Since 1976, Wine Spectator has been helping wine lovers source good wine and awarding restaurants with exceptional selections. Winners of the magazine’s annual Restaurant Awards fall into three categories – Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence and Grand Award – the highest accolade.
Fourteen Tampa restaurants were awarded, as well as many more across Tampa Bay. Scroll through the list and plan your next wine night. Wine Spectator’s list only confirms what we already knew – Tampa Bay is an exquisite place to enjoy wine.
Bern’s Steak House
As Tampa’s premier destination for fine dining, impeccable steaks and world-class wines, Bern’s reputation precedes itself. Bern’s is the only restaurant on this list awarded Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. Under 100 restaurants hold this title, reserved only for restaurants with “an uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program” and “the highest level of wine service. Bern’s has a collection of over 500,000 bottles stored on-site and its wine list consists of 6,500 wines from around the world.
Grand Award, since 1981
The Capital Grille
The Capital Grille is one of many upscale steakhouses that made the cut this year. With a selection of over 500 wines on hand, The Capital Grille proves that putting wine at the forefront of your program is an award-winning recipe for Tampa’s steakhouses.
Best of Award of Excellence, since 2016
Charley’s Steak House
Charley’s offers everything you could want from a classic American steakhouse, plus great wines. In this classic chophouse, 505 selections of wine are available to choose from.
Best of Award of Excellence, since 2005
Cipresso serves up Italian cuisine at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino, including traditional and modern Italian dishes in a sleek, stylish setting. Their selection of wine totals 300, focusing on Italian varietals and other Old World offerings, perfect pairings for pizza and pasta.
Award of Excellence, since 2020
As Florida’s oldest restaurant, Columbia has been cooking traditional Spanish cuisine since 1905. An award-winning destination, its wine list consists of over 1,000 selections. (The list is over 300 pages long). Columbia believes that the relationship between food and wine is essential to cultivating a memorable dining experience. With the owners traveling to Spain two or three times a year, Columbia’s wine list illustrates the depth of knowledge the Gonzmart family possesses about Spanish wines.
Best of Award of Excellence, since 2004
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
Council Oak is the resident steakhouse at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino. One of our top steakhouses for 2022, Council Oak excels at wine just as much as they do in the kitchen. This sophisticated American steakhouse offers a selection of 405 wines in its wine room.
Best of Award of Excellence, since 2020
The newest local addition to Wine Spectator’s list, local wine and dining concept Cru Cellars skipped the Award of Excellence and received the elevated Best Award of Excellence for their carefully crafted selections.
With three locations across Tampa and 325 wines to choose from, Cru has become a popular local spot for affordable quality wines and delicious fresh prepared dishes. They are located in Palma Ceia, Westshore Marina and Armature Works. Cru’s mission from the beginning has remained the same – serving small-production wines and creating community.
Cru Cellars has a robust program of wine dinners, classes and events. This past fall, it launched and sold out its first wine festival, Fet Du Vin, donating 50,000 meals to Feeding Tampa Bay from the proceeds.
Best Award of Excellence, since 2022
Del Frisco’s Grille
Conveniently located in the heart of Tampa’s Westshore Business District, Del Frisco’s is a steakhouse serving modern American cuisine and drinks in an upscale setting. It’s a chain restaurant focused on steaks, seafood and wines – as such, it carries 300 selections for visitors to choose from.
Award of Excellence, since 2015
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Just a stone’s throw away from International Plaza and Bay Street, Eddie V’s is a popular location for lovers of quality seafood. It carries a selection of 300 wines to enhance its guests’ fine dining experience.
Award of Excellence, since 2019
Owned by the culinary masterminds behind Bern’s Steak House, Haven may be Bern’s little sister, but its wine selection of 500 varieties speaks for itself.
A refined modern American restaurant with a stylish atmosphere, our 2022 Best of South Tampa voters have also recognized Haven for its happy hour, old fashions, delicious charcuterie, appetizers and best bartender.
Best Award of Excellence, since 2007
A chic and sophisticated steakhouse experience, Meat Market is known for impeccable steakhouse cuisine and its glamorous atmosphere. It’s no surprise that its wine selection is equally as impressive.
“Our wines cater to even the most complex palate and indulgent diner,” COO Sebastien Tribout says. “I sit down with the wine director and we make a list for our guests, taking into consideration the demographics visiting our restaurant, the tastes of our frequent guests, what wines will complement our food selections and what the chef is offering that month.”
Meat Market’s offerings are diverse by type and region. It offers 360 selections, mainly from California and France.
Award of Excellence since 2020
The Rez Grill
The Rez Grill is Seminole Hard Rock’s contemporary American restaurant with a southern twist. The Rez is one of three fine dining restaurants at the Hard Rock recognized by Wine Spectator. With a smaller selection of 95 wines, there are many local and international varietals to choose from.
Award of Excellence, since 2018
In the Westshore Business District, Seasons 52 is a casual contemporary restaurant serving American cuisine. It’s a perfect option for an affordable lunch or dinner in a comfortable atmosphere, and with 90 selections, you’re sure to find a wine pairing to complement your meal.
Award of Excellence, since 2011
717 South Restaurant
Located in Hyde Park, this chic American eatery focuses on fresh dishes prepared with local ingredients, including hormone-free poultry and sustainably harvested seafood. To complement its offerings, 717 South offers 350 wine selections.
Award of Excellence recipient, since 2019
Still thirsty? Check out Wine(d) Down, a selection of places in Tampa to grab a glass of wine.