The Hunt for Justice books are set in Tampa, Florida, where the fictional star of this series, Judge Willa Carson, lives with her husband George and their two labradors. George owns a 5-Star restaurant and they live on the premises. Wouldn’t you love to have gourmet room service meals prepared precisely as you wish every day? I would!
Very often, the things I learn about Tampa inform the fiction in my books. This is true of the food too! It’s no surprise that I made Willa’s husband a chef, with Tampa Bay’s abundance of top-rated eateries.
Here’s a fun look at Tampa’s Food Halls. Unlike food courts, food halls are a carefully curated selection of local eateries. Another defining characteristic of Food Hall’s is their aesthetically pleasing designs, often combined with lawn games or small shops.
Sparkman Warf – Image courtesy of Tampabay.com
Sparkman Warf is an experimental concept, created from a series of interconnected metal shipping containers. The Food Hall offers ten of Tampa’s best culinary options with a gorgeous waterfront backdrop. The Boat Rub Oyster Company provides visitors fresh local seafood, while Gallito Taqueria is a modern taqueria. Other cuisines to choose from are classic southern food such as world-famous fried chicken and fries and French Vietnamese fusion.
The Warf is also home to an open-air Biergarten known as Fermented Reality Biergarten. The Biergarten features many of Florida’s own craft beers and is the perfect place to sit and relax. Those looking for a little physical activity can also participate in lawn games adjacent to the Biergarten and dining room.
Heights Public Market – Image courtesy of Artstampabay.com
Heights Public Market is located in Tampa’s old Electric streetcar depot. Covering 22,000-square-foot, this innovative Food Hall was designed with an open floor plan and communal seating area. Some of Tampa’s top chefs showcase their talents at the Market’s “Show + Tell” workshops. Food vendors offer everything from specialty coffee and cocktails to authentic wood-fired pizza and Modern Cuban Cuisine. The venue is also home to three sit-down restaurants, each adding their own unique flair. The Steelbach offers a classic Southern-inspired menu with a timeless design. In contrast, M.Bird offers the best of Tampa’s rooftop restaurants, with its luxurious lounge and curated cocktails.
The Hall on Franklin- Image courtesy of Cltampa.com
Opened in 2017, The Hall on Franklin is a collection of some of Tampa’s top chefs and restaurants. Visitors can choose from seven food vendors spread across the eight thousand square foot space. Rather than having to go from vendor to vendor, visitors are able to order off a multivendor menu and sit where they like. This isn’t just any gathering hall, however. The space features beautiful leather lounge sofas and crystal chandeliers.