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“Tampa Locals Favorite”

Capdevila At La Teresita
Ranked #217 of 2,563 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$15
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Takeout
Description: Best Casual Dining in the Tampa Bay Area, near Raymond James & Tampa International Airport. Cuban Cuisine - Cafe open till midnight, 24hrs. Thurs- Sat. Restaurant Live Music Nightly !!! Most Meals under $9, Great Daily Specials Banquet & Catering for any event 813-447-5807 Meeting rooms available for any occasion. Thousands served every week !!! Carryout 813-879-4909 Bulk meals & delivery 813-879-9704
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Nothing at all fancy here, just the best Cuban food in town. Cafe service, eat with the local Cuban folks and their families, lots of Spanish being spoken. Have been going here for 21 years, same people still working there. Tod Blackledge visited here with his CBS camera crew several years for college football. Authentic food, huge portions, inexpensive. If you want sit down fancy don't go here. If you want the best cuban food this is ALWAYS a winner. We always go here anytime we are anywhere near Tampa

Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 55 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

The front desk clerks at the Hilton Garden Inn/Westshore were unanimous when I asked about a "local restaurant with great food, a place that is special": go to La Teresita Cafeteria!

In a word: BINGO!! Holy cow is this place excellent. It looks like a 1950s dinner inside, with the long, curved back and forth counters and stools, plus tables for groups. Its nothing fancy at all, but the food is truly authentic Cuban, the portions are HUGE and you can get out of there for less than $10 - and feel great about it.

Don't confuse this place with the nearby La Teresita Restaurant, which I'm told is also wonderful. This is more of a no-frills "eatery," but the locals pack it day and night (its open 24 hours Thursday-Saturday, and until at least 10 p.m. on the other nights).

There are daily specials ranging from common items such as Carne Asada (Pot Roast, $8.55 on Mondays) to Ropa Vieja (shredded beef, $6.95, Wednesdays). Alas, I was there on a Tuesday, and given that I don't eat pork or shellfish, the Masas de Puerco (fried pork chunks), Arroz Frito (pork fried rice, nothing like the Chinese), Puerco Asado (roast pork) and Pescado Relleno (fish stuffed with shrimp and rice) were specials that didn't work.

So, I asked the waitress (a really nice lady named Anna) which fish to order, and she told me to go with the Minuta Empanizada (breaded fried kingfish). All entrees come with two "sides" - and watch out, because these so-called "sides" are monstrous portions. I chose the yellow rice (excellent flavor) and black bean soup (lots of beans and 100% vegetarian like the real thing in Cuba), and added an extra order of fried plantanos (properly cooked, slightly sweet - in a word, perfect). The meal comes with large slices of freshly baked bread, served sandwich-style with butter already in between the slices.

The entrée itself was a perfect fillet (not a bone to be seen or caught between your teeth) that retained its texture and was not overwhelmed by the breading. It was not greasy - there was no layer of oil on the plate after the fish was consumed - and it came with homemade tartar sauce and chopped lettuce. The fillet was more than a foot long (that's right, I'm not kidding) and the crunchy breading offset the sweet meaty fish perfectly. A nice lime wedge accompanied it, and I squeezed out every last drop for that fish.

As for the price: how does a grand total of $9.64 sound? That's right, the fish and two sides were $6.95 and the extra plantanos added $2.25. I settled for water (they have some exotic Cuban beverages) and avoided dessert in the cafeteria (more on that below).

The service is quick and attentive - my water glass was refilled three times while I was eating, and again after I finished. The folks I was sitting next to were friendly, and recommended that I try the café with leche (milk) after the meal, but I'm not a big coffee drinker so I passed.

One person sitting next to me ordered the fried pork chunks and even a non-pork-eater like me could see that they were large, almost fatless and evidently delicious. On my right, the group was all about the Puerco Asada with Arroz Frito - and no one finished. The take-out containers are free - and plentiful!!

I noticed an old-fashioned barber shop across the street, and being in need of a haircut, asked Anna about it. She said that the young guys who work there (Barbers Grind Barber Shop, 3237 West Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33607) are very good, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The haircut was $15 ($10 for seniors and children), and Rick did a really nice job, even trimming my eyebrows and then rubbing in skin moisturizer for the back of my neck (he shaved down that area and I did not want to develop any bumps).

All that hard haircutting stimulated my sweet tooth, so I ventured back across the street to La Teresita Bakery. Although it was close to closing time (they shut at 4:30 on weekdays), Liz said she was fine with me having an éclair and sampling the cookies...so for $1.62 I had a fantastic éclair, complete with the powdered sugar over the top, crunchy and creamy, just like they were in the good old days of my youth in "da Bronx." The simple sugar cookie was good, and the other cookie with the fruit filling was even better.

I can't say enough about this trio - a great way to kill two hours before heading to the airport!

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1  Thank Nathan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We make a point of visiting La Teresita every time we're in Tampa. Our experience this year was as always -- amazingly inexpensive, friendly service, good no frills Cuban food.

Just about everything on the menu at La Teresita is good, and the portions are huge. The atmosphere in the main sit-down restaurant is basic, but who goes to a spot like this for the atmosphere?

The only thing I don't recommend is the flan, which is far from delicate and overly sweet.

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Thank LanSluderBelize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

We had lunch today at La Teresita Restaurant in Tampa. The restaurant is not Tex-is only Cuban food, and very good. We tried many restaurants looking for truly Cuban food in Central Florida, and La Teresita is the best. We had Bistec Empanizado, Moros, Maduros y Chicharritas with a wonderful Garlic Sauce. Priceless!
I recommend it to anyone who wants to have truly Cuban food.

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Thank IGVOcala_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

My family and I have been coming here since the restaurant was diner sized. Its great to see how they've grown. 2 things that havent changed are; the large portions and the great prices. The newer restaurant even has live music in the evenings. The guitar player was very good and made the experience quite nice. As always, the latin style food is fresh, delicious and worth coming back to over and over. A wide variety of options are available and you cannot beat the prices. If you are in the Tampa area, please check it out. It will be worth your time.

Thank Jodi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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