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The Best Local Restaurants in West Coast Florida

Florida is more than just beautiful beaches and sunny year-round weather; they have delicious local fare, too. I ate my way through West Coast Florida —check out my top 10 picks.

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Osteria Bar & Kitchen: Tampa

Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, Osteria Bar & Kitchen serves Italian food with a sophisticated approach. Chef Fabio Viviani (Top Chef Season Five fan favorite) features an exceptional menu of homemade pastas (including the squid ink pasta pictured here), slow-cooked meats, seafood, pizza and a collection of wine and cocktails that you can sip in their hip, late-night bar.

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2 / 10
Photo: Amy Pezzicara

Bern's Steakhouse: Tampa

You can't go to Tampa without visiting the famous Bern's Steak House. Although a steak house may sound expensive, it's quite a good deal because every entree comes with French onion soup au gratin, a baked potato, vegetable of the night, salad and onion strings. Aside from the array of steaks to choose from, they have fresh seafood, the largest wine collection in the world (take a tour of the wine cellar and kitchen while you're there) and an internationally famous dessert room where you can enjoy a huge selection of sweets from inside an intimate cubby that resembles a wine barrel. It's no wonder it's been around since 1956 — it's one of the most unique culinary experiences in the country.

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Photo: Farima Alavi

Lolita's Wine Market: St. Pete

Calling all charcuterie board lovers. Lolita's Wine Market has a build-your-own charcuterie board menu where you can put a checkmark by the exact items you want to build your perfect board. And, it wouldn't be a wine market without wine. Sample a variety of wines, and you can even ask your knowledgable server which wines pair well with your charcuterie of choice. Aside from delicious cheeses, you can indulge in interesting desserts in jars like the ricotta infused with lavender and honey.

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Photo: Armature Works

Armature Works: Tampa

What was once the storage and maintenance facility for Tampa's Electric's streetcars in 1910 is now the food hub in Tampa's historic waterfront neighborhood, Tampa Heights. Armature Works, a public market filled with local fare, co-shared workspaces and event spaces, attracts locals and tourists alike. You'll find something for every palate in the 22,000 square foot building, from refreshing açai bowls to satisfying burgers. Think of it as an indoor food truck park. While there, you may even be able to catch a "Show + Tell" workshop that hosts cooking classes, wine tastings and pop-up dinners.

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