The Best Tampa Bay Recipes

Chef John's Cuban Sandwich
Photo by Chef John.

Cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Super Bowl? If so, why not incorporate Tampa Bay into your game day spread? Tampa Bay's cuisine is highly influenced by its significant Cuban population — in fact, Tampa is the home of the Cuban sandwich. Of course, there's plenty of other Cuban fare, such as picadillo and ropa vieja, that you can enjoy. For a less specific, but still fun spread, opt for sharable seafood appetizers, and round things up with a citrusy dessert.

01 of 10

Tampa Cuban Hand Pies

tampa cuban hand pies

"Cuban sandwich is Tampa's signature sandwich," says creator lutzflcat. "Typically, the sandwich is pressed until the crusty bread is warm and the ingredients meld, but we'll compromise with a warm hand pie approach where you'll have all the traditional Cuban sandwich flavors."

02 of 10

Devil Crab Cream Cheese Ball

devil crab cream cheese ball
Stacy Collins

Tampa Bay is also known for deviled crab. But in cheese ball form, it's much more football-friendly and will satisfy a number of people. To take things up a notch, use canned crab meat instead of imitation crab.

03 of 10

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
Chef John

"This Cuban braised beef dish literally translates to 'old clothes,' because apparently some people thought the fall-apart meat and colorful strips of onions and peppers, tangled together, looked like old, tattered clothing," says recipe creator Chef John. "You'll love this dish if you're into big, bold flavors, since there's nothing subtle about the seasoning here. Delicious served with beans, rice, and plantain chips. Garnish with more cilantro."

04 of 10

Smoked Fish Dip

Smoked Fish Dip

"This recipe for smoked fish dip is world class, puts most others to shame, and is served in several prominent restaurants on the gulf coast of Florida," says creator KPERKINS100. "We used smoked whitefish, well boned, but any other smoked fish should work. Serve with crackers, lemon or lime wedges, and capers."

05 of 10

Chef John's Cuban Sandwich

chef john's cuban sandwich
Chef John

"I absolutely love Cuban sandwiches. I could eat this everyday," says reviewer Linemans wife. "I think the flavors of this sandwich depend on the quality of the individual ingredients. This will be a regular in my home."

06 of 10

Seafarer's Newburg

Seafarer's Newburg
Soup Loving Nicole

Seafood becomes super game-day friendly when it's paired with tater tots and a creamy white sauce. Feel free to add more shellfish, such as crab, to the mix.

07 of 10

Tangerine Orange Cake

tangerine orange cake

You can also pay homage to Florida through one of its top industries: citrus. This moist cake starts with box mix and incorporates tangerine-orange juice. Enjoy it as a bundt, cupcakes, or muffins.

08 of 10

Crab Fritters

Crab Fritters

"Freaking Awesome. These are simple easy and maybe the best recipe on the website," says reviewer Scott Pallo. "I seldom make recipes without significantly more reviews and am extremely happy I tried this one. Good by themselves and with the sauce. do yourself a favor...make these and don't screw with the ingredients."

09 of 10

Classic Cuban-Style Picadillo

Classic Cuban-Style Picadillo Cuban-Style Picadillo

"This recipe was really quick and easy which works well for weeknights," says reviewer Scott M. "Our grocery store had different flavors of sazon, so like another reviewer, I found on online substitute which called for equal parts ground corriander, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. By using the substitute I was able to leave out the salt too ... I really liked the sweet of the raisins with the salt of the olives."

10 of 10

Orange Meringue Pie

Orange Meringue Pie

"OMG THis was a great hit at my dinner party tonite! For those of you who like a sweet but tart dessert, this is it," says reviewer Marianne. "I didn't think it was difficult at all. I made it strictly according to the recipe. Fabulous!"

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