Dr. Michael McIlwain


Best BBQ: Holy Hog BBQ is my go-to for lunch, and I usually end up eating there a couple times a week. The pulled pork is amazing!

Favorite place for date-night: My wife and I love Pane Rustica. Obviously they have a great lunch as well, but I love how the vibe totally changes come nighttime. I would put their food up against anyone’s.

Favorite restaurant in St. Petersburg: Downtown St. Pete has killer restaurants, but if I had to choose just one, our favorite is Sea Salt. We love the raw bar and the octopus, among other things.

Favorite spot by the water: My favorite part of living in Tampa is how easily accessible the water is. Any time I can get out on the water, I am a happy man. We love to take the boat over to Bunces Pass, near Egmont Key. We meet up with friends, and the kids have a blast exploring the sand bar for hours. They find all sorts of shells and marine life!

Favorite place for a night out with the boys: Really it is the favorite day out with the boys – going to MacDinton’s and watching soccer games.

Favorite place to take guests from out of town: This one is a no-brainer. Bern’s Steak House is one of our favorite places to show off to out-of-towners. It isn’t just a meal – it is an experience. My buddy Todd is a waiter there and always takes amazing care of us. And the evening can’t end without a trip to the dessert room.

Best hidden gem: I’m not sure it’s very “hidden” anymore, but we think Rooster & the Till is awesome. Half of the ingredients I have never even heard of, and even if I have, I would have never imagined mixing them, but the end result is the most delicious thing you’ve ever put in your mouth!

Best weekday breakfast: Jimbo’s Bar B-Q has a great breakfast! There’s so much food you won’t go hungry! I get the omelet with smoked sausage.

Favorite seafood: Ocean Prime always has the freshest seafood. Plus their cocktails are amazing!

Favorite weekend brunch: Hula Bay Club. Our kids love the buffet there. They load up on omelets and waffles. The peel and eat shrimp is great, and you can’t beat the view!

Favorite place for a healthy meal: My wife and I like to split a Greek salad at Louis Pappas. She substitutes hummus for potato salad and gets dressing on the side – healthy enough for me.

Favorite pizza: Cappy’s is the best in town. Just remember to bring cash!

Best sushi: We love SoHo Sushi. We always order too much but then eat it all! They have fresh fish and awesome creations. I love the nigiri pieces.

Favorite place outdoors: Any time I am out in Hillsborough Bay is a good time. I love it all – fishing, boating and water sports.