Warning… you will be hungry by the end of this post!
As the largest credit union in the state, we know Florida really well. So when we’re not helping members improve their financial lives, we’re out enjoying all that the Sunshine State has to offer. And of course, that means food!
Local restaurants are the heart of our communities. The meals they serve bring people together and spread joy.
We asked Suncoast team members to share some of their favorite local food spots so you can enjoy all of the deliciousness too!
Mucho Taco in Fort Myers
Mucho Taco is “a magical spot” according to Marta Agobian-Goepel, the senior service center manager of our LaBelle branch. She recommends that you bring an appetite, because the food here is amazing!
Marta’s favorite dish is the tacos al pastor. She orders three but said her teenage daughter prefers four with a side of fries “because everything goes with fries according to her.” We tend to agree!
The flautas are “fantastic and so crispy.” Her son’s favorite dish is pollo a la Mexicana that comes with a sauce that Marta thinks must be top secret.
“I’ve never tried anything so tasty before,” she said.
Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille in Temple Terrace
Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille is a special place for Jhazmine Frame, our learning and development manager, because it’s where she had her first date with her husband.
“They have everything a girl can ask for,” Jhazmine said. “Four different rooms with unique ambience, live music, quirky karaoke, pet-friendly patio, fun-loving staff, and surprisingly delicious menu items – even brunch specials!”
Since Tampa is well-known for the legend of pirate Jose Gaspar, there is a uniquely local feel to Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille.
“We love going to this place so much we now host monthly krewe socials where all our friends can dress up, have fun and receive a real Tampa experience,” Jhazmine said.
Ralph’s Burger House in Chiefland
Rissa Mainwaring, the service center manager of our Chiefland branch, has a special connection to her favorite burger joint. It was the first place she worked when she was 15 years old!
“As life goes by and things change, one thing has always remained the same– Ralph’s Burger House,” she said. “You know you are home when you see that sign.”
Locals love the classic flavors and Rissa agrees. “Best burger in Florida, hands down!”
Engine No. 9 in Downtown St. Petersburg
If you’re in the mood for a burger that’s a little extra, service center manager, Kyle Neff has just the place.
“You can’t go wrong with a visit to Engine No. 9,” he said. “They have a variety of hamburgers bordering on whimsical with toppings including peanut butter, fried cheese curds, tzatziki sauce, Italian sausages, and more.”
Burgers aren’t the only thing on the menu. There are hot dogs, seafood and other tasty entrees to choose from as well. And sports fans can enjoy watching the games as they eat the creative dishes.
Sa Ri One Korean Restaurant in Tampa
Sherly Tanprawira, one of our account ops advocates, loves to go to Sa Ri One Korean Restaurant with her sister, Ella. They love the restaurant’s ambiance and “super cozy and traditional” décor. And of course, they love the food!
The kimchi ji gae soup is Sherly’s favorite dish. She also recommends the delicious lychee sake.
“I love going there because they provide good service and their food always delicious,” Sherly said. “They make sure you get out of that place with a happy belly!”