2507 S. MacDill Ave.
Chef BT Nguyen has become one of Tampa’s top chefs (with a four-restaurant empire, to boot) on the strength of her signature French-Vietnamese fusion cuisine. On her menu, dishes like coq au vin and bouillabaisse de Marseille (made with Maine lobster claws, Gulf prawns, King salmon and calamari in a saffron-white wine seafood broth) sit beside beef pho, a Peking duck burrito, tuna sashimi and snapper a la Saigon (red snapper with lemongrass, curry, Vietnamese herbs, shredded cabbage and ginger-turmeric-lemongrass rice).
Queen of Sheba
3636 Henderson Blvd.
Ethiopian dishes are typically served on top of a bread called injera, which is used instead of utensils to pick up food. Specialties include doro wot, the national dish of Ethiopia — a free-range chicken and hard-boiled, farm-raised egg stew seasoned with spices and berbere. Queen of Sheba also offers the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, where the freshly washed coffee beans are roasted, ground and boiled tableside.
3215 S. MacDill Ave.
Founded by a native of Italy nearly 20 years ago, Osteria Natalina makes family recipes originally honed along the country’s eastern coastline. It’s quietly become one of South Tampa’s most beloved eateries; even Mayor Bob Buckhorn name-checked it as one of his favorite restaurants in the city in a recent interview. Seafood is the restaurant’s specialty, with dishes like polenta e pesce (soft polenta mixed with seafood in a tomato basil sauce), il carpaccio fresco di tonno (yellowﬁsh tuna with chopped arugula, tomato, capers, olive oil and lemon juice), and their signature linguine al granchio e aragosta (linguine with blue crab and lobster meat sauté in a princess sauce).
2832 S. MacDill Ave.
Lebanon natives Roger and Ziad Estephan opened Byblos in 2001 to give South Tampa a taste of their homeland with dishes like baba ganuj, kebbeh (fried seasoned ground beef with spices and pine nuts), shish kabob, and kafta (seasoned ground beef with pine nuts and hummus). They’ve since expanded the menu to incorporate items from throughout the Mediterranean and Italy, like shawarma and rigatoni.
4843 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Served on a buffet, Curry Leaves has options aplenty. Samosas, dosas, biryanis, and nine types of naan are available, as are a variety of curries, paneer dishes (made with the fresh Indian cheese), vindaloo, and chicken tikka, all made with halal meats. For dessert, try the mango or pistachio kulﬁ, a traditional Indian ice cream.
2702 W. Kennedy Blvd.
The little sister of Miguel’s a few blocks up Kennedy Boulevard, Miguelito’s specializes in tapas, tacos and tequila. Established favorites get new spins, like fried jalapeños stuffed with shrimp and cheese, and tacos Miguelitos (rolled tacos topped with chile con queso). Platters of street tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and bowls (plus a -5-degree tap serving ice-cold tequila all day) round out the offerings.
Yummy House South
302 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Created by Tommy Tang and John Zhou, both natives of Toishan, China, Yummy House has made a name for itself with authentic Hong Kong-style Chinese food. The restaurant is perhaps best known for its salt and pepper appetizers; eggplant, tofu, calamari, chicken, shrimp or a seafood mix is fried and tossed in a combination of salt, pepper, green onions, cilantro, roasted garlic and minced chili for a drool-worthy start to your meal. Yummy House serves a huge menu of Chinese favorites, like fried rice dishes, stir-frys, roasted duck, noodles, and a number of options with a spicy XO sauce, a delicacy in Hong Kong cooking.
4205 S. MacDill Ave.
A member of the Datz family of restaurants, Roux applies a similarly creative spirit to its Louisiana-inspired cuisine. Beignets are savory, made with crab and Abita-beer battered, while Florida alligator bites are made Cajun-style. More traditional options include crawﬁsh étouffée, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, and a double-cut pork chop grilled over a wood ﬁre.
Acropolis Greek Taverna
3023 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Since 2001, Acropolis has been serving up traditional Greek cuisine across Tampa Bay; the South Tampa location opened in 2011. Acropolis specialties include a family recipe for mousaka (potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, ground beef and onions baked with bechamel cheese over tomato sauce), pastitsio pasta, stuffed grape leaves, chicken Santorini, souvlaki and lamb chops.
Japanese Kitchen Dosunco
3310 W. Kennedy Blvd.
On the early edge of ramen in Tampa, Japanese Kitchen Dosunco has been dishing up noodle bowls for more than three years. Dosunco serves ramen at escalating spice levels, plus a brothless ramen, vegetarian-friendly ramens, udon noodle bowls, and Japanese desserts like mochi ice cream.