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Tampa’s Peruvian hotspot, Happy Fish, named one of America’s top hidden gems

exterior of a restaurant with an orange exterior

Happy Fish is one of Tampa’s best restaurants, and a resplendent space to experience some of the finest Peruvian cuisine in the state. Stick around for the Picarones (a Peruvian-style doughnut). TripAdvisor recently released its list of the 25 Best Hidden Gem restaurants in America, and Happy Fish made the cut. If you’ve never been before, you can find the restaurant at 4046 North Armenia Avenue.

“Happy Fish Peruvian Fusion Restaurant offers authentic Peruvian fusion cuisine in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere,” writes the TripAdvisor Traverler’s Choice team. “Dishes include tostones, shrimp, salad, paella, octopus, mussels, ceviche, and calamari.”


The judges also applaud Happy Fish for its huge portions and excellent service. It’s the epitome of what a Tampa restaurant should be.

Fresh scallops on the shell covered with melted parmesan cheese

Peruvian cuisine is one of our favorite delights to indulge in in Tampa. Roasted meats are often accompanied by both rice and seasoned potatoes. The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes, and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa, and kiwicha), and legumes (beans and lupins). 

Happy Fish sets the gold standard with dishes like Olluco de Carne, Peruvian potatoes, and beef served with a silo of white rice. The restaurant also serves up a generous ceviche platter along with a delicious version of Pescado a Lo Macho or fried fish with octopus, squid, and shrimp served with rich broth and rice.


Fried cassava sticks served with homemade fresh creamy cheesy mild sauce garnished with a half boiled egg green leaf lettuce and a black olives.

Happy Fish first opened in 2013, and has since introduced the city to Peruvian gastronomy. The gregarious owners wrote the following on their website:

“Thank you for preferring our restaurant; we are proud to have the best fish and Peruvian food in the area with the greatest Inca secrets and flavors that will make you experience Peruvian gastronomy and culture. Enjoy with your family and friends our facilities, events, live music performances, and of course, our quality service and delicious recipes from the heart of Peru. Come and delight your taste. See you soon!”

Fettucine a la huancaina con bistec

Popular dishes:

  • Choros a la Chalaca: Mussels seasoned in citrus juice, topped w / onions, tomatoes and corn
  • Salchipapa: Fried hot dog sliced with fries
  • Leche de Tigre: Tiger’s milk diced fish and onions marinated in lemon juice
  • Chaufa de Carne: Peruvian-style beef fried rice
  • Bistec Romana c/ Jamon y Queso: Palomilla steak topped w/ ham and melted cheese
  • Chupe de Mariscos: Milk and seafood broth mix seafood, cheese and poached egg
  • Picarones: Peruvian doughnuts drizzled w/ sweet syrup

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