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The Tampa guide to cheap eats

Facade of Xtreme Tacos restaurant with outdoor patio

Here in Tampa, you don’t need to empty your wallet to enjoy a bite of high-quality, fresh bites. Our food scene is abundant in options that offer a taste of the world, one cheap eat at a time. From Temple Terrace to the streets of downtown, you can find authentic Cuban sandwiches, Ethiopian fare, and even a 24-hour diner for milkshakes and burgers. Tampa’s most affordable dining destinations are rich in history and a love for the community, making every meal an adventure. This is how we dine in Tampa without compromising on taste or budget.

Xtreme Tacos

5609 N Nebraska Ave
A family business, Xtreme Tacos brings Tijuana-style dishes with Mexican-American flair to Seminole Heights. Every time you visit, you can expect tortillas and salsas freshly made from that morning. Choose from their list of meat and vegetable options to top off your tacos, burritos, rice bowls, tostadas, and more. Searching for a taste of Florida? Go with their beer-battered grouper fish. Don’t forget to cool off with one of their Mexican sodas or a cup of horchata, a sweet and creamy Mexican rice drink.

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Queen of Sheba

11001 N 56th St
Need an introduction to Ethiopian food? There’s no better spot than Queen of Sheba in Temple Terrace. Most dishes here are stewed and steeped in spices, and you’ll use their pancake-like bread, called Injera, to wrap around the food. Though don’t let that intimidate you–forks are gladly provided upon request. Vegetarians will rejoice with Sheba’s meatless offerings, and if you have the time, be sure to take part in their coffee ceremony, where you can watch the coffee beans be washed, roasted, ground, and served.

Grab your donuts, coffee, and more from the SuperNatural pick-up window out front.
SuperNatural storefront in downtown Tampa | Photo via SuperNatural Food & Wine (FB)

SuperNatural Food & Wine

305 E Polk St
Although SuperNatural whips up some of the best breakfast and lunch sandwiches around, the real draw is their freshly made donuts. Made fresh Tuesday through Saturday with limited quantities available, make your way to SuperNatural early to secure your spot in line. While you’re there, the bacon, egg and cheddar sandwich is guaranteed to start your day off right. For a midday bite, their Italian Stallion sandwich is one of the bests in the neighborhood. Snag a bottle of one of their natural wines before you head out to continue your day.

West Tampa Sandwich Shop

3904 N Armenia Ave
When you go to the West Tampa Sandwich Shop, you should go with one sandwich in mind: their famous original honey Cuban sandwich. Known as the “Obama Sandwich,” this take on the classic Cuban jumped to notoriety when President Obama ordered it back in 2012. And if you happen to have room for more, their ropa vieja sandwich serves up a worthy opponent. Cuban-inspired entrees, soups, sides, and sweets rule here, from a variety of empanadas and croquetas to flan and dulce de leche.

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LPCX Cafe's breakfast wrap with crispy fries and a refreshing juice is the perfect way to kick off your day.
Breakfast wrap at LPCX Cafe | Photo via LPCX Cafe (FB)

LPCX Cafe

6204 N Armenia Ave
For a traditional Colombian breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a quick bite, LPCX Cafe is serving quality eats with fresh ingredients. Order their classic Colombian calentado breakfast platter which comes complete with arepa, rice and beans, chorizo and eggs. If you’re a late riser, their tostones mixtos or pandebono sliders won’t disappoint. And while they offer a range of coffees, teas, and juices, you’ll also find sangria, mimosas, and wine available.

Three Coins Diner

7410 N Nebraska Ave
Comfort diner food meets homestyle cooking in this 24-hour Seminole Heights go-to. Opening in 1984, their menu is as long as their history with no-frills favorites, like the Stromboli omelette, Reuben sandwich, and homemade meatloaf. No trip to Three Coins Diner is complete without a stop by their dessert case, where you’ll find freshly baked cakes and pies. For a genuine diner experience, we recommend closing the meal with their banana split or rice pudding.

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