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Downtown St. Pete is full of fun things to do, the most adorable coffee shops, amazing breweries, and some of the best restaurants. I absolutely love visiting the downtown area, and it never gets old having an endless list of new, hot places to check out!

It’s a pleasure doing the research for you 😉 I will be sure to keep this list updated, as downtown St. Pete evolves. But I think you will be very satisfied with each and every restaurant on this list of the best downtown St. Pete restaurants. There’s Italian, surf and turf, sushi, and more. You’re craving it? I’m covering it! Happy eating 🙂

Best Downtown St. Pete Restaurants

Best Italian restaurant in downtown St. Pete

Gratzzi Italian Grille

If you want good Italian food, this is the spot. Gratzzi has indoor and outdoor white tablecloth seating available. They have your favorite classics alongside their own unique creations. If you order the cavatelli bada bing (which I highly recommend), you get dinner and a show as they prepare the dish tableside.

Whatever you do, you absolutely cannot leave without ordering a piece of their limoncello cake! It’s so light and fluffy, with just the perfect amount of sweetness and lemon flavor. 

Limoncello cake from Gratzzi from owntown St. Pete Restaurants

Aside from having amazing food, when COVID hit Chef Tony closed his doors to the public, but offered free meals Monday through Friday to hospitality employees who were left jobless. He gave nearly 8,000 complimentary meals to those in need and even gave out gift cards for people to get groceries, so go show some love to Chef Tony and his staff!

bada bing pasta from Gratzzi one of the best downtown St. Pete restaurants
Bada Bing with shrimp

Best restaurant for seafood and views in downtown St. Pete

Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro 

You will not be short of options here! Fresco’s provides you with an extensive food (and cocktail) menu. I always try something new and have yet to be disappointed.

Their blackened grouper and Ahi tuna are at the top of the list. No matter what dish you try, start with a cup of their lobster bisque— so light and rich with flavor.

Having good food and interesting cocktails would be enough, but Fresco’s goes the extra mile and provides you with waterfront views as well, making this a great lunch or sunset dinner spot.

Best sushi restaurant in downtown St. Pete

The Lure

In the mood for sushi? Get over to The Lure. The vibe here makes you just want to hang out and chill, maybe even shoot some pool (they have a table!).

But, back to the sushi— I highly recommend the Vesuvius aka Volcano roll. It has crab, cucumber, and cream cheese inside and is topped with avocado, baked dynamite, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. They had me at baked dynamite.

There is plenty of variety with rolls to choose from (all with notably fun names), but they also offer tapas and other internationally-inspired cuisines too!

Sushi from The Lure in downtown St. Petersburg

Best Mexican restaurant in downtown St. Pete

Red Mesa Mercado

Red Mesa is a great option if you’re craving some Mexican eats. I’ll be honest with you, Mexican food isn’t really my thing. Taco Bell was pretty much the extent of my cravings for Mexican food (shush, I know most people hardly consider it that) until I found Red Mesa.

Red Mesa Mercado’s taco salad was a spiritual moment when the first bite passed my lips. The chipotle Caesar dressing they top the salad with has just the right amount of kick. And BONUS: they always have a lovely seasonal sangria to pair with whatever dish you choose.

If you do enjoy good Mexican food, you also need to check out Casa Tina’s in Dunedin!

Red Mesa Mercado restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg

Best hidden gem restaurants in downtown St. Pete

In Between Days

In Between Days is probably one of the most unique (and mysterious) dining experiences you can have in downtown St. Pete. If you go to their website and socials you’ll notice they give no indication of what you can expect for the environment, food, or cocktails!

What I can tell you is you are going to fall in love with this Tokyo-style listening bar and craft sake house. The menu has changed since I last visited (which means I need to go back ASAP), but each dish I had was full of delightful Asian flavors. Their sake cocktails also blew me away!

Aside from the food and drinks, you will be mesmerized by the attention to detail. Part of the intrigue with this awesome downtown St. Pete restaurant is the mystery. So I don’t want to give away too much of the location, you’re going to have to visit for yourself!

If you enjoy mystery and secrecy, be sure to check out some of St. Pete’s fun speakeasies as well!

Left Bank Bistro

Enjoy French cuisine on Left Bank Bistro’s quaint patio. Sitting outdoors, you will definitely get Parisian bistro vibes. Plenty of land and sea (and vegetarian!) options to choose from.

If you aren’t too familiar with French cuisine (like myself), no worries— the staff is extremely helpful in guiding you on what may be the best dish for your palette. The environment is classy, yet warm and inviting.

I can personally attest to the French onion soup and bouillabaisse. Our server recommended a French martini (not on the menu) when I didn’t see a drink that caught my eye, and it was right up my alley! It includes vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord (a raspberry liqueur). So if you don’t see anything you like, don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions! 


Internationally inspired shared plates that are SO unique! Items like mini Cuban fritas and “French onion soup” dumplings (SO GOOD) are two of my favorites from their eclectic menu. If you’re looking for a fun twist on your favorite dishes, definitely make sure to check Tropez out!

They also have beautiful, fun cocktails! Their signature drink, The Tropez, was my favorite. You can also find them on my list of best bars in downtown St. Pete 😉

Best date night restaurants in downtown St. Pete

Parkshore Grill

If you’ve been here before, you know exactly why it’s on the list of best downtown St. Pete restaurants. Pretty much any holiday, birthday, or date night out we are going to be in the St. Pete area for, we want to go to Parkshore Grill. Located right on Beach Drive, it’s such a beautiful spot to enjoy the patio for dinner (indoor seating is available as well).

Their menu is contemporary American cuisine, and they always have interest-piquing specials. But, if you like surf ‘n’ turf you need to get “The Parkshore.” It comes with a filet and lobster tail. Their lobster is extremely tender, and their lemon caper butter sauce takes it to another level (truly the best I have ever had). 

One of mine and Remi’s favorite things to do here is try an appetizer and/or a small salad, and then we split “The Parkshore.” Something that I love about this place is that they are always so kind to split the meal for you and bring you each your own plate.

Filet and lobster tail topped with lemon caper butter sauce from Parkshore Grill in downtown St. Pete

The Urban Stillhouse

Be ready for extraordinary EVERYTHING. Service, atmosphere, music, drinks— truly you’re in for a treat at The Urban Stillhouse. Leather sofas, wood-burning fireplaces, an extensive bourbon “library”, and an aroma that reminded me of “home at Christmas time” sets the coziest atmosphere.

Definitely make reservations, because this place books up! I have actually only been here for brunch, but their dinner menu looks amazing too. You will love their bloody mary (they even have a caffeine and B12 infusion that will help pick you right up!), fried chicken (best fried chicken I’ve had since visiting King of the Coop in Seminole Heights), and homemade pickles!

Even if you aren’t a bourbon person, it’s fun to get a flight for the table to experience. The staff also provides education on the best way to enjoy the bourbon. If possible, you’ll definitely want to take a tour of the place! At least wander upstairs to check out “the library”.

If you’re enjoying this post, be sure to check out my Tampa, Florida guide with all of the best bars, restaurants, things to do, and more that Tampa has to offer.

Best happy hour restaurants

The Avenue

Half-off bites and shareables? See ya there! Monday through Friday 4-7 PM you can get half off these menu items. From lettuce wraps to buffalo wings, The Avenue is a snacker’s dream. Seriously, your favorite classic appetizer is most likely going to be found on their menu, and it’s all so good.

If you’re with a crew hungover or prepping for a long night ahead get the squad goals which is only $20 and includes pretzels, mozzarella sticks, wings, and chicken tenders.

On top of their happy hour, they also have daily specials you can check out here! Another great thing about The Avenue is that it’s right next door to Park and Rec, so you can work up an appetite before snacking or burn off what you just noshed on. 

No Vacancy

There is such a fun, lively atmosphere here that you really do feel like you’re on vacation. They have happy hour Monday through Friday 4-7 pm and it includes some of their best items (in my opinion) for $6! Wings, sliders, their skinny dip (lobster dip), fiyaaahhh cracker shrimp, and my all-time favorite, their under the sea nachos. Along with food specials, No Vacancy also includes $4 drafts, wine, and bubbles and $5 wells during their happy hour.

Seafood nachos and a fun cocktail from No Vacancy in Downtown St. Pete

Sea Salt

Sea Salt has an elevated dining experience with a raw bar, wine cellar, and tableside service (they will filet your fish at the table). When you go during happy hour (3-6 pm), you can nibble on their amazing culinary creations for a fraction of the price.

I am sure this place would be great for a special occasion dinner as well, but I can only personally vouch for their happy hour— which was in fact bomb. We got their truffled deviled eggs and crab cake, which was full of lump crab meat and paired perfectly with their truffle aioli.

They also have more filling items like fish and chips, a swordfish sandwich, and an Angus burger on their happy hour menu as well. 

Best brunch in downtown St. Pete

The Library 

You know I couldn’t make a list of the best restaurants in St. Pete without including The Library. The Library is my go-to brunch spot. It’s also one of my favorite coffee spots in St. Pete. Aside from the beautifully-presented food that is sure to bring your taste buds joy and the coffee you may just gulp down 3 cups of without realizing it (it’s just sooo smooth), the aesthetic here is magnificent.

Surrounded by thousands of books that are all slightly different shades of navy blue along with English den-style chairs. Ugh, it’s just such a dreamy environment, and as I said, the food will keep you coming back for more and more. They change out their menu occasionally, but if you have the opportunity to try their sourdough French toast, your taste buds will thank you.

The vibes here are great for a St. Pete bachelorette party or girls’ brunch!

Red Mesa Cantina

Modernized Mexican brunch comin’ right up! As I stated, this is usually not my cuisine of choice, but Red Mesa has given me a new perspective. Enjoy your brunch and cocktails in the courtyard Saturdays and Sundays between 10:30 am-3 pm.

Their huevos rancheros and huevos con chorizo are very appetizing. They also have tasty bloody marys, and of course sangrias and a variety of margaritas. Can’t decide which to get? They also offer a margarita sangria so you don’t have to choose. 

Best Restaurant with Unique Menu Offerings

Wild Child

Wild Child is a lively St. Pete restaurant and cocktail bar founded on fresh, in-season cuisine and friendly service. This chic restaurant serves up an eclectic menu full of internationally-inspired dishes and fun cocktails.

Their Korean fried chicken sandwich is PHENOMENAL and includes unique twists like kimchi mayo and shredded cabbage, and the rosemary fries with garlic aioli are a perfect addition. I also had one of the most unique Caprese salads ever with strawberry and rhubarb, the flavors were phenomenal (last photo)! The tuna tostadas are also a solid choice!

For cocktails, I can never stray from the Lost Weekend which is made with fresh watermelon, lime, and agave. You get to choose your spirit, my vote is for mezcal.

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best downtown St. Pete restaurants! Want more of downtown St. Pete? Make sure to check out some of these fun activities to do in St. Pete! And follow me on Insta for more Tampa Bay food and fun!

Be sure to check out some of my other local posts before you go:

Free things to do in Tampa

Fun things to do in St. Pete Beach

Best Dunedin restaurants


  1. OMG this post makes me SOOO hungry! I love the way you’ve incorporated so many different kinds of food, and kinds of restaurants (as far as find dining, casual, street food…). This definitely makes me want to visit St. Pete!!

  2. OMG I wish we’d had more time in St Pete (we only had 1 night)! The Library looks absolutely dreamy – I love places for Sunday brunch and this looks like perfection.

  3. So many restaurants and they all look delivering the best food. I will look for Limoncello cake now whenever I go to Italian Restaurant near where I live. The Volcano Roll at The Lure looks to die for.

    1. Hey destiny,
      Heading to tampa/st pete next weekend for my 30th birthday with some girlfriends, where are some fun bars to go to? I added some suggestions!

  4. All of these restaurants look amazing! I definitely need to visit St. Pete. I heard it is such a fun and quaint place in Florida. 🙂 Great guide!

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