23 OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS NEAR MACDILL AFB
By Rachael Fisher
IntroductionLocation, location, location! Tampa Bay, known as the heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast, is home to fresh seafood and farm-to-table fare paired with a long history of ethnic diversity that enriches our lives in many ways, but none more flavorful than its influence on food. Ybor City, the historic neighborhood once home to Cuban and Spanish cigar-factory workers, is now home to an energetic nightlife and dining scene full of Latin flavor easily accessible from the trolley and South Tampa. Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights have craft breweries that lure in hipsters and beer-lovers alike. If you know what you are hungry or thirsty for, click any of the links below to go straight to the information. (1-2) American Restaurants on MacDill AFB (3-7) Exchange Food Court on MacDill AFB (8) Seafood Restaurants on MacDill AFB (9) Fast Casual Restaurants on MacDill AFB (10-11) Yelp’s Top 2 Best Restaurants Near MacDill AFB (12-13) American Restaurants near MacDill AFB (14-15) Breweries near MacDill AFB (16) Coffee near MacDill AFB (17-18) Veteran Owned Businesses near MacDill AFB (19) Cuban Restaurants near MacDill AFB (20) Fast Casual Restaurants near MacDill AFB (21) Mexican Restaurants near MacDill AFB (22) German Restaurants near MacDill AFB (23) Steak Restaurants near MacDill AFB
Suggested Read:MacDill AFB: In-Depth Welcome Center
Restaurants on MacDill AFBAnd, because there is no place like home, we’ve included a few choice restaurants on MacDill AFB.
1. Diner’s Reef
Address: 8118 Hillsborough Loop Drive, Building. 263, MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-4998 When hunger hits, head to Diner’s Reef. Big City Grille, Super Sonic Subs, Ciao Pizza and Grains & Greens salads for tasty food served from breakfast time to midnight.
2. Rickenbacker’s Café & Bar
Address: 7637 Bayshore Blvd., Building 350, MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 828-7425 Rickenbacker's Café & Bar, inside the MacDill Inn, is open to all. Gourmet coffees and teas, espresso, breakfast sandwiches, snacks, and deli sandwiches are available from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plus, patrons can soak up local suds and cocktails when the bar opens at 3 p.m.
Exchange Food Court
Address: 3108 N. Boundary Blvd., Building 926, Tampa, FL 33608
Phone: 1 (813) 840-9005 Sometimes you just need something simple to stave off hunger pains. A quick trip to the Exchange Food Court for Dunkin Donuts, Charley's, Taco Bell, Subway or Starbucks will have you covered. Check the Exchange website for more info about restaurants on MacDill AFB.
3. Dunkin Donuts
Phone: 1 (813) 840 0511
Phone: 1 (813) 840-9005
5. Taco Bell
Phone: (813) 840-9005
Phone: 1 (813) 840 - 9005
Phone: 1 (813) 840-0511
8. SeaScapes Beach House
Address: 9951 Marina Bay Drive, Building 682, MacDill AFB, FL 33621
Phone: 1 (813) 840-1451 At the Beach House, you can enjoy seafood like a mahi-mahi wrap, fish tacos, shrimp po’boys and beer-battered fish and chips as well as burgers, salads and sandwiches all with a scenic view of Tampa Bay on the side. Cocktails and sunsets are served up daily.
Fast Casual Restaurants
9. Raw Smoothie Co.
Address: 6102 S. MacDill, Suite F, Tampa, FL 33611
Phone: 1 (813) 835-8555 Veteran-owned Raw Smoothie Co. slings all organic, green smoothies and smoothie bowls in Tampa. With a motto like “Actually Healthy,” you can bet every nutritionally dense smoothie or bowl is served with a full serving of leafy greens, whole fruit, and omega-rich seeds.
Restaurants Near MacDill AFB
Yelp’s Top 2 Best Restaurants Near MacDill AFB
10. Big Ray's Fish Camp
Address: 6116 Interbay Blvd., Tampa, FL 33611
Phone: 1 (813) 605-3615 From Tampa Bay's Ballast Point neighborhood, Big Ray's Fish Camp serves up some of the best seafood in town. Ranked No. 1 on Yelp’s Best Restaurants Near MacDill AFB, the restaurant’s fresh grouper sandwich earns high praise -- as well as the conch fritters and lobster corn dogs -- among reviewers.
11. Salt Shack on the Bay
Address: 5415 W. Tyson, Tampa, FL 33611
Phone: 1 (813) 444-4569 The Salt Shack’s fresh, seasonal seafood includes favorites such as fish tacos, lobster bisque, tuna tartare, crab cakes, and grouper sandwiches. Ranked No. 2 by Yelp’s Best Restaurants Near MacDill AFB. Head to Rattlesnake Point off the Gandy Bridge in South Tampa for good food and to soak up the natural beauty of the bay.
Address: 2616 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, FL 33629
Phone: 1 (813) 831-7000 Bacon-jalapeno mac-n-cheese buns you say? Datz’s Cheesy Todd burger is celebrated by Good Morning America for its “buns” partnered with a delectable short rib and ground brisket burger. Other house specialties include cheeseburger ravioli, stuffed meatloaf, waffles-n tweet, spaghetti-in-meatball, s’mores funnel fries, frozen cheesecake cones, and more.
Address: 1810 N. Highland Ave., Tampa, FL 33602
Pronounced You-lay-lee, this Tampa Riverwalk restaurant in the 1903 Tampa Heights Water Works building, features Native American fusion. At Ulele, you can enjoy expertly prepared local fare plucked from the Gulf Coast waters and Florida farms. Baracoa-grilled charbroiled oysters, alligator hush puppies, Florida pompano and Gulf grouper are all on the menu as well as the classics – like burgers, chicken and salads. If you are game for an uninhibited dish, try the Native chili for a taste of wild boar, venison, duck, alligator and cranberry beans. And, of course, craft brews from Ulele Spring Brewery are on tap.
Phone: 1 (813) 999-4952
14. Cigar City Brewing
Tampa International Airport Location
Address: 4100 George J. Bean Parkway, Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 1 (813) 348-6363
Downtown Tampa TapHouse Location
Address: 3924 W. Spruce Street, FL 33607
Phone: 1 (813) 348-6363 Boasting one of the world’s two active breweries inside an airport, Cigar City Brewing offers an experience unlike any other at Tampa International Airport. Travelers can enjoy beers brewed steps away from Gate C 43. Latin-inspired cuisine is offered at the bar and in the full-service dining room where guests can watch the next batch of CCB beer being brewed. Check the website for more locations.
15. Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
Ybor City Location
Address: 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 1 (813) 247-1422
Address: 13937 Monroes Business Park, Tampa, FL 33635
Phone: 1 (813) 247-1422 Tampa Bay Brewing Co. boasts “flavorful and hop-centric IPAs, APAs, expressive sours, and juicy, fruit-forward Florida-weisse.” TBBC taprooms rotate year-round favorites and seasonal releases to keep up with the demand for fermented favorites. In the heart of historic Ybor City, near the streetcar line, and minutes from downtown Tampa and Seminole Heights, TBBC’s brewhouse offers dozens of taps, beer-infused food with an outdoor bar and dog-friendly patio. The Westchase production brewery and eatery off Race Track Road, about 20 minutes from downtown, features 24 rotating taps and an outdoor patio with fire pits and a covered bar as well as beer-infused and locally-influenced eats.
16. Blind Tiger
Address: 1901 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 1 (813) 540-CAFE The Blind Tiger’s signature drink, The Dirty Thaiger, is a double shot of espresso, Thai tea and sweetened condensed milk iced and topped with cinnamon. Other popular choices are the Café Bombon’s rich, latte-style drink made with steamed sweetened condensed milk and the Espresso Bombon, a layered double-shot of espresso over equal parts sweetened condensed milk. From breakfast tacos to pastries baked in-house to caprese sandwiches and salads, there are plenty of tasty bites at Blind Tiger. You can find food options and location-specific menus online.
Veteran Owned Businesses
17. Cool Mo’s Coffee
Address: 11406 Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618
Phone: 1 (813) 302-9391 You can find rave reviews online for Cool Mo’s made-to-order empanadas. This veteran-owned café’s hospitality attracts patrons, many via the drive-thru, with a craving for café con leche, beignets, Cuban sandos, and more.
18. Raw Smoothie Co.
Address 1: 408 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 1 (813) 512-8081
Address 2: 6102 S. MacDill, Suite F, Tampa, FL 33611
Phone: 1 (813) 835-8555 A second, off-base location of the veteran-owned Raw Smoothie Co., with all the same delicious and nutritious health food options.
19. Columbia Restaurant
Address: 2117 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: 1 (813) 248-4961
The mouth-watering Cuban sandwich was born in Columbia Restaurant, in Tampa’s Ybor City in 1915. Today, you can find the same iconic sando on the menu – even the bread remains unchanged. Owned and operated by five generations for over 115 years, Columbia Restaurant’s success is celebrated in Food Networks’ Best Sandwiches in America, “The Best Thing Between Sliced Bread,” by Food Network’s Sara Ventiera.
Fast Casual Restaurants
20. Fresh Kitchen
Address: 1350 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 1 (813) 280-0515
Made from scratch and fresh-to-order pressed juices, teas, juice frescas, expertly charred meats, veggies, rice, quinoa, noodles and dressings – Fresh Kitchen takes pride in great food served fast in countless combinations.
Local Tip: Parking can be a challenge. Walk from the nearby neighborhood streets where parking is more available.
21. Taco Bus
Tampa - Gandy Location (Closest to the base)
Address: 4308 Gandy Blvd. Tampa 33611
Phone: 1 (813) 831-0550
Tampa - Hillsborough Location
Address: 913 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604
Phone: 1 (813) 234-0294
Downtown Tampa Location
Address: 505 Franklin Street, Tampa FL 33602
Phone: 1 (813) 397- 2800 Keeping it chido for decades, school is in session at the Taco Bus. Celebrated for its fresh Mexican flavor in burritos, tostadas, empanadas, quesadillas and housemade agua fresca, Taco Bus is a Tampa staple. Not only does the Taco Bus serve up much-lauded grub and horchata, but it also supports veterans in need, recently feeding weekly meals to more than 50 vets at five local Liberty Manor for Veterans. With locations across the Metro Tampabay Area, visit the website to find a Taco Bus near you.
22. Mr. Dunderbak’s
Address: 14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33613
Phone: 1 (813) 977-4104
Tampa’s original German Biergarten and Brewery in Oak Ramble Shopping Center boasts a uniquely American twist on Bavarian classics. Double-decker sandwiches, salads, wurst, schnitzel, and beer make up the menu. With a bottle collection over 500 craft and European brands, the Dunderbrau microbrewery and live polka music with “Akkordeon” Joe every Friday and Saturday – Mr. Dunderbak’s promises good eats and drinks with lively entertainment.
23. Bern’s Steak House
Address: 1208 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 1 (813) 251-2421
THE place to celebrate a special occasion in Tampa! Bern’s Steak House opened in 1956 and remains family-owned today. Legendary service is paired with top-quality aged, charcoal-grilled steaks and generous fixins including locally grown Bern’s farm veggies. Chicken, seafood and veggie options round out the food menu while the astounding wine list ranks among the largest wine collections on the planet with more than 7,000 vintages. Save room for dessert! The Harry Waugh room flaunts decadent desserts, after-dinner drinks, and dancing. Be sure to dress for the occasion!
ConclusionTampa is well known for fun in the sun, but it is also an exciting dining and nightlife destination. These are just a few of the best restaurants near MacDill AFB. Check out Tampa Magazine’s “Best Restaurants List 2020” for more insider info about places to explore. Shout out to my colleagues MyBaseGuide Quality Control Specialist Maddie O’Rourke and JumpCrew Digital Marketing Specialist Lesley Drewitz for insider tips on the Tampa restaurant scene.
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