Armature Works Restaurants in Tampa: the Historic Food Hall with Something for Everyone

We sipped cocktails as the Florida sunshine gleamed through the windows contemplating which of the Armature Works restaurants we’d enjoy for lunch.

The well-designed and incredibly decorated food hall, called Armature Works, is inviting and relaxing. Armature Works restaurants in Tampa will delight and surprise its visitors; it’s oozing with options for everyone – from Japanese ramen to Cuban pork sandwiches – and drinks from cocktails to coffee.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase, at no cost to you. We truly only recommend hotels, products, and services we personally use. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Green lawn with a brick building and palm trees in the background at Armature Works in Tampa.

Location of Armature Works in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay has distinct neighborhoods that add to the character of this wonderful west coast city in Florida. Armature Works is located in The Heights neighborhood. The family-friendly area has a bit of a hipster vibe and seems to somewhat focus on the growing population that appreciates art with their urbanism.

This flourishing area was the perfect home for this food hall in Tampa Bay Florida, on the Hillsborough Riverfront.

Is there Free Parking at Armature Works?

There is plenty of parking (which we also discuss in this post about where to eat in Downtown Tampa) in an adjacent lot. There is also limited free street parking.

We have to admit, we’ve been there when the parking is absolutely packed and we wish we Ubered there or took a Lyft there instead. Consider a rideshare option if you don’t have a lot of parking patience!

Brick and metal exterior of Armature Works food hall in Tampa Bay.

History of the Public Heights Market and Tampa Armature Works

The history of the building that houses Armature Works restaurants and its spaces gives it additional character and significance. It once housed Tampa’s electric streetcars during the second decade of the 20th century, which were the city’s main mode of public transportation at the time.

When automobiles became more prevalent the building was sold to a phosphate company in 1960.

As the electric streetcars in the 73,000 square foot building were once a vital part of connecting Tampa Bay’s neighborhoods the building is once again an integral part of bringing people together. Today, The food hall occupies 23,000 square feet of the entire building.

Traveling to Tampa Bay, Florida? Be sure to check out Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars, including Cuban and Japanese cuisine, and everything in between. Their waterfront space in The Heights area of this FL town is beautiful! Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall
Red brick building with "Heights Public Market" letters on it.
Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars are the newest and best in the city of Tampa Bay Florida. They have everything from a flower shop to vintage inspired goods as well. Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall

Today: Armature Works Tampa…

The developers have pumped a lot of time, energy, and money into preserving the character of this decades-old building while adding complementary furniture and spaces.

It has been serving the community as a multi-purpose destination since its official opening on February 1, 2018, even though it has lived previous lives for decades. (It’s been hoppin’ ever since!)

What is there to do at Tampa’s Armature Works?

It’s home to Armature Works restaurants in Tampa, co-working and event spaces, bars, and riverfront recreation. They even have a “Show + Tell” space to host cooking classes, pop-up dinners, and assorted special events. Needless to say, perhaps, is that it’s a popular wedding venue with plenty of event space for ceremonies and receptions, without even having to reserve any space inside the food hall during operating hours.

While it is, of course, a “food hall” in Tampa Bay Florida, it’s much more: it’s a space for locals and visitors to congregate, be productive and enjoy life. There is indoor and outdoor seating.

If you’re planning on sitting outside don’t forget to bring outdoor essentials like reef-safe sunscreen and a reusable water bottle (there’s a place to refill your water near the indoor bathroom in Armature Works) to protect yourself from the Florida sun!

Florida Essentials

The Bug Bite Thing
The Bug Bite Thing
Sun Bum Travel Pack
Sun Bum Travel Pack
Sweatblock Wipes
Sweatblock Wipes
Collapsable BPA-Free Water bottle
Collapsable BPA-Free Water bottle
Washable Cooling Towels
Washable Cooling Towels
Travel Rain Poncho
Travel Rain Poncho
Travel Umbrella
Travel Umbrella
Reusable Round Water Bottle
Reusable Round Water Bottle
Reusable Flat Water Bottle
Reusable Flat Water Bottle
Rechargeable, Portable Handheld Fan
Rechargeable, Portable Handheld Fan
SPF Sunscreen Lip Balm
SPF Sunscreen Lip Balm
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Sunglasses
Sunglasses
Industrial inspired interior of Armature Works food hall in Tampa, Florida.

Places to Stay near Armature Works

Interested in staying overnight in Tampa? We recommend it! (Especially if you’re drinking…then take advantage of Ubers or walking and treat yourself to a hotel room.)

Nearby Downtown Tampa Hotels

We are tried and true fans of Marriott hotels. Here are three ideally-located downtown Tampa Marriott options:

Design of Armature Works

No expense was spared to create this thoughtful, sexy space. From leather couches to beautiful wood tables and chairs created from mixed materials (whether stand-alone pieces gathered around a coffee table or as repeated stools at the bar) the design is complete and cohesive. It honors its past while bringing the historic building into the 21st century.

Matte greens and rustic browns are accented by metallic and wood details, flanked by original brick and concrete that define the character of this unique place.

Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars, Steelbach southern inspired cuisine, is definitely worth a visit if you are traveling to Tampa Bay and are in search of things to do! Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall

If you love mid-century modern design be sure to check out M. Bird. It’s a full-service restaurant and rooftop bar at Armature Works too.

Armature Works Restaurants and Bars

There is something for everyone in terms of cuisine at Armature Works, including cuisines around the globe and drinks and dessert for all.

The options at this food hall in Tampa Bay, Florida are plentiful. They have quick service options and a few full-service dining options.

Quick Service Armature Works Restaurant Options

  • AVA: wood fired pizza
  • Bento Asian Kitchen: noodles, rice and bento boxes, of course
  • BnB: butcher and BBQ (their sandwiches looked amazing!)
  • Buddy Brew Coffee: Cafe and coffee
  • Dharma’s Southern Kitchen: southern specialties sandwiches and sides, like mac ‘n cheese
  • Empamamas: empanadas, tacos, chicken tenders
  • Graze 1910: elegantly refined American comfort food
  • Kipos: Mediterranean food
  • Hemingway’s: Cuban cuisine
  • Muchachas: Mexican inspired cuisine
  • Zukku Sushi: Japanese cuisine, including sushi, burritos and bowls

Armature Works Restaurants with Full Service

  • Oak + Ola: EuroAmerican sit down restaurant with handcrafted cocktails and a menu including anything from pasta dishes to seafood and meat
  • Steelbach: southern inspired cuisine and steakhouse
  • M Bird: rooftop bar (21 and over) and restaurant
  • Stone’s Throw: detached from Armature Works, closer to the water with outdoor riverfront dining

It may be up for debate, but I would say the main restaurant of “Armature Works, The Heights Public Market,” is Steelbach. You can enter the restaurant from outside of the building or from inside the market. The lunch we had there was excellent! (Some photos from our delicious meal are shown below, which included a vegetarian open face beet Reuben, bacon cheeseburger, and Brussel sprouts.)

I highly recommend the cooked carrots if they’re on the menu when you visit; we couldn’t get enough of their unique well-balanced flavor. They serve dinner and brunch at Steelbach as well.

Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars are the newest and best in the city, including Cuban sandwiches and Japanese ramen, and everything in between like Steelbach's southern inspired cuisine. Their fresh cooked carrots would be a recipe I want in my kitchen! Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall
Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars are the newest and best in the city, including Cuban sandwiches and Japanese ramen, and everything in between like Steelbach's southern inspired cuisine. Their juicy cheeseburger offering is pictured. Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall

Armature Works Coffee, Cocktails and Wine

  • Union by Commune + Co: coffee and assorted caffeinated delights
  • Bar AW: indoor cocktail bar
  • Cru Cellars: wine bar and kitchen for light bites, including gourmet fries and charcuterie and cheese plates
  • M Bird: listed above as a full service restaurant, as well

I highly recommend the Bar AW (Armature Works), which is next to the interior entrance to Steelbach. We enjoyed the cocktails we ordered as we admired the beautiful bar. If it’s a beautiful day head to the rooftop to get a dose of the Florida sunshine at M. Bird.

Desserts and Sweets at Armature Works

  • Bake’n Babes: desserts and incredibly Instagram-worthy treats
  • Astro Ice Cream Co: candy and ice cream

There’s also a rotating food stall so be sure to check their website for the current gourmet delight.

Armature Works Public Market restaurants and bars are the newest and best in the city of Tampa Bay Florida, including Cuban sandwiches and Japanese ramen, and everything in between like Union coffee. Their mixed-use waterfront space, for events, co-working and food, in The Heights area of this FL town is beautiful! Read about it in length and plan your visit with kids and adults by clicking through! #TampaBay #Florida #FoodHall

Miscellaneous Shops at Armature Works

  • A.W. Mercantile: if you’re looking for a cute card to pick up for a friend or awesome tie to complete your business attire this is your go-to location inside the market.
Please note: We thank Visit Tampa Bay for generously hosting us. All the opinions in the post are ours and we bring you genuine content with real facts, photos and thoughts. Always.

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Mikkel is co-owner and editor of Sometimes Home and Sometimes Sailing along with her husband, Dan. She is a professional photographer in addition to writing about their travel adventures to encourage and motivate others to book their next trip and explore the world.

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4 Comments

  1. March 21, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    I love food halls! One giant one just opened in Austin right after I moved and I had major FOMO.

    • March 21, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      I would have major FOMO too! Let’s go visit! 😉 xo

  2. David J. Busciglio
    January 31, 2021 / 2:01 pm

    Nice and complimentary article, but one mistake, and this is a pet peeve of mine (a 64 yo native Tampan), because it is so commonly repeated. Please know that there is NO such city by the name of ” Tampa Bay “, not in Florida or anywhere else.

    ” Tampa Bay ” is the name of the body of water on which the City of TAMPA resides, along with its neighboring and sister cities of St Petersburg and Clearwater. The name ” Tampa Bay ” is also given to the four county metropolitan area (population north of 3.2 million, at last count) in Florida comprised of those same cities, and the counties of Hillsborough (county seat, Tampa), Pinellas (county seat Clearwater), Pasco and Hernando.

    Again, I’m a native so the matter is a pet peeve, but hey, kudos to the writer for an otherwise well done article. The City naming mistake seems to be pretty common for non-natives, who frequently hear and see references to the larger metro area as Tampa Bay, and make the mistake of thinking the City itself is so named. It also evidently stems from news and articles regarding our pro sports teams- namely the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and Tampa Bay Rays (MLB).

    • February 5, 2021 / 3:44 am

      Hi David – we 100% know what you mean and understand that, as a native, it’s a pet peeve of yours! Yes, we know that the sports teams aren’t helping identify it clearly either and are sort of misleading visitors, right? 🙂 “Tampa Bay” is what the tourism board, of Visit Tampa Bay for the Tampa area, calls the area as well. Which is why it’s often searched and used in language and writing! We’re glad you liked the article too and thanks for your comment and adding clarity!

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