This past weekend I went to Tampa, FL for a mini friend reunion. Backstory: There are three of us who have been going to Dave Matthew’s summer tour concerts since freshman year of high school. Every year we try to come back together, and spend a night enjoying Dave’s music and ‘living our youth’. This year, Dave isn’t touring so we decided to reunite in Tampa FL (where my best friend now lives) and see Sam Hunt live!
The 72 hours went by WAY too fast & the concert was amazing! Not going to lie – I didn’t know what to expect from Tampa, but it blew my exceptions out of the water (LITERALLY – the water there is amazing). If you ever find yourself visiting, or there for a layover, be sure to check out the spots below.
FOOD – obviously the most important.
- Ciccio Water – Breakfast/Brunch. You would think a place would be a little overzealous trying to pull off serving everything from pizza to sushi, but Ciccio does it flawlessly and in a very ‘cool’ way. I enjoyed the Lean & Green Fit Bowl (made with egg whites, turkey sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onion served over a bed of fresh spinach. Sarah’s customized version: 3 whole eggs instead of whites + avocado) and a large ($8 DOLLARS – AMAZING!) Bloody Mary complete with the essentials: olive, bacon, cayenne/salt rim, celery & lemon/lime. The girls got $12 bottomless mimosas and sandwiches, served with the best fries you’ll ever have.
- Pinky’s – Breakfast/Brunch. The cutest place I’ve ever been too. Serve yourself coffee, the best menu, sweetest waitstaff, and thing amazing thing called the PANCAKE SANDWICH (ham or bacon, eggs, cheddar cheese swerved in between two pancakes with butter and syrup). My two friends got it, and it looked amazing. I stuck to the Bistro Salad (romaine mix, 2 poached eggs, crumbled crispy bacon, tomatoes, onions. Sarah’s customized version: no cheese, no dressing, added chicken & lemon juice/hot sauce as dressing).
- Green Lemon – Another hot spot. Apparently there’s one owner for a bunch of these great Tampa restaurants. This one is Mexican and guess what?! They have LETTUCE tacos, my JAM! We went for a late dinner, around 10pm, and the place was packed. My friends got the fajita bowl (skirt steak, black beans, grilled peppers, onion over rice with guaca, salsa &queso). I got four lettuce tacos: ancho chicken, carne asada, shrimp & shredded pork. My friends also gave the house mararita a 10/10 and I enjoyed my go-to drink when eating Mexican: mojito (Sarah’s customized version: no sugar. Order “only run, club soda, muddled lime & mint)
- Fresh Kitchen: Customized bowls. Compare to Dig Inn, Little Beat in NYC
- Datz: We didn’t get to go here, but it’s highly recommended. Food looks amazing, and they’re sister donut/ice cream shop Dough is right next store.
- Clearwater Beach: We went here on Saturday and it was so fun! There are two restaurant/bars right on the beach. The water is warm & clear. People were nice and everyone had enough room to swim around. Only negative was circling around for parking & those darn seagulls.
- Macdinton’s Irish Pub & The Lodge: Nightlife. The bars were packed around 11:30pm when we got there. It’s definitely a different vibe than NYC, but I didn’t mind at all. One place we went to tried to emulate like TAO (or a really metropolitan city club) by selling off tables, bring out out champagne with the sparklers. I was SHOCKED how many people were into it, even when the bar wasn’t that packed … think it’s an ego thing.
- Music: great! Lots of top 50 pop, hip hop, a little EDM/remixes thrown in
- Dress: I wore a off the shoulder bodysuit with high rise distressed shorts & wedges. Majority of the guys were in khakis & polos.
- Drink Prices: Pretty good! Around $18-19 dollars for two vodka sodas & a Bud Light.