The 10 Best Bars In Seminole Heights, Tampa

Photo of Catrina Pang
9 February 2017

Florida’s Seminole Heights neighborhood is home to a trendy bar scene which attracts a young, hip crowd from the city with a love of great local food, handmade cocktails and craft brews. Below, we explore the best bars you’ll in this up-and-coming neighborhood.

© Roshan Vyas/Flickr

Red Star Rock Bar

Bar, American, Pub Grub
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Red Star Rock Bar, Tampa
Red Star Rock Bar, Tampa | © Jen R/Flickr
Red Star Rock Bar is a long rectangular space decorated with rock memorabilia, local artist designs, and the art work of rock stars, as well as animal print bar stools, a dart board, electronic jukebox, and a beautiful outdoor patio. They don’t serve food, but there are always really good food trucks parked on the grounds, and the bar lets you bring the food inside. They also often have great live music playing on the patio. Though they opened only recently, Red Star Rock Bar has quickly gained a reputation for being the best spot in town for a cocktail, thanks to their full liquor bar. They also have nine beers on tap, including domestic and imported selections, and all are reasonably priced.

Mermaid Tavern

Mermaid Tavern boasts an impressive selection of local, craft, and standard beers, as well as root beer on tap and ciders. Their house sangria is also a favorite, and they even have a gluten-free beer. They food menu includes ‘Tavern Burger,’ goat tacos, goat cheese filled grilled cheese sandwiches, duck poutine, pork belly mac, and immensely popular truffle fries. There’s both indoor seating and a cozy outdoor patio with heat lamps and a fire pit for cooler nights. They also often host local bands and other acts performing.

Address & telephone number: 6719 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL, USA, +1 813 238 5618

The Independent

Bar, Cafe, Nightclub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, $$$
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Independent Bar and Cafe, Tampa
Independent Bar and Cafe, Tampa | © Arnie Kim/Flickr
The Independent has 14 taps that are constantly rotated to ensure a fresh and ever-changing draft selection, as well as a hand-picked selection of over 150 bottles to choose from, including beers from notable American craft breweries and world class beers. The knowledgeable and friendly staff strive to make craft beer accessible to everyone by helping people navigate through the eclectic tap and bottle lists. There are frequent brewery launch parties and other craft beer and wine events, free weekly live music shows featuring talented local and touring musicians, and they also have an outdoor Biergarten that patrons can enjoy all year long.

Hampton Station

Bar, American, Pub Grub
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Pizza | © stu_spivack/Flickr
Hampton Station has a friendly and laid-back atmosphere and serves freshly made pizza, calzones, and wings. They have a great selection of craft beer, both bottles and draft, as well as cider on tap. The owner is very community-focused. The bright walls with old school neon, posters, and action figures on display give the place a cool vibe. Locals love to stop by while out walking their dogs, thanks to the bones and dog bowls for water that are provided at the entrance.

Fodder & Shine

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
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Fodder & Shine, Tampa
Fodder & Shine, Tampa | © Martin Krolikowski/Flickr
Fodder & Shine aims to give folks a glance into Florida’s rich cultural heritage through elevated Southern food and drink. The bar specializes in cracker cuisine, which is a tribute to old school Florida culture and the would-be cowboys who populated the stat in the early to mid-1900s. It draws heavy influence from the Scottish, Irish, African, and Spanish cultures, though few recipes were ever recorded. The bar serves many great whiskeys, bourbons, and handmade old school cocktails, as well as a nice selection of local beers including the popular CCB Florida Cracker. The porch exudes a hipster yet eclectic atmosphere, and the bar is full of eccentric artwork and collectibles.

Rooster & the Till

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Rooster & the Till, Tampa
Rooster & the Till, Tampa | © VISIT FLORIDA Editor/Flickr
Rooster & the Till prides itself on its sophisticated locally-sourced cuisine. Their drink list consists of a great selection of local beers and wines at varying price points, so that you can pick something to fit your budget. Servers give excellent recommendations for pairings of drinks and food. The plates are small but incredibly flavorful and unique, so you get the opportunity to try a lot of the menu. The food, made with ingredients obtained from local farmers and producers, is always fresh, and the menu changes with the seasons. If you sit at the bar, you can watch the chefs as they create the beautiful plates.

The Refinery

Restaurant, Cafe, American, French, $$$
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The Refinery, Tampa
The Refinery, Tampa
The Refinery is dedicated to serving plates with ingredients only grown in Florida or produced using ethically sound methods. They change their menu three to four times a week, working closely with local farmers, artisans, and suppliers to utilize the best of what local farmers have to offer each week. From their sausage to their salad dressings, they make everything in-house and from scratch. Their beer and wine menus are approachable, yet refined. They are known for pouring a hefty selection of beers, ranging from sophisticated craft brews like Tampa’s own Cigar City, to what may considered ‘blue collar beers’ like PBR Tall Boys. Their wine list is short but thoughtfully curated, focusing on small vineyard varietals so that each bottle or glass is truly a bang for the buck. The intimate and cool ambiance is complete with a beautiful outdoor patio upstairs, where they have live music on Sundays.

The Front Porch Grill & Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Front Porch & Bart's Tavern, Tampa
Front Porch & Bart's Tavern, Tampa | © Rusty Gillespie/Flickr
The Front Porch Grill & Bar is a charming neighborhood place that has not only excellent home-style meals, but also a fantastic bar and a nice, big outdoor porch. Knick-knacks and antique sundries are displayed on a small bookshelf at the entrance to the wood floors, as well as a variety of old, black-and-white framed portraits of the house’s former residents decorating the walls, continue to make the place feel like home. The Front Porch has full liquor bars with half-off Happy Hour drinks, dozens of beers on draft, strong cocktails, many beers available by the bottle, a nice Scotch selection, and over 20 wines. They also have live music in the courtyard on weekends.

Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Bar, American, BBQ, $$$
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Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, Tampa
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, Tampa | © Daniel Lee/Flickr
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe is known for its eclectic cuisine, intriguing art, live music, and soul food brunches. Ella’s also has a multitude of amazing specialty cocktails, barrel aged cocktails, specialty shots, martinis, flights, and mimosas. The most popular times to visit are the nights with live music and the Sundays with soul food brunch when patrons can enjoy a feast of Southern comfort food like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, BBQ ribs and cheese grits, and macaroni and cheese.

The Olde Heights Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, American, Seafood, Sushi
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Once you enter The Olde Heights Bistro, you’ll notice the homey and inviting atmosphere, a cool poster of Bruce Lee, old black and white photos, and a collection of rare wine bottles and beers on display. Though the restaurant is perhaps best known for its made-to-order fresh sushi, it also has a menu of amazing fancy bistro dishes like escargot bread pudding, filet mignon, shrimp scampi, an amish bacon and cheese plate as well as a nice selection of craft beers and wines. The burgers and salads at lunch are also extremely popular. It has a beautiful little outside seating area, and a small interior. The staff are known for being super friendly, and the chef trained in major Miami hotels, working under some big names at the W, the Viceroy, and the Standard. Everything is creative, delicious and reasonably priced.

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