So many new restaurants have popped up around South Tampa and the surrounding neighborhoods that it can be tough to keep track of them all. Consider the following pages your checklist for some of the top spots that have opened (or, in one case, reopened) so far this year.
Chicken Salad Chick
The South Tampa outpost of this Southern chain specializes in, well, chicken salad. Choose your delivery method (a scoop or sandwich) and one of a dozen different salad flavors that run the gamut from traditional (celery, mayo and special seasoning) and barbecue to cranberry-almond and buffalo. Other options include pimento cheese, green salads and sandwiches.
4050 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Wine & Wood
Great for vegetarians and oenophiles alike, Wine & Wood offers veggie-heavy small plates (or what they nickname “wine food”) and pizzas, plus cheese, charcuterie and nearly 50 different wines. Most wines are available by the glass or the bottle, while wines on tap are available by glass or two different sizes of carafe.
614 S. Howard Ave., Unit C
The newest addition at the Tampa Marriott Water Street is an upscale sports bar with menu options that include the Butcher’s Burgers — made with Florida beef ground by an on-site butcher — fried chicken wings in four flavors, crispy beer-battered grouper, and an array of sandwiches and sliders. The star of the restaurant’s craft beer lineup is Garrison Kolsch, brewed by Coppertail Brewing exclusively for Garrison Tavern. The restaurant also has Florida’s first Topgolf Swing Suite, where guests can try their hand at virtual golf, dodgeball, hockey, baseball and more.
700 S. Florida Ave.
Slated to open June 11, Forbici is a new Italian spot from Ciccio Restaurant Group’s Jeff Gigante. Under the guidance of chef Jason Saldutti, the restaurant focuses on Roman-style pizza, a square-shaped pie with a fluffy, airy crust that stands up well to cheese, meats and other toppings. Forbici, which also features Italian tapas, and entrees, will launch with lunch and dinner, with brunch coming soon.
1633 W. Snow Ave.
Oak & Ola | M.Bird | Stones Throw
Armature Works has already opened a new full-service restaurant and a rooftop bar and lounge this year, with an additional restaurant scheduled to open any day now. Oak & Ola serves “casual yet elevated” Euro-American cuisine and is helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Anne Kearney, along with local restaurateur Andy Ganger and On Swann co-founders John and Trudy Cooper and Chris Arreola. Upstairs, M.Bird is doing island-inspired cocktails, sugarcane-based spirits and small plates with a tropical flair. Finally, the “upscale seafood shack” Stones Throw is preparing to open with oysters, fresh fish and cocktails in a free-standing building on Armature Works’ front lawn.
1910 N. Ola Ave.
The new restaurant inside the Embassy Suites is making a conscious effort to involve the Tampa community in its menu, using local businesses like Jamison B, Revolution Ice Cream, Joe & Sons Olive Oils and the Deviled Pig to supply ingredients. Dishes like the crisp skin salmon with farro, Niman Ranch burger with Nueske’s bacon, and sambal chili wings incorporate international flavors, while the beer list is hyper-local — highlighting brews from local breweries like Coppertail, 7venth Sun and 3 Daughters.
513 S. Florida Ave.
Gen X Tavern
Party on, Tampa! Gen X Tavern celebrates the ‘80s and ‘90s with decade-appropriate décor (think retro games, posters and photos honoring the generation’s pop culture icons, and a mural with more than 170 cultural references) and a comfort food-focused menu (bar bites, tacos, sandwiches and burgers, and salads and bowls). Cocktail and shot options stick to the theme name-wise, including a rum-based Adult Capri-Sun, but incorporate modern ingredients, while desserts are just plain fun — Dunkaroos, anyone?
103 E. Jackson St.
The Boozy Pig
Founded by the owners of Tampa’s Tambuzzo Sausage Company, this butcher shop and eatery uses almost solely house-made or locally sourced ingredients for its prepared dishes. For breakfast, that means a breakfast Cubano on La Segunda Central Bakery bread with house chorizo or the choose-your-own Boozy Plate option. The mid-day menu can vary a bit from day to day based on product availability, but options typically include a house-made wagyu beef hot dog, a charcuterie board and made-to-order sandwiches like the Giuseppe Joe (sausage, onions and peppers), El Mixto (Cuban sandwich) and BLT.
3255 W. Cypress St.
Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
At International Plaza, Whiskey Cake is doing fresh, scratch-made dishes like chicken and waffles, meat and fish grilled over mesquite wood, salads, burgers and sandwiches. The restaurant keeps its own on-site herb garden and has partnered with local companies like Birds of a Feather Coffee and Gulf Coast Sourdough to source some of its ingredients. Behind the bar you’ll find hundreds of different whiskies, along with craft beers, cocktails and wines.
2223 N. Westshore Blvd.
After a fire last spring forced the Greek restaurant to close for over a year, Louis Pappas’ South Tampa location has finally reopened. All your favorites are still on deck, like the Greek salad, spanakopita and gyros.
3409 W. Bay to Bay Blvd.