Who doesn’t love a nice meal out at a restaurant every once in a while? It’s nice to have your selection of food and drink and no obligation to prepare the meal or clean up afterwards. If you choose the right place the food might even be better than anything you can cook up in your own home kitchen.

Some places even have a nice view, making them a great place to go on a nice warm evening when you can sit outside and enjoy the scenery. Whether you’re in the mood for a night on the town, a romantic evening with someone special, or just a good time with friends and family, you’ll be able to find something on this list that’s right up your alley. Here are some of my favorite places to eat in the Tampa Bay area:

Ocean Prime

First on my list is Ocean Prime in the Carver City area. This is one of the most highly rated spots to dine in Tampa. You can get fantastic seafood as well as plenty of options for the landlubbers out there. It’s definitely a bit on the pricier side as far as dining goes, but if you can swing it it’s well worth the quality and sophistication that they have to offer in their dishes. The ambience also brings a lot to the table. It has a modern and upscale feel that compliments the extravagant food nicely. This is a great choice for special occasions.

Happy Fish

If you’re looking for something a little more casual and affordable, then Happy Fish is another great option. Located a stone’s throw from the Hillsborough river, Happy Fish serves up Peruvian style cuisine in a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great option when you’re craving something a little different than the standard American fare. Don’t miss the picarones with lucuma ice cream for an interesting and deliciously satisfying desert.

Datz Tampa

An establishment loved by the younger generation, Datz Tampa is what people these days are commonly referring to as a “gastropub”. On the menu you’ll see appetizers like Fusion Fries (loaded with truffle oil), Nom-Noms, and Monkey Bread. The burgers are far from ordinary with all sorts of options that will make your mouth water. Tending to the younger generation of craft drink lovers, they have an extensive list of craft beers and specialty cocktails sure to get the juices flowing.

On Swann

A similar alternative to Datz Tampa for when the line gets a bit too long is On Swann, located right in downtown Tampa. They specialize in American cuisine and take pride in their seasonal menu, much of which is sourced locally. This is a casual dining spot with lots of creative food and drinks that certainly won’t disappoint for your next meal out.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Last on the list is Eddie V’s prime seafood. If you’ve done a bit of traveling then you’ll know that this establishment is a chain, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of the experience that they provide. If you’re looking for somewhere to get top-notch seafood or steak, along with live music for an enjoyable and entertaining evening, then Eddie V’s is definitely worth checking out.