Riverview started off as a quiet suburb for those seeking affordable homes and an escape from busy neighboring Tampa. But the area has expanded to include multiple zip codes with nearly 30% population growth in the last 10 years.
The headaches that accompany growth can also bring some culinary benefits. Initially nothing more than fast food and restaurant chains, Riverview’s restaurant scene is now a mixture of new franchises and locally owned restaurants. Newer, upscale neighborhoods have attracted South Tampa hotspots, such as Datz.
“We gravitated towards the family-oriented and all-American feeling in the area,” said Suzanne Perry, co-owner of Datz with husband Roger Perry. “We were only expecting to open one location there, but we received such a warm welcome at Datz that when the Donovan’s site unexpectedly became available, Roger and I looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do this one, too!’” Recently, eateries like Boca, Ciccio, Eats, and The Mills have also taken a shot at serving the area, with mixed success.
Craft breweries have also popped up, including Leaven Brewing and Bullfrog Creek Brewing Co., each of which has contributed to a local sense of community. The local breweries also bring in food trucks that might not normally put Riverview in their rotation. Tampa’s coffee culture hasn’t quite caught on just yet, but the way people dine out in the area has subtly changed with more local spots worth visiting for a bite.
Here are some great new restaurants now open in the Riverview area:
Long regarded as one of the best restaurants in South Tampa, Datz brought its lineup of comfort food, craft beer, bourbon-focused cocktails, and decadent desserts to the Riverview area last spring. Kevin Luke, chef at the Datz Riverview location, has 25 years of experience and comes to Datz from Circles, another popular spot in town. The menu is identical to South Tampa with favorites such as “The Cheesy Todd” burger with a mac-and-cheese bun and “The Double D” donut burger. Their Datchos (Datz’s take on nachos) are also a local staple. Datz branded itself as a purveyor of foodie culture early on and proudly made “Cheat Day” an annual January holiday. Datz Restaurant Group also recently opened Donovan’s Modern American Meatery nearby, a steakhouse with seafood options and fine-dining flair.
Datz: 6264 Winthrop Town Centre Ave., Riverview, 813-535-7952; datztampa.com
Donovan’s: 11206 Sullivan St., Riverview, 813-295-8445; donovansmeatery.com
Thought it’s not technically in Riverview, bin + board is just a three-minute drive from Datz. It’s the latest concept from Ty and Lacey Mathis, the owners of Stein & Vine, which has a cult-like following and was formerly the in-house kitchen at Coppertail Brewing in Ybor City. bin+ board is all about the wine, cheese, and charcuterie. In development for almost two years, the project suffered delays due to the COVID pandemic, but its doors happily opened in December 2020. The Mathises say they wanted a place to enjoy a glass of wine without driving to Tampa for atmosphere and selection. Lacey is a Level 1 sommelier, and the Mathises built the bin + board wine list on personal experience and preference, as well as their ear for what people like. A retail section is in the works, with future plans to offer a to-go option.
bin + board: 807 W. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, 813-438-5252; binandboard.com
Tiki Docks River Bar + Grill has enjoyed crowds since its September 2020 opening. Featuring a 17-foot waterfall, spacious outdoor seating, riverfront views, live music with local talent, and daily happy hour, Tiki Docks quickly solidified as a Riverview hotspot. The menu has a Polynesian focus with plenty of seafood and American fare. The Kahuna Crab Cakes, a popular menu item, come as an appetizer, sandwich, or entrée. The craft cocktails are the real draw, with tropical drinks including a Tiki Rum Punch, TV Mai Tai, 1934 Zombie, and Lava Flow Daiquiri. Plans for a boat slip are in the works.
Tiki Docks: 10708 Palmetto St., Riverview, 813-683-8454; tikidocks.com