Sean Kim serves up two of Liang’s Bistro’s most popular dishes — the sesame chicken and some cheese puffs. (Photo: Charmaine George)

1. Liang’s Bistro
17515 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
(813) 978-1225

If you’ve never been to Liang’s Bistro, you may be the only person living in New Tampa (or Wesley Chapel, for that matter) who hasn’t. You also may be one of the few local residents who didn’t vote this year for what has been the Favorite Asian restaurant with our readers pretty much every year since it opened in North Palmas Village, in a former Burger King location off Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

Liang’s features amazing appetizers like the amazing Liang’s BBQ ribs and pork-and-veggie egg rolls, but also has its fried signature entrées, Mongolian beef, Thai-style wok dishes with basil, yellow, green and red curry, and both Japanese and Vietnamese-style fried rice, as well as Chinese and Singapore-style fried rice, and Singapore and pad Thai noodle dishes.

Liang’s also offers smaller-portioned Lunch Combo specials with Sichuan, Thai curries and even Korean BBQ wok classics (with your choice of white meat chicken, beef or shrimp. There also are excellent vegetarian dishes like Thai basil tofu, Buddha’s delight with mixed veggies and more.

And yes, you can enjoy a sit-down meal at Liang’s, with beer and wine.— GN

2. Acropolis
14947 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Oak Ramble Plaza
(813) 971-1787

Although new owners Stacy Esposito and her husband Eddie Nasr probably weren’t concerned about our Reader Dining Survey when they took over the ownership and management of New Tampa’s Acropolis Greek Taverna, they were determined to return what always had been one of New Tampa’s favorites to its former glory, after dropping out of the top-10 with our readers for the first time in a decade in 2020.

Well, even though it has always been in the top-5 Greek, Mediterranean or (this year) Asian favorites, Acropolis is back, as it is back up to #5 Favorite overall with our readers, with its delicious Greek specialties, from appetizers like spanakopita (above), saganaki (flambéed cheese) and grilled octopus, to entrées like lamb lollipops, whole red snapper, Athenian fish and more.

And of course, Acropolis offers a great full liquor bar, weekend entertainment and an outdoor hookah lounge. — GN

3. Sushi Café
18051 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy.
The Walk at Highwoods Preserve
(813) 977-7800

New Tampa residents who love great sushi have fewer options today than they did when Sushi Café opened several years ago, but many of you still turn to Sushi Café for great, creative and fresh sushi, plus Japanese specialties and more.

Sushi Café was not only the #3 Asian or Mediterranean restaurant in New Tampa with our readers this year, it also finished as the #8 Favorite Restaurant overall, it’s highest-ever finish in our survey.

Although I’ve never sampled the Hawaii roll pictured above, we have enjoyed everything from the unique tuna tataki to the soft shell crab roll, plus entrées like the chicken katsu, teppanyaki (although not made at your table) favorites like filet mignon and chicken and the Japanese-style fried rice.  And yes, beer, wine and hot and cold sake are served. — GN

The rest of your 2021 NT Asian/Mediterranean Top 10:
(4) Kobe
(5) Thai Lanna
(6) Little Greek
(7) Koizi
(8) Thai Ruby
(9) Michi Ramen
(10) Minerva & China Wok

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