If you have never experienced the fun of tableside cooking at a restaurant, you’re missing out. Hibachi restaurants are the forerunners of tableside cooking, with highly skilled chefs demonstrating not only their cooking skills, but also entertaining guests with knife throwing, food flipping and other tricks. Check out some of Tampa Bay’s best hibachi restaurants to get the most out of your dining experience.
17012 Palm Pointe Drive
Tampa, FL 33647
Don’t be deceived by the restaurant’s humble exterior — Koizi is a hibachi lover’s dream. Not only is the food cooked fresh in front of you, but you can order as much as you want. If you want to start with a plate of Mongolian beef and then get a second plate of mango chicken, no problem — one price covers everything on the all-you-can-eat menu. The varied hibachi menu includes not only popular favorites like chicken and steak, but also tofu, squid and salmon. Hibachi meals come with stir-fried vegetables, rice and noodles. As if that’s not enough to entice your taste buds, the sushi menu is also all you can eat. Taste, sample and share the delicious flavors of California rolls, tempura rolls and sweet potato rolls, all made fresh to order. Koizi is also kid-friendly and includes a children’s menu for picky eaters with kid favorites like chicken nuggets, noodles and French fries.
3600 66th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Arigato is well known and loved in Tampa Bay, especially for special occasions. They have several different locations on both sides of the bay which are a perect for birthdays, anniversaries and even high school prom nights. You can order a variety of hibachi favorites, like tempura meat, seafood or vegetables, shrimp or scallop flambé or seared steak or chicken. If you want the hibachi-style meal cooked right at your table, you can choose either a single entree or a combination. A single entree includes a choice of either vegetables, shrimp, scallops, chicken, steak or lobster served with vegetables and rice. Noodles can be added for just $1. If you’re extra hungry, choose one of the combination meals, which include either two or three of the entree selections, such as the sumo, which comes with shrimp, scallops and filet mignon. For the grown-ups, you can also complement your meal with a hot sake sampler which includes junmai classic, ginjo junmai premium, nigori and a choice of either Fuji apple or lychee.
Related: Best Of Tampa Sushi Restaurants
4615 Gulf Blvd.
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
Blue Fugu is a wildly popular, award-winning restaurant for three reasons: sushi, sake and hibachi. The hibachi chefs, with years of experience in teppanyaki-style cooking, guarantee guests a night of entertainment as well as delicious food. Blue Fugu also takes great pride in its varied seafood options. While most other hibachi restaurants only offer one or two seafood choices, Blue Fugu offers Gulf grouper, Ahi tuna, salmon, calamari, scallops, shrimp and lobster in addition to chicken, steak and filet mignon. Every hibachi meal comes with soup, salad, a shrimp appetizer, fried rice and vegetables. If you’re still hungry, you can choose from over 60 different house-made sushi rolls or a specialty dessert like tempura ice cream.
Related: Best Tasting Menus In Tampa
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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.