Travel St. Pete Like a Local

Rochelle
Travel St. Pete Like a Local

Cheap Eats & Drinks

St. Pete has grown quickly in the last 5 years. The old St. Pete places haven’t raised their prices and doesn't invest in online marketing. Tons of great places you can spend money on (and find via Google). The below is how the locals do it cheaper (with better quality).
Cheap “Fancy” Happy Hour. $5 wine / charcuterie board happy hour everyday downtown. Wine and cheese are paired every day with only 2 options, but it’s always amazing (with a massive charcuterie board for $5).
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Bacchus Wine Bistro
124 2nd Ave NE
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Cheap “Fancy” Happy Hour. $5 wine / charcuterie board happy hour everyday downtown. Wine and cheese are paired every day with only 2 options, but it’s always amazing (with a massive charcuterie board for $5).
Authentic Cuban Food. There is a large Cuban population so great Cuban food is everywhere! Pepo's delivery and are open early for delivery breakfast (even on weekdays). Try the Midnight sandwich for an authentic Cuban experience.
Pepo's Cuban Cafe
9939 4th St N
Authentic Cuban Food. There is a large Cuban population so great Cuban food is everywhere! Pepo's delivery and are open early for delivery breakfast (even on weekdays). Try the Midnight sandwich for an authentic Cuban experience.
Bottomless Mimosa Brunch. Self-serve mimosas; try an oyster shooter!
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The Oyster Bar
249 Central Avenue
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Bottomless Mimosa Brunch. Self-serve mimosas; try an oyster shooter!
Downtown “Old School” Local Bar. You can reliably get a seat at the bar for a cheap drink; even during big events. Eat prior. I don't think they serve food (and back when they did, it wasn't very good).
Mastry's Bar & Grill
233 Central Ave
Downtown “Old School” Local Bar. You can reliably get a seat at the bar for a cheap drink; even during big events. Eat prior. I don't think they serve food (and back when they did, it wasn't very good).
Beach Brunch. In-house croissants / daily brunch open 7 days a week. Great stop on your way to a beach day.
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Beverly's La Croisette
7401 Gulf Blvd
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Beach Brunch. In-house croissants / daily brunch open 7 days a week. Great stop on your way to a beach day.
Late Night. Just around the corner and one of the oldest bars in St. Pete. <$5 Uber or walkable. Neighborhood dive bar.
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Sunset Grille
2996 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Street North
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Late Night. Just around the corner and one of the oldest bars in St. Pete. <$5 Uber or walkable. Neighborhood dive bar.
Craft Brews. Great simple from scratch sandwich / soup (~$10) with craft beer. Right around the corner. AWESOME beer drink specials (call for drink special info).
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Stone Soup Cafe & Pub
4122 16th St N
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Craft Brews. Great simple from scratch sandwich / soup (~$10) with craft beer. Right around the corner. AWESOME beer drink specials (call for drink special info).
Best Hangover Breakfast. Red Mesa is a local chain and they have a takeout place downtown that does morning delivery (even on weekdays) of awesome hangover food.
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Red Mesa Mercado
1100 1st Avenue North
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Best Hangover Breakfast. Red Mesa is a local chain and they have a takeout place downtown that does morning delivery (even on weekdays) of awesome hangover food.
Old School St. Pete Diner. Locals grew up on Skyway; food is great and they deliver if you want to lounge in bed. Last I checked, you may need to pull up their menu on their website because there's no descriptions on DoorDash.
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Skyway Jack's Restaurant
2795 34th St S
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Old School St. Pete Diner. Locals grew up on Skyway; food is great and they deliver if you want to lounge in bed. Last I checked, you may need to pull up their menu on their website because there's no descriptions on DoorDash.
If you've never had Ćevapi, you're missing out. This is some of the best I've ever had. Lunch will run you ~$10 and portions are HUGE.
Serbian Mediteran Restaurant
6500 4th St N
If you've never had Ćevapi, you're missing out. This is some of the best I've ever had. Lunch will run you ~$10 and portions are HUGE.
All-you-can-eat-sushi. Really hungry? There's a great all-you-can-eat special for lunch and dinner. Sushi is some of the best in the area, too (and there's a lot of competition).
Umami Sushi Hibachi Restaurant and Bar
3942 Tyrone Blvd N
All-you-can-eat-sushi. Really hungry? There's a great all-you-can-eat special for lunch and dinner. Sushi is some of the best in the area, too (and there's a lot of competition).
Great Vietnamese. We have a lot in the area, but this place was the first and really set the tone for more Vietnamese restaurants to take hold. If you're new to Vietnamese, it's very light and fresh. Two popular dishes are the vermicelli with pork and egg rolls or the pho (I like the lean meat version).
Pho Quyen Vietnamese Restaurant
4505 North Park Boulevard
Great Vietnamese. We have a lot in the area, but this place was the first and really set the tone for more Vietnamese restaurants to take hold. If you're new to Vietnamese, it's very light and fresh. Two popular dishes are the vermicelli with pork and egg rolls or the pho (I like the lean meat version).
Great Jewish Food. They have an amazing deli and they open early.
Jo-el's Kosher Deli
2619 23rd Ave N
Great Jewish Food. They have an amazing deli and they open early.
Quick downtown spot to get authentic Caribbean and Florida food. Local favorite.
The Floribbean
2410 Central Avenue
Quick downtown spot to get authentic Caribbean and Florida food. Local favorite.

What the Locals Do

Below is a list of things that are off-the-beaten tourist path that are unique to St. Pete!
Kayakers. Kayak UNDER the mangrove trees in this State Park ~10 min away. Sweetwater Kayaks does cheap kayak rentals. Only do this during high tide.
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Weedon Island
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Kayakers. Kayak UNDER the mangrove trees in this State Park ~10 min away. Sweetwater Kayaks does cheap kayak rentals. Only do this during high tide.
Perfect Beach Bar. Tourists don't know this beach bar (or beach) exists so it's VERY peaceful. There’s no parking and you have to get food delivered to the bar (UberEats, etc). This is also the most affordable beach-side bar. Bar always has the "right amount" of people and lots of "zones" so you can easily strike up a conversation, play beach volleyball / ring toss, or sit on the upstairs patio in total silence. Also features a rubber ducky bar and you can ask the ladies in bikinis to [literally] hang from the ceiling and give you a shot. Something for everyone here.
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Undertow Beach Bar
3850 Gulf Boulevard
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Perfect Beach Bar. Tourists don't know this beach bar (or beach) exists so it's VERY peaceful. There’s no parking and you have to get food delivered to the bar (UberEats, etc). This is also the most affordable beach-side bar. Bar always has the "right amount" of people and lots of "zones" so you can easily strike up a conversation, play beach volleyball / ring toss, or sit on the upstairs patio in total silence. Also features a rubber ducky bar and you can ask the ladies in bikinis to [literally] hang from the ceiling and give you a shot. Something for everyone here.
Florida Vibes Beach Town that looks like what St. Pete did 20 years ago. Key West vibes and you can drive right up to the beach (easy parking). Lots of diversity in this community. Neptunes does amazing drag shows and Peo's is an excellent quiet Italian dinner night out.
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Gulfport
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Florida Vibes Beach Town that looks like what St. Pete did 20 years ago. Key West vibes and you can drive right up to the beach (easy parking). Lots of diversity in this community. Neptunes does amazing drag shows and Peo's is an excellent quiet Italian dinner night out.
St. John’s Pass Sandbar Party. Want to party on a sandbar offshore? This requires planning, but is a local favorite. Join “John’s Pass Sandbar Day Drinkers (Eleanor Island)” on Facebook. Ask if anyone is going out on whatever day you want to go on the Facebook board. Getting a ride is really hit or miss, but a very local experience. People usually charge $50-100 for a ride, depending on the day. Bring a float (you get one on Amazon same day)/food/drinks. Mazzarros (snacks) and Rally Gas station (beer) are classic pit stops prior.
John's Pass Sand Bar
St. John’s Pass Sandbar Party. Want to party on a sandbar offshore? This requires planning, but is a local favorite. Join “John’s Pass Sandbar Day Drinkers (Eleanor Island)” on Facebook. Ask if anyone is going out on whatever day you want to go on the Facebook board. Getting a ride is really hit or miss, but a very local experience. People usually charge $50-100 for a ride, depending on the day. Bring a float (you get one on Amazon same day)/food/drinks. Mazzarros (snacks) and Rally Gas station (beer) are classic pit stops prior.
Massive farmer’s market that occurs most Saturdays (Google it) with live music, food trucks, groceries, flowers. Recommend Ubering because of limited parking.
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St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market
101 1st Street Southeast
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Massive farmer’s market that occurs most Saturdays (Google it) with live music, food trucks, groceries, flowers. Recommend Ubering because of limited parking.
This is the pre and post-game location for the Rays! Great dog hangout areas too.
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Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill
1320 Central Avenue
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This is the pre and post-game location for the Rays! Great dog hangout areas too.
Delivery cocktail. Great food, great vibe local chain right around the corner for dinner, brunch, drinks, etc. They do delivery INCLUDING their cocktail menu [with or without the food ;) )
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Noble Crust Of St. Petersburg
8300 4th St N
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Delivery cocktail. Great food, great vibe local chain right around the corner for dinner, brunch, drinks, etc. They do delivery INCLUDING their cocktail menu [with or without the food ;) )
This is a staple bar in the area in the Old Northeast neighborhood. Try their pizzas and beer cheese soup!
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Old Northeast Tavern
201 7th Ave N
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This is a staple bar in the area in the Old Northeast neighborhood. Try their pizzas and beer cheese soup!

Kava/Sober Bars

Drinking kava is a uniquely St. Pete experience; kava bars are everywhere! There is a sober social movement in the area and kava drives a large part of that. Kava is a non-addictive tea that acts as a social lubricant (alternative to alcohol) in a bar setting. Kava does not impact cognitive, motor skills. Usually a 420-friendly community. No hangovers, no crashes. Kava is usually drank on an empty stomach and NOT WITH ALCOHOL.
Try the dirty lemonade; it’s open 24/7 and the bartenders are knowledgeable if you’re new to kava.
Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Kava Bar
4685 28th Street North
Try the dirty lemonade; it’s open 24/7 and the bartenders are knowledgeable if you’re new to kava.
Great kava bar to get a beverage and wander Gulfport!
Low Tide Kava Bar
2902 Beach Blvd S
Great kava bar to get a beverage and wander Gulfport!
Get a kava beverage and relax on the beach!
Bula Kava Bar & Coffee House (Bula on the Beach)
14601 Gulf Blvd
Get a kava beverage and relax on the beach!

Groceries and Other Necessities

Snacks / No-prep meals. Amazing made-from-scratch food that comes in the containers you cook/eat them out of (no dishes). An experience just to go.
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Mazzaro's Italian Market
2909 22nd Ave N
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Snacks / No-prep meals. Amazing made-from-scratch food that comes in the containers you cook/eat them out of (no dishes). An experience just to go.
Organic grocery around the corner. Mediocre $5 wine bottles, $10 bottles are amazing!
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Rollin' Oats Market
2842 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Street North
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Organic grocery around the corner. Mediocre $5 wine bottles, $10 bottles are amazing!
Usually the cheapest gas in the area. Also has one of the best local craft beer selections (with build-your-own 6-Packs)
Old Northeast Rally
2131 4th St N
Usually the cheapest gas in the area. Also has one of the best local craft beer selections (with build-your-own 6-Packs)
Travel necessities you forgot (walking distance). Not glamorous but convenient.
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Winn-Dixie
3327 9th Street North
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Travel necessities you forgot (walking distance). Not glamorous but convenient.

Best Seafood

Because the area has grown so much recently, restaurants who used to have fresh seafood now use farmed seafood. Here’s a list of the best places still serving it up “authentic”. There are plenty of excellent places on St. Pete Beach as well, but quality is fairly inconsistent over there [so I keep them off the guidebook].
Thai Seafood. Awesome fresh seafood. Also has out-of-this-world duck. Get to-go; dining room is not reliably open since COVID.
Thai-Am Restaurant
6040 4th Street North
Thai Seafood. Awesome fresh seafood. Also has out-of-this-world duck. Get to-go; dining room is not reliably open since COVID.
Grouper Sandwich. There are lots of great seafood places, the Casual Clam around the corner is reliably great. Dog-friendly. Grouper sandwich is off-menu and excellent; just ask the server.
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Casual Clam Seafood Bar & Grill
3336 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N
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Grouper Sandwich. There are lots of great seafood places, the Casual Clam around the corner is reliably great. Dog-friendly. Grouper sandwich is off-menu and excellent; just ask the server.
Best Fish Taco. Best mahi mahi and shrimp tacos on the planet. Even if you're not a salad person, you'll love them. If there was one restaurant in St. Pete I'd recommend, this is it.
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Casita Taqueria
2701 4th St N
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Best Fish Taco. Best mahi mahi and shrimp tacos on the planet. Even if you're not a salad person, you'll love them. If there was one restaurant in St. Pete I'd recommend, this is it.
Smoked Fish. Ever had fresh smoked fish? This is a local favorite that set the benchmark for the smoked fish scene in St. Pete.
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Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish
1350 Pasadena Avenue South
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Smoked Fish. Ever had fresh smoked fish? This is a local favorite that set the benchmark for the smoked fish scene in St. Pete.
Romantic dinner near the beach. Has great live music and excellent food in a warm venue.
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Middle Grounds Grill
10925 Gulf Boulevard
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Romantic dinner near the beach. Has great live music and excellent food in a warm venue.

Art and Music Scene

There are so many great venues to see and enjoy! I put a few in here, but I find new ones everyday!
Cigar bar with live music every night. Reliably a good crowd; it’s packed on weekends but you can usually get a table between the 2 sets they do each night (google for set times).
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Ruby's Elixir
15 3rd Street North
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Cigar bar with live music every night. Reliably a good crowd; it’s packed on weekends but you can usually get a table between the 2 sets they do each night (google for set times).
Amazing one-of-a-kind interactive art installation that just opened up. Highly recommend!
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Fairgrounds St. Pete
800 28th Street South
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Amazing one-of-a-kind interactive art installation that just opened up. Highly recommend!
Culture. St. Pete converted a bunch of warehouses to breweries and galleries a few years back. North side of this neighborhood has +20 breweries, south side of this neighborhood has tons of art galleries. District is between Central Ave and 9th Ave S, and between 22nd St S and 28th St S. Bayboro Brewing is in the center of the neighborhood. Art openings happen most days; just Google for events.
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Warehouse Arts District
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Culture. St. Pete converted a bunch of warehouses to breweries and galleries a few years back. North side of this neighborhood has +20 breweries, south side of this neighborhood has tons of art galleries. District is between Central Ave and 9th Ave S, and between 22nd St S and 28th St S. Bayboro Brewing is in the center of the neighborhood. Art openings happen most days; just Google for events.
Best Concern Venue. Big names come through this small intimate outdoor venue! Daddy Kool records manages a lot of bookings at some of the other small venues if there aren't any concerts that strike your fancy.
Jannus Landing Terrace Northwest
Best Concern Venue. Big names come through this small intimate outdoor venue! Daddy Kool records manages a lot of bookings at some of the other small venues if there aren't any concerts that strike your fancy.
Popular Party Brewery. Large warehouse with free concert venue; hit or miss on music and the beer isn't my personal favorite but it's always a party on the weekends.
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3 Daughters Brewing
222 22nd Street South
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Popular Party Brewery. Large warehouse with free concert venue; hit or miss on music and the beer isn't my personal favorite but it's always a party on the weekends.
Non-Committed Outdoor Concert Hangout. Ale and the Witch serves a large selection of craft brews and shares a small courtyard with Dracula's wine. There is almost always really great, unique local music in that courtyard.
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The Ale and the Witch
111 2nd Avenue Northeast
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Non-Committed Outdoor Concert Hangout. Ale and the Witch serves a large selection of craft brews and shares a small courtyard with Dracula's wine. There is almost always really great, unique local music in that courtyard.
Beach Party Scene. Jimmy B's has live music every night; there's a stack of beach bars within walking distance right by Jimmy B's (Rumfish, Coconut Charlies) that people party at, but the night tends to end at Jimmy B's. This is an old-school-turned-tourist-destination St. Pete Beach bar that attracts a younger crowds these days. Recommend Uber-ing because of all the parties in this area.
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Jimmy B's Beach Bar
6200 Gulf Boulevard
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Beach Party Scene. Jimmy B's has live music every night; there's a stack of beach bars within walking distance right by Jimmy B's (Rumfish, Coconut Charlies) that people party at, but the night tends to end at Jimmy B's. This is an old-school-turned-tourist-destination St. Pete Beach bar that attracts a younger crowds these days. Recommend Uber-ing because of all the parties in this area.
Great open floorplan upscale warehouse-like venue. Hosts a lot of low-key local bands most weekends during the day. Does a lot of concerts and has got a good drink selection / seating.
Independent Bar St.Petersburg
1049 Central Ave
Great open floorplan upscale warehouse-like venue. Hosts a lot of low-key local bands most weekends during the day. Does a lot of concerts and has got a good drink selection / seating.

Healthy Eating

We have amazing healthy choices in St. Pete... not as a menu afterthought. VEGANS/VEGETARIANS... Google “Vegan St. Pete” for restaurants with Vegan menus. Happy Cow (website) only has a few of them listed. Lots of not-100%-vegan places have “real” vegetarian / vegan menus as well (beyond the salad).
This is a small local chain of fast food you won't hate yourself after. Great hangover food. Delicious, calorie conscious burgers and air fries.
EVOS Feel Great Food (St. Petersburg)
2631 4th Street North
This is a small local chain of fast food you won't hate yourself after. Great hangover food. Delicious, calorie conscious burgers and air fries.
100% vegan Asian Fusion restaurant. Very popular locally.
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Lotus Vegan Restaurant
6575 Park Blvd N
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100% vegan Asian Fusion restaurant. Very popular locally.
Great local vegan grocery - they do a lot of work to source their products. Food is awesome, not just "awesome for vegan food."
Black Radish Grocer DTSP
246 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Street North
Great local vegan grocery - they do a lot of work to source their products. Food is awesome, not just "awesome for vegan food."
My go-to for vegan pizza. Highly recommend as hangover food that you won't regret later.
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Flatbread & Butter
497 7th Ave N
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My go-to for vegan pizza. Highly recommend as hangover food that you won't regret later.
Vegan Pad Thai. It's so good, I put the whole restaurant on this list. Rest of the food is great too.
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Stillwaters Tavern
224 Beach Dr NE
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Vegan Pad Thai. It's so good, I put the whole restaurant on this list. Rest of the food is great too.