If you have ever been on a cruise ship, you already know it’s an amazing time all around. Whether it’s the new cultures you’ve experienced while cruising, the endless cruise ship food, swimming and events, but you’re just not ready to go home yet, but you only have a few hours before your flight leaves from the airport. What to do? Well, food always makes us happy, so we’ve put together a post for you about some of the top places to dine in Tampa before you depart back to the normal, working 8-5. Check out these great places to dine in Tampa near the airport and cruise port terminals.
Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café made the list for two reasons. One, it’s located inside the airport – if your flight is only delayed an hour or two, this is a perfect place to go grab an American classic cheeseburger and fries, while enjoying the high-energy vibe and memorabilia on throughout the restaurant. Second reason, it’s the ‘Hard Rock Café.’ If you’ve never been to one, it’s something you need to experience at least once in your lifetime, so why not kill two birds with one stone and grab a meal accompanied with some music history and maybe even some live music too!
Just east of the airport off the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Bahama Breeze is a laid-back Caribbean eatery chain that offers tropical cocktails, beachy décor, and of course some of the best Caribbean entrees you’ll ever eat. Happy hour is from 4-6pm Monday through Friday, and with a 12am closing time, even if you have to stay in Tampa overnight, this may be the place for you to have a cocktail or two. Their ‘Late Night’ happy hour is from 9pm to close, embrace it. Assuming you enjoy some seafood, we recommend the lobster and shrimp quesadilla or coconut shrimp.
Oystercatchers or Armani’s
Trying to stay near the airport to avoid traffic jams, head over to the Grand Hyatt just outside the Tampa airport, these are perfect places to cozy down for the night and enjoy some premium steak and seafood. We’ve included these two on the list in case you have only a few hours. Located in the Grand Hyatt just east of the airport, Oystercatchers and Armani’s are great places to sit down and absorb the amazing views of the Tampa Bay.
Mitchell’s Fish Market
This American seafood restaurant chain was founded in Ohio the late 1990’s and has been proudly serving top of the line seafood since day one. Mitchell’s Fish Market has only one location in Florida, and it’s located just south of the airport in the WestShore Plaza. The menu boasts a wide variety of options including raw fish, cooked seafood, gluten-sensitive foods, and one of our favorites, bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp. If you’re able to have a seat at this stylish upmarket chain, be sure to order one of their happy-hour martinis as well.
On a business trip? Getting off the plane with your nice slacks and a tie? The Rusty Pelican is a sophisticated bar and grill offering formal dining with waterfront views. Trust us, you won’t feel over-dressed in this proper seafood restaurant setting, we recommend more of a dress to impress approach here. (Also perfect for an upscale date). Have a look at the sunset menu which offers a delicious three-course prestige dinner with an appetizer, entrée, and multiple dessert options.
Tampa, AKA ‘The Big Guava,’ is an amazing city with unprecedented culture and endless things to do – and never a short supply of seafood. Even if you’re only visiting Tampa for a few hours on a layover, it’s also a great place to live. If you enjoy the warm tropical weather, search available Tampa houses for sale and look at becoming a permanent resident.