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Reyna’s Tampa Recommendations

If you’re headed to Tampa for the 2022 U.S. Championships, you might be looking for some fun things to do outside of the competitions or amazing places to eat and hang out afterward. Well, look no further! Inside Gymnastics teamed up with rising Michigan junior & member of the 2021 NCAA Championship winning team Reyna Guggino, who just so happens to be a Tampa native, to provide you some recommendations for your trip! 

Here are some places Reyna has fond memories of growing up and always enjoys visiting when she’s back home!


Restaurants

(Click each restaurant name for a menu) 

 

Fresh Kitchen: 1350 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

If you’re into creating your own bowls, Fresh Kitchen is the spot for you! With plenty of options to choose from, Fresh Kitchen is a great option for everyone, even those who have dietary restrictions. Plus it’s only a 6-minute scenic drive from Amalie Arena, and in one of Tampa’s historic neighborhoods. The almond crusted chicken and broccoli is delish! I would always get this for dinner after practice or after working out! My order is the Four Bowl with sweet potato noodles, brown rice, grilled citrus chicken, broccoli, and balsamic dressing!

Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza: 203 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL 33602

Nominated top 100 pizza spots in the U.S., Eddie & Sam’s N.Y. Pizza is an authentic New York style pizzeria that you can buy by the pie or the slice. Located conveniently 5 minutes from Amalie Arena and in downtown Tampa, it makes a great stop to have a slice of pie before the competition! You can’t go wrong with the mozzarella sticks, the Bianca pie, or your classic cheese pizza. Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza always reminds me of family gatherings, as it’s usually the only place we order pizza from!

Mr. Empanada: Various Locations around Tampa Bay

For a quick bite, you can’t go wrong with Mr. Empanada. Owned by a family native to Tampa, they have 8 different locations around the Tampa Bay Area, and one of them is inside Amalie Arena. It makes it a no brainer to try one for yourself! What is an Empanada? An empanada is a savory or sweet pastry that can be filled with practically anything. My favorite savory empanada is the classic beef and cheese, while my favorite sweet one is the guava and cheese. Empanadas were always a staple food item at any of my family parties!

Bern’s Steakhouse Dessert Room: 1208 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

The well-accredited Bern’s Steakhouse is the #1 place in town for a juicy steak and a feel of one of Tampa’s most prized restaurants. Since opening in 1956, Bern’s Steakhouse has become a staple of fine dining with a distinctive approach to top-quality dining. Reservations are a necessity here at Bern’s and to enter in Bern’s dessert room (The Henry Waugh Dessert Room.) If you plan to eat at Bern’s, the steaks are a must! As for dessert, anything on the menu is worth your while. My favorite memory of Bern’s is celebrating my high school graduation there!

Yeomans: 202 N Morgan St, Tampa, FL 33602

Starting off as a small neighborhood pub in Tampa in the 1980’s, Yeoman’s has flourished into being one of the best sports bars in the city. True to the theme, Yeoman’s flaunts their British culture with artwork of famous British figures while dishing out Great Britain’s finest cuisines. Walking distance from the Arena, this is a great spot to have some fun, eat pub food, and listen to local music. If interested, they even have a Top Golf stimulator that you can rent by the hour. Yeoman’s is special to me because it’s where I like to go with my family to watch any Tampa sports teams play!

Armature Works: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

With the concept of a food court, Armature Works took that and raised the bar exceptionally with Heights Public Market. The market caters to different cuisines to choose from. My personal favorites are Zukku Sushi, Graze 1910, and BnB. It’s a grab and go style of eating, but there are plenty of spots open outside to view downtown Tampa. I would go to Armature Works often with my cousins to hang out and have fun!

Things to Do:

 Tampa Riverwalk

To encapsulate the most scenic views in downtown Tampa, the Tampa Riverwalk is the place to go. Spanning 2.6 miles long, the pedestrian trail follows next to the Hillsborough River, which flows through the city. The trail can take you from one part of downtown to another, with museums, parks, playgrounds, and restaurants along the way. Events are usually held in the main park, Curtis Hixon Park, where I have plenty of memories hanging out with my friends while participating in a multitude of events!

St. Pete Beach 

Located about 30 minutes west of downtown Tampa and Trip Advisor’s #1 Best Beach in America, St. Pete Beach is filled with bright white sand and crystal-clear water. Located along the beach are small local shops that include restaurants, ice cream parlors, and plenty of gift shops. My favorite memories of St. Pete Beach includes road tripping with my best friends for the day to go lay out on the beach!

Hyde Park Village: 1602 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

If you’re looking for a picturesque outdoor activity that may include eating and shopping, Hyde Park Village is a perfect place to do both of those things. Lengthening 6 city blocks, Hyde Park Village is stacked with Tampa’s favorite eateries and local shops. My favorite restaurant in Hyde Park is Bartaco. The pork belly tacos and guacamole are some of the best items on the menu. If you don’t prefer Mexican cuisine, there’s plenty of other options located in the village. One of my favorite memories of Hyde Park is going with my sister to the monthly farmers market that they hold at the beginning of every month!

International Plaza: 2223 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607

If you’re trying to shop til’ you drop during your time in Tampa, my suggestion is you check out International Plaza and Bay Street. Adjacent to the Tampa International Airport, the mall has a multiplicity of retailers that you can choose from. Being a traditional enclosed mall, you can escape that Florida heat for a bit. I have so many memories of going to the mall with my mom and big sister to shop. We still do it when I get the chance to come home!

Favorite Coffee Place

Buddy Brew: Various Locations around Tampa Bay 

With about 5 different locations spanning across the Tampa Bay area, Buddy Brew started in 2010 between a couple who wanted to share their passion for coffee with the city. They have a variety of different coffee options, but for me, my favorite is the iced or hot vanilla latte! Whenever I’m back visiting home, I always make a trip to Buddy Brew while I’m here.

Favorite Ice Cream

Chill Bros: Various Locations around Tampa Bay

If you have a massive sweet tooth like me, Chill Bros Scoop Shop is the place to go. Their in-house homemade ice cream includes a lineup of artisanal flavors that makes this place a must try while you’re down here. Including both classic and seasonal flavors, you seriously can’t go wrong. My favorites are the Double Down Oreo and the Sicilian Pistachio ice cream, they even make their cones right in front of you! When visiting home, I always make sure to stop by with my dog nephew Hank so he can also get a sweet treat too!

Photos Courtesy of Reyna Guggino; header photo by Lloyd Smith 

For more:

Olympians Carey, Chiles, Malone Headline U.S. Championships Field 

McClain’s Moment To Shine

Yul Moldauer’s New Motivation 

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