Tampa Lunch Restaurants for Local Food and Good Times

Tampa’s diverse population makes is a hot spot for rich flavors and creative cuisine. Area restaurants serve everything from healthy fast-food to international favorites. Why not take a mid-day break and try a couple? If that sounds fun, read about the best Tampa lunch restaurants and what to eat.

Tampa Lunch Restaurants Offer Local Dishes and Relaxed Vibes

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Wright’s Gourmet House

For more than 60 years, Wright’s Gourmet House has served the community fresh sandwiches and salads for lunch. They even developed a special dough to create bucket bread and serve hundreds of sandwiches every day.

Gourmet sandwiches include turkey martini, Rubens, golden gate with pork, grilled cheese and tomato, and veggie, to name a few. Guests may select from dozens of options and enjoy them grilled, cold, hot or toasted. Salad options range from turkey and pecan to Greek and tuna. In addition, Wright’s offers a large selection of cupcakes, cake slices and pie.

Fresh Kitchen Tampa

With a focus on fresh, healthy options, Fresh Kitchen Tampa takes a spin on traditional fast food. All items are gluten-free and made in the kitchen every day. This makes it easy for guests to enjoy whole foods.

Fresh Kitchen Tampa specializes in bowls. Visitors may start with a base of rice, lettuce or potatoes. Then add roasted vegetables, meat and plant-based proteins, sauces, and cheese. With so many options, guests are welcome to create their own catered to dietary needs. For the ultimate lunch, pair the bowl with fresh pressed juice, homemade tea or Fresca.

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Columbia Restaurant

Located in Ybor City, Columbia Restaurant has transformed into one of the largest Spanish restaurants in the U.S. For more than 115 years, this spot has ranked among the best Tampa lunch restaurants for Cuban food and atmosphere.

Start with their famous house 1905 salad. Then select from Cuban sandwiches, tapas, or large entrees. Classics include family recipes with pork, steak, seafood and chicken. In addition, the restaurant offers a spin on American favorites such as crab cakes and Ybor City deviled crab.

Happy Fish

Happy Fish is a Peruvian restaurant. This spot combines Peruvian flavors with local seafood.

Appetizers include yuca, fried calamari, plantain cups and mussels. For the main course, visitors have a selection of soups, steaks, chicken and seafood. House specialties feature pork, tripe, octopus, slow-cooked meats and seafood. Many come with vegetables, rice, potatoes or pasta.

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The C House

The C House, located in Seminole Heights, offers a modern atmosphere with a menu full of items that start with the letter C.

Visitors will find a selection of cheese and charcuterie made with seasonal items and handpicked by chefs. To share food with loved ones, try the wings or Canadian fries. Other menu items include burgers, chicken breasts, crawfish, sea bass and steak. The C House also has live music and supports local businesses.

Del Frisco’s Grille

This steakhouse is one of the best Tampa lunch restaurants for its energy and eclectic menu. Over the years, it has grown to have multiple locations in the U.S.

The lunch menu has items perfect for sharing. Favorites include cheese-steak egg rolls or a flatbread. Main course options range from soups and salads to seafood and handhelds. Del Frisco’s Grille also has signature steaks such as top sirloin, ribeyes and filet mignon.

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For casual vibes and pub food, head to Datz. This spot is a must for craft beer and fan favorites. Datz Tampa also serves breakfast.

The lunch menu has salads and appetizers such as Datchos and mac bites. Those searching for hearty lunches should try street tacos, stuffed meatloaf, chicken bowl, burgers and sandwiches. Options feature chicken, pulled pork, brisket and plant-based. Additionally, many menu items have been showcased on Food Network and Southern Living magazine.

Oxford Exchange

Oxford Exchange provides guests a European dining experience. Visitors also have access to a bookstore, gift store, venue and design studio. However, it’s the restaurant that keeps people coming back for lunch.

Oxford Exchange serves breakfast all day and traditional lunchtime goodies. Dips, salads and soups provide a great place to start. For the main entree, try some burgers, sandwiches, fish tacos or flatbread. Those who want breakfast will enjoy the simple breakfast sandwich, French toast or OE classic.

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