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Restaurant News

A Taste of Tampa Bay

A glimpse at the people and places that make up our vibrant food scene.


  1. Restaurant review: Noble Crust's second location is a boon to booming Wesley Chapel

    Food & Dining


    Wesley Chapel is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, due to the perfect cocktail of available and affordable land, broad but upwardly mobile demographics and easy access to other parts of Tampa Bay. And while malls and brick-and-mortar retail centers have taken a big hit in …

    The pizzas could use some refining at this location. Crusts struggled to stay crisp under toppings that were too heavy.
  2. Vinoy reinvents Fred's Cellar for one night Thursday as a fundraiser for Puerto Rico

    Food & Dining

    The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort's Fred's Cellar has been underutilized for some time, starting as a private club for members and more recently re-envisioned as a speakeasy. But here's something — for one night only — that seems to be a glorious repurposing of the grand space.

    The pink tower of the historic Mediterranean Revival-style Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club. SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES
  3. Chef behind Ricky P's is taking over the kitchen at Tampa's Roux

    Food & Dining

    Rick Parsons has been moving around St. Petersburg for some time.

    Rick Parsons prepares New Orleans-style po boy sandwiches at his business in 2009. SCOTT KEELER   |  Times
  4. From Brews by the Bay to the Slider Showdown, this week is all about food fights

    Food & Dining



    Dive into the Brews by the Bay beer and food festival, a benefit for the Florida Aquarium's education, animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. Enjoy the aquarium's exhibits as you nibble dishes from restaurants like Ciccio Water and Bavaro's Pizza, sip coffee from Buddy Brew and try …

    Lounge in sofas and armchairs while you enjoy top-shelf cocktails, a culinary feast and entertainment, intimately illuminated with LED towers and lamps.
  5. Tampa Bay's first geek bar is for Star Trek and Harry Potter, not the NFL

    Food & Dining

    LARGO — It happened not long after Tampa Bay's first "geek bar" opened its doors. Someone, perhaps one of the guys who frequented the Irish pub that used to be there, asked the question the new owners knew was coming: "Can you put the game on?"

    View from behind the bar looking out to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry decor in the Harry Potter booth at Waypoint 6 Tavern & Geekery at 9057 Ulmerton Rd in Largo. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  6. Why is s'mores such a hot flavor right now?

    Food & Dining

    Do you smell that? A scent engineered to whoosh us back to the crisp air and crackling leaves of our childhoods? Preferably one around a campfire, wooden stick in hand and smoke filling the air?

    The Campfire Story at Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar: chocolate bitters, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla bean syrup, espresso and marshmallow in a smoke glass.  (Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
  7. Restaurant review: Bob Heilman's Beachcomber on Clearwater Beach is an oldie and, yes, still a goodie

    Food & Dining


    The packet's front is stamped: "LIBRARY MATERIALS MAY NOT BE CHECKED OUT OVERNIGHT." It is chubby, gapping with yellowed St. Petersburg Times clippings date-stamped, the restaurant name underlined in red grease pencil. Bob Heilman's Beachcomber had a whole lot of clippings in 1959, the year …

    Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber has been a Clearwater Beach mainstay since 1948.
  8. Dough Nation cookie dough shop now open in Tampa: Eat delicious dough for a sweet cause

    Food & Dining

    Cookie dough isn't just for pints of ice cream any more.

    Dough Nation is set to open in downtown Tampa. [Metropolitan Ministries on Facebook]
  9. Alessi Bakery rolls back prices to 1912 this week

    Food & Dining

    This weekend, Tampa's historic Alessi Bakery throws its own birthday party, and it will require a lot of candles.

    Alessi Bakery in 1996. Times files.
  10. After delays, Bulla Gastrobar open in South Tampa

    Food & Dining


    Bulla Gastrobar, a Florida-based restaurant by Centurion Restaurant Group, joined the mix of bars and eateries in the South Howard corridor. Known for its fun, communal atmosphere, imaginative cocktail program and contemporary takes on shareable Spanish cuisine, Bulla opened last Thursday at 930 S. Howard Avenue in Tampa at the Morrison.
  11. Tampa's the Hall on Franklin has a little something for everyone

    Food & Dining


    In the way it took many of us a while to understand that a contemporary food truck was capable of driving metaphorical circles around the old-school "roach coach," there's a learning curve with the food halls that have proliferated in American urban centers. They are not, for instance, like mall food courts …

    Clockwise from top left are the Cali signature melt from Melt Shoppe, oysters from Heights Fish Camp, a dessert tapas tray from Bake’n Babes and kimchi waffles from North Star Eatery.
  12. Three ways to get your beer on this weekend: Halfway There Beer Festival, Oktoberfest

    Food & Dining


    Could it be that Irma made folks thirsty? With October(fest) approaching, there are a bunch of ways to heft a pint or two in celebration of the season.


    More than 500 craft beer lovers attended the Halfway There Rare Beer Festival on Sept. 7, 2013 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.
  13. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  14. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic


    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  15. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.