There was a saying that the old people lived in Miami and their parents lived in St. Petersburg. They don’t say that anymore. St. Pete has become the cool kid of the Tampa Bay Area. This formerly sleepy Florida city has come alive with new blood. The retiree population has been replaced by a much younger crowd and once dilapidated mid-century modern buildings have been redone and filled with indie coffee shops, craft breweries, cocktail bars, and chef-driven restaurants.
Check out these FED favorites for eating, drinking, and playing. For more recommendations for St. Petersburg restaurants, bars, and shops, plus Spotify playlists, places to stay, see art and theater, hear music, and recreational activities: Download the FED St. Petersburg Guidebook.
Begin your day at this minimalist coffee shop that serves single origin coffee roasted on premises. Plus their outside “Hello St. Petersburg” mural will look good in your Instagram feed.
2662 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Bodega on Central
Grab an outside table, sip on aquas frescas, and chow down on made-to-order Latin American cuisine at this casual cafe in the Edge District. The menu features Cuban sandwiches, salads, platos with rice and beans, and fresh-squeezed juices. They also have several vegetarian options.
Pro Tip: “I suggest the Cuban if it's your first time to Bodega. I always tend to order their Lechon Platos though, which is a plate of slow roasted mojo pork with grilled onions, white rice, black beans, and plantains.”(Brewer Khris Johnson)
1120 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Their popsicles are made with all-natural, seasonal ingredients. They have over 450 flavors from basics like strawberry and chocolate sea salt to more unusual options like Mojito, Nutella, and Elvis (peanut butter, honey, and banana).
Pro Tip: “Their popsicles are off the chain. They have so many unique flavors. My favorite one is the Blackberry Goat, made with blackberries and creamy goat cheese.” (Chef Matt Bonano)
627 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
St. Pete Records
They have a large selection of old and new albums across a range of different genres. Don’t miss the “fresh finds” bin and demo them at their listening station. You’ll find this shop upstairs in the Furnish Me Vintage store on Central Avenue.
1246 Central Avenue, 2nd Floor, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705
Brewing coffee by day, serving lunch in the afternoon, and mixing cocktails by dusk. They open at 8am for cafe items and switch over to shaking adult beverages at 5pm. Come for Happy Hour with a DJ spinning vinyl in the corner and a raw bar in the back.
Pro Tip: “Check out the pop-up oyster bar — serving Wednesday through Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. Also, at the bar, you can ask one of our baristas or bartenders for an off menu drink since we are always working on something here.” (Owner / Barista Jarrett Sabatini)
1111 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club
It’s Florida, people play shuffleboard and have been since this regulation shuffleboard club opened in 1924. They call themselves “the Wimbledon of Shuffleboard” because it’s where all the modern rules were standardized. For years, it was the place for retirees with over 6,000 members. In the late 90s, membership diminished to just 35 people. Enter the hipsters. It’s now hot again and on Friday nights you can play for free and BYOB.
559 Mirror Lake Drive North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Housed in what was once the Christian Science Reading Room and helmed by chef Lauren Macellaro, who worked in New York and North Carolina before coming to the Tampa Bay Area. The menu is ever-changing, but consistently wood-fired. They don’t have a liquor license, but do serve beer, wine, and low-alcohol cocktails.
Pro Tip: “I would suggest the Liver Mousse, Burrata, Marrow & Egg Toast, and the Fish of the Day. Enjoy the views of the garden and indulge in anything vegetable-based.” (Chef Noel Cruz)
6001 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
This restaurant and lounge is an off-shoot of the popular Ichicoro Ramen in Tampa and serves food until 1am, Thursday through Sunday. The menu features ramen, rice bowls, yakitori, izakaya snacks, and cocktails. Come for a late nightcap and a DJ spinning tunes.
Pro Tip: “I love coming here for late night food. The fried cauliflower and chicken karaage are a great pairing for one of their tasty cocktails. The Black Mage, Fake Mustache, and Genji Glove are my favorites.” (Chef Lauren Macellaro)