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“What's not to love”

Skipper's Smokehouse
Ranked #158 of 2,435 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $18
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating
Description: Now celebrating 34 smokin' years, this venerable Tampa Bay landmark was purchased by three Air Force buddies in 1980 who met while stationed in Alaska and presumably sought to get as far away from the frozen tundra as possible. In the years since, Skipper's has grown from a small smokehouse takeout operation with a casual Sunday jam to a full-service restaurant and much-loved purveyor of world-class music. The architecture is a smorgasbord of "cracker" and islandy-Key West styles with overturned boats, wooden walkways, large murals dot the landscape while artfully rusted walls contain the sounds of revelry. In the Oyster Bar, a vintage moonshine still hangs over the bar while in the dining room, weathered posters tinted by neon lights add varying hues of color and atmosphere.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Start this off by saying I've been to Skippers roughly 15-20 times throughout the past year and a half. I first went for some cheap happy hour beers and oysters, and after that visit I was hooked. I have tried almost everything on the menu aside from some of the daily specials they run and have yet to be disappointed , but more importantly leave feeling impressed. The service is standard in the dining area and awesome in the bar. The atmosphere everywhere is just killer. The wings, oysters, sandwhiches, crawfish Mac n cheese are all stellar. ( I'm a chef by trade and occupation so I don't throw stellar tags on a whole lot of restaurants). This place is the best in the area and truly one of a kind.

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1  Thank Ross H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 - 220 of 317 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2012

Skippers is one of my favorite places in the Tampa Bay area. The music is always great, even can see some big names on occasion. Often local bands play, great for blues too. Food is good, not great, mostly fried, but the fish spread is great. Has a cayjun flavor in the kitch and old time Florida bar atmosphere in the outside music area. Sitting outside at night sweating and listening or dancing to great music can't be beat in my opinion.

1  Thank Bonnie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark W, Manager at Skipper's Smokehouse, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Bonnie:

Thanks so much for visiting Skipper's and for taking the time to write a review!

I'd like to point out that many of our entrees can be ordered either grilled, blackened or fried in our zero-trans fat rice bran oil.

Sincerely,

Mark/manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

Skippers looks like about 1967 incarnate though the building says it was brought to life in1980. Women's restrooms are COVERED with scrawled messages of heartbreaks and love concerns. Entertainment is mostly those too big for clubs but not big enough for halls. Last night Sarasota's Passerine opened very nicely & Dan Hicks(& the Hot Licks)performed to a uniquely small audience for Skippers, which is usually packed to the gills and standing room only (for the likes of James McMurtry, Loudon Wainwright, Todd Snyder, Subdudes, etc). Maybe because it was Sunday night, we got to sit down for a change but discovered the picnic table wooden benches are really uncomfortable after several hours. If you scout around there are more comfortable chairs here and there, though.
Had a simple hamburger and beans and rice but the burger was nicely grilled, side dish satisfactory and service friendly and fairly prompt; peanut butter pie delicious! But you have to see this place, it's so FULL of stuff to look at, convoluted in design,open air for the audience, but inside sitdown for serious meals (with a serious menu).Some fans love it, others find it uncomfortable, but visit at least once just for the EXPERIENCE.

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1  Thank anniemax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark W, Manager at Skipper's Smokehouse, responded to this reviewResponded December 19, 2012

A sincere "thank you" for both your patronage and a thoughtful, well-written review.

Hope to see you back at the ol' Skipperdome soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Skipper's looks decidedly tumbledown if you had never been there before, downright scary if you were expecting a chain restaurant like "Bonefish Grille"!
The first time my husband and I pulled up 8 years ago, we took one look and said "THAT??" We crept inside and Lauren made us feel like old friends. The food is OK, nothing spectacular, grouper caesar salad is killer! Hush puppies are a must-have side as are the onion rings. C'mon folks! Where else in Tampa can you get an ice-cold beer for $3.50, free refills on soda (IN A BAR!!!) and if you are really broke, there are 3 coolers full of free water in the Skipperdome! We love to watch people try to navigate the Skipperdome "floor" in stiletto heels, (the "wear sensible shoes" signs are there for a reason people). I love to listen to live Blues music under the oaks and meet a national recording artist, waiting for his set to begin, walking among the crowd. Skippers is my kind of fun, a funky "Old Florida" institution. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Thank TurquoiseBlues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

I love this place not only for the food, but for the live music as well. Some of my favorite wings in Tampa, and they have the most AMAZING onion rings! Staff is always very friendly (ask for Lauren, she is great!). One of the best places in Tampa to check out great live music.

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Thank Troy U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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