The Tampa Date Night Guide

It’s always the season of love in the city of Tampa. These are the most romantic restaurants in the city to enjoy a lovely night out.

Looking for something outside of restaurants?

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The Cake Drip in Hyde Park can bring your dessert dreams to life.

The Candle Pour is a lovely DIY candle shop that offers fabulous experiences for groups.

You can even take a course and learn how to craft and bottle your own bourbon at Dark Door Spirits.

If you have an adventurous spirit, we highly recommend linking up with Urban Kai.

You can’t miss a chance to enjoy an excursion on the Yacht Starship Cruise.

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Of course, is there anything better than dinner and a movie? There’s something magical about a night at The Tampa Theatre.

Sommelier Hideaway

6072 Van Dyke Road

The new premier wine bar in Lutz officially opened in October 2020. The owners first teased its arrival in the fall of 2019. For the Lutz community, Sommelier Hideaway offers a tranquil escape. The bar features exquisite accoutrement for wine connoisseurs to explore their passion. If you’re new to the wide world of wine, the wine bar can also serve as a fun classroom to refine your palate. 

You’ll find more than 100 different wines on the menu at Sommelier Hideaway. You can enjoy any by the glass or bottle, and you can even take your favorite labels home from their well stocked retail section. The menu itself ranges from approachable to refined. Yes, you will find the best $30 bottles of wine for sale here, or you can take a look at the reserve list where bottles run around $180.

Bern’s Steakhouse & Harry Waugh Dessert Room

1208 S Howard Avenue

This one goes without saying, right? Bern’s Steakhouse, and its subsequent dessert room are two of the biggest legends in the city of Tampa. Enjoy a massive wine selection, some of the finest steak in the Sunshine State, and definitely save room for the baked Alaska.

Don’t forget, the expected attire is semiformal at this restaurant.

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Flor Fina

1412 E 7th Ave

The Hotel Haya, designed by Alfonso Architects Incorporated, is now open and is one of the most stunning gems in the entire Tampa Bay region.

The restaurant features a live-fire grill and an ever-evolving rotation of ceviches. Flor Fina is crowned by the warming glow of the bar’s golden-hued ceiling, ample spaces to lounge, and an expansive array of cocktails crafted to inspire long, rum-soaked conversations.

Meat Market Tampa

1606 W Snow Avenue

The Meat Market is the best steakhouse in South Florida — and now it might be the best brunch spot in all of Tampa. The chic restaurant just debuted a new lunch and brunch menu, brimming with cocktails and mocktails for your sipping pleasure.

The Meat Market’s drink menu features cocktails almost too pretty to drink. The non-alcoholic Magic Lemonade is a dreamy lavender drink with fresh lemon juice, and butterfly pea flower. 

If you want savor the sweet nectar of summer, go with the One in a Melon. The mocktail features watermelon, lime, lavender, mint and seltzer. The Churrasco and Frites, and the Petite Prime Ribeye with sweet potato puree are both choice options for Tampa-area carnivores. 

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You have to save room for dessert, because Meat Market serves up super soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with ice cold milk and it’s a pure nostalgia bomb of sweet flavor.

Mis En Place

442 W Kennedy Boulevard

A love of food, drink, and hospitality has been inspiring the Mis En Place since 1986 to bring this city innovative modern cuisine that is rooted in the French.

A recent renovation provides an ultra contemporary setting for Mis En Place to joyfully serve you. Their wine list seeks to celebrate their food and your special occasion. The Cocktail Program is about the classics made well and our own seasonal inventions.

Olivia Restaurant

3601 West Swann Ave

This restaurant is billed as offering traditional Italian cuisine with a modern flair. Make sure to start with the polenta fries. This starter is dusted with parmesan and served with a special pomodoro sauce. 

The Coccoli Fritto is also a major crowd pleaser. It’s basically a fried bread ball served with super savory prosciutto. There’s also a list of different charcuterie boards available if you want to have your fill before you have your fill. I certainly approve of this.

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On Swann

1501 W Swann Avenue

On Swann is lovely, pure and simple. Its open kitchen concept delivers a slew of shareable plates perfect for date night. The pomme frites and marinated olives are light, savory delights. 

Date nights are for getting cheesy, so I highly recommend you indulge in the cheese board that also includes cured meats, country pate, and duck rilette. 

At On Swann, you’re in for arguably one of the best dinners overall in Tampa Bay. Whether you go for the ribeye, scallops, or Portuguese chicken, you’ll be nourished in a way you never thought possible.

Oxford Exchange

420 W Kennedy Boulevard

Beautiful atmosphere, exquisite eats, and just a short stroll from the Tampa Riverwalk, what more do you need? Oxford Exchange is a of course one of the premier brunch spots in the entire state, but its ambience and allure extends beyond the morning meal.

Truth be told, this would be an early date night. The Oxford Exchange closes at 5:30pm. But an early meal gives you opportunity to enjoy a sunset stroll around Downtown Tampa. What’s more romantic than that?

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Rocca

323 W Palm Ave

Rocca offers warm and welcoming hospitality paired with views of the Tampa skyline.

Chef Bryce Bonsack’s handmade pasta-focused menu features Italian fare with regional Florida ingredients as its inspiration. Bonsack graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in New York. After leaving, he decided to open a pasta-focused restaurant using the knowledge he gained working in New York. Chef Bonsack then traveled to Italy to learn the realities of Italian cooking.

Rome & Fig

317 N Rome Avenue

“We’re proud to be owner and chef led, infusing more than 20 years of industry knowledge and service into every globally inspired meal,” the Rome & Fig team notes on its website.

Fixtures of the meticulously designed restaurant features coastal chic accents, an intimate view of Rome & Fig’s open-kitchen and a hand-curated vintage community table. At a time when leaving the home is a bite rare, it’s not to know a spot is striving to be something like a home away from home. 

Owners Eric and Kristene Zostant have more than 35 years of culinary experience combined.

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Mains include pan seared duck breast, bone-in ribeye, lumpia, brisket poutine, octopus fritters, and crab fondue. 

The Rusty Pelican

2425 North Rocky Point Drive

The Rusty Pelican has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful venues in the entire Tampa Bay region. Recently, and in preparation for summer, SRC has refreshed the space with soft refurbishments throughout. This includes new carpeting in the main dining room – featuring a blue and white aesthetic that mimics the ocean as well as new flooring throughout the property. 

New lighting sets the mood throughout, including in the private event spaces, which will no doubt be bustling this holiday season. The concept is already taking bookings for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Rusty Pelican features a total of six special event spaces, all displaying bay views. In fact, the combination of the breathtaking views and the polished, professional and dedicated service has garnered Rusty Pelican many accolades, including a “Couples’ Choice” Award from Wedding Wire.  

Sal Y Mar

3650 Midtown Drive

Sal Y Mar Rooftop Bar, a stylish new rooftop lounge/bar, sits atop the gorgeous dual-branded Aloft and Element Hotel

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While taking in 360-degree views of the Tampa, Westshore, and St. Petersburg skylines, guests at Sal Y Mar can experience a mouth-watering collection of tapas, from Citrus Crab Cakes and Vegetable Bruschetta, to more authentic Spanish treats such as Carne Asada Street Tacos and Pan Seared Scallops with mango puree, plantain crisp, and pico de gallo. 

The menu was created by Executive Chef Stephanie Bisogne and showcases the freshest possible local ingredients in a surprising assortment of salads and entrees, including Filet Mignon, Pan-seared Grouper, Chipotle-charred Chicken and more, along with a small selection of fresh-made desserts to provide a sweet ending to any meal. 

Timpano Hyde Park

Corner of Swann and S. Dakota Avenue

Timpano has been a Tampa staple for nearly 20 years and continues to serve as a community anchor for Hyde Park Village.

Under the culinary leadership of Executive Chef Jason Saldutti and Tavistock Restaurant’s Vice President of Food & Beverage Michael Ferraro, Timpano’s refined and elevated menu will focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and feature a comfortably chic, rustically elegant and authentic Italian dishes like housemade rigatoni with charred tomatoes and Calabrian chilies, as well as pappardelle with crispy king oysters and a white miso black truffle. Seafood and steak options will be prevalent with Waygu beef, whole branzino and the return of guest favorite skillet-roasted mussels.

Ulele

1810 N Highland Avenue

Ulele, the Tampa Heights gem from Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group, is one of the most romantic spots to dine at in America, according to Yelp.

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Ulele’s stellar pear and beet salad, addictive okra appetizer, irresistible Candied Maple Bacon ice cream with a Corn Flake Crust, and bevy of Florida-inspired entrees are unmatched.

Add to it an on site brewery, an extensive wine list, and ample indoor/outdoor seating, and you’ve crafted the perfect restaurant. It blends sophistication with comfort in a way that can add romance and whimsy to any night out. 

Plus, Ulele is right at the end of the Tampa Riverwalk in The Heights neighborhood, with a Pirate Water Taxi stop right out front. You can’t beat those Hillsborough River views.

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