Ulele

4.7
6337 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Ulele (pronounced you-lay-lee) celebrates the vibrant fusion of ingredients from Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including the legendary young princess Ulele.

Located on the Hillsborough River in Tampa Heights, 400 yards from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Indoor and outdoor waterfront dining. Lunch & dinner daily. Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Featuring intricately flavored, visually appealing dishes prepared on our 10' round barbacoa grill.

Ulele operates in the lovingly re-imagined 1903 Tampa Heights Water Works building, which also includes its Ulele Spring Brewery to provide a number of craft beers on tap. Next door to Water Works Park.





Specials

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Enjoy a Father’s Day meal at Ulele with indoor & outdoor waterfront dining.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

What 6337 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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VB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and excellent service. Try the grist and homemade ice cream!

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LF
Tampa
25 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was excellent, nice menu selection & wine list. Service was good - it was just so loud that we had a hard time hearing our server & he hearing us.

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CA
Orlando
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very nice exterior, a lot of activity, excellent food and service. We will be back!

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CH
Miami
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent service. Great food, drink, and wine choices. Food was good, but the ice cream is fantastic.

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MO
Tampa
45 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Ulele is set in a picturesque location on the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa. Reservations are almost always suggested. The meal we had Sunday evening was the best we have had at the restaurant. In the past, we found the food not up to the greatness of the location and atmosphere. We both had the seared tuna which was excellent. The experience at Ulele is worth the visit. Before or after dinner I suggest a walk to the river to observe the fantastic view.

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DR
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Every dish is delicious! Service is always spectacular and all the waiters and waitresses seem to have good personalities! They were also really helpful at leading you in the right direction for a spectacular meal and really good wine!

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MH
Tampa
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

My husband and I visited Ulele for the first time to celebrate my birthday. We were seated at a small table next to some ladies whose voices were very loud. Overall, the restaurant is louder than most - good if you like the energy, probably not if you want a more intimate dinner. We liked the hum, but asked for another table so we could hear each other. We were reseated shortly to a more suitable table and, lucky for us, the best service we've had in a long time with Ernesto. His timing and manner were superb, his banter was friendly but not too familiar. My husband started with a Wedge salad which came with the additions of roasted corn and ham chunks that catapulted this salad to terrific! He devoured it! I had the Ulele salad which was tasty as well. Portions were very generous, and again, Ernesto's service timing was impeccable. My husband had the filet and I had the Gouda Grouper. Both mains were very good and cooked to order. We like a sauce with our beef, and their house steak sauce was on the mustardy side, tasty but not to our liking. Sides were mashed potatoes, green beans - both good. I also had the spinach which I normally enjoy, but this was bitter, even with the garlic seasoning. We declined any dessert, but they brought some delightful chocolate truffles and a birthday card as a nice touch to our special night. Overall, I would recommend Ulele to anyone and give it a 7/10. Ambiance is lively and modern, location is terrific from the Straz, parking was easy and free. Ernesto spoiled us with his excellent table service. A good night, on the whole.

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T
Cincinnati
26 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding!

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JR
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Fantastic food, service and feel. Just a little noisy!

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food as always

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Lots to do in the area. Will go back

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DS
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thanks for making my birthday memorable! Wonderful food and attentive service.

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KH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated our wedding anniversary at Ulele! Everything was fantastic; our food was delicious; the drinks and dessert were sensational, and all of the staff were efficient, warm, and friendly. The staff got together and signed a nice card and the management gifted us a delicious box of truffles.

I would like to give special thanks to our server, Saige New, he was polite, friendly, knowledgable, and he made great recommendations. Please provide him with special commendations. This was an overall five star experience.

Thank you for a wonderful evening.

-the Hastings

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G
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always noisy due to type of building. Our server, Marie, was OUTSTANDING!!

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JM
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was unique and very flavorful, the waitstaff was very attentive and helpful. overall a really enjoyable dining experience.

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MT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Between the swarm of flies, having to shout over the racket just to be heard at our table and the exorbitant prices, I will not return it recommend Ulele. The food was not as described in the menu and the waiter spent more time talking about the beer and wine list thannlostening to us taken our orders.

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PM
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was of excellent quality, our server was extremely personable, and the views were great. We picked the restaurant by Googling "good restaurants in Tampa" and liked what we saw on the website. Easy to get to, valet parking was lovely, and we will definitely go back.

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V
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ulele has great service, good food, and a nice atmosphere! Everything is made fresh and tastes great.

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G
Tampa
14 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere are always great, but we wished there was a brunch menu and larger salads for the cost.

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T
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely amazing culinary experience!!!! Everything we ordered was above and beyond our expectations. It’s been a week since we went and I still can’t stop talking about their food! Can not wait to go back!!

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DH
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to Ulele a couple times and this experience was just like the others. Great service, delicious food, and knowledgeable and friendly staff.

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RI
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

First, we had a 3 old fashions (there were three of us) and the drinks were badly made. We had these drinks outside. To a person the response was that the drinks were watered down. So we did not feel that the drinks were good or that we got our monies worth.
Second, Ernesto, our waiter was indifferent to us. He had a big table next to us and really did not care about our service. This was unfortunate and was the first time that we received poor service. Given the prices at this restaurant this is totally unacceptable.
Third, my wife asked her filet to be done as medium rare and it was returned as well done. Make us think that they are not paying attention to detail in the kitchen. Again, if you are paying these prices you expect the meal to be done properly. Why didn’t we complain at the time? Well my wife is somewhat avoidant about voicing criticism. She did not want to raise an issue but agreed that the food was improperly done and the service was poor at best.
Fourth, we had our car valeted and we had to wait about 20 minutes before they retrieved the vehicle. Again this is unacceptable given the high end cost of this restaurant.
We were very disappointed overall with the dining experience. I am not sure that I will return and I think that that others should think twice about spending their hard earned dollars here.

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OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect meal and service. Thank you.

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JD
Tampa
30 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 5ambience 3

Wow! What a disappointment this restaurant was. Loud, uncomfortable seating, flies everywhere. We were swotting them and trying to avoid having them land on our food.
We had a screaming child all evening at the table next to us. So much for a romantic evening!
Our server was excellent however. Food was so so.
We will not be returning.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

First time at Ulele. Great little spot downtown by the water. Loved the ambiance.

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BH
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service !I have had the pompano many times but was overcooked tonight

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j
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

So loud. I know that is popular but a few soft surfaces could reduce the noise level to a dull roar.

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OF
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 4

The hostess was friendly, found our reservation promptly and addressed me by name and was accommodating of our seating request.
The dining room, bar and outdoor bar/dining areas are nicely laid out and the tables are spaced well giving you plenty of room and privacy.
The atmosphere is energetic and positive, which we found extremely pleasant.
For appetizers, we tried the Crab Mac '& Cheese (without crab) and the Tournedos Barbacoa. Both were served hot and were generous portions. The Tournedos Barbacoa were tender and served with charred corn and a spicy sauce that was delicious. The M&C was tasty with a light sauce.
The Fire Roasted Chicken was tender and the basil sauce was a perfect compliment.
The Stuffed Shrimp is served as a casserole dish with the shrimp and lobster chopped and blended with an excellent light cream sauce. The green beans and rice blend were unfortunately not hot when served which was disappointing.
Both the "Naviera Espresso Chocolate Swirl" and the "Fortune Taylor’s Guava Pie" were excellent desserts.
On a very positive note, this seems like a "yes" restaurant regarding substitutions or alterations to dishes to your personal dietary or taste preferences.
The service was spotty as our waiter seemed to be "off his game" that evening.
He was friendly, but failed to check back often enough and it was only thanks to the attentiveness of another waiter that we got drinks refilled at one point.
In observing other wait staff though, I would say the chances of getting inadequate service is very slim.
We certainly will come back again.

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JM
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our visit was a truly memorable occasion. We celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary at a lovely table inside. The room temperature was comfortable and the wait staff was extremely attentive but not overtly intrusive. In fact we felt they were quite sincere in their efforts to serve and give us everything we needed to relax and take in the exceptional atmosphere. The food was very eclectic yet (okra fries to die for, don't ever take them off the menu) still was comforting. The fish (sea bass with sauce and spinach) was cooked perfectly and the seasoning accented this mild fish. We never felt rushed to leave after finishing our meal. The restroom was very clean, furnished in a simple yet artistic manner, and every detail was provided. The extra sink in the alcove was a nice addition. To our immense surprise we received a autographed anniversary card from the staff along with a box of truffles from the manager. I don't know if the truffles were made at Ulele but I would put them on the menu. Overall this was one of the best dining experiences we have ever had in Tampa Bay area. We would recommend to anyone to dine and experience a truly unique setting. WaterWorks Park, the River, etc. THANKS

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OT
Tampa
26 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food always good. Service always prompt. Beer always cold.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was very nice, the ambiance was great, and more importantly the food was delicious!!! I don’t eat meat and was with my family who does, and I appreciated that there were options for me.

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OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always a wonderful experience. Was a little noisier than normal but had a great experience and our waiter(s) Chris and James were fantastic.

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R
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

They could use fans or better AC inside, otherwise great place

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EL
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Awesome outside area. Wish there was a better soup selection. Bacon ice cream was amazing

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OT
Tampa
60 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always wonderful, Ulele is always on our favorite restaurant list!
The drinks are very creative, the menu is exotic and homey at the same time. Service is always excellent.

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d
Jacksonville
11 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Great venue because of location and building. Open floor plan creates high noise level, so be aware intimate discussions not possible here. Got oyster appetizer, size of oysters quite large so a bit off-putting as quite a bite. Crab avocado appetizer tasty, but needs crackers or tortilla chips as a lot of guacamole. Lobster roll a disappointment as obviously thawed frozen lobster so chewy and tasteless. Good drinks and very good service with great views, so enjoyable overall. Will give it another go in the future

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and great food! There was a mistake on my order, but it was quickly resolved! Awesome!

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SA
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The service was not nearly as great as it was my last visit. The hostess was distant and indifferent, and kept me waiting even though I had a reservation. The waiter was a bit pushy. And when he finally asked how the food was I explained my shrimp were way over cooked. He reacted with an “oh okay” and cleared my plate away. Disappointing since I brought friends with me who I had raved to about this place.

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RA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food atmosphere and service Rick was a great server. He was very busy but kept on top of all our needs great personality too.

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VQ
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

There were a lot of awesome reviews about Ulele which is why we attended! A reservation is a must with the crowd level and the drink menu looked amazing.... Our server was kind, attentive, helpful in explaining the menu. The food sounded so good.... But it WAS NOT GOOD! It seemed as if the food was pre-made and simply heated before being brought out to us. We both ordered the Sea Bass, a delightful delicate fish that when cooked properly is amazing... but at Ulele I had to cut it with a knife. Will likely not return other than for the atmosphere and a cocktail

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