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When it comes to Tampa neighborhoods poised to be the next big thing, the Westshore district in South Tampa is still a few years off, but is poised to be an outstanding area to live. I believe the area around Midtown Tampa will be interesting as well.
My favorite place in town for a night out with friends is Amalie Arena. If it’s not a Lightning game, there always seems to be something happening in or around Thunder Alley.
For a great bar, I’m a little partial to District Tavern. It is a gastropub that is very close to home for me. It is often my kitchen away from my kitchen for brunch, lunch or dinner. All of the food is very good; I’m partial to their mac ‘n cheese and craft cocktails.
Living in Channelside, I would have to mention Cena for a great meal. The food is of the highest quality, and the atmosphere makes it one of the best places for a great meal in Downtown Tampa.
Picnic Island is a great place for family gatherings, fishing, playing with the dog, or disc golfing. The park gives that coastal vacation feel while still being in South Tampa.
When I have guests visiting from out of town, I take them down the Riverwalk to Armature Works. It’s a unique spot with a lot of variety. It’s a beautiful part of our city, and [it has] unmatched views as the sun sets in Downtown Tampa.
The watch parties [for Lightning games] at Sparkman Wharf and Armature Works during the playoffs have been an unbelievable experience. The amount of support and excitement from the downtown market is incredible.
There are a lot of exceptional brunch places in Tampa. Datz or First Watch [in Downtown Tampa] are a tie for first. It depends on how you’re feeling. Datz is a very indulgent South Tampa staple, and First Watch elevates their brunch to a finer dining experience (not to mention their Million Dollar Bacon).
Gio’s Deli Plus, off Henderson, is a small hot counter in a convenience store. The Cuban sandwiches are my local hidden gem. Just don’t get it with lettuce and tomato.