Dining During COVID-19: My Favorite Tampa Takeout and Delivery Restaurants, Fall 2020

I'm back in Florida and, despite the highest COVID-19 rate in the country, the governor has decided to let restaurants move back to 100% capacity. 

Responsible restauranteurs quickly took to social media to reassure guests that they would indeed be following recommendations from scientists and the medical community to keep their team and customers safe. 

For me, that means an update to my protocol. I'll still only be doing takeout or outdoor dining, but I'm leaning takeout since I can't really account for the other customers and how lax they will be. Tampa's restaurants are split across tons of delivery apps which makes it kind of hard to find and decide where to order from. Here's a list of my favorites and what takeout/delivery platform they use to simplify it: 

  • Ava: One of my favorite classic Italian and brunch spots in South Tampa offers pickup, curbside and delivery via ChowNow. My faves: eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan, and the brunch pizza. Portion sizes are huge, so I usually get three meals out of one order.
  • BT To Go: In "The Before," BT is my favorite spot in Tampa for Vietnamese food. I love that they quickly evaluated their menu and pivoted early on during the pandemic to "BT To Go." Everything is well thought out - from what menu items travel well to the packaging and delivery. I was craving something healthy-ish, so I ordered their famous Chili Chicken Cabbage Salad and a side of Fresh Rolls with Shrimp. Delicious - and enough to make two meals out of it. Order delivery via Uber Eats.
    BT To Go's Chili Chicken Cabbage Salad and Fresh Rolls

  • Ella's Folk Americana Cafe: Ella's immediately went to their social communities to let their fans know that they will be following science and keeping mask and distancing in place. This spot has awesome outdoor space, but also do easy pickup or delivery via ChowNow. I'm normally a fan of their burgers and brunch, but looking forward to exploring more on their fall menu.

  • Forbici: I love that one of my favorite IRL (in real life) experiences is also one of my fave takeout and delivery spots. Get that pepperoni cups pizza or the parmesan farro bowl easily on ToastTab

  • Interbay Meat Market: I'm not sure how this spot eluded me for so long, but now that I discovered it, I'm going to be a regular. You can go in and order takeout, but they are also on DoorDash and UberEats. Highly recommend the burger and killer crinkle cut fries, Cuban sandwiches, the hot Cuban food bar and breakfast. 

Cheeseburger and Fries from Interbay Meat Market 

  • King of the Coop: This Nashville hot chicken joint is open for delivery via Uber Eats and pickup via ToastTab. Don't order it Nashville hot unless you are serious about your heat. I like to think I am and I was sweating, nose running for an hour after just one chicken tender. LOL. Portions are pretty huge though, and I made several meals out of one chicken tender meal plus a side of cole slaw.

    King of the Coop's Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders Meal + Cole Slaw

  • Psomi: This is my reigning favorite Greek spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their online order system for pre-order and pick up is the Toast Tab app. They have convenient curbside pickup parking spots designated, making it easy to zip in and zip out

I'll keep updating this list as I go, but definitely tell me your favorites and what I should not miss when it comes to delivery experiences in Tampa. Especially interested in finding new spots, pop-ups, and supporting restaurant talent who aren't brick-and-mortars also. 

NOTE: I'm home in Tampa til Joe Biden wins this election. Go to iwillvote.com/florida to find out more information about how to easily and safely vote this year.

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