring to Tampa Bay. At Shula Burger, you have the option to build your own or pick from one of the hand-crafted, hand-picked burger options on the menu. Our favorite? The Don, of course: a favorite with both burger and hot dog, pickle, onion sauce, American cheese, ketchup, and yellow mustard on a brioche style bun. Can you say... perfect?
5223 Orient Rd, Inside Mezzanine Level Casino, Tampa FL Phone 813-627-8120
The space previously occupied by Grey Salt gives way to an American grille focusing on traditional items, but with a name that honors the heritage of the Seminole Tribe's Native American Reservation upon which it sits.
With over 5,000 square feet of space, new culinary director Frank Anderson hopes to bring the same foodie-vibe he did to such hits as Animal in LA, which features every kind of carnivorous delight. The Rez Grill has a wood-burning grill, plenty of pastas, and a 100-bottle wine list with plenty of craft cocktails and microbrews to boot. It's a terrific stop after a few hands of blackjack, and a great partner to the already-revered Council Oak Steaks & Seafood inside one of the largest casinos in North America at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
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