The Tahitian Inn Cafe is an oldie but goodie. Mister M and I have been there at least 20 times for breakfast and lunch and count on the Tahitian for a quick, go-to breakfast or lunch. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to include it in the ZEST’s Best list, but I think it’s because it’s such a habit, I take it for granted.
The Tahitian Inn has a long history in South Tampa. In the 1950’s The Tahitian was situated on a parcel of land owned by Santo Trafficante Jr., the notorious mob boss, and was a hotspot for his mobster associates. More recently, the Tahitian Inn allegedly was the site of Michael Lohan’s latest bout of domestic bad behavior that landed him in Hillsborough County Jail with a new criminal charge.
Sorrid history aside, we frequent The Tahitian Inn Cafe because the menu features simple and straightforward coffee shop fare that’s cheap–eggs, pancakes, waffles, and a variety of omelets are all in the $7 to $9 range. Food comes fast and with a smile from friendly servers. At lunch, the variety burgers and BLTs are consistently great.
Once evening comes, the Tahitian Inn Cafe turns into Kon-Tiki, featuring a Island fusion menu inspired by the restaurant’s recently-updated Polynesian décor. Dinner at Kon-Tiki falls short on flavor and translation but we keep coming back for one of the consistently best breakfasts in Tampa. 601 South Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33609. Tel: 813-877-6721.