An Honest and Authoritative guide to eating in and around St. Petersburg, FL
If it’s not on this list, I really wouldn’t bother.
- Fourth Street Shrimp Store- Casual, family restaurant in downtown St. Pete– My favorite restaurant in the whole world. My family eats here at least three times on every week long trip, but it’s totally acceptable to eat here for every meal.
- Recommendations in order-favorites first:
- Popcorn Shrimp is tied with fried Jumbo Shrimp
- Clam Chowder
- Fried Oysters
- Regular Fried Shrimp
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Fried Clams
- Bread Pudding
- Recommendations in order-favorites first:
- The Hurricane-Tropical, landmark restaurant steps from the beach on Pass-a-grille– Eat lunch outside before walking to the beach. There is also a dinner restaurant on the second floor and a bar for watching the sunset on the third floor.
- Grouper- the grouper sandwich or fried grouper bites
- Crab Cakes
- Shrimp Tacos
- Leverocks– Upscale seafood restaurant with a somewhat elderly clientele-don’t be fooled, Florida’s retired folks know where to find good food.
- Try the signature Scrod Jason
- Dockside Dave’s– heavy , large portions of fresh seafood on madeira beach
- Try the blackened grouper, fried grouper, and onion rings
- Shell’s- fun dining location for families
- The second best clam chowder in St. Pete. The muscles and shrimp pasta are also very good.
- Billy’s Stone Crab–Large restaurant with a dock and often live music set into a mangrove inlet on Tierra Verde with sunset and natural views. *My family is currently boycotting this restaurant because the wait staff isn’t very friendly, they charged us double for a to-go order, and they stopped serving shrimp cocktail. I personally like the restaurant though.
- Try the stone crab with a house salad. The complimentary bread is also very food.
- Sometimes a whole lobster is only $8!
- Ted Peters– extremely casual outdoor dining. Only serves smoked fish, hamburgers, and hot dogs, but everything is so so good. There is really an old Florida feel here. The fish is smoked on property with a choice of three types of fish. The hamburgers and hot dogs are juicy and delicious. If you like root beer, the root beer is very old fashioned and homemade.
- all toppings for hamburgers are extra.
- The waitstaff used to be rude. They are much nicer now.
- This is a cash only restaurant.
- Coney Island– This diner in the heart of downtown has not changed since my grandad took me there as a toddler, but I’ve heard it hasn’t changed since it opened in the 1920’s either.
- Order a chili dog (or as many as you can eat), a side of slaw (to put on the chili dog), and a chocolate milkshake…yum!
- Rocco– formal dining in a turn of the century mansion in downtown St. Pete. My cousin’s rehearsal dinner was held here. Everything is delicious and well worth the price from the appetizers, to the steak, to the mixed drinks.
- Pappas– Fresh Mediterranean fare in a Deli style restaurant. There is only one restaurant in Tampa and in the airport now.
- Try the house salad. It’s very unique with potato salad under a Greek salad. Really everything is good, though.
- Red Mesa– Casual but upscale, contemporary Mexican food a little outside of downtown St.Pete. There is a wide variety of delicious guacamoles. They also serve various types of sangria instead of mixed drinks.
- Columbian– The oldest restaurant in FL. Located in Tampa. Ornate decor, authentic Spanish cuisine. The Columbian salad is the best. Also, I don’t love sangria, but the sangria here is good.
- Ceviche Tappas– Creative tapas located in a cool old art neuvo hotel in downtown St. Pete. Lovely patio. Not as casual as most restaurants on this list. Nice date ambiance and unique, inspired menu.
- Simply Delicious– cuban deli located just outside of downtown St.Pete, this is the very definition of a whole in the wall in not the best neighborhood in St.Pete. Family owned and operated, and they love their customers. They always remember my grandad and ask if his grandkids are in town. The sandwiches and rice beans and meat plates are great, as is the salad with the special house dressing. Note the serving sizes are enormous…like a sandwich could feed a family of three or four.
Ice Cream/ Dessert
- Larry’s – family owned, extremely popular, homemade ice cream and other random treats on St. Pete Beach. You can’t get better ice cream.
- Everyone in my family has a different favorite flavor.
- Larry’s isn’t into focusing on the one thing they do best. Instead, they mistakenly try to diversify by selling bizarre things like mini donuts with cereal on them or gelato or pizza or (even weirder) wine floats. Ignore these distractions. Order ice cream in a waffle cone
- At or after Sunset, the line grows out the door.
- Twistee Treat– Soft serve ice cream in an cake cone shaped building near Larry’s.
- Try the vanilla soft serve dipped in a chocolate shell!
- Twistee Treat is now owned by Larry’s.
- Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor– Cute and not crowded, located in basement level of Don CeSar– Meh, my cousins like this place, but the ice cream is not homemade.
- Sea Critters– casual restaurant on Pass-a-Grille with seating on a dock over the inter coastal. Only get the Key Lime Pie. The pie is outstanding. Nothing else is good or super fresh.