Sparkman Wharf is Tampa’s newest and coolest hangout hotspot for all ages and tastes in food, beer, and atmosphere. Highlighting many of Tampa’s best qualities like the beauty of the bay, the weather we all take for granted and the sense of community all of its locals can feel in the air! Sparkman Wharf brings nine local restaurants to the newest outdoor hangout location, just next to Downtown and as part of the Water Street project.
I spent my entire weekend indulging in the new eateries Sparkman Wharf has to offer. With cuisines from all over the world, I had one of the gooiest and crunchiest grilled cheeses of all time from Whatever Pops, and some fresh and flavorful Mexican street tacos from Gallito. And with local beer from the Fermented Reality Biergarten, my weekend was spent between the colorfully decorated shipping containers. And there is still so much left to try!
Ever been to Spain? Then we know you miss the authentic Spanish fare from the streets of Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia. Don’t fret over it! Mise En Place's new sister restaurant Montados in Sparkman Wharf with elegant tapas like pulled pork tostones and pan con tomate. All that’s left is a glass of wine to remind you that Tampa has a bit of Spanish flare!
From the Edison Food & Drink Lab on Kennedy to a new concept on Sparkman Wharf, chef Jeannine Pierola has impressed foodies from all over our favorite city. With her endless creativity, she's created a fish kitchen that will impress even the most polished palettes. I tried the conch fritters and they left me wanting more.
Flock and Stock is a place after my own heart! With fried chicken sandwiches, burgers, chicken fingers, and fries it’s a dream for every adult that loves to order off the kid's menu. It's traditional roadside American grub and is simply delicious.
Oyster people have always confused me. Who wants a slimy, cold and gelatin-like morsel trickling down their throat? So yeah, that's me now! Boat Run Oyster Company is a tide-to-table concept that brings crazy unique flavors to the beef-like bites. Their chorizo and honey butter oyster was my first oyster ever! It was delicious, and I look forward to returning and trying the lemon and chimichurri oysters during my next visit.
If your energy gets low from filling your belly with all the good eats, grab a cup of joe from Foundation Coffee! This Tampa locally-grown coffee shop has become a staple in Riverview and Seminole Heights. Their menu at Sparkman Wharf consists of all the necessities: espresso, lattes and Cuban coffees!
The Corners Pizza has an all-new style of Detroit pizza that Tampa is raving about already. The bread is thicc (with two C’s), slathered in red sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese. With Eddie and Sams New York Pizza for NY style and Cappy's Pizzeria for Chicago, you can add Detroit to the frozen-city pizza debate here in the 813.
Stop by Whatever Pops to cool down on a hot summer day! With an array of flavors on the menu, I had to try the chocolate sea salt and strawberry lime popsicles. Both were creative, fresh and unique, and they also serve some of the creamiest gelato, crunchiest grilled cheese sandwiches and colorful açaí bowls for those trying to watch their figures before the holidays.
During my third visit to Sparkman Wharf over the weekend (oops!), I was determined to get out of my comfort zone and try BT-in-a-Box! French and Vietnamese cuisine was built on simple flavors that stood out, and I tried the Bun Box which combined glass noodles, lettuce, cucumber, daikon, carrots, mixed herbs, scallions and roasted peanuts topped with chili-garlic sauce. I was beyond impressed with yet another Sparkman Wharf eatery.
Mexican street food has finally made its way to Tampa! With savory a la carte tacos and little cravings called “antojitos,” their flavor combinations are out of this world. This was the first place I tried when Sparkman Wharf opened on Friday and it left me wanting more (hence why I returned twice in the same weekend after that). The pork belly taco has a sweet spin on it with pineapple and roasted onions topping it off.
Nothing beats a great beer on a Saturday afternoon with your friends in the warm Autumn sun here in Tampa! The Fermented Reality Biergarten has over 30 beers to choose from including local favorites from some of Tampa’s many breweries. 7venth Sun Graffiti Orange is my favorite at the FR Biergarten! Friends of mine enjoyed the “Zero F*cks Given” and the “Headbanger” and I swear it’s not just because of their quirky names! Head to the taps in the center of the wharf to treat yourself to a mid-afternoon pint this upcoming weekend.
And though the endless food and drink options were my favorite part of the wharf, there is so much more to Tampa's newest adult playground. The lawn is set up with cornhole and shuffleboard so guests challenge their friends to a game while overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay. Splitsville is open again welcoming guests into their bowling alley, bar, and restaurant so they can keep the fun going while escaping the inevitable heat the spring and summers will bring back to Tampa.
What made me fall in love was the inviting atmosphere that welcomed people from all walks of life to come together and enjoy the few cool days the autumn has to offer. Thousands gathered around the Biergarten bar, struck up a conversation with one another and possibly even made a new friend. The lines were longer than I anticipated, but I was not at all upset because there was an abundance of young, lively and interesting people to meet. And for the dog lovers of Tampa there were plenty of paws running around on the lawn.
To check out Tampa’s newest development head to Sparkman Wharf from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday this week!
Welcome to Tampa and thank you for being delicious and bringing us all together, Sparkman Wharf!
Images and GIFs courtesy of author.