Food Writer Laura Reiley Dishes on Tampa Bay's Restaurant Scene

May 8, 2019

Food writer Laura Reiley, right, dishes her parting thoughts on Tampa Bay's food scene to Robin Sussingham, host of WUSF's new food podcast, The Zest.
Credit Dalia Colón

Food writer Laura Reiley spent years closely observing Tampa Bay’s food and dining scene. 

She says there’s a reason that the area is exploding onto the national consciousness—affordable real estate.

When you don’t have to put every last penny into your location, you have room to experiment with new approaches to cooking.

Reiley also explains how the lively craft beer scene has led to more interest in fine food.

“Beer is the gateway drug to food,” the former Tampa Bay Times restaurant critic says.

Earlier this year, Reiley left her position at the Times to write about the business of food for the Washington Post. Before she left town, Reiley dished her observations of Tampa Bay's food and craft beer scene to WUSF's new food podcast, The Zest.

To hear host Robin Sussingham's interview with Reiley, and for instructions on how to subscribe to a podcast, visit