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Girls' weekend in St. Petersburg

b
boston1215 May 10, 2010 10:32 AM

Three girlfriends and I (all early 30s) will be in St. Pete's for a bachelorette weekend in June and are looking for some restaurant recommendations. We won't have a car and would prefer not to have to take a lot of cabs so anything within walking distance (or a short cab ride) from our resort would be ideal. We're staying at the Sirata Resort (5300 Gulf Blvd.).

For dinners, we'd definitely like one really great Cuban restaurant and seafood would be nice, too. Also, any suggestions for good breakfasts would be helpful.

Preferably no chains. While we don't mind spending a fair amount, nothing too over the top pricey, please. There are a few foodies in the mix but not all of us.

  1. o
    Old E. May 10, 2010 11:15 AM

    I may be mistaken, but I think everything within walking distance may be a little touristy (I'm being nice). If you want to take a cab there is some decent stuff around.

    I'm sure there is lots of stuff but cab distance:
    Ted Peter's
    Caddy's (only b/c you can hang out there and drink on the beach... it is a bachelorette, after all)
    Dockside Daves
    Don Cesar

    I don't mind crabby Bill's its very touristy, but I used to get take out and crabs from there and It wasn't bad. Its right next door to your hotel.
    I'm sure there are other's but i'm only so familiar with that area. I can help more when other's chime in.

    Y'all may want to cab it into downtown St. Pete one night. Lots of fun stuff there, both food and bar wise.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Old E.
      askdrtodd May 10, 2010 11:40 AM

      definitely go downtown at least once.

      1. re: Old E.
        o
        Old E. May 10, 2010 01:31 PM

        For whatever its worth, my inlaws used to spend a lot of time over in that area, and liked the Frog Pond for breakfast/brunch. I've never been so I can't say, myself.

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        Frog Pond
        16909 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708

        1. re: Old E.
          sweet_polly May 10, 2010 05:05 PM

          I love the Frog Pond...it's the best breakfast on the beach, IMO. I've only been to the one on North Redington Beach, but I believe there's also one on St. Pete Beach.

          boston1215...the great thing about being on the beach is the cheap trolley that runs from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater Beach every 20 to 30 minutes all day long, so you can actually hop on that thing for $1.75 each and expand your epicurean horizons without forking over cab money or forcing someone to be the designated driver (how "un-fun" ;) ).

          http://www.psta.net/beachtrolley.html

          Guppy's on Indian Rocks Beach is very good for seafood, and not ridiculous in price. I also like Conch Republic on North Redington Beach (a little closer to you than Guppy's) for better-than-your-average-beach-tourist-trap seafood. There's also a Columbia restaurant (a local crowd-pleaser) for your Cuban/Spanish cuisine just south of Clearwater Beach on Sand Key.

          I agree that there are better options in downtown St. Pete. "Touristy" is pretty much the nature of the beach.

          1. re: sweet_polly
            p
            phylrose May 10, 2010 07:39 PM

            Take the trolley to Gulfport and enjoy a walk in a funky, arty town full of nice places and friendly people. Have a meal at Pia's Trattoria--outside. Or have a drink and some light food at O'Maddys. You'll love the change from St Pete Beach. Both are fun in their own way.

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            Pia's
            3054 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport, FL 33707

            1. re: phylrose
              l
              Little T. May 10, 2010 08:35 PM

              Since Cuban was mentioned, I always enjoy Habana cafe in Gulfport. The Trolley doesn't go near it, however - So, you would have to take a bus or cab (and getting one leaving the restaurant would be inconvenient).

              Definitely try to make it to downtown St. Pete. Lot's of dining options if you are interested in making the trek across town (25 minute ride).

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              Habana Cafe
              5404 Gulfport Blvd S, Gulfport, FL 33707

          2. re: Old E.
            p
            passagrilleman May 11, 2010 12:40 AM

            I live right down the street from where you are staying and unfortunately finding a great cuban restaurant in the area is going to be impossible. :( The closest I've found is http://www.blackpalmrestaurant.com/me... that has some Caribbean food along with South American influences too. The problem is that sometimes it's really good, and sometimes it's not. Another thing I have found strange with the restaurant is at times there is live music that is way too loud for a restaurant with the type of prices you pay, and then other times it's perfect or there is no live music at all. The trolley stops yards away from the restaurant though.

            For breakfast on the beach you really have 3 or 4 options. The first is the Frog Pond as mentioned above. The food is the same as the one on North Redington Beach (I used to travel up to that location occasionally before the one nearest your hotel opened up). If there are 4 of you in your 30s there is a really good chance you will be by far the youngest group there (unless there are families with children). This isn't a bad thing, it's just something you might bump into a lot at the breakfast places. Some people prefer La Croisette which is a block away. You might have a chance to try both. If I'm up there I go to Frog Pond. Down in Pass A Grille (where I live) is also the Seahorse which is inexpensive but can be VERY busy on the weekends. Madfish also now has a breakfast which is extremely close to your hotel (the closest by far out of all of these). I eat there for dinner regularly, as it's my favorite restaurant on the beach, but I haven't been for breakfast yet. If it's anywhere near as good as dinner, I would definitely check it out (and if I do try it before June, I'll try to make sure I update the thread).

            As far as seafood is concerned, if you are getting grouper I would definitely go to Dockside Dave's. This is another restaurant that opened up a new location near where you are staying and the food is the same as the original. Also, Dockside Dave's has some of the best onion rings I've had anywhere in Tampa Bay. If I am getting a sit-down nice seafood dinner I go to Madfish and get the Ahi Steak that comes with a wasabi mashed potato egg roll and nicely cooked asparagus. Their sides are different (but great) for most dishes...and stuff like their house dressing being an avocado / cranberry concoction seem weird at first bite, but really are well done. (They also own Snappers down the street from you, but I prefer Madfish's ambience) Do not disregard this place because of what it looks like outside (an old 50s diner)...it isn't like it inside. Crabby Bills is touristy (but can be a lot of fun), and does have fresh seafood. This will feel the most like a chain of most places on the beach. In the Don Cesar hotel is the Maritana Grille, which I've had great seafood at, and other dishes too, but it is a bit pricey. I think it's reasonable for what you get, but it is definitely not cheap. Also their brunch on Sunday is great but also pricey. Unbeatable views though for when you are done eating (or during if you get a good table).

            For cocktails I would recommend stopping by the Hurricane (you might hear a lot of this when you get here)...whatever you do eat first because I would highly recommend not eating there. By far the worst food on the beach in my opinion. Also besides the Black Palm, there are two other places I would go to first right near it. For Italian, there is a new place on 8th Ave called Restaurant Su Ottavo. I really like the food a lot, with the only thing to worry about is sometimes the dishes that have garlic in them can be overly garlicky...and also Brass Monkey is a cute place that has 2nd story outside seating for a great sunset drink and meal. They are known for crabcakes, but honestly the best thing I've had there is their burgers. Pretty good for reasonably priced dinner and drinks if you do end up going to the Hurricane at any point.

            Other than the Cuban restaurant, all your dining needs can be taken care of on the beach. If any of you go to Starbucks, you also won't be seeing that either. Downtown St. Petersburg is nice and beautiful with plenty of places to go, but there's also a good number of places to eat on the beach without thinking you're missing anything spectacular, if the point of the vacation is to be on the beach.

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            Frog Pond
            16909 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708

            La Croisette
            7401 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

            Black Palm Restaurant
            109 8th Ave, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

            Madfish
            5200 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

            Crabby Bills
            7675 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34747

        2. l
          laboheme May 11, 2010 11:58 AM

          The Black Palm is very good and has an interesting menu. For lunch, I like Sea Critter's--good food and tables out on a deck by the intercoastal waterway. For seafood around St. Pete Beach, I'm a big fan of Fetishes on Gulf Blvd--they have the best crab cakes I've ever had. Aguave on Gulf has some of the best Mexican food in Pinellas county (and great margaritas). You have to go to Dockside Dave's for a grouper sandwich...they are terrific. Have a great bachelorette party!

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          Black Palm Restaurant
          109 8th Ave, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

          1. b
            boston1215 May 17, 2010 07:14 PM

            All - thanks for the great recos! But no Starbucks?! However will we survive... :(

            1 Reply
            1. re: boston1215
              l
              Little T. May 18, 2010 07:15 PM

              heh.

              I am sure there will be some lovely complimentary coffee in your room.

            2. Manderley May 22, 2010 11:12 PM

              i'd seriously skip Crabby Bill's. Seriously.

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              Crabby Bills
              7675 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34747

              2 Replies
              1. re: Manderley
                askdrtodd May 23, 2010 05:44 AM

                agreed.

                1. re: Manderley
                  c
                  cora May 23, 2010 06:15 PM

                  send that, skip Crabby Bill's, do yourself a favor.

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                  Crabby Bills
                  7675 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34747

                2. t
                  TIGirl May 24, 2010 01:44 PM

                  I agree with all of Old E's rec's. I'd also add Skidders for excellent seafood about 4 blocks from your hotel.
                  For getting around on the beach try the free shuttle at: www.gogreenatthebeach.com. You need to call ahead for a reservation, but it's fun and free (gratutity notwithstanding.
                  )727-776-7553

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                  Skidder's Restaurants
                  5799 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

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