Southern Living ranks two Tampa restaurants as the best in Florida

Check out these local spots, dubbed the best in Florida.

The front of the Columbia Restaurant's iconic entryway. There are pillars under archways, with colorful tiles lining the wall next to wooden doors and window frames.

No surprises seeing the Columbia Restaurant at the top of a list.

As you probably know by now, our Tampa Bay area food scene is top-notch. As it turns out, Southern Living agrees, the publication which celebrates the best of the South’s food, homes, cultures, and traditions.

Recently, the magazine recognized two Tampa spots as the best in Florida:

  • Readers of Southern Living voted on the best Cuban sandwich in the Sunshine State. The Columbia Restaurant came out on top, serving its iconic flavors since its start as a food truck in 1903. Florida’s oldest restaurant opened in 1905 in the heart of Ybor City, and can serve up to 1,700 customers at a time.
  • A TBAY eatery also brought home the accolade for best barbecue in Florida: Big John’s Alabama Barbecue. Tucked away in the East Tampa area, a giant brick chimney spouts smoke from a Bama-style open pit, serving up chicken, sausages, ribs, and other barbecue goodness to in-the-know locals since 1968.
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