Best-of Guides Tampa

The Best Cocktails in Tampa

5 Restaurants
Tropical vibes abound in the cocktails at Tampa's MICHELIN Guide restaurants, where you'll find classics with a twist.
Updated on 13 December 2023
323 W. Palm Ave., 33602 Tampa
$$ · Italian

Chef Bryce Bonsack's culinary background includes training in regional Italian cooking (the name is an homage to the Piedmontese family that took him under their wing). Naturally, there's an assortment of pastas, skillfully made in house, which showcase classic flavors and scrupulous technique, like supple tagliolini with beef ragù and 30-month-aged Parmigiano. Cocktail to try: the Negroni a la Floridian, with strawberry, Probitas Rum, amaro, vermouth, and a lemon twist.

1902 N. Ola Ave., 33602 Tampa
$$$ · Southern

Set in a space that once housed the Tampa Electrical Company's main offices, the stripped-down, industrial-chic aesthetic mirrors an air of studied nonchalance. Essentially a steakhouse with a Southern drawl, the menu here focuses on meats cooked over a blazing grill fueled by mesquite and oak. Pair them with the From Husk till Dawn— cotija-washed mellow corn whiskey, sage, lemon, Foro, genepi, and rhubarb—an interesting, delicious spin on a whisky sour.

3601 W. Swann Ave., 33609 Tampa
$$ · Italian

Although the cuisine draws heavily on classic flavors, don't expect by-the-books Italian-inspired renditions—even the simplest dishes flaunt a bit of personality. Take, for example, mini rigatoni sauced with ragù Bolognese and a dollop of herbed ricotta; it's a departure from tradition that is unlikely to draw any objections. The pizza offerings are similarly appealing, like one with truffle honey, smoky speck and scallion. To drink, a yellow tomato bloody Mary with fennel. 

1810 N. Highland Ave., 33602 Tampa
$$ · American

The menu here is a nod to Tampa's history and draws upon the various influences that have shaped the city's current culinary landscape. A bounty of seafood is featured, much of it sourced from local waters, with conventional delicacies like oysters and scallops alongside the less commonplace alligator (flash-fried or incorporated into hush puppies).
Diners can soak up views of Hillsborough River amid an outdoor sculpture garden while sipping cocktails or suds from the restaurant’s own brewery.

On Swann
1501 W. Swann Ave., 33606 Tampa
$$ · Contemporary

You’ll find nods to Spain and France here, but Italian and Southern flavors predominate, so you’re as likely to encounter ricotta salata as pimento cheese, and both grits and risotto find equal footing. Combinations of sweet and savory seem to be a specialty, as in a tomato-date sauce paired with lamb meatballs, or a fig tart with gorgonzola and caramelized onions. Brunch is particularly popular, owing, no doubt, to the ample list of tempting cocktails, including the Jaded Lens, made from reposado, Ancho Reyes, and lime-habanero syrup.