Neighborhood Eats: Grand Central

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay's neighborhoods. This week we're giving you a guide to restaurants and bars in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg.

ANGELO'S BRICK OVEN PIZZERIA 3002 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-289-7198

As their name states, they serve up huge slices of New York-style pizza pie and calzones and have received some rave online reviews. Best of all? They deliver for free.

BABY CAKES CAFE 2444 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-289-7259

Slated to open during Pride Week (which takes place in Grand Central) serving "diverse casual fare". The head of the Grand Central Business Association described it as, "an American diner leaning toward Latin cuisine." They will be featuring sandwiches, salads and dinner entrees, as well as beer and wine.

BEAK'S OLD FLORIDA 2451 Central Ave, St. Pete. 727-321-9100,

A favorite hangout spot for locals, this quirky restaurant and bar is filled with wall-to-wall kitsch and tacky Florida souvenirs. Labeling themselves as "upscale comfort food", the menu includes Southern and Floribbean-inspired selections. Enjoy their live music whether you're dining inside or outside on the spacious patio.

CAPPY'S PIZZERIA 2900 1st Ave, N., St. Pete. 727-321-3020.

New York and Chicago style pizza lovers can finally dine under the same roof at this quaint neighborhood pizzeria. Being a converted house, Cappy's has a very homey appeal to it. What's also appealing about them is that they took last year's Best of the Bay Reader's Poll award for Best Pizza. They must be doing something right.

CIDER HOUSE 1756 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-822-7400,

Don't let their name fool you: besides offering quite a large selection of ciders, they also offer an array of other import beers, including Chimay and Delerium Tremens. Catch beer bingo on Mondays, corn hole on Tuesdays and practice your inebriated dart throwing skills every night of the week at this hip little bar that's only three blocks from Tropicana Field.

CRAFTSMAN HOUSE GALLERY AND CAFE 2955 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-323-2787,

Located in the renovated kitchen of the Craftsmen House bungalow, this charming cafe serves up coffee and espresso drinks, smoothies, beer, wine and a variety of snacks and sweets that change daily. Sip tea on the front porch or relax in the courtyard while you're visiting the Craftsmen House.

GEORGIE'S ALIBI 3100 3rd Ave N., St. Pete. 727-321-2112,

It's a sports bar, it's a restaurant, it's a dance club! A restaurant by day that transforms into an alternative lifestyle club by night, Georgie's offers an extensive menu of tasty finger foods, sandwiches, salads, and homemade dinner specials. Great drink specials every day and the bartenders definitely don't skimp on the liquor. I recommend the Bloody Mary and their infamous Long Island Iced Tea.

ISLAND SEAFOOD MARKET & BISTRO 2057 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-821-8181,

If it swims, they probably serve it. This new addition to the Grand Central area serves up fresh seafood favorites from grouper and snapper to mussels and Maine lobster in a brightly colored, tropical-themed eatery. Going the healthier route, their fish is always grilled and never fried. Customers can dine in or call ahead for takeout.

LA NUEVA CABANA 48 31st St N. St. Pete; 727-327-8108

Not your typical Latin cafe, Nueva Cabana specializes in cuisine from the Dominican Republic and serves it up buffet style so diners can get their fill. Dine in for their huge luncheon feast and try something exotic like stewed pig feet or mondongo (similar to Mexican menudo).

NITALLY'S THAI-MEX CUISINE 2462 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-898-8424,

If you liked what you tasted at their Saturday Morning Market booth, then just wait until you try their Thai specialties or unique Thai-Mexican fusion dishes at their restaurant. "There’s Thai fried rice laced with smoky chorizo, each sticky bite infused with the slick fat of the sausage, and panang mole, an exceptionally rich dish built on red curry and Mexican mole, tied together with coconut milk into a seamless, baffling, delicious union of two cuisines rarely fused together." —Brian Ries

NO NAME JAVA 2060 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-741-2249,

This wholesale coffee roasting company is certainly making a name for themselves locally, with an array of coffees sourced from all over the globe. Now serving specialty coffee drinks that can be enjoyed on the front porch of their tiki hut-looking building (it's bright yellow — you can't miss it). Their coffees can also be purchased online and shipped right to your doorstep.

QUEENSHEAD EUROBAR 2501 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-498-8584,

"Queenshead is a scene of a sort, with a slick bar that curves through the dining area, a cozy interior room — lined with comfy couches — tucked off to the side of the bar, and a wall of booths and tables. ... It’s largely British gastropub fare peppered by American fine-dining influence, with dishes that range from seared scallops with brussels sprouts and bacon to chicken curry with a corn fritter. And, considering that many people will see Queenshead as more of a bar and scene spot, much of the food is better than expected." —Brian Ries

QUICK Q BBQ 3441 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-321-0301,

If it breathes, they probably smoke it. Featuring smoked ribs, chicken, wings, ham and mullet, as well as Southern-style sides like collard greens, mac n' cheese and butter beans. Huge portions to be found, so bring your appetite. Save room for dessert because their to-die-for-looking desserts include homemade rum cake, fruit cobblers, and layer cakes.

THE REX PUB 2061 Central Ave., St. Pete. 727-822-2337?

The 'American cousin' to the Independent bar with over 20 American craft brews on tap, plus a wide selection of bottles. The place is small with a more relaxed vibe than that of The Independent in the heart of Downtown St. Pete, but the bartenders just as knowledgeable and accommodating. Be sure to check out their foursquare deals.


Proving you don't need tables, chairs or even plates to keep customers, Wild Cajun is a popular little walk up restaurant in Grand Central. There always seems to be a line in front of this tiny building sporting a simple chalkboard menu and a window where orders are placed. Serving fresh, Cajun-style seafood, including spicy boiled crab and shrimp, jambalaya and crab cakes at very reasonable prices.

If we’re missing some of your favorites, let us know.

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