The gulf coast of Florida continues to be one of my beloved foodie destinations with so many amazing restaurants. Though the larger city of Tampa has tons excellent offerings, across the bridge you can find a variety of dining options too. This guide contains the 30 best St. Petersburg restaurants that I think are worth visiting.
I have broken this list up into cheap eats, moderately priced restaurants and places to splurge at. This way you can find restaurants of all price ranges and cuisines! Many of these are in Downtown St. Petersburg, but I have included some on the beachside as well. I have visited this city many times and have tried most of the places on this list. Eventually I will try them all, but it can be hard to pass up my favorites! I hope this guide introduces you to one of the best St. Petersburg restaurants!
Cheap Eats in St. Petersburg, Florida
Though one would expect a foodie spot like St. Pete to be expensive, you can actually dine in this city pretty affordably. There are dozens of fast casual and food truck options allowing for a quick, budget meal. This category includes places you can eat at for less than $15 per person. Here are my favorite cheap eats in St. Pete!
Top Slice Pizzeria
Whether you want a slice of NY style pizza or a whole pie, Top Slice Pizzeria has you covered. This neighborhood pizza spot uses water straight from NYC for the optimal crust and after one bite you will realize the difference! They offer all sorts of toppings from Meatball to Chicken Bacon Ranch, and even have wings, subs and desserts too. Top Slice is open until 3 AM daily, so there is almost always time to get a slice here!
Ray’s Vegan Soul Plantbased Shack
With soul food usually being heavy, Ray’s Vegan Soul offers a unique twist of vegan soul food! This curbside stand varies locations so check their Facebook page, but if you like plant based meals, this spot will blow your mind! Here you can get Vegan Mac and Cheese, Meatloaf and Pot Pie for $12 or less. For a indulgent meal without the meat, be sure to visit.
Red Mesa Mercado
Easily one of the best St. Petersburg restaurants is Red Mesa Mercado. This outdoor food stand has some of the tastiest Mexican food in the city at a very cheap price! You can eat it in the courtyard there or enjoy it next door at the Green Bench Brewing biergarten. Everything on the menu is excellent, but I especially enjoy the Chile Relleno Burrito with Pork Colorado.
Barracuda Deli Café
Over by the TradeWinds resort is the delightful Barracuda Deli Café. This beachy counter service restaurant serves Caribbean Mexican fusion food, including the best local Cuban sandwiches! I recommend this spot for a meal before or after the beach, especially thanks to refreshing options like the Fish Tacos and the Mojo Pork Breakfast Bowls.
If you are looking for a great place to get sushi without breaking the bank, Rollbotto is perfect. They are a made-to-order sushi counter that operates basically like Chipotle! This way you can get the freshest rolls fast and made right before your eyes. They have dozens of ways to customize your roll too, with ingredients like sweet potato fries and toasted coconut! Whether you like basic California rolls or unique combinations, this place will please all.
2nd and Second
Andrew and I had breakfast at 2nd and Second last Valentine’s Day and it really was the cutest little diner for the occasion. It feels like an old-fashioned diner, but has all the modern touches and things to eat. We were blown away by bird in a hole fried chicken sandwich, which was an explosion of flavors! The variety of hash browns is such a nice touch too and I couldn’t get enough of the spicy ones. 2nd and Second is open 24 hours a day, serves breakfast, sandwiches and alcohol, and has indoor and outdoor seating. I could not ask for more of a modern diner!
This gourmet popsicle shop is popping up all over Florida and I was thrilled to find one in St. Pete. The Hyppo specializes in handmade ice pops of all sorts of flavors. These vary from Blueberry Lavender to Peanut Butter Banana, and they even have alcoholic ones! Located right downtown, I always stop here for a refreshing treat.
Grillin N Chillin St. Pete
Another beachside spot for Floridian food is Grillin and Chillin St. Pete. This black owned restaurant serves award winning barbecue, daily for lunch and dinner. The Brisket and Pulled Pork is what they are famous for, but you can’t resist the Collard Greens or Potato Salad on the side either! It’s a casual spot that all ages will love.
Maple Street Biscuit Company
Southern food lovers will also want to check out Maple Street Biscuit Company for some of the best biscuits and fried chicken around. This is another one of the best St. Petersburg restaurants for breakfast and they are open every day, but Sunday. Personally, I am obsessed with the Goat Cheese and Pepper Jelly Chicken Biscuit, which may sound weird, but is the most delectable sweet and savory breakfast. You can’t go wrong with any of the sandwiches or the biscuits and gravy here.
For light bites like crepes and salads anytime of day, The Wooden Rooster is the St. Petersburg restaurant to visit. They offer an array of topping combinations that can be made in crepe or sandwich form. This cozy spot by the water also has wine and beer, so I like to come here for a drink and a snack. With fresh ingredients and artisanal dishes, you will feel like you are in the French countryside while dining here!
Moderately Priced St. Petersburg, Florida Restaurants
If you are looking for a sit-down meal with outstanding food, these next ten places will do the trick. They are affordable for brunch, lunch or dinner without sacrificing flavor. These next St. Petersburg restaurants range from $15-$30 per person for a meal. You could stick to these restaurants without splurging and still have and remarkable experience.
Red Mesa Cantina
Though I usually opt for a quick burrito or bowl at Red Mesa Mercado, the big brother, Red Mesa Cantina is also an amazing place to dine. This restaurant has a top-notch open-air atmosphere and all the tequila you can imagine. I have brunched here in the past and found the Bloody Maria and the Huevos Rancheros to really hit the spot. However, this St. Pete restaurant also is great for an upscale Mexican dinner complete with Palomas and Chile Arbol Carne Asada.
Oak and Stone
Pizza and beer Lovers alike cannot miss Oak and Stone! This St. Pete Restaurant not only has a variety of upscale pizzas, but also a pour your own beer wall! This means you can try as little or as much beer you like with over 50 different brews! Between getting to try beers from places like Angry Chair and Cycle Brewing, to having the Sweet Heat Hot Honey pizza, this was an unforgettable meal for us. I highly recommend it for enjoying with the whole family.
The Central Florida favorite, Hawkers, known for Asian Street Food is certainly not to be missed. Located in the Edge District, this indoor and outdoor St. Pete restaurant has all sorts of exciting fusion dishes. Much of the inspiration is Chinese food with options like Bao Buns and Chow Faan. They also make a mean pad thai though, with the perfect balance of flavors. I recommend doing a shared meal of small plates here, because there are too many tasty dishes to choose from!
URBAN Brew and BBQ
For a barbecue meal with some craft beer to pair with it, URBAN Brew and BBQ is one of the best St. Petersburg, FL restaurants to visit. This fast casual spot has all the makings of classic, Southern barbeque and a fun patio to enjoy it on. Whether you want a platter or a sandwich of the house rubbed and smoked meats, you are guaranteed a huge portion and at least one flavorsome side. I recommend the brisket, the Baton Rogue Mac, the Bacon Brussel Sprouts and a local IPA. If you can still stand after eating it all, be sure to enjoy a game of shuffle board there.
Though The Canopy is more of a bar than a restaurant, they do have food and you will definitely want to come here! The rooftop view is one of the best in St. Pete and the drinks are to die for. I was especially impressed with the frose, which was so thirst-quenching. As for food, you can get bites way better than your average bar food including Picadillo Beef Nachos, a Chicken and Goat Cheese sandwich and Cheesy Tots with Crème Fraiche and Bacon. With firepits, comfy couches and of course the view, you can spend a lot of time enjoying drinks and snacks here.
If you like ramen, Buya is THE place to go for it here! This St. Petersburg restaurant has some of the most creative and scrumptious ramen dishes, like the Braised Short Rib Ramen Not only that, but we love the South Asian Atmosphere combined with the fabulous tiki drink selection!
For brunch, lunch or dinner, The Mill is the trendiest St. Pete place to eat. Their bar is famous throughout town for quality craft cocktails and the food goes along well with it. Favorite dishes include the Octopus Bacon, the Meatloaf Wellington and Lobster Pot Pie, so clearly they are innovative here!
Chief’s Creole Café
Thought St. Pete is far from the panhandle, you can get a taste of zesty Louisiana cuisine at Chief’s Creeole Café. This cozy yet elegant spot serves Crawfish, Po Boy’s Gumbo and more for lunch and dinner every day. This black-owned St. Petersburg restaurant is perfect for an intimate meal with some warm and flavorful food, and you can even bring your own wine!
For Italian cuisine with a Southern twist, Noble Crust is one of St. Pete’s most popular spots. Locals and tourists alike love the culinary masterpieces served here like the Chicken Fried Chicken Parm. They offer plenty of traditional dishes too, but I recommend trying something you can only get here!
There are a lot of delicious sushi places in St. Pete, but The Lure is my favorite. There are so many intriguing sushi roll creations that we always have a hard time choosing! We keep going back for the Hunter roll with its tempura tilapia and avocado, but don’t hesitate to try even crazier ones like the Bacon-H8ter, complete with bacon and tempura chips! If you are not in the mood for sushi, there is also tapas, flatbreads and a variety of cocktail choice too. Definitely add The Lure to your bucket list for an exciting meal!
Restaurants in St. Pete to Splurge At
For a dining experience to cherish, these next ten St. Petersburg restaurants are my first choices. Though it is not necessary to have a pricey meal here, I like to splurge at least one night when I am on vacation. These ten restaurants are at least $30 per person, but offer the finest dining in the area. You may be able to get a more affordable meal for brunch or happy hour at some, but for a special occasion I recommend dinner at ones of these options.
Where better to go for an upscale meal in St. Pete, then the renowned Don Cesar hotel. Dining here is worth it, just to have an excuse to visit this pink icon resort, but the food will not disappoint either. Maritana is the Mediterranean restaurant here celebrated for its seafood, including the Stone Crab and the Kafir Lime Corvina. There are options for land lovers to, but with the coastal atmosphere complete with huge aquariums, its hard not to want a taste of the sea.
Another popular seafood St. Pete restaurant is Ceviche, however this is completely unique. The cuisine here is strictly Spanish with small plates, paella and of course the freshest ceviche’s. The food goes along well with the well-appointed atmosphere straight out of Barcelona! There are even Flamenco shows to top off the amazing cooking!
Brick and Mortar
For the ultimate foodie experience, Brick & Mortar is at the top of my list in St. Pete. This rustic gastro-pub has an intimate dining room ideal for a date night. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect to find some hearty, yet inventive meals like an Expresso Rubbed Slow Braised Short Rib with Polenta or a Truffle Mushroom and Pine Nut Butter House Bucatini. This goes along well with the vast in-house wine and craft beer selection.
Some of the best dinners I have had were filled with share plates, just like the ones you can get at Copa. This European eatery has an extensive selection of wines and small plates from all over. Of course, you have to get the charcutier, which even has a wine pairing to go with it, but there are many other creative options to complete your meal. Whatever you are in the mood for from Mojo Pork Tostones to Heirloom Bruschetta, this St. Pete restaurant has something for everyone.
Birch & Vine
Located in the same hotel as The Canopy, Birch & Vine is one of the most luxurious St. Petersburg restaurants. Guests can dine in the immaculate dining room or on the patio for lunch, brunch or dinner. Meals include New American favorites like Ribeye Carpaccio and Scallop and Grits. Dishes like this go perfectly with the extensive wine list or the specialty cocktail selection.
I have mentioned a lot of seafood restaurants here, but none compare to the Oyster Bar when it comes to oysters. Right in the heart of the Arts District, it’s a welcoming spot to enjoy seafood classics like Shrimp Alfredo or Gulf Coast Grouper. The oysters are plentiful prepared all sorts of ways, from baked to fried to raw, but that isn’t the only hit here. They are also loved for the Mashed Potatoes Your Way that will liven up any dish on the side.
Another downtown spot I love is Stillwaters Tavern, recognizable by its pig and fish icon! That’s probably the best way to describe the menu, as there is a selection of surf and turf dishes. The Hosue-Made Sausage and Miso Honey Salmon are definitely stand outs, but believe it or not, I love the Vegan Pad Thai Salad the best! This is a relatively cheaper option on this part of the list as far as entrees go, but I cant resist a few cocktails and the charcuterie when I am here either, so it usually creeps it way into the pricey category for me! Luckily, the atmosphere goes along great with it and you can enjoy either a relaxed or refined meal.
Found inside a 1920’s mansion, Rococo Steak is the traditional steakhouse that many seek out for special occasions. Your best bet is to come here for steak, as it is all grass-fed and hand-cut and you can taste the difference! There are some more fish and land options for the less carnivorous. However, I would have a hard time not ordering the Dry Aged Ribeye with Truffle Butter and Roasted Mushrooms if I came here!
On the beachside, RumFish Grill is the choice for a tropical, yet high end meal. This is the place to visit with the family to celebrate the end of vacation. They have something for everyone from Chicken and Steak to a Vegan Cauliflower dish and as always, tons of seafood. With aquarium walls and nightly entertainment to go along with the delectable food, this restaurant is always a crowd pleaser.
If you are looking for a nice dinner with a gorgeous view, Teak is the place to go. Located on the St. Pete Pier, you will be treated to 360-degree waterfront views at this nautical restaurant. The food isn’t terribly expensive, with most entrees in the $20-$30 range, including Bacon Jam Scallops and Roast Chicken with Chive Potatoes. However, the ambiance and drink selection is as elevated as the dining room is, making for a prime St. Pete style meal.
Know Before You Go: The Best St. Petersburg Restaurants
Whether you are a local or from out of town, I hope this guide to the best St. Petersburg restaurants introduced you to something new. Though you can always visit nearby Tampa or Clearwater for food too, I think St. Pete has one of the most fun and unique dining scenes around, making it very much worth exploring! Downtown is where I tend to frequent, but there are delicious eats to be had all over this city, especially if you like seafood! Here’s a few tips before dining out in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- It is customary to tip 20% in St. Pete and most restaurants do not include this in the final bill, unless you have a large party.
- Many restaurants here take reservations, often on Open Table. Check out the restaurants page before going to avoid a wait, especially with a large party!
- The best way to save money in St. Petersburg, Florida when going out to eat is to go during Happy Hour, when many places have deals on drinks and appetizers.
- Dress codes vary, but overall St. Pete is very casual. For the upscale restaurants on the list, I would err on the dress to impress side, but nice shorts and sundresses are usually fine.
- Most restaurants in the area have free parking, but if you plan to enjoy drinks with your meal, taking an Uber/Lyft is safe and convenient.
- Support Black-Owned Restaurants! Black-Owned restaurants included in this list are: Copa, Ray’s Vegan Soul Plantbased Shack, Grillin’ and Chillin’ and Chief’s Creole Cafe.
Did one of your favorite St. Petersburg restaurants make the list? Let me know if it did in the comments! For more tips for visiting St. Pete, be sure to check out my Ultimate Travel Guide and my Things to Do in St. Pete list. And for more foodie suggestions for nearby, check out my Tampa and Sarasota restaurant guides!