Food Highlights in Tampa Bay

Back in April, Jake and I went to visit our friend Chris and attend his wedding! We were only there for a few days but here are the food highlights from our quickie trip to Tampa.

La Teresita

The first place we went to was a revisit! I loved La Teresita Cafe so much and I remembered it fondly from our last trip. Chris made sure to bring us here once more!

I got a delicious Cafe con Leche with breakfast.

Which consisted of these wonderful croquetas. They are ham inside!

They almost look like mozzarella sticks – but nope – they are instead filled with ground up ham instead of cheese. 

Chris ordered these Plantain Chips which came with an AMAZING garlic sauce on the side. I ate more of these than I should have because I couldn’t get enough of the garlic sauce. The plantain chips were savory, crunchy, and a yummy addition to our meal. We ate some other stuff, but these are the best highlights from La Teresita!

Hooray for being in Tampa again with our buddy, Chris and revisiting La Teresita Restaurant!

Dough

Next stop was at a place called Dough. Chris wanted to bring us here the last time we came out but we ran out of time and weren’t able to do it.

DONUTS GALORE

Also lots of cupcakes and cakes and cookies and bars and man… this place was dessert heaven!

Oh yeah. Cake pops, too. I don’t really like cake pops though. Am I the only one? I want to taste the cake more than a cake laced with a lot of frosting.

The items we ended up ordering. Which was too much and it took us a few days to finish these babies off. One is a key lime donut, another is an old fashioned, plus a crumb powdered donut, and a maple bacon bar. Oh and a magic bar. That was for Chris. They had a really good variety of desserts and donuts here at Dough – it’s a solid choice for anyone with a sweet tooth! 

I spy my fiancé at Dough.

Babushka’s

I would come to Babushka’s just for the name and the logo of the cute grandma! 

It was a very home-y feeling restaurant with the knick-knacks and scenes of a forest on the wall (plus the wood paneling that made it feel like you were sort of in a log cabin).

We basically ate a bunch of delicious dumplings here. The above has farmer’s cheese and bits of cherries and butter in the bowl. These were boiled. You had options on what style you wanted – boiled, pan fried, etc.

These beef pelmeni was our hands down favorite thing. It’s stuffed dumplings with beef filling and a dollop of sour cream on top. We got these pan fried.

This was the leftover “sauce” at the bottom of the bowl. We were given rye bread at the beginning of the meal and if I liked rye bread, I would have dipped it into this leftover sauce. But instead I dipped french fries into it and that was delicious, too. 

Maple Street Biscuit Company

We took a Lyft for breakfast the next day to pop over to Maple Street Biscuit Company before the wedding the next day. Maple Street was pretty hopping by the time we got there! It was early enough that we were able to sit outdoors before it got to be too hot and humid. 

Iced coffee is my jam and this was a tasty version.

An overview of our shared breakfast which contained biscuits with sausage gravy, hash browns, and chicken + waffles.

And while all of those dishes were fine, good, run of the mill, whatever – the KILLER item at Maple Street were these maple meatballs. We had to wait maybe 10 minutes or so for these because they ran out and had to make a new batch. They were really fresh and hot and HOLY BALLS GOOD. They apologized for the wait and gave us a $5 gift card to come back in the future which would really be good for two sides of these delicious meatballs. Great customer service and I would honestly come back just to eat these meatballs again. And again. YUM. 

Wedding Break

Look at us. All dressed up and stuff.

Okay. Back to food. 😀

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe

My friend, Amy, lives out in Tampa as well so she and her husband were nice enough to come and pick us up and take us to breakfast at Keke’s Breakfast Cafe.

One golden, fluffy pancake for me, please!

Plus poached eggs (which are weirdly rounded) and sausage links. Good links!

Jake also got the pancake breakfast thing but he got over medium eggs and bacon instead. I liked the links better. 

Krystal

On our way to the beach, Chris took us to a quick drive through for some snacks at Krystal. It’s kind of like White Castle. But better, if you ask me! 

Hello you little steamed hamburger with lots of yummy onions! These are small and snack size so you can just order them in bundles. I think I only had two. I was still full-ish from breakfast. Good stuff though, I liked these more than the White Castle I tried in Illinois. 

La Cabaña del Tio 

Post Clearwater beach meal that Chris really really wanted to bring us to and I’m super glad he did was at a little spot in a strip mall called La Cabaña del Tio.

Mexican food! Normally we don’t eat Mexican food outside of San Diego but Chris said it was the closest he could find to San Diego Mexican food.

We sat at the counter here and watched them make everything from scratch. The tortillas were hand pressed. The empanadas were made on the spot. Anything requiring masa dough was made after you ordered it, making for some really tender and fresh food.

The meat was seasoned so well and was super delicious – it really hit the spot!

My favorite item was the empanadas. I loved being able to see them make it right on the spot and they were perfectly fried and crispy. We got multiple fillings.

This was the chicken empanada. It doesn’t look like much but the meat was tender and the dough was so flaky! 

Definitely a place to revisit on a future trip to Tampa! It would give a lot of places here in town a run for their money since they do it right by making everything FRESH. 

Those are the food highlights from our Tampa trip! Fun times!

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 12+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

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