Great eats in St. Pete

The CL guide to the best restaurants in St. Petersburg

An array of dining options — from breakfast to post bar crawl — are to be found in Downtown St. Pete. Here's just a taste.

400 BEACH SEAFOOD AND TAP HOUSE 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Pete, 727-896-2400, 400beachseafood.com. You guessed it, seafood is the specialty of this refined-looking eatery on Beach Drive. The menu covers a huge range of sea-going cookery as well as a sizable raw bar, steamed shellfish and seafood cocktails, a small selection of sushi and rolls and some seafood baskets featuring fish shack favorites.

#9 BANGKOK 571 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-894-5990. The downtown place synonymous with Thai cuisine. Nothing unique or fancy, just standard Thai dishes and sushi done well.

ACROPOLIS GREEK TAVERNA 515 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-823-1010, acropolistaverna.com. The newest in the locally owned chain, this location serves up authentic Greek fare and live entertainment while you dine. Watch out for flying napkins!

ANGIE'S CAFE 200 First Ave N., St. Pete; 727-823-6437. The gyros and Philly cheesesteaks at this walk-up eatery are to die for, especially when you're three sheets to the wind in Downtown St. Pete.

BANYAN COFFEE AND TEA 689 Dr. MLK Jr St. N, St. Pete, 727-896-6100, banyancoffee.com. An adorably cozy cafe on the outskirts of downtown known for tasty breakfast sandwiches. Go for weekend brunch to try out the expanded menu and chef's specials (and grab some scones to go).

BELLA BRAVA 204 Beach Drive NE, St. Pete, 727-895-5515, bellabrava.com. Serving slick yet unfussy Italian fare in their prime new location on Beach Drive. It's a see-and-be-seen spot, as well as a great dinner destination for a night on the town and a few cocktails.

BURRITO BOARDER 17 Third Street N., St. Pete, 727-209-0202, burritoboarder.com. Fresh-Mex done well, with healthy options, large portions and a well-stocked hot sauce bar. A popular late-night spot, you can even order a cerveza with your pre-hangover meal.

CAFE ALMA 260 First Ave. S, St. Pete, 727-502-5002, cafealma.com. A killer brunch (check out the Bloody Mary bar), late-night dining and other cool add-ons make Cafe Alma a popular destination. Chef Scott Vogel makes use of some great ingredients on the Mediterranean-inspired menu. Also offering one of the best Happy Hours in the area and half-priced wine bottles and tapas on Tuesdays.

CASSIS AMERICAN BRASSERIE 170 Beach Drive, St. Pete, 727-827-2927; cassisab.com. Cassis evokes the feel of a lively urban French brasserie in its expansive and gorgeous dining. Serving French classics with a few touches that justify the "American" in the restaurant's name, including steak tartare, duck confit, tomato tart, steak frites and cheesesteak egg rolls. —Brian Ries

CENTRAL AVENUE OYSTER BAR 249 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-897-9728, centralaveoysterbar.com. Raw oysters on the half shell are the order of the day at this cozy eatery in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. Snack on Louisiana shellfish prepared in a variety of ways (baked, deep fried, or simply as nature made them), as well as a variety of crabcakes, pasta dishes, steaks and chicken, so landlubbers can rest easy while oyster-lovers slurp to their hearts' content.

CENTRAL CAFE & ORGANICS 243 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-824-0881, centralcafeandorganics.com. Offering healthy, organic, veg-friendly dishes made from scratch. Check out their daily specials list. Also serving organic beer and wines.

CEVICHE 10 Beach Drive, St. Pete, 727-209-2302, cevichetapas.com. The small plates of traditional Spanish bar food are excellent, the happy fare that makes for a good date or a better night out with friends, and the sangria's reputation precedes itself. Downstairs is a deep red dance club and bar that may be the hippest place to drink on Central Ave.

CHATEAU FRANCE Fourth Ave. NE, St. Pete; 727-894-7163. chateaufranceonline.com. Exceptionally expensive and completely worth it. Chef/owner Anoine Louro sources incredible — and often decadent — ingredients from all over the globe, then assembles them into classic French dishes that are simple, elegant and composed. Forget about the budget, just go crazy and have a great experience.

CROWLEY'S DOWNTOWN 269 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-821-1111, crowleysdowntown.com. British/Irish pub and eatery with classic pub fare and plenty of choice craft and import beers. Winner of CL's 2010 Best of the Bay 'Best Veggie Burger in the Most Unlikely Place' award (it's seriously amazing).

THE CUPCAKE SPOT 3225 S MacDill Ave. #103, Tampa, 813-839-7077; 405 Central Avenue, St. Pete, 727-825-0572. thecupcakespotinc.com. Cute mini desserts that come in a range of fun flavors like the banana "Chocolate Elvis" with peanut butter frosting and a dollop of chocolate.

DOME GRILL 561 Central Ave, St. Pete, 727-823-5090. A local favorite for a quick breakfast or lunch.

FORTUNATO'S 259 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-898-4888. Pizza and simple Italian dishes served cafeteria-style. Inexpensive and great for pre- or post-bar crawl fare.

FRESCO'S WATERFRONT BISTRO 300 Second Ave. NE, St. Pete, 727-894-4429, frescosbistro.com. Seafood and steaks with the best waterfront view downtown (because it's literally right next to it). Go for brunch, lunch, dinner or the late night bar scene.

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