Lunch in Tampa

Grab Lunch in Tampa Bay Before You Cruise

Tampa Bay is a beautiful port in Florida, and one of the largest cruise destinations on the East Coast of the United States. Thousands of cruisers head to the port for their cruise vacation and most are wondering where the best place to grab lunch in Tampa is before boarding the ship. Waiting to board a cruise ship can be a lengthy wait. Lines grow long and the last thing you want is to be standing around without having eaten.

There’s no guarantee for a speedy meal once you get on board the ship, either, as everyone waiting in line with you probably has the same rumbling stomachs and that means even more waiting for a restaurant or the buffet.

Get Your Lunch Before You Board

After having lunch in Tampa Bay, you can comfortably board your cruise ship through the crowd, and make your way to your cabin without fainting from low blood sugar. Here are some of the best places to get lunch in Tampa Bay before heading to port!

Embrace Local Cuisine At Columbia Cafe

Located right along the entrance to Port Tampa Bay, Columbia Cafe offers a varied lunch menu that includes everything from salad and tapas, to sandwiches that reflect local cuisine such as “The Havana Club.” Live like a local and enjoy lunch on the beautiful waterfront location, overlooking the port and the beauty of Tampa Bay. Drinks are also available for the guests who want to get a jump on their cruise vacation.

Lunch in Tampa

Waterside dining at Columbia Cafe in Tampa Bay | Photo: Columbia Cafe/Facebook

Bring The Family To Precinct Pizza

For the larger families and parties that are traveling together, Precinct Pizza offers a variety of classic New York-style pizza options for lunch that will leave you satisfied and ready for the afternoon ahead. They reign supreme for pizza with their fresh cheeses and homemade sauce. For those who are not too keen on the idea of pizza, burgers, salads, and Hero sandwiches are available. Precinct Pizza has something that everyone in your party will love and the casual atmosphere welcomes cruise passengers with a ship to catch!

Lunch in Tampa

Try the Midtown Meat Lovers | Photo: Precinct Pizza/Facebook

Dine At Bamboozle

With a Channelside location and a Downtown Tampa location, Bamboozle is a local favorite that offers a quick but delicious lunch menu for their patrons. From Pho favorites to the Banh Mi sandwich, enjoy a flavorful and fulfilling Vietnamese lunch before boarding your cruise ship. Fresh and local flavors fused within authentic Vietnamese cuisine is a hidden gem that the locals of Tampa Bay come back to again and again. Give it a try before or after your next cruise ship vacation from Port Tampa Bay! 

Lunch in Tampa

Bamboozle Lo Mein is a popular dish | Photo: Bamboozle/Facebook

Where is your favorite place to lunch in Tampa Bay before you board your ship? Let us know in the comments below!

— Kasey T 

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!