What’s not to love about downtown St. Pete? With some of the Tampa Bay Area’s best restaurants and drinking establishments, all within walking distance of each other, there’s a host of reasons to take your tastebuds on a tour of the area. Don’t forget to share the experience with friends, family, and followers using the hashtag #healthystpete! Click here to load this tour’s stops in Google Maps.
Stop 1: Kick off with the Mob? Mint !
In the spirit of St. Petersburg, and getting a lil’ rowdy, let’s kick things off with a drink at our favorite local professional soccer team’s hangout, the Rowdies Den. As put by Tampa Bay Time’s food critic Laura Reiley, “Rowdies Den brings a lot to the downtown scene.” Like cocktails on tap.
One of them being the Mount Mint Mojito. Made with basil, mint, and Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, it’s a fan favorite. The mint in it is not only a palette cleanser, it helps with the digestion of food into actionable energy — that way you can go the full 90 on your night out!
Stop 2: Explore Viet Noms !
“Wonderful and unusual dishes in downtown St. Petersburg,” c’est La V according to Laura Reiley of the Tampa Bay Times. The homey, yet chic restaurant promises fresh ingredients, minimal use of grease, and a menu that rests on herbs and vegetables. This is the stuff that Vietnamese dreams are made of.
Start with the Spring Rolls like this Yelp reviewer did, describing it as “just what the doctor ordered (light, filling and tasty)…” If fresh wrapping with shrimp, vermicelli, mint leaves, lettuce, bean sprout, and peanut sauce is the kind of prescription you want to fill!
Stop 3: Cold Dead Fish and Insects (Trust Us, Young Grasshopper) !
The Lure has quickly become an exciting addition to downtown. With “Cold Dead Fish” as its tagline, this place is effortlessly cool. The Tampa Bay Times describes it as having “an inviting steampunk feel.”
Stick with the sushi and request a Bomb ‘Chel. It’s a snow crab, avocado, and asparagus roll topped with salmon, tuna, eel sauce, and tempura chips for a taste bud explosion.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, give a Kwai Chang Taco a try. Filled with jerk seasoned and deeply sauteed “chapulines,” a.k.a grasshoppers. You read right. As partner Tom Golden puts it, “Only 17 percent of the world doesn’t eat insects, and we’re it.”
Stop 4: A Fruity Finale !
Gourmet popsicles? One look at The Hyppo in St. Pete’s menu and any lingering scepticism will melt away. “This isn’t your normal popsicle place,” observes one Yelp reviewer. With options like Blackberry Goat Cheese or Horchata, reading over the board will take your imagination on a flavorful fantasy ride. What to pick… what to pick… settle on the Mango Habanero Pop — sweet AND spicy! Combining local-in-season produce and herbs, The Hyppo has found a way to get sweet tooths raving about daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Stop 5: No Sleep ’till Brooklyn !
Adding a touch of Brooklyn to 1st Ave, The Bends is St. Pete’s “classy” dive bar. Nothing exemplifies this better than their Cucumber Creeper. Cucumbers are green, crisp, refreshing, and serving them in drinks just reeks of class. Creepers? Not so much. As mentioned in a Tampa Bay Times piece on St. Pete getting hipper, this drink — with your choice of tequila, gin, or vodka — comes on strong… hence the name. The Bends also regularly hosts live music, DJs, and dancing, so make it your final late-night destination.