Tampa, FL

This Iconic Florida Deli Serves Highly-Rated, Fresh Takes on Comfort Foods and is Said to Have the Best Mac and Cheese

L. Cane

Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. When you walk into a restaurant that looks industrial and modern, you might assume that you'll be eating experimental or new-age food that puts your dining experience in question.

But there's a deli in Tampa that looks somewhat modern inside, but serves up popular, highly-rated comfort foods and baked items that just might remind you of your childhood. Introducing Tampa's iconic Datz.

What's So Special About Datz?: This local landmark has been featured on Good Morning America, the Food Network, and the Travel Channel. It can get crowded at times, since it is quite popular, but staff is usually quite efficient. Datz is a very popular place for weekend brunch, but it offers unique favorites every day.

Usually, there's a flavorful spin on comfort food favorites. And the restaurant makes an effort to elevate what makes Tampa special (often closing the south Tampa location during Gasparilla), and offering foods like the a breakfast Cuban sandwich and an instagram-worthy deep dish Key lime pie.

Datz is known to have outstanding macaroni and cheese. Tampa's Creative Loafing named it as the top restaurant for the dish in 2022.

There's also a Datz bakery next door that is called Dough which serves delicious donuts and baked goods.

Popular Choices at Datz: The menu is Datz is quite extensive. Whether you're looking for light fare like the popular French onion soup or the southern chicken salad or a more substantial meal like the shrimp and grits, you can generally find what you're craving on the menu.

One look at the Datz's menu and it will be evident that the restaurant suspects that its patrons love macaroni and cheese. The yummy pasta is added to the popular Stuffed Meatloaf, which is decadent meatloaf stuffed with - you guessed it - macaroni and cheese. (This item was featured on The Travel Channel.)

Another popular choice is the Cheesy Todd, which is an item that caught national attention and was featured on Good Morning America. The Cheesy Todd has a bun made of macaroni and cheese and is served with a side of homemade chips with a blue cheese dip.

Brunch at Datz: The restaurant offers a very popular brunch on weekends. Popular offerings are the monkey bread, the chicken and waffle benedict, and the red velvet pancakes. Of course, no brunch would be complete without cocktails such as the pear mimosa or the morning after margherita.

What are the Prices Like?: While it's obvious that Datz puts much care into its menu and preparation, the prices aren't unreasonable. The aforementioned red velvet pancakes are $14, the stuffed meatloaf is $20, shrimp and grits are $19, and the cheesy Todd is $17.

What Do Reviewers Saw About Datz?: Most reviewers greatly enjoy Datz. Many mentioned how fresh the shrimp is in the shrimp and grits, and one recurring theme was that portion sizes are enormous - so expect to have leftovers for later. Large parties do not seem to be a problem, and many people mentioned coming back more than once.

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