Top 7 Local Pizza Spots in Tampa

Pizza is one of those things that depends on preference. Do you like a cheesy pizza or a saucy pizza? Lots of toppings or just plain cheese? Does pineapple belong on pizza? (the answer is YES) –  I keep things simple normally, but it varies depending on my mood.

Tampa is overrun with corporate pizza chains and plenty of below mediocre strip mall pizza spots, but there are some quality local spots out there as well and they need some love.

Here are my Top 7 Local Pizza Spots in Tampa. Your top choices may vary and that’s okay.

Chicago Style Deep Dish. 👅

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7. Full Circle Pizza Grill: This pizza spot in Wesley Chapel/New Tampa area is not easily accessible to most of Tampa, but trust me the Chicago pie is worth a look if you are in the area. The portion is simply huge so make sure you bring some friends and call ahead to see if they are serving Chicago pizza, because some days it is unavailable. It’s a more affordable option to a Cappy’s Pizza in my opinion. 19651 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33647. (813) 994-3700. http://www.fullcirclepizza-grill.com/

6. New York, New York Pizza: Many drunk nights in Ybor City end at New York, New York Pizza. They’ve expanded their reach over the years, but kept the quality pizza there. I would consider their pizza to be up to my standards for a good pizza, tasty cheese and toppings. Most of my visits are reserved for times out in Ybor at night though and nowadays in SoHo as well where they opened another location. 533 S Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 253-3929. http://places.singleplatform.com/new-york-new-york-pizza-11/menu?ref=google

There is a pizza god.

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5. Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar: This is that gourmet pizza place that you take someone to on a date or that you go to with a really good friend or a group gathering and it does get busy. Wood Fired Pizza is a full-service restaurant and has a nice beer selection as well as a tasty butter beer I have enjoyed in the past. The owner is very passionate about pizza and it shows. The prices are on the higher end and will run you around $15-$20 for a pie, but you get your value for sure.  2822 E. Bearss Ave., Tampa, FL 33613. (813) 341-2900.  http://woodfiredpizzatampa.com/

Chicago Style Deep Dish Cappy on #nationaldeepdishpizzaday #tampa #cappyspizza

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4. Cappy’s Pizza: A bit of a Tampa institution. Cappy’s has branches all over the Tampa Bay area. My personal favorite location is their New Tampa location. I feel like the service there has always been stellar and it is never overcrowded. Plus they take card and I’m pretty sure the Seminole Heights location is cash-only. I don’t carry cash in 2017. Cappy’s has a solid NY-pizza, but it is more popular for it’s deep-dish Chicago pizzas. Come hungry. 16019 Tampa Palms Blvd. W, Tampa, FL 33647. (813) 512-8947. http://www.cappyspizzaonline.com/

3. Fabrica Pizza: This Channelside pizza restaurant is like no other in town. The owners roots are in Italy and they are doing their best to provide a quality and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Everything is delicious. The wine is great and so are the meatballs. It is probably one of the best pizza spots in town if we are talking ambiance and located blocks away from the Tampa Riverwalk. Oh and the nutella pizza? To. Die. For. 142 S. Meridian Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 605-0764. http://www.fabricapizza.com/

I spy pizza pies with my eyes 👀 @sallyspizza @tbbloggers #TampaBayTuesday

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2. Sally O’Neals Pizza Hotline: Many of the restaurants who have survived the many changes on SoHo serve some of the best food in town. Sally O’Neals have been around for over 30 years and this quality pizza is a must for anyone wanting to try the best in town. I first tried their pizza at Taste the Best of Tampa Bay at the Straz Center where a mob of people kept chowing down on their excellent pie. From the first bite, Sally O’Neals changed my opinion about pizza in Tampa.  The quality is there. 1319 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 251-0220. http://sallyonealspizza.com

1. Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza: There is no denying the magic of Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza in Downtown Tampa, which has served the area since 1998. The options are numerous and I have never felt disappointed with an experience there. I like pizza by the slice and Eddie & Sam’s serves excellent slices that will brighten even the worst of days. It is the best pizza available in Tampa in value, quality, and it may not be fancy, but who needs fancy when the pizza is going to blow your taste buds away. I’ll be at a quality, local, dive any day over a fancy restaurant. Go to Eddie & Sam’s if you haven’t. We need more like it.  203 E. Twiggs St., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 229-8500. http://www.eddieandsamspizza.com/

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ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival – Puerto Rico Donation Drive

Looking for somewhere to donate supplies for Puerto Rico and Caribbean relief and those impacted by Hurricane Maria this weekend in Tampa?

This Sunday, October 1st, 2017, ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival will take place from 11AM-6PM at Centennial Park in Ybor City. The event is a FREE and family-friendly art and culture festival that will celebrate latin culture and food along with live music performances from local bands. The event is presented by Rumba 106.5.

The event celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month which is an annual celebration from September 15th to October 15th in the U.S.A.

It celebrates “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America”. It began “in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988”.

There will be a “Veterans Thunder Alley Booths” to show case a number of Veteran non-profit organizations. These organizations will interact with our community and share their personnel stories and how they are helping our Veterans and first-responders in Tampa.

The event will serve as a drive for Course of Action PR which is organizing for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. They have processed 2.5 million lbs. of supplies and over 600,000 lbs. of water for Puerto Rico, but there is still more to do.

List of supplies needed:
Rice
Beans
Canned food/non-perishable food
Nutrition bars
Tuna packets (not canned)
Drink boxes/packets (juice boxes)
Baby supplies (bottles, diapers, baby wipes, formula, cereal, shampoo, baby lotion, baby powder, etc.)
Small and large generators
Adult diapers and supplies for the elderly
Regular wipes
Water purifiers
Water purification kits
Manual can openers
Clean/new gas cans
Dog/cat food
Personal hygiene/bath care items
Medical supplies (bandaids, peroxide, bandages, etc.)
Paper towels
New Towels
Cots
Air mattresses
New Pillows
Blankets
Toilet paper
Hand sanitizers
Flashlights
Batteries (AA, C, D, 9V)
LED work lights
Walkie talkies/two way radios
Rope
Bailing wire
Tarps
Long extension cords
12V to 120 volt power inverters
MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat)
Solar panels for charging batteries
Cell phone chargers
Basic tool kits
Shovels
Hand saws
Power saws
Chainsaws
Drills
Mosquito repellent
Duct and electrical tape

The organization says they have enough clothes and water at this time.

You can donate to Course of Action PR at their main base at 4916 S. Lois Avenue, Tampa, FL from Monday to Saturday from 11:00AM-7:00PM.

Event Name: ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival

Venue: Centennial Park

Address: 1800 E. 8th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

Date & Time: Sunday, October 1st, 2017, 11AM-6PM

Cost: FREE to attend

Website: http://www.vivatampabayfestival.com/

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/276418779433950/

National Coffee Day 2017 Tampa Bay: Deals & Freebies

National Coffee Day is this Friday, September 29th, 2017! Plenty of great coffee shops around Tampa Bay will be celebrating with deals and discounts. Forget Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts – grab yourself some REAL coffee during this celebration.

Here is a list of the deals I’ve been able to find:

  • The Lab (North Hyde Park): Public cupping beginning at 11AM on National Coffee Day.
  • Kraftologee (Brandon/Riverview): Coffee flights for $2 – sample several hot and cold coffee drinks
  • Caffeine (Downtown Tampa & South Tampa): 40% OFF single origin coffee beans. Slow Bar Deals: $1 Aeropress, $1.50 V60, $2 Chemex. $1 Cold Brew Drive-Thru Only Special.
  • Felicitous (USF): BOGO hot brewed coffee from 9AM-11AM
  • Buttermilk Provisions (Wesley Chapel): $1 OFF any large cold brew or hot brew
  • Jet City Espresso (Seminole Heights/Hyde Park): FREE extra shot in any size
  • Kahwa Coffee: BOGO coffee all day long
  • Ginger Beard Coffee (Downtown Tampa/Channelside): $1 drip coffee and $1 OFF cold brews
  • Buddy Brew Coffee: BOGO Cold Brew when you bring a friend.

Here are some coffee quotes to live by as well:

“What do you want?” “Just coffee. Black – like my soul.” ― Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” -Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

“Coffee first. Schemes later.” ― Leanna Renee Hieber, Darker Still

“Life’s too short to drink crappy coffee and cry over boys who don’t care.”  -Unknown

“I decide to turn to my old faithful solution to all that is wrong in life. Coffee.”  ― Lisa Renee Jones, If I Were You


Any other local shops doing deals or freebies? Shoot me an email at carloseats[at]gmail[dot]com.

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend

Recently I’ve been frequenting Trader Joe’s more often. I wish there were more locations in Tampa especially over in Brandon, but for now South Tampa is the place to go to grab some goods. The Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend inspired me to write a review because it was the first carrot juice I have enjoyed in a long time.

I have been searching for healthier juices to have at home and it is harder than you think to find a good juice at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, many local grocery stores in Tampa overcharge for organic and healthy drink choices. I saw a carrot juice for about $9 last week – which is a ton of money where I live and higher than the minimum wage here.

This juice blend at Trader Joe’s is both affordable and delicious at $3.99 for 32 oz. The spices, including an added organic black pepper, give the blend a nice aftertaste and the organic lemon juice balances the blend.

We also added this blend to an organic orange juice we had in the fridge to add some sweetness, but the juice was great even without it.

Here is the nutritional information for this product:

Carrot Juice is also great for Vitamin A, antioxidants, maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar, among other things. Turmeric is known to have plenty of benefits.

I recommend this product!

3rd Annual Putts & Pints fundraiser this Saturday

Brew Bus Brewing will host their 3rd Annual Putts & Pints fundraiser this Saturday, September 30th, from 11AM-4PM.

The brewery will be transformed for a day into a 9-hole mini golf course to raise money for charity. Proceeds will benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer.

Music will be played in-house by a DJ for the brewery and a live musician will be at 10th hole.

The 1st place winner at the fundraiser will win a trophy. Awards will also be given to the best dressed team.

Brew Bus has also partnered with Cigar City Brewing to brew a Gooseberry & Grapefruit IPA for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The craft beer will be sold at Brew Bus on draft or in six-packs as well as at Cigar City and select locations around town.

Tickets range from $10-$15 per person and can be purchased online.

Buy tickets: http://puttsandpints2017.eventbrite.com/

A full lunch menu will also be available including Mojo Roasted Pork Butt, BBQ Spiced Smoked Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Bacon Jalapeno Corn Bread, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, and a vegetarian option by request.

The event is sponsored by USAmeriBankPeople InclivingHRCheney BrosFreedman’s Office FurnitureAdver-T Screen Printing & EmbroideryCommercial Products, McMery Roofing, McMullen Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Keg Craft, Air GasVologyRP&G PrintingThe RIPITT FoundationShea Barclay GroupCreative LoafingJ.J. Taylor Distributing and Gray Robinson Attorneys at Law.

21950074_749743715209450_3111064487235417195_o

Event name: 3rd Annual Putts & Pints

Neighborhood: Seminole Heights

Date & Time: Saturday, September 30th, 2017, 11AM-4PM

Cost: $10-$15

Address: 4101 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603

Buy tickets: http://puttsandpints2017.eventbrite.com/

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/190145294844781/

Ricopan Bakery: delicious, affordable, local eats

Looking for a quick spot for lunch today we decided to hit up Ricopan Bakery. Most restaurants seem to be closed on Sundays in the area, but Ricopan is open 7 days a week.

We found their online profiles, but weren’t aware that they sold sandwiches and arepas until we arrived.  It looks like they might have a sister store in Kissimmee.

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ricopan4

Everything there was affordable and roughly $7 or less. The menu included Cubans, Medianoches, Steak subs, and more. Apparently they also have tamales on the weekends and other goodies.

ricopan1

The place has a mom and pop vibe to it and is located right by the popular Liborio’s Latin Cafe on Causeway just off 78th Street in Brandon. The two attendants at the front were friendly, though a little shy.

ricopan3

We ordered two cafe con leches, a steak sandwich, breakfast arepa with eggs and chorizo, and two guava cheese pastries. The cafe con leche was good, but not the best. Many of the locals stopping in went for Postobon which is to be expected at a Colombian spot. They also had Malta, coconut juice, freshly squeezed OJ, and natural juices as well.

Another thing I noticed on the back of the menu was Colombian burgers, salchipapas, and various other Colombian fast-food being sold at Ricopan which I would be interested in trying in the future.

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The Colombian empanadas were also quickly being purchased by their customers that I observed.

ricopan9

The food was excellent. I had the breakfast arepa with cheese on top. Eggs and Chorizo on the side. It was excellent.

Probably one of the best arepas I’ve had in awhile. I definitely would go back to try their chicken or beef arepas in the future. Price was fair too. Scrambled eggs had plenty of ingredients including tomatoes and bellpeppers and tasted homemade. The chorizo was good, but I could barely touch it before I was full.

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The steak sandwich we ordered was also excellent. The bread was perfect, the steak was nice and juicy on the inside, it wasn’t tough or dry like you’ll have in some palomilla steaks when you go to latin cafes and order a sandwich. They put the shredded potato sticks on top. It was also a big portion for just $7.

I’d definitely come back to get the Cuban which I noticed was $4.99.

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The two guava pastries we had were tasty and they put a good amount of guava on them. I think next time I would try the croissant instead just because I prefer the softer bread texture. All their pastries looked delicious though and were fairly priced.

I’m glad that we went and tried Ricopan Bakery today and will be back in the future and recommend you give it a look if you’re in Brandon sometime as well!

Restaurant name: Ricopan Bakery

Neighborhood: Brandon, Palm River

Cuisine: Colombian, Bakery, Sandwiches, Arepas

Address: 8216 Causeway Blvd, Tampa, FL 33619

Phone Number: (813) 846-4970

 

NEW: H20℃ Boba Shop & Thai-Rolled Ice Cream opens near USF

USF has no shortage of dessert shops and cafes. There has to be over 10 cafes and shops near the USF campus.

Last year Ice Smile was one of the shops in Tampa to popularize Thai-Rolled Ice Cream and people went nuts for it. We’re talking over an hour wait for Thai-Rolled Ice Cream. Now a new shop has emerged on Fletcher Avenue just minutes from USF.

H20℃ opened in August on Fletcher by the USF – Tampa Campus and is serving Thai-Rolled Ice Cream and bubble tea at 13520 University Plaza Street. The bubble tea is served in light bulbs which has been a popular fad on the west coast for over a year now.

Got Tea was one of the first shops in Tampa to serve light bulb boba last year.

For more info on H20℃ visit them on social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/H2OCicecream/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/h2oc_tampa/

It is open daily from Monday to Sunday from 12PM-11PM.

You can reach them at (813) 559-1645.

 

Grand Opening! Thai Inspired Roll Ice Cream in Tampa.

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Guide: Top 8 Local Bars in Tampa

Drinking in Tampa is a mixed bag. Lots of bars close early and many overcharge for drinks that contain almost no alcohol or have downright terrible service. City officials and bar owners are also regularly working against each other. There was even an incident in 2013 where the city once tried to change the closing hours for bars to midnight?!

At the same time, Tampa is home to one of the largest United States Bartenders Guild chapters in the country and holds an excellent Repeal Party in December every year. Tampa has a booming craft beer industry and plenty of wine dives around town as well as liquor distilleries on the horizon.

Ybor City and South Tampa have been had their moments in the sunshine for nightlife and over time both have waned as Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, and Downtown Tampa become the center of town. Only time will tell.

Here are my Top 8 Bars in Tampa. This is a personal list and you may not agree with my choices and that is okay.

#8 – Ybor City Wine Bar

#winetasting #ybor 🍷

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Ybor City Wine Bar is a great place to catch up with a friend or go on a date. The shop is quaint and all the bartenders I have encountered there have been friendly. You can sit inside or outside depending on the type of night you are looking for – both are enjoyable. The owner holds a wine class every Wednesday and has also expanded over into Seminole Heights. The wine selection is solid and I have enjoyed a few great evenings there.

1600 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 999-4966. http://www.yborcitywinebar.com/

 

#7 – First Chance, Last Chance Bar

The #emonight 2 year anniversary at @firstchancelastchance has been amazing

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Want a hipster dive bar? First Chance, Last Chance Bar in Ybor City is exactly that. If you’re spending $10 or less be sure to bring cash. Lots of shot specials and plenty of spirits. A nice outdoor courtyard with a DJ spinning regularly as well. Drinks prices are nice and cheap and the happy hour is great.

1707 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 248-5555. https://www.firstchancelastchance.com/

#6 – Mr. Dunderbaks

My kind of pub!

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You like craft beer? What about German beer and food? Oktoberfest? Mr. Dunderbaks has an impressive beer list and now has installed their own brewery into the mix. Stepping into the restaurant makes you feel like you departed Tampa into a German pub. The best place to be during the World Cup. The food is pretty good too.

14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33613. (813) 977-4104. http://dunderbaks.ieasysite.com/

#5 –  C. 1949

Seminole Heights is the mecca of hipster bars and C. 1949 provides a huge list of craft beer to visitors for great prices  – many of them recently released. Events are held regularly including Taco Tuesday and a Monday night farmer’s market. The interior is modern and cool and the outside deck is perfect for autumn or winter weather. Live music is regularly put on as well.

6905 N Orleans Ave, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 990-8883. http://c1949.com/

#4 – Lowry Parcade

Parcade Barcade 🎮✌🍷🍻

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Finally a place for nerds. Lowry Parcade fuses craft beer enthusiasts with video game nerds into one building. The outcome is a great local neighborhood bar in Seminole Heights that allows both crowds to indulge in their passions. We need more of this in Tampa.

1213 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 915-9180. http://lowryparcade.com/

#3 – Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club

It was a #punchbowl #cocktail #speakeasy kind of #Monday. Win.

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When you’re talking high-quality cocktails, Ciro’s delivers an experience you will not forget. They regularly host cocktail dinners and any night there is an experience that will take you back to the 1920s. The drinks are delicious although quite pricey. It’s a perfect place to celebrate a special night with friends or a date.

2109 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 251-0022. http://www.cirostampa.com/

#2 – Hotel Bar

Refined cocktails from hotels around the world. Hotel Bar has an elegant interior and the staff is excellent every time I visit. I only wish Hotel Bar had a larger location, but maybe that is one of the things to appreciate about it as well. Drink prices are what you would expect from a place called Hotel Bar. Not overly expensive and not cheap.

200 N. Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 533-2650. http://hotelbartampa.com/

#1 – Anise Global Gastrobar

Somewhere in Thyme 🖤 #anise #tampa #tampabay #love #gastropub #nightlife #love #cocktails

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The best in town. Anise Gastrobar has consistently remained the best place to drink in Tampa since it opened a few years back. The cocktail menu is constantly evolving with the building – they regularly hold events and interact with the industry around them. The space inside is beautiful and it is right across the street from Curtis Hixon Park. The prices have always been fair and the happy hour is excellent. Anise is the best place to drink in Tampa – hands down.

777 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 225-4272. https://www.aniseglobal.com/


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Inaugural Whiskey Tampa Foxtrot on October 14th

Bern’s Steak House and Epicurean Hotel are having their inaugural Whiskey Tampa Foxtrot on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at the Epicurean Hotel located at 1207 South Howard Avenue.

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The event will feature over 200 handcrafted whiskeys and artisan foods from local restaurant to complement the tasting. Educational seminars will also be held by industry experts. The event is for ages 21+.

Whiskey List: http://whiskeytampafoxtrot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WHICKEY-LIST3.pdf

Restaurant partners include: Bern’s Steak House, Haven Tampa, Elevage, Locale Market, Parkshore Grill, and Rooster and The Till.

Tickets are now on-sale. VIP Admission is $150, General Admission (GA) is $95 and seminars cost $20. VIP includes early admission and exclusive bottle tastings and a special Markers Mark VIP Lounge.

Buy GA: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whiskey-tampa-foxtrot-general-admission-tickets-37734171924

Buy VIP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whiskey-tampa-foxtrot-vip-tickets-37734384560

Buy Seminar Tickets: http://whiskeytampafoxtrot.com/#Seminars

Proceeds will benefit Operation First Response. The mission of Operation First Response is to serve all branches of our nation’s Wounded Heroes/Disabled Veterans and their families with personal and financial needs.

8th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa coming October 13-15

The 8th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa will take place from Friday, October 13th, 2017 to Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa. The event is sponsored by Goose Island and Tampa Bay Audi Dealers.

Get tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-oktoberfest-tampa-2017-ga-tickets-36273577246

Oktoberfest games will be FREE to play at the event and there will be German food, live alphorn performances, oompah music, Schuplattler dancers, and a German DJ – DJ Jay Kay. There will be a beard and mustache showdown as well.

Beer will cost $5 for a half-liter (16 oz.) and $10 for a liter (32 oz.) at the festival. You must have a commemorative Stein in order to purchase the liter size. Wine will cost $7 a glass.

Beer list:

  • Goose Island Oktoberfest
  • Blue Point Brewery Oktoberfest
  • Victory Brewing Company Festbier
  • Beck’s Brewery Pilsner
  • Oktoberfest Tampa Dunkel by Coppertail Brewing
  • Coppertail Brewing Co – Wheat Stroke
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company – Craft Firkins (daily)
  • O’Douls Non-Alcoholic Cans

Wine list:

  • Riesling (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Gewürztraminer (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Merlot (Clos du Bois)

Tickets are on-sale and cost $10 for GA for guests ages 21 years or older at the door. Weekend GA passes are available for $25.

VIP tickets are available and come with several perks including complimentary drink refills, a commemorative Oktoberfest stein, table side food service, air-conditioned restrooms, VIP shade tent with a private bar, and more.

Buy tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-oktoberfest-tampa-2017-ga-tickets-36273577246

The event is family-friendly and children ages 12 and under are FREE with a parent or guardian. There will be a Kids Zone with kid-friendly games during the event.

FREE ENTRY for any Military members (active or retired) and Tampa First Responders (TPD, TFD, EMS) and their significant other – simply show proper ID at the front gate.

Cash or Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) will be accepted on-site with ATMs available as well.