Liang’s Bistro has been a consistent winner as the Favorite Asian Restaurant in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel pretty much every year since it opened and its location on BBD Blvd. in New Tampa (near I-75) is the favorite sit-down, upscale Chinese/Asian fusion restaurant in either of our distribution areas.
Liang’s has wonderful NY-style barbecued spare ribs, egg rolls and pan-fried dumplings, and even offers a popular seared ahi tuna appetizer.
The signature dishes at Liang’s include General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken, beef or shrimp, Mongolian beef, chicken or shrimp, excellent sizzling teriyaki or Shanghai-style steak and Liang’s recently added salmon and tuna poké bowls.
Another thing that sets Liang’s apart in our area is that it also offers Korean BBQ, Thai curry dishes and Japanese-style, as well as Chinese-style, fried rice.
You also have to try the sautéed string beans (I order them spicy), with or without ground chicken. Liang’s also serves beer and wine.
2 — Kobe Japanese Steakhouse has been our readers’ favorite Japanese steak house in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel pretty much every year it’s been open and it also serves great sushi, to go with top-quality hibachi steak, chicken and seafood.
3 — Bonsai Sushi was originally located on Bearss Ave., just south of New Tampa, but its Shoppes of New Tampa at Wesley Chapel location has been even more popular for delicious, fresh sushi and other Japanese specialties.
4 — Umu Japanese & Thai Since opening in the former OTB Café space in the plaza across from AdventHealth WC, Umu has been a local favorite with the best selection of white meat fish sushi, plus entrées like miso sake Chilean sea bass.
5 — China Wok has takeout locations in the WC Village Market and one on County Line Rd. in New Tampa. Since many of our readers didn’t specify which one they were voting for, it’s possible that neither finished this high.
The Next 10, in order of votes: Arroy Thai (WC), Asian Buffet, Sushi Cafe, Thai Ruby, Koizi, Hibachi Express, China Gourmet, Palm Thai, Thai Lanna, Gonna China.
FAVORITE LATIN: Vallarta’s
Vallarta’s Restaurante Mexicano (aka Los Vallarta) was the first Mexican place to open in Wesley Chapel and even though so many other Mexican places in both of our distribution areas have come and gone, it seems that Vallarta’s still strikes the balance that resonates with our readers for its authenticity, food quality and price.
There’s also good reasons why Vallarta’s is loved by the locals in all of its locations in the Tampa Bay area — even though its Tampa Palms restaurant closed in 2019.
First of all, we still think Vallarta’s has the best sizzling fajitas of any Mexican or Southwest place in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel. You also simply can’t beat the variety of tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas or enchiladas, but we also love the selection of steak, pork and chicken entrées, as well as the awesome daily and Happy Hour specials at its full liquor bar.
In other words, the Wesley Chapel Vallarta’s is here to stay.
2 — Cantina Laredo Wesley Chapel’s most upscale Mexican eatery is definitely a really nice restaurant with very good food and a premium full-liquor bar, even though it is a little pricy. Try the guacamole made tableside.
3 — Chuy’s Tex-Mex is still a relative newcomer to Wesley Chapel’s Latin restaurant scene (this is only its 2nd year in our survey), but it continues to attract plenty of votes from our readers for its food, full liquor bar and Elvis-themed vibe.
4 — Rice N Beans also has been open in Wesley Chapel for less than two years and its focus is on unique Puerto Rican dishes like mofongo and chicharrones, plus live music, salsa dancing and a premium, full-liquor bar.
5 — Las Palmas has the best Cuban around, having won the Best of Tampa top award twice, so it’s not open to debate. Start with a Tour of Havana Trio, but don’t forget to try the roasted pork and steak entrées.
The Next 10, in order of votes: Latin Twist, Capital Tacos, Chipotle, Tijuana Flats, Don Julio’s, Moe’s, Lima, Pollo Tropical, Taco Son, Taco Bus.