Tampa’s restaurant scene is scorching hot, but some of the most well-known spots are just overrated tourist traps. That’s the opinion at least of our listeners. Recently on the show, I asked which Tampa area restaurants are overhyped. There was an overwhelming choice for the #1 spot. And I disagree. But this is your list not mine.

Of the 5 restaurants that made this list of the 5 most overrated restaurants in Tampa, I was surprised you named 2 fast food style spots. One had subpar burgers according to you. The other you said has drive thru lines that just make visiting a hassle. Some restaurants that made the list come with a pretty hefty bill at the end of the meal.

The biggest debate among Tampa foodies is always where to find the best Cuban Sandwich. All of us in Tampa Bay generally agree our Cuban is far superior to the runner up version in Miami. But when it comes to declaring which is the best, that’s when the debate heats up. Bodega, Columbia Restaurant, Brocato’s, or the West Tampa Sandwich Shop all usually come up in the discussion. But one of those spots was deemed the most overrated restaurant in Tampa by our listeners and online Tampa area friends I polled on Facebook and on the Tampa Reddit.

Here’s a look at the 5 restaurants that you said are just too overrated. The #1 pick shocked me. It’s the only place on Earth where I enjoy a salad as a full meal. So for you to pick this one hurts Tampa. It really does. Let’s dive in.

  • #5: Meat Market

    Meat Market is one of those South Tampa spots for the fancy and fabulous. They make it clear on their website. Don’t stroll in wearing a tank top or beachwear.  As reddit user Gator_farmer said, Meat Market is where you go to be seen… going to Meat Market. MSH0123 on reddit says the only redeeming quality is their Espresso Martini.  Cocogator adds the cookie is a must.

    The Hyde Park steak house has only a 3.5 star rating on Trip Advisor. It’s on my gotta-try list at some point so I can’t guide you either way. But it’s popularity can’t be denied.  Is it worth the price? Guywithcoolsocks said he got a mediocre pulled pork sandwich for $40.

  • #4: Goody Goody

    While many love their brunch, the burgers aren’t worthy of the hype according to my listeners.  I can’t vouch for Goody Goody.  I’ve meant to try them, but just never have.

    The Hyde Park diner has a deep history going back to the 1920s.  The milkshakes, the homemade baked pies, and the giant pancakes are are pretty popular.  Goody Goody goes back so far that the diner once had servers on roller skates.   Inside, the checkered floors and unique green and yellow color scheme takes you back in time.

    But some Tampa reddit users were not fans.  Koderdood said “never again.”  AdFirm3593 said the food is bad, the staff isn’t friendly and it was just an all around awful experience.  JungleJims4322 was told to go drunk… and “it was still so bad.”

  • #3: Chick-fil-A

    Really!?  You never see the drive thru empty at any Tampa area Chick-fil-A.  So this one making the list came as a total shock to me.  But that was the most common complaint among listeners: the drive thru line.  They say even though the lines move fast, it’s not worth the effort when the line is wrapped around the building.  I get it. The lines can get long, but my pro tip is to avoid the drive thru completely.  The Chick-fil-A app is so easy to use.  I start tapping on my phone when the craving hits.  And then just walk in and pick up my order inside the store while the people stuck in the drive thru are breathing gas fumes.

  • #2: Bern's Steak House

    When I told friends I was moving to Tampa, one restaurant was unanimously suggested to me: Bern’s.  Even the guy who performed an oil change for my 1,000+ mile journey to Florida suggested I go the first week I arrive.  I’ve still yet to do the full Bern’s experience.  Downstairs in the bar, you can get a steak sandwich for a budget friendly $20.  Or at least you used to.  This was years ago that I did that.  But between the cost and reservation process being such a challenge, I’ve never gone through the whole complete Bern’s experience.  So I can’t say it’s overrated… but you did. It came in at #2.

    One listener suggested to get a better experience at Bern’s, go on a weekday.  You’ll have more time with the server to get good suggestions.

  • #1: Columbia Restaurant

    I’m shocked that this was the #1 pick for most overrated restaurant in Tampa. The 1905 Salad alone makes a trip over the Howard Frankland to Ybor worth the trip for me. As mentioned earlier, it’s the only restaurant in the world where I can enjoy a salad as a meal. Honestly, the Cuban sandwich at Columbia isn’t my favorite in town. But that 1905 Salad more than makes up for it. I love the half and half lunch special where you can get the smaller salad and half Cuban combo.

    On Reddit user said it’s a “pretty tourist trap with overpriced ‘meh’ food.” Another said that the Ybor location is the only Columbia one where they’ve had a good meal.

    Most agree, however, that the atmosphere, architecture and history are reason enough for a visit to Columbia Restaurant. It’s a no-brainer if you need a spot to take a visitor from out of town.

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