9 Cheap Eats in Tampa Under $10
Tampa has no shortage of fabulous restaurants, but what about the end of the month when your budget may be a bit tight? Don’t break out the boxed mac-and-cheese, please. We’ve got you covered.
Fortunately, you can eat well and have leftovers to spare for $10 or less. Here’s a sampling of Tampa’s great cheap eats:
An actual “hole in the wall,” this is an authentic slice of Cuba transported to the U.S. Soak up the Cuban atmosphere as you try the very popular arroz con pollo, Puerco Asado, or Palomilla steak. The Cuban sandwich is another crowd favorite. Portions are large, so you’ll probably have leftovers. And don’t leave without trying their café con Leche.
La Bamba Spanish Restaurant
A cafeteria-style restaurant near the airport, this place is trendy at lunchtime. Lines can be long, but they move quickly, and there’s plenty of seating. You’ll see an array of all your Cuban favorites, and the bread is the freshest you can get in Tampa. Entrees include shredded beef, Ropa Vieja, shrimp casserole, beef stew, baked chicken, and more. They make a great breakfast too.
The votes are in, and Tampa agrees: the best Mexican food to be had in all of Tampa is here in Los Comparres food truck. The menu may be small, but the tacos have a variety of fillings. Quesadillas and burritos are excellent and complete, and the ceviche is delicious. They’re also known for their homemade hot sauces and excellent service.
If you haven’t been to a Fresh Kitchen yet (there are five locations and counting in Florida), you’ve been missing out. It’s hard to believe that a restaurant like this can fall in the cheap eats category but see for yourself. Walk down the line and build your bowl, as creative and as healthy as you want. You’ll find that bases don’t have to be boring (including sweet potato noodles and green rice), and protein doesn’t have to be grilled (you can get barbecue or citrus chicken, to name two). The sauces put their creations over the top.
Three Coins Diner
A small-town feel in a big city, Three Coins serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and, best of all, is open 24 hours. You can count on traditional favorites: country-fried steak, BLTs, burgers, fried chicken, and a whole lot more. Portions are large, and the service is friendly.
Founded by a former Tampa Bay Bucs player, Jazzy’s is known for authentic smoked barbecue flavor from natural oak wood. The sauce is tangy and slightly sweet. All the meats are good (so good, you might not even need sauce), but other must-try’s at Jazzy’s are the collard greens, potato salad, and luscious cheddar mac-and-cheese.
Nicki’s Omlette and Grille
. . . because with a good breakfast, you can skip lunch. Nicki’s is cute, quaint, and casual. So many omelets to choose from, it’ll be hard to pick just one. Popeye’s Revenge, meat lover’s, southwest, oh my! Don’t miss the signature homemade cinnamon raisin bread. Nicki’s features a friendly staff and fast service.
The name says it all – this is a mom-and-pop restaurant. Mom’s is open for breakfast and lunch and be warned, takes cash only. That said, the portions are generous, and the home cooking is divine. Offerings include corned beef hash, country-fried steak, and a few Mediterranean choices, among many more. The coffee is freshly ground, and everything is cooked to order.
Yolk, White, and Associates
A food truck in downtown Tampa and a hidden gem. Locals and tourists alike rave over the fresh frittata, grits, and doughnuts straight from the fryer. Order your doughnuts any way you like, and pair them with freshly ground coffee to boot. Enjoy your bistro-quality food next to the river.
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