15 Best Restaurants in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Florida, is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant arts scene, and diverse culinary landscape. From innovative eateries serving creative fusion cuisine to cozy bistros dishing out comforting classics, the city boasts various restaurants to satisfy every palate. Whether you're a foodie seeking the latest gastronomic trends or a memorable dining experience, St. Petersburg has something to offer. Here are some of the best restaurants in St. Petersburg, where exceptional flavors and warm hospitality await:

1. Birch & Vine

Situated in the historic Birchwood Hotel, Birch & Vine is a culinary destination known for its contemporary American cuisine and breathtaking views of downtown St. Pete and Tampa Bay. Helmed by Chef Lee Aquino, the restaurant offers a menu that showcases locally sourced ingredients transformed into exquisite dishes, such as the Pan-Seared Diver Scallops and the Duck Confit Flatbread. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list for a truly memorable dining experience.

2. Il Ritorno

For authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist, look no further than Il Ritorno. This intimate eatery, located in the heart of downtown St. Pete, is renowned for its innovative approach to classic Italian dishes. From house-made pasta and wood-fired pizzas to inventive small plates, each dish at Il Ritorno is expertly crafted to highlight the flavors of the season. Save room for dessert and indulge in their decadent Tiramisu or Cannoli.

3. Red Mesa Cantina

Craving Mexican fare with a creative flair? Head to Red Mesa Cantina, where bold flavors and vibrant ambiance collide to create a dining experience like no other. Located in downtown St. Pete's bustling Central Avenue, this lively restaurant offers a menu inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of Mexico, with dishes ranging from street tacos and ceviche to sizzling fajitas and enchiladas. Pair your meal with a signature margarita or a refreshing agua fresca for the perfect complement.

4. Noble Crust

If you're in the mood for rustic Italian-American cuisine with a Southern twist, Noble Crust is the place to be. With locations in both downtown St. Pete and nearby St. Petersburg Beach, this casual eatery offers a menu of hearty dishes made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in classics like the Chicken Parmesan or the Shrimp and Grits, or try one of their inventive wood-fired pizzas for a taste of Southern hospitality with an Italian flair.

5. Sea Salt

As its name suggests, Sea Salt specializes in seafood, offering an extensive selection of fresh catches sourced from local waters and beyond. Located in downtown St. Pete's bustling Sundial complex, this upscale restaurant boasts a sleek and modern ambiance, making it the perfect setting for a special occasion or a memorable night out. From raw oysters and crudo to grilled fish and seafood towers, the menu at Sea Salt is sure to impress even the most discerning seafood lover.

6. Parkshore Grill

Situated in the heart of downtown St. Pete, Parkshore Grill is a beloved local institution known for its elegant atmosphere and impeccable cuisine. Whether you're dining al fresco on the charming patio or enjoying the sophisticated ambiance indoors, you'll be treated to a menu of classic American dishes made with the finest seasonal ingredients. From the signature Parkshore Caesar Salad to the Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail, each dish at Parkshore Grill is a testament to culinary excellence.

7. Stillwaters Tavern

Situated in the heart of downtown St. Pete, Stillwaters Tavern is a culinary hotspot that seamlessly blends comfort food with contemporary flair. The restaurant's cozy yet stylish ambiance provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying its inventive menu, which features dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. From their renowned Tavern Burger to the mouthwatering Short Rib Grilled Cheese, each item on the menu is crafted with care and creativity, ensuring a memorable dining experience for guests.

8. BellaBrava

For a taste of authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of St. Petersburg, look no further than BellaBrava. Located on Beach Drive, this beloved restaurant offers a menu inspired by the flavors of Italy, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. From wood-fired pizzas and house-made pasta to fresh seafood and hearty meat dishes, BellaBrava has something to please every palate. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive selection, and savor the flavors of Italy in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

9. Fortu

At Fortu, savor the art of Pan-Asian fusion cuisine on the Izakaya-style menu designed for communal dining. Guests especially love their selection of Australian and Japanese Wagyu beef sourced from renowned prefectures. From shareable plates to Wagyu options, each dish bursts with exciting flavors. The stylish atmosphere recalls the dining scenes in major cities like Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. It’s an excellent spot to savor every bite and sip on a night out with friends who enjoy innovative cuisine.

10. The Library

Though The Library isn’t actually located in a library, its backstory is bookworthy. Essentially, the restaurant, situated within Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, is the result of a collaboration between two well-known 19th-century philanthropists. The Library is celebrated for its coffee and versatile dinner menu. The appetizers are designed for sharing, the salads are robust, and the dinner entrees impress. Try the mushroom orecchiette or beef cheek pappardelle for a unique flavor journey.

11. Good Fortune

Good Fortune in St. Petersburg is a vibrant and contemporary dining destination that offers a modern twist on traditional Chinese cuisine. The restaurant’s sleek decor fits well in downtown St. Pete. Its menu covers classic favorites like General Tso's chicken to innovative creations like Korean BBQ short ribs; you can order from 18 small plates, nearly as many rolls, and several bowl options. The food goes well with Good Fortune’s cocktails, sake, artisanal beers, or Japanese whisky.

12. Good Intentions

Located just off I-275 in downtown St. Pete, Good Intentions is perhaps the city’s premiere vegan restaurant. The menu, which also accommodates gluten-free diets, comprises drinks, brunch plates, starters, and entrees. The Espresso Martini is arguably the restaurant’s best cocktail, while weekend brunch combines sweet and savory options like French toast and breakfast tacos. Mains range from New American to Korean to Southern cuisine. Good Intentions backs up its name by sourcing ingredients from local and regional businesses like St. Pete Ferments and Green Bench

13. Cider Press

This gastropub offers a plant-based menu with an emphasis on pub fare favorites. They use innovative techniques to create vegan versions of classic dishes like burgers, fish and chips, and loaded fries. Boasting one of the city’s more eclectic menus, Cider Press serves jambalaya balls and Irish nachos; specialty salads tossed in vinaigrette; mains ranging from eggplant parmigiana to beef bourguignon; and a hearty selection of gastropub burgers and sandwiches. With its full bar of delicious plant-based cocktails, Cider Press is ideal for those seeking a casual and fun dining experience focusing on vegan food.

14. Love Food Central

Just a three-block walk from Good Intentions, Love Food Central Cafe is another haven for vegans and those seeking delicious gluten-free options. The menu is divided into lighter lunch fare and more hearty dinner options. The snack menu offers soups, bagels, and toast, whereas the sandwich menu includes adventurous options such as the sauerkraut burger, banh mi burger, and tempeh ruben. They also have a great selection of kombucha on tap and offer daily specials. Love Food Central is a perfect choice for a healthy and satisfying lunch or a quick and delicious breakfast.

15. Craft Kafe

Craft Kafe is the go-to option for gluten-free fare in St. Pete. The menu is free from wheat or wheat byproducts and healthily skewed toward organic nutrition. The salads are excellent, the toast is perfect for brunch, and you won’t believe the gluten-free pancakes. As of March 2024, the Tampa location has a limited menu (no omelets or sandwiches). Still, what they lack in entrees, Craft Cafe makes up for with its broad selection of coffee and tea.

Culinary Excellence in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's culinary scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself, offering a wealth of options for discerning diners. Whether you're craving innovative fusion cuisine, authentic international flavors, or classic comfort food, you're sure to find something to satisfy your appetite in this dynamic coastal city.

Looking to make St. Petersburg your home? Contact Plotkin Homes today for expert guidance and personalized assistance with all your real estate needs. With years of experience and a deep knowledge of the local market, the Plotkin Homes team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect property in this beautiful coastal city. Get in touch today to start your journey toward homeownership in St. Petersburg, FL.

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