16 Nov 15 Awe-inspiring Black-Owned Eateries in Tampa & St. Petersburg
Tampa & St. Petersburg are filled with landmarks honoring Black Floridians who helped make the Tampa metro great. There are so many local Black history stories that can be found on every corner of Tampa Bay. Black Floridians contributed so much to the area to inspire others and improve their communities. Their names are on schools, parks, and libraries. Many people don’t know that Tampa had its own “Black Wall Street”. Though it only covers three city blocks, it is filled with hundreds of mind blowing, historical facts. You can discover these facts on the walking tour hosted by the Tampa Bay History Center. And if you want to delve deeper into this experience of African Americans in Florida, visit the AAE Archive presented by the University of South Florida libraries.
In recent years, Tampa and St. Petersburg have attracted more and more new residents, and it’s easy to see why — the good weather, an affordable housing market, and a strong job market. With the influx of new people comes new chef talent and a higher demand for good food. There’s no shortage of good restaurants in the region, and quite a few of these amazing restaurants are indeed Black-owned businesses.
It goes without saying but supporting eateries helps support the community and the overall Tampa & St. Petersburg economy. Remember that Black Restaurant Week is more than just a week.
3920 US Hwy 301, Riverview, FL 33578
Eggs Up Grill is best known for its namesake — breakfast and brunch. Locals visit for the variety of signature omelets, the classic eggs-and-toast breakfast, or the powdered sugar-dusted Belgian waffle. They also serve a great cup of coffee, fresh juice, and a number of colorful mimosas that can be paired with breakfast. There are nearly 70 locations of this beloved Southern breakfast establishment throughout the South, and the one in Riverview is beloved.
442 W. Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL
Isaac’s World Famous Burgers claim they serve the best burger in Tampa, and with a menu of more than 15 burgers, it’s easy to find a delicious burger. There are classic burgers that are simply topped with cheese and burgers that come loaded with homemade chili and cheddar cheese or wagyu burgers that are topped with mint sauce, cilantro, and provolone. It’s a family-friendly establishment that is known for its welcoming vibe and friendly staff.
1916 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Since February 2021, Zin’s House of Flavors has been a Tampa food scene staple. The roving food truck serves Southern-style food and flavor-packed seafood to folks who line up at the truck or order delivery meals. Try the wings, which come in a number of different flavors, like lemon pepper and honey fried. Plus, it’s owned by a husband and wife team, so not only are you supporting a great Black-owned restaurant, but you’re also supporting a family business.
1930 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
In the neighborhood of East Ybor, 7th+Grove welcomes diners for Southern comfort food and tasty drinks in a space that is fit for any and all Instagram posts. It’s open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night drinks — regulars are known to order the tasty catfish nuggets, the buttermilk fried chicken, and the creamy mac and cheese. 7th+Grove regularly hosts live music and open mic nights, so guests can have a side of live entertainment with their meals.
3320 E Osborne Ave, Tampa, FL
Maria Rumlin is both the chef and owner of this popular soul food restaurant, where locals visit for the home-cooked mac and cheese, tender beef short ribs, collard greens, and more. The meals are all made with love and aim to give diners a taste of their grandma’s cooking. Located in Jackson Heights, this restaurant is often packed with fans of soul food, and if you can’t make it out for a meal, they offer delivery, too.
4205 S MacDill Ave Unit H, Tampa, FL 33611
This soul food restaurant was featured on Netflix’s Selling Tampa, and for good reason — the food is delicious, and the vibe is just as good. Expect a space that’s complete with colorful, flower-themed murals and neon lights that make the perfect photo background, and a food menu complete with decadent items like waffles in flavors like red velvet and Butterfinger. The chef and owner, Chef Ashley “Ai” Suttle, a Black woman, is a veteran who baked the army’s 241st birthday cake.
The Cookie Monster Cookie is a bakery that aims to be a place where everyone can be their true and best selves — no judgment for feeding their inner cookie monster, just inspiration for the next generation of Black leaders. These cookies come in a range of flavors that rotate with the season, but expect a variety of cookies ranging from classic chocolate chip to one-of-a-kind sweet potato marshmallow. There isn’t a brick-and-mortar shop for now, but there are pop-ups each week.
9718 N 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
The family-owned and Black-owned restaurant is one of the best eats in Tampa. The classic Caribbean dishes are favorites — order the fried plantains, oxtail, or curry goat roti. If you’re craving soul food, try the chicken and waffles, candied yams, or shrimp and grits. Chef Nadege Andre has been serving up good meals since she was a child when she started cooking for family gatherings. She also offers catering, where diners can order a variety of dishes.
7613 Causeway Blvd, Tampa, FL 33619
This soul food restaurant in Tampa is known all around for its comforting meals, whether diners are looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, the restaurant ups the ante with its waffle offerings — there’s a fried lobster and waffle on the menu (in addition to chicken and waffles), and is also known for its grits, which are available with shrimp or fish. During lunch, options range from burgers to fried turkey wings. For dinner, the stewed oxtails are always a favorite.
Beach Boulevard Flea Market, 11041 Beach Blvd., Snack Bar 2 A Row, Jacksonville, FL
Throughout the Caribbean islands, conch is a popular and delicious shellfish. It’s harder to find in the continental US, but Slim The Conch Man, a food truck, serves the delicacy to anyone who wants it (and lots of people want it). Here, find conch salads served spicy mango style or Miami style (with onion, green peppers, and tomatoes). Also, expect fried conch on the menu that comes with the choice of fries or yellow rice. The day’s location is available on Instagram.
5004 Tangerine Ave S, Gulfport, FL 33707
The waffles at Pop Goes The Waffle aren’t just any old waffles — instead, they’re liège waffles, meaning they are made with pearl sugar, giving them sweetness in every bite. Founder Sara Gerald Fludd is the owner of one of the beloved Black-owned restaurants in Tampa. The menu consists of liège waffles stuffed with chocolate bars, cinnamon toast waffles, and plant-based options, too. The waffles are available for delivery and shipping or can be freshly made at the shop, which has a bigger menu of liège waffles.
12. Roam Steakhouse & Bar
3405 34th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Brothers Christian and Joshua Jackson recently opened Roam Steakhouse & Bar, an upscale option from the duo who brought the city Reds BBQ Food Truck. At Roam Steakhouse & Bar, a new Black-owned restaurant in Tampa, find parmesan-crusted strip steak topped with creamy shrimp, lobster tail served with seafood butter, and specials like grilled swordfish. There’s also a happy hour available on select days of the week, where both drinks (like cocktails, wine, and margaritas) and food are discounted.
122 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
The food and drinks at Rose Bar Tampa are inspired by flavors from around the globe and are made with high-quality ingredients from local food producers and farmers whenever possible. The vibe is high-energy and lively, and there is excitement brewing throughout the space. Asian food is a particular focus at this restaurant, where guests can order egg rolls, bao buns, and Thai-inspired salads. For those looking for a more local dish, try red snapper or the seafood burger made with Florida fish.
1047 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33705
The menu at Copa is full of Caribbean dishes that are met with fusion elements from American cuisine, African cuisine, Asian cuisine, and more. Locals love the tapas menu for the variety of options each meal brings. Try the seared ahi tuna over a seaweed salad or the jerk tofu spring rolls. Be sure to have a drink, too, which instantly gives the feel of a Caribbean vacation through the use of fresh fruit and other tropical elements — try the tiki taka for a spicy margarita.
3401 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
The words “soul food Tampa” bring to mind Mr. B’s Southern Kitchen, a popular spot for soul food downtown. The classics are all on the menu: chicken and waffles, fried chicken, turkey wings, smothered pork chop, and more. The restaurant prides itself on being a community space for the neighborhood and for bringing people together over plates of good, home-cooked food. Visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to get that soul food fix.