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“Probably the most authentic Cuban restaurant in Tampa”

Capdevila At La Teresita
Ranked #204 of 2,384 Restaurants in Tampa
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Latin, Spanish, Cuban, Caribbean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Best Casual Dining in the Tampa Bay Area, near Raymond James & Tampa International Airport. Cuban Cuisine - Cafe open till midnight, 24hrs. Thurs- Sat. Restaurant Live Music Nightly !!! Most Meals under $9, Great Daily Specials Banquet & Catering for any event 813-447-5807 Meeting rooms available for any occasion. Thousands served every week !!! Carryout 813-879-4909 Bulk meals & delivery 813-879-9704
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
443 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 307 helpful votes
“Probably the most authentic Cuban restaurant in Tampa”
Reviewed August 3, 2014

Some of the items on the menu reminded me of the Cuban food I grew up with in Miami (1980's). The Bistec de Palomilla that my mother ordered was the star of this visit to La Teresita. I don't know if anyone remembers the old Lila's Restaurant (used to be in Westchester), but the flavor of the steak reminded of their version (minus the pile of shoe string fries). I had the churrasco steak. The flavor was there, but it was a thinner cut than what I've had in average restaurants such as La Carreta (the one on Bird Road). It would have been more tender if it was a thicker cut. I had the arroz moro and fried sweet plantains as my side dishes. The arroz moro wasn't as flavorful as others I've had in the past, but it was still pretty good. The fried sweet plantains totally satisfied my fix for Cuban food. Caramelized on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside.

I do need to say that the restaurant part of La Teresita may look fancy as you enter, but the seating area has no atmosphere. It's not a place you go to for a romantic dinner. You need to know that upfront, or you'll be very disappointed. It's an old restaurant. Also, the Arroz con Leche wasn't very good. It was too sweet. I'll have to try the flan on the next visit.

On the bright side, the service is very good. Our server was very friendly and attentive, as well as the lady who brought us the bread. I forgot to mention the bread earlier. It was also very good. Anyway, the only difference between the restaurant and the cafeteria is the service, the seating, and the hours of operation. The food is exactly the same. I think the best part of our visit was the fact that you get a nice Cuban meal for an awesome price. It's not like the Miami version that I grew up with, but it's pretty close. I've been to many Cuban restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. I just don't think I'll ever find what I'm looking for anywhere north of West Palm Beach (maybe in Orlando). Will I go back? Yes, because I've heard from a couple of my friends that the Lechon Asado and Bistec Milanesa are also very good.

Just a tip. Don't go there thinking you'll get some innovative preparation of this type of cuisine. It's very old school and traditional. Nothing more. It's where the local Latino population goes to when they don't feel like cooking. That's all you need to know.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KarenV87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
639 reviews
415 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Fantastic Cuban Food - Huge Portions, Great Prices”
Reviewed June 22, 2014

Serving up traditional Cuban entree's for decades here in Tampa.

Capdevila is the sit down version of the historical diner that adjoins the restaurant. Both places share the same kitchen so it's the same food just a bit more of an intimate setting.

The food portions here are huge and the style of Cuban food, if you are new to it is not that healthy of an option. Starches here are a mainstay with yellow rice, plantains and yuca being a common side options for many of the meals. This food is the quintessential Cuban/American cuisine at super affordable prices and you will not go home hungry here. Almost all meals come with two sides and there are a large selection of options to choose from so all should be pleased.

This place serves up the the mainstays that you expect to see in a Cuban/American restaurant such as; ropa vejia (shredded beef), puerco asado (roasted pork), Arroz con pollo (chicken and yellow rice), boliche mechado (stuffed roast eye round). Look, I can go on and on here I hope you get the idea.

The restaurant can be loud but that's expected it is a Cuban restaurant you are going to hear conversation and lots of it and it will not be spoken at a whisper! If you come at the dinner hour, it will also most likely be packed but people move in and out pretty quickly.

The dining area is not that clean and i's typical to find bits of Cuban bread throughout the carpet. But given the fact they serve Cuban bread to every table it's going to be difficult to have the restaurant crumb-less.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 8ric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wesley Chapel, Florida
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unsanitary”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

A pubic hair, again a curly little hair, in my scrambled eggs! Disgusting. To make it worse, the lady waiter upset because I decided to leave rather than order another plate. Definitely not the teresita I was used to. Last time I ever visit!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank rgp05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
96 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Tampa Locals Favorite”
Reviewed June 3, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Nothing at all fancy here, just the best Cuban food in town. Cafe service, eat with the local Cuban folks and their families, lots of Spanish being spoken. Have been going here for 21 years, same people still working there. Tod Blackledge visited here with his CBS camera crew several years for college football. Authentic food, huge portions, inexpensive. If you want sit down fancy don't go here. If you want the best cuban food this is ALWAYS a winner. We always go here anytime we are anywhere near Tampa

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoover
Level Contributor
100 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“La Teresita offers GREAT Cuban Food at Terrific Prices”
Reviewed May 19, 2014

The front desk clerks at the Hilton Garden Inn/Westshore were unanimous when I asked about a "local restaurant with great food, a place that is special": go to La Teresita Cafeteria!

In a word: BINGO!! Holy cow is this place excellent. It looks like a 1950s dinner inside, with the long, curved back and forth counters and stools, plus tables for groups. Its nothing fancy at all, but the food is truly authentic Cuban, the portions are HUGE and you can get out of there for less than $10 - and feel great about it.

Don't confuse this place with the nearby La Teresita Restaurant, which I'm told is also wonderful. This is more of a no-frills "eatery," but the locals pack it day and night (its open 24 hours Thursday-Saturday, and until at least 10 p.m. on the other nights).

There are daily specials ranging from common items such as Carne Asada (Pot Roast, $8.55 on Mondays) to Ropa Vieja (shredded beef, $6.95, Wednesdays). Alas, I was there on a Tuesday, and given that I don't eat pork or shellfish, the Masas de Puerco (fried pork chunks), Arroz Frito (pork fried rice, nothing like the Chinese), Puerco Asado (roast pork) and Pescado Relleno (fish stuffed with shrimp and rice) were specials that didn't work.

So, I asked the waitress (a really nice lady named Anna) which fish to order, and she told me to go with the Minuta Empanizada (breaded fried kingfish). All entrees come with two "sides" - and watch out, because these so-called "sides" are monstrous portions. I chose the yellow rice (excellent flavor) and black bean soup (lots of beans and 100% vegetarian like the real thing in Cuba), and added an extra order of fried plantanos (properly cooked, slightly sweet - in a word, perfect). The meal comes with large slices of freshly baked bread, served sandwich-style with butter already in between the slices.

The entrée itself was a perfect fillet (not a bone to be seen or caught between your teeth) that retained its texture and was not overwhelmed by the breading. It was not greasy - there was no layer of oil on the plate after the fish was consumed - and it came with homemade tartar sauce and chopped lettuce. The fillet was more than a foot long (that's right, I'm not kidding) and the crunchy breading offset the sweet meaty fish perfectly. A nice lime wedge accompanied it, and I squeezed out every last drop for that fish.

As for the price: how does a grand total of $9.64 sound? That's right, the fish and two sides were $6.95 and the extra plantanos added $2.25. I settled for water (they have some exotic Cuban beverages) and avoided dessert in the cafeteria (more on that below).

The service is quick and attentive - my water glass was refilled three times while I was eating, and again after I finished. The folks I was sitting next to were friendly, and recommended that I try the café with leche (milk) after the meal, but I'm not a big coffee drinker so I passed.

One person sitting next to me ordered the fried pork chunks and even a non-pork-eater like me could see that they were large, almost fatless and evidently delicious. On my right, the group was all about the Puerco Asada with Arroz Frito - and no one finished. The take-out containers are free - and plentiful!!

I noticed an old-fashioned barber shop across the street, and being in need of a haircut, asked Anna about it. She said that the young guys who work there (Barbers Grind Barber Shop, 3237 West Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33607) are very good, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The haircut was $15 ($10 for seniors and children), and Rick did a really nice job, even trimming my eyebrows and then rubbing in skin moisturizer for the back of my neck (he shaved down that area and I did not want to develop any bumps).

All that hard haircutting stimulated my sweet tooth, so I ventured back across the street to La Teresita Bakery. Although it was close to closing time (they shut at 4:30 on weekdays), Liz said she was fine with me having an éclair and sampling the cookies...so for $1.62 I had a fantastic éclair, complete with the powdered sugar over the top, crunchy and creamy, just like they were in the good old days of my youth in "da Bronx." The simple sugar cookie was good, and the other cookie with the fruit filling was even better.

I can't say enough about this trio - a great way to kill two hours before heading to the airport!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Nathan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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