Tampa Bay’s best Asian markets and restaurants according to local chefs and foodies

A-Green Oriental Market 1321 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. 813-971-3287 With selections for even the pickiest of noodle aficionados, this Korean grocery next to Ho Ho Choy Chinese restaurant (famous for its all day dim sum, seven days a week) is a staple of the USF area scene. Photo via A-Green […]

A-Green Oriental Market

1321 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. 813-971-3287

With selections for even the pickiest of noodle aficionados, this Korean grocery next to Ho Ho Choy Chinese restaurant (famous for its all day dim sum, seven days a week) is a staple of the USF area scene.

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Anju

2827 16th St. N., St. Petersburg

The only K.F.C. (that’s Korean fried chicken) you want in your life. The menu—featuring bibimbap and K-tow tots topped with beef bulgogi, grilled kimchi, melted mozzarella and provolone cheeses, thinly sliced fresh scallions, crushed peanut and the St. Pete heat sauce—makes for out of this world comfort food.

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Azalea International Deli

1155 Pasadena Ave. S Suite G, South Pasadena

North Asian wares (meaning, Russia) for those missing the comfort food from their frozen home country. The other European items and deli are obviously a plus. If you’re staying in the neighborhood, be sure to catch a jazz show at the nearby Horse & Jockey restaurant in the same shopping plaza.

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Babushka’s

12639 N 56th St., Temple Terrace

This cozy strip mall Russian restaurant is a favorite of local chefs and foodies who flock to Temple Terrace and wait patiently for the chicken kiev, syrniki (pancakes), dumplings, baked cabbage, kotlety (croquettes) and more.

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Bamboozle

516 N Tampa St., Tampa / 109 N 12th St., Tampa

A longtime staple of the downtown Tampa restaurant scene known for its pho, fresh rolls, bun and boba with locations just one mile apart. Bamboozle just launched its delivery-only Bamb Bao concept so there’s even more to dive into.

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Basil Leaf

6395 Gulf Blvd St., St. Pete Beach

When you need sushi, curry, Thai staples and a kid’s menu within walking distance of the shoreline, this is the spot.

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BT

Multiple concept locations

Chef BT Nguyen is adored across the Bay area culinary scene, and her three Tampa concepts—Restaurant BT (2507 S MacDill Ave.), BT To Go (3215 S MacDill Ave.) and Bistro BT (4267 Henderson Blvd.)—showcase a modern take on the way French technique and sensibility has blended with Vietnamese culture over the last 100 years.

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Buya

911 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

In 2017, this downtown St. Pete ramen spot became a Flavortown favorite when Guy Fieri popped in to film an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” And if you don’t like spikey-haired food philanthropists, then at least try some of Buya’s Japanese whisky.

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China Yuan

8502 N Armenia Ave., Tampa

Ever since a fire took the Waters Avenue Yummy House off the table, this Cantonese favorite has been the place to get Chinese food near Forest Hills. Solid selections whether you’re going for dim sum (daily, early), Peking duck or dumplings.

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Cho Lon Oriental Market

5944 34th St. N no. 17, St. Petersburg. 727-527-7511

Pinellas Park is the Bay area’s venerable mecca of Asian markets in the 727, but Cho Lon—next door to Mekong Vietnamese restaurant—gives St. Petersburg-ers a place to get fresh veggies for pho plus hot, cold and fresh foods. A surefire place to stock up on sweets for Chinese or Lunar New Year, too.

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Discovery Indian Cuisine

38593 U.S. Hwy-19 N, Palm Harbor

At their Palm Harbor restaurant, Swarn and Evelyn Singh serve Indian food—some wood fired, all spiced to perfection—from the Punjab area nestled between India and Pakistan. Chettinad chicken (from Southern India) is also heavenly, but the goat, channa masala and naan deserve a home in your belly, too.

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Đông Á Grocery/Dong A-2 Market

2600 30th Ave. N, St. Petersburg and 7020 49th St. N, Pinellas Park

Another gem with locations in St. Pete down the street from Mazzaro’s and Pinellas Park, this is the kind of place where you can find gluten-free soy sauce and fresh honey mangoes for your cheesecake.

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Dosunco

3310 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa

In a small plaza in Tampa, this is the kind of cozy small restaurant that you’ll want to arrive at around opening time to beat crowds. From brothless options to the miso, spicy and udon, you won’t go wrong with a bowl from here. Definitely spring for the takoyaki, too.

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Ebisu Sushi Shack

5116 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa

Seminole Heights’ go-to sushi spot, located in a cozy bungalow just steps away from other local favorites. We’ll always come through, especially early, but also can’t wait for Ebisu’s sibling origini-centric Junmai Station concept to open in downtown Tampa.

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Filipiniana Philippine Café

3848 W Waters Ave., Tampa

My parents would always get me some Filipiniana at PhilFest and now there’s a brick and mortar where you can get tried and true Filipino favorites and even plants on occasion. Yes, it’s next to Saigon Deli.

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Flame’s

2601 S Macdill Ave., Tampa

Known for finding the right wine to pair with whatever level of spice you crave, this South Tampa spot also serves an exceptional spicy cauliflower, and mango lassi.

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Han Gook Market

7030 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. 813-886-4554

Lots of kimchi to choose from along with staple Korean meats (kalbi, bulgogi), noodles (japchae) and sides (banchan). And its next to the excellent One Family Korean restaurant, one of Town ‘N’ Country’s best.

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Hawkers

1235 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

A favorite of Dr. BBQ Ray Lampe, this polished Edge District street food concept can rock a brunch, too.

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Hyderabad Biryani House

6810 E Fowler Ave., Temple Terrace

A Buffalo-born chain serving food from the south central region of the southernmost country on mainland Asia. You think you’re Southern, but India is a country as diverse as the U.S., so expect its cuisine to be as unique, too.

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Ichicoro

5229 N Florida Ave., Tampa

After its Imoto location became the latest local concept to leave Armature Works, ramen army leadership is back in the lab at its Seminole Heights flagship and planning something new. In the meantime the ramen-ya’s mushroom broth with black truffle butter continues to be the stuff umami fantasies are made of.

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Kiev Euro Deli

29821 U.S. Hwy-19 N., Clearwater., 727-786-0886

Along with South Pasadena’s Azalea International market, Kiev gives Clearwater a place to get Russian specialties, plus fresh baked bread.

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Kim Brothers Oriental Market

4021 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa., 813-886-8989

Like Han Gook, Kim Brothers has a good selection of Korean staples (banchan, bibimbap and warm kimchi buns on the weekend). Be a hero—and leave smelling like the kimchi fridge—by bringing home some homemade mochi, too.

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Kotobuki Oriental Market

5537 Sheldon Rd. Unit V, Tampa. 813-806-0172

Serving the Town ‘N’ Country neighborhood of Tampa, this shop is smaller than some of the heavy hitters on this list, but still provides the staples to enjoy a comforting snack or make a good meal at home.

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Koya

807 W Platt St., Tampa.

Splurge at Tampa’s eight-seat, pioneering (and still the only?) omakase, led by chefs Eric and Adriana Fralick who source fish from the auction system at Toyosu Market in Japan and stock high-end sake, premium wines, and Japanese craft beers. Look for the more casual sister concept Noble Rice to open in Sparkman Wharf and its accompanying Noble Market (next door to Koya, currently online only) to re-open soon.

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Jollibee

4045 Park Blvd N, Pinellas Park

In its home country, the Filipino fast food giant outperforms Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s in the ‘za, fried chicken and burger verticals. The chain’s U.S. locations give Pinoy families a taste of home and everyone else a chance to experience Chickenjoy, Filipino spaghetti, palabok, mango pie and oddly-satisfying burger steak with adobo rice. Stay tuned for the Red Ribbon bakery opening next door this year.

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La V

441 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

A St. Pete staple for Vietnamese fusion (and mainstays like vermicelli and banh mi) and a great place to watch downtown denizens stroll by as the sun goes down and gives way to the night. Do yourself a favor and try the tofu sando, too.

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The Lemongrass

310 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Just a block from La V is another Asian restaurant. A no frills, multinational menu served on a big patio where you can get tom kha, seaweed salad, shumai, curry and specialty sushi rolls all on the same tab.

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Lien Hoa Oriental Market

3692 W Waters Ave., Tampa. 813-932-1044

Well-stocked, small, Vietnamese market in the corner of a shopping plaza less than a mile away from local favorite Saigon Deli.

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Manila Eats

10621 Tucker Jones Rd., Riverview

It’s not easy to find Filipino food in Riverview, but this food truck is helping with the search. Staples like adobo, lumpia and lechon appear alongside niche items like coconut milk pork, arroz caldo (rice and chicken porridge), sinigang (tamarind beef and pork) and whole fried fish.

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Matoi

602 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa

If you’re looking for some of the best sushi in Tampa Bay, locals swear by this spot and also fall in love with the Korean food.

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Mata’s Carinderia

4350 W Waters Ave., Tampa

Yep, Mata’s (a staple of PhilFest, pictured above) is one of the special places in Tampa Bay where Filipino-philes can experience balut (duck egg with embryo) in all of its glory. The sisig (sizzling pork head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers), kare kare (peanut butter soup) and dinuguan (blood pudding) will also earn you honorary Pinoy status.

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Mercel’s Bakeshop

8500 49th St.N, Pinellas Park

Sure, beloved Filipino bakery chain Red Ribbon is coming to town, but this Pinellas Park bakery and kitchen is the local O.G. grocery, catering, lunch, dinner and breakfast spot where you can try Filipino a.m. staples like tocino (cured pork), longanisa (pork sausage) and even jeprox (AKA bulad or salted dried fish).

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MD Oriental Market

1106 E Fowler Ave., Tampa / 10127 E Adamo Dr., Tampa / 580 49th St. N, Pinellas Park

Along with Oceanic and Sanwa, MD is a giant of Tampa Bay’s Asian market scene. From mochi to custard cakes, the hot bar and bakery, MD has three locations across the area all ready to please.

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Oceanic Oriental Supermarket

609 N Tampa St., Tampa

What originally opened as a store serving merchants in town while docked at nearby Port of Tampa has evolved into Tampa’s go-to Asian grocery.

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Patel Brothers Indian Grocery

1251 E Fowler Ave., Tampa

Despite having locations up and down the Eastern Seaboard and even in Texas, Arizona and California, this Indian grocery store giant is a fantastic place to get ingredients for your Indian home cooking needs.

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Persia House of Kebabs

1441 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa

For more than two decades—and formerly known as Morae’s Cafe—this USF area favorite can satiate a desire for Persian cuisine. Visit the market next door on your way out.

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Pho Quyen

Multiple locations

With three Bay area locations (2740 E Fowler Ave. and 8404 W Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa; 4505 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park), these always busy Vietnamese restaurants serve hungry regulars steaming hot bowls of pho, crunchy banh mi and even bánh tráng nướng đà lạt (Vietnamese pizza).

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Pinoy St. Pete

170 47th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg

Chef Raquel “Jingle” Baluyut hails from the northern Filipino province of Pampanga, and her menu at the Racquet Club’s Match Point Grille includes favorites like lechon kawali (crispy pork belly), pancit, afritada stew, bulalo (bone marrow soup) and breakfast staple tapsilog.

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Rasoi

1701 E 8th Ave., Ybor City

Some folks say Ybor City has it all. When you can stumble into an Indian food buffet, those people are correct. Owner Boruah Manashi offers onion and baingan (eggplant) bhaji, samosas, aloo tikki, plus 13 vegetarian specials available alongside entree size seafood, chicken, lamb and goat with the usual treatments—tandoori, tikka masala and vindaloo, to name a few

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Red Square Deli

4023 W Waters Ave. no. 12, Tampa. 813-901-8588

Some folks go here specifically for the buckwheat from Russia’s Altai Krai region. Everyone else comes for the Russian snacks and comfort food.

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Royal Palace Thai Restaurant

811 S Howard Ave., Tampa

South Tampeños will tell you that you never have to leave the neighborhood for a good meal, and Royal Palace definitely fits the bill for those craving Thai. Lunch is fast at this 2020 Readers Pick Best of the Bay winner for its pad thai (and runner up in Best Thai Restaurant), but sticking around for a long dinner is the ticket.

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Saigon Deli/Saigon Marketplace

3842 W Waters Ave., Tampa

For many, this busy deli is religion. I’m not going to argue. No-nonsense service and consistently satisfying Vietnamese staples (watch me eat a banh mi, vermicelli, pad thai, pho and pork skin rice) all deserve your attention, and the nearby Saigon Marketplace is the perfect place to walk it all off.

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Samurai Blue

1600 E 8th Ave., Ybor City / 13703 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa

A long-running, trusted Ybor City sushi staple with a second location in Carrollwood. In a city swimming in sushi options, you’ll never go wrong here.

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Sanwa Farmer’s Market

2621 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa

Ask a local chef where they go shopping, and they’ll tell you Sanwa. The spacious, clean and well-stocked brick building has it all, all thanks to founder and Hong Kong native Tony Leung who’s literally put roots down in Central Florida where he leads shoppers to items exotic (Buddha’s hand) and every day (jackfruit) with stops everywhere in between.

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Sa Ri One

Multiple locations

Locations in Town ‘N’ Country (7525 W Hillsborough Ave.) and Brandon (1025 W Brandon Blvd.) have expanded this Tampa Korean restaurant’s reach, but the low ceilings at the flagship cottage (3940 W Cypress St.) are just part of the charm that’ll help you fall in love with the local chain.

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Si-am

713 N Franklin St., Tampa

Sandwiched between two 813 icons (The Hub dive bar and Tampa Theatre), this equally important downtown Tampa Thaiamerican staple finds Chinda Chomburi and Stephen Dohack serving up flawless classics for locals and even delivering microwavable takeaway lunches to nearby Duckweed Urban Market.

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Sushi Ninja

3018 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa / 903 E Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon

Definitely come and stay for the specialty sushi rolls, but come back over and over again for the lunch and dinner boxes, udon noodles and party bowls.

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Tampa Philippine Grocery

13934 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa

Wholesale cases of mango regularly sell out at this Oldsmar area Filipino market that slings ingredients like banana blossom, bakery staples like ube cake while also helping families send infamous Balikbayan boxes back to the homeland.

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Thinh An Kitchen & Tofu

8104 W Waters Ave., Tampa

Tampa Bay’s longest running food critic, CL’s Jon Palmer Claridge, said it best when he wrote that, “Thinh An is to homemade tofu what Mazzaro’s Italian Market is to fresh pasta.” Translation: Thinh An is an institution. Since becoming the first restaurant in Tampa Bay to make its own tofu back in 2016, the creamy, custard-textured patties are the heart and soul of the joint’s heavenly banh mi.

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Tindahang Pinoy Variety Store

9150 49th St. N, Pinellas Park. 727-544-8020

Pinellas Park’s tiny Filipino grocery has a restaurant tucked in the back, and if you ever wanted to feel the love of a Filipino household, then you’ll want to stop in.

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Tung Fong Oriental Market

5775 Seminole Blvd., Seminole. 727-393-6877

Friendly service is a hallmark at this family-owned shop and hidden gem of Pinellas’ Seminole neighborhood where you can find ingredients for seemingly everything from curries to hot and sour soup.

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Trang Viet

230 E Bearss Ave., Tampa

This vegan and vegetarian scene favorite near Tampa’s University of South Florida has plenty of meatless dishes (spring rolls, gyoza, sour soup, plus tofu, stir fry, clay pots plus imitation fish, pork and chicken), but also real meat options for your heathen buddies.

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United Oriental Food

3681 62nd Ave., N., Pinellas Park. 727-528-7507

Wholesale and retail customers buy at this big grocery with a deli and bakery that serves Laotian cuisine, pastries plus frozen coffee and tea drinks.

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Wat Mongkolratanaram

5306 Palm River Rd, Tampa

You can’t call yourself a Tampeño if you’ve never waited 10 minutes to get beef pho with skinny noodles at the Wat. And while the Buddhist temple’s Sunday market currently exists in drive-thru mode, sitting in the parking lot with your lips to the soup, rangoon, pad thai, fresh rolls and thai tea is still as satisfying as sitting at a bench on the riverside.

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Yummy House

2620 E Hillsborough Ave. Tampa.

Owners of the concept have a new pho restaurant (read more in our summer 2021 new restaurant roundup), but their flagship restaurants hands down have the best salt and pepper calamari in Florida. Two-inch tentacles cut lengthwise, crispy on the outside, soft and tender underneath, and all kicked up with a complexly-balanced mix of minced green onions, cilantro, roasted garlic and chiles. Could 100% eat the dish (and a lot of the menu, honestly) every day of my life.

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Zukku

Mulitiple locations

Want to eat a sushi burrito all bougie style while taking in the best views of downtown Tampa and the Hillsborough River? Zukku’s Armature Works location is your answer. Want to take your sushi or grill item seated then shop your ass off at an outlet mall? The new Zukku-San across from Tampa Premium Outlets is your jam. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Hell, there’s even a burrito and bowl concept at Lakeland food hall The Joinery.

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