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“Ask for Ruthie!”

Skipper's Smokehouse
Ranked #164 of 2,418 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $18
More restaurant details
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.
Tampa, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Ask for Ruthie!”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

From the first time we went on a friends recommendation we have not been disappointed. The refried wings are the best wings in Tampa!! We enjoy trying the specials and sampling from the menu. They have great beer specials. It may be a little different than most places you have been but it has character and one of the best servers ever. Ask for Ruthie!!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Tog23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    22
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Unique is being polite.”
Reviewed November 19, 2013

Most definitely a bar, rather than a restaurant, the food was below average. The Smoked Gator Ribs were tough and contained more cartilage than meat. The famed Blackened Grouper Reuben tasted very “fishy” and not in a good way. For me, the coleslaw saved the day. The atmosphere was something that you should take the time to see. Maybe if I go there again I’ll stick to chicken wings.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank J-Szy8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
107 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Don't believe everything Adam says!”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

My wife and I dined here on our way out of Tampa based on the review by Adam from "Man vs Food". It's a really interesting place with a good atmosphere but the food did not meet the star billing. I had the ribs, which were very tasty but certainly weren't "drop off the bone" ribs. My wife had the MVF featured gator ribs. The flavour was good but they were tough and chewy to the point that she could barely get any meat off them. You can have a good night out there with eats, drinks and live music but there are probably better places for a meal.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mikeanddani2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Skipper's Rocks, Inside and Out”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Its ramshackle, funky architecture (if you could call it that) belies an amazingly creative kitchen. You'll never get a bad meal here, and you'll find prize-winning taste sensations that have earned national acclaim. The grouper reuben, for example, has been featured more than once on The Food Channel. My own favorite is the basa reuben, while my better half is crazy about the mahi dinners. I've also enjoyed raw oysters in the piano bar and tasty burgers during the outdoor concerts that fill the spacious back yard on most nights. There is no place like it.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BobRoss48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Skippers was scarey.”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Cobwebs, dust, dirt, needs paint/maintenance and cleaning. Nasty!

Slow service.

Conch fritters over breaded. More conch less frit please.

Ceviche was great!

Please clean the place!!!!!!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank tsikos1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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