On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Tune into our episode of “Eat Play Stay” in Tarpon Springs to see some of our favorite spots to explore on central Florida’s Gulf Coast.
EAT – Tarpon Spring Restaurants
Yianni’s Seafood & Greek Cuisine
Yianni’s is located at the world famous Sponge Docks that features authentic, traditional Greek cuisine. It has also incorporated spectacular American dishes with Mediterranean influences. The locals’ favorite is the chargrilled octopus, which is harvested locally.
Silverking Brewing Company
Located a few minutes away from Yianni’s is Silverking Brewing Company. Founded in 2012 on the New Moon, a fisherman’s greatest time to hunt for Silverking, this brewery was founded by a fisherman. The building used to be a jail that later became a police and fire station — many people think the place is haunted. This place is filled with great history and has a family-like feel to it.
Hellas Bakery & Restaurant
Hellas is not just known for the fabulous Greek food, but also the Greek hospitality that comes along with it. This ocean-blue taverna serves savory Greek classics and sweets amid Hellenic murals and tiled floors and is one of the largest producers of Baklava in the country shipping across the USA.
H’ours Creole Smokehouse
French and Greek? Sounds like a good combination. H’ours Creole Smokehouse is owned and operated by a New Orleans native that came to the mostly Greek town and never left. The butter shrimp, etouffee, gumbo and jambalaya are amongst the popular menu items although the menu changes every day you will still find something that you would love.
PLAY – Things to do in Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
This is the place where many of the settlers from Greece made a living by retrieving sponges. You will find people that know the rich history of Tarpon Springs at the Sponge Docks, including Zanthi Zembillas, who gave a brief explanation of the dives for sponges and the different types of sponges. Visitors can purchase sea sponges, see docked sponge boats and eat Greek fare at this locale.
You can’t go to Tarpon Springs and not go on the water. In comes Sponge-O-Rama, where during peak season will board 49 passengers each trip and run 5 trips a day. This two-hour, fully-narrated dolphin adventure beach cruise also disembarks on Anclote Island so you can explore and look for shells. Along with dolphins, you may see manatees and of course, turtles
STAY – B&B’s near Tarpon Springs
Beyond the Wall B&B
Need a place to stay and a kid free zone to relax and unwind? Head on over to Beyond The Wall B&B, which was built by a husband and wife duo who are also veterans. Read the FAQs on the website for all of the questions that you need answers too. It may seem harsh but it is humorous and explains everything you want to know about the establishment and your stay. The Patriot Room is a favorite of the military, firefighters and law enforcement community.