Wat Mongkolratanaram of Florida (Wat Tampa)

Roofline of the TempleAbout a year and a half ago, @ihearttampa brought me to the Wat Mongkolratanaram in East Tampa. I had no idea what to expect, I had never even heard of the place. In order to alleviate my concerns (you see, I’m a Baptist and I didn’t think I should go to some type of temple), she told me they had great food. I am happy to report, we have returned often.

Not only is the Thai food incredible, it is a great place to people watch. It is only open on Sunday for lunch, they set up a market place atmosphere. You need to get there early though, the line after church is huge.

Soup Line

It is best to go with several people, that way you can all spread out and hit as many vendors as possible.

While the girls hit the lines for egg rolls and veggie rolls I stood in the longest line at the Temple, the soup line. Believed to be called Pho (phở bò) because we researched online but have not asked them personally. This soup is simply awesome.

Making the soup

Making the soup

You can have it with thick noodles or thin, with beef or pork. Any combination is great.

While you are there, you should also try the coconut water and fried plantains.

Coconut water

Fried plantains

I should also mention, they have a great selection of plants. Water lilys, orchids and many other assorted foliage to purchase.

Water lily


I mentioned earlier that is also a great place to people watch, it is also a great place for candid photos.

Lady in the plants

Phone call

While the food is excellent, the people watching is fun and the opportunity for candid shots exist throughout. You’ve got to stop by the temple and admire the architecture. But if you go in, please resepect the culture and remove your shoes.

Thai Temple

Remove your shoes

For more information on Wat Tampa visit: Wat Mongkolratanaram of Florida (Wat Tampa).

Danny Kushmer

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