Want to know what the ‘Locals’ know?
Toni is a resident of Lutz. She has found many hidden treasures in the community and one of her favorite things to share are the excellent dining venues in Lutz. No matter what you are craving, Lutz has it. The best part; these restaurants are not chains. Instead, these restaurants are privately owned family businesses.
Italian: Villaggio Ristorante
Giuseppe Mascali: Owner/Chef
102 Flagship Dr. Lutz, FL 33549
813-949-0572 (reservation recommended on weekends)
If you’re craving Italian look no further than Villaggio Risorante. This local treasure may not look like much from the parking lot but, stepping through the door is like transporting to the wonders of Italy. Inside you are entertained by classic harp music, authentic wait staff, and charming Italian countryside decor. The owner, native to Torino Italy, took ownership of Villaggio Ristornate in 1999.
Chinese: House of China
18463 US Hwy 41 N Lutz, FL 33549
When you imagine Chinese food, you imagine this food. Toni loves this place! The portions are amazing and the food is always excellent. Our favorite thing is being waited on by the owner’s children, who are always polite and professional. An incredible ‘take-out’ place where your order is always complete and hot! Again, this restaurant doesn’t look like much from the parking lot – but trust us, it is worth it!
16540 Point Village Dr. Suite #12 Lutz, FL 33558
Toni is from Texas where she absolutely loved ‘Tex Mex’ style Mexican Food. It is the food Toni would choose if stranded on an island with only one food choice! When Toni moved to Florida, she desperately sought a Mexican Food taste that rivaled her favorite Tex Mex. Finally, she found Vallarta’s. Vallarta’s, home of $1.00 Taco Tuesday (and Wednesday), is Toni’s go to place in Lutz anytime she can get there. Happy Hour everyday 2pm – 7pm!
Seafood: The Great Catch by Taste of Boston
1930 Land O’Lakes Blvd. Lutz, FL 33549
Toni’s favorite Seafood Restaurants are ‘shacky shack’ type places. The kind where you get a plastic bib with a lobster on it. Well, The Great Catch isn’t a shack but the food will have you believing you sitting on the beach where the fishing boat has just pulled in to serve your food. AMAZING! Toni recently had a Fish Taco and couldn’t believe how much fish came on the taco – she quickly told all her friends and family about it! Authentic, Delicious, and Affordable! Now, the website states this place is in Land O’Lakes – I love Land O’Lakes but the truth is – this place belongs to LUTZ!
Breakfast: The Breakfast Nook (of course)
1532 Land O’Lakes Blvd. Lutz, FL 33549
Truly a treasure, The Breakfast Nook is a must go place in Lutz. The refreshing atmosphere is relished by the locals. You can sit outside and enjoy gorgeous Florida weather, watch the squirrels help the wait staff clear the tables, and see a vast collection of various dog breeds while eating an omelet that will take your breath away. Whenever someone visits Toni from out of state she takes them to The Breakfast Nook. The Nook is a perfect example of life in a lower gear. If you plan to go on the weekend, be prepared to wait for a table. But don’t worry, you can play games and enjoy free coffee while you wait. And, the wait is certainly worth it.
Lunch: Deb’s Whistle Stop Gardens Tea Room
100 4th Ave NW Lutz, FL 33548
Planning and meeting and want to really impress someone? Take them to the Whistle Stop Gardens Tea Room and you’ll make an exceptional first impression. Toni has known Owners David and Debbie Sherman since she moved to Lutz in 2010. Back then, it was just Deb’s Whistle Stop Depot. Deb’s shop was a playground and every visit a treasure hunt. Toni purchased several special pieces for her new home and kept going back, year after year. When Toni’s Dad moved to Lutz, the Shermans helped moving making sure Toni’s Dad was taken care of. Ken, Toni’s Dad, ended up furnishing his entire home with items from Deb’s Whistle Stop. Since then, Deb’s has grown and become a little piece of heaven, right here in Lutz. David and Debbie opened the Sherman’s General Store which carries homemade Jams, Preserves, Fruit Butters and Pickled Veggies. There is also local made Honey varieties to die for. Next came the Whistle Stop Garden Center bustling with beautiful greenery and florals. We thought it couldn’t get any better and then the Shermans opened the Tea Room – Delight!