Almost every city and town in the country has a main street, a street where all the action seems to happen. For St. Petersburg that road is, appropriately, Central Avenue. Running the entire length of the city from the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa Bay, it divides things into a north side and south side. A few weeks ago, David and I strolled a huge length to celebrate the city’s ‘Open Street’ event. Central Avenue was closed down to cars and we were free to stroll or bike down the road. The stores and local vendors were open and ready for business. It just reminded me of why I love living in the Sunshine City. There’s just so much character that makes St. Pete a city to remember. Here are some of my favorite spots along Central Avenue and the bordering streets.
- Casita Taqueria (2663 Central Avenue): If there is one style of cuisine I take seriously, it is my Mexican food fare. There are quite a few taco joints in town, but Casita Taqueria has got to be my favorite. Each taco, on their homemade corn tortillas is better than the last, but my favorites would have to be either Pollo Verde or Chorizo. Wash it down with some red or white sangria and consider yourself satisfied.
- Hawkers (1235 Central Avenue): This place will always make me think of my 25th birthday, when David and I chowed down on all the food and danced the night away with friends. Just the name itself makes my mouth water. You can’t go wrong with anything from this Asian sensation, but you must try the Curry Mashed Potatoes and sample some sake while you’re at it!
- Kings (937 Central Avenue): Nostalgic is the best way to describe this Central Avenue staple. With a menu full of delectable grilled cheese sandwiches, you’ll feel like a kid again (with a grown-up twist). Don’t forget the milkshake if it’s a particular warm St. Pete day.
- Urban Comfort (2601 Central Avenue): All-you-can-eat, Chicken and Biscuit Breakfast. If there’s anything else I really need to say, then I’m at a loss for words. For my Southern reading base, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Everyone else, you’re just going to have to try it for yourself.
- Intermezzo (1111 Central Avenue): Coffee shop by day and cocktail joint by night. I wish more places would follow this business model. Any way you look at it, I love this place. The space is light, bright, and a great place to write blog posts and let the time pass. It’s also home to Empire Oyster Bar if you’re feeling a little peckish and in need of a snack.
- Cage Brewing (2001 1st Avenue S): I know I talk about breweries a lot here, but I have completely become accustomed to this culture. They have taken me in as their own, thanks David! I know this place is just one block shy of Central Avenue, but it is definitely worth mentioning. Their brews are absolutely phenomenal, and I don’t use that word lightly. From Porters to Wheat Ales, this place has something for everyone. Trust me, I am very particular about what kinds of beers I enjoy. I often go into breweries and not find anything on the menu. That has never been a problem here. The Peanut Butter Porter (PBP) is far and away my favorite drink they have to offer. I swear, it tastes and smells like my mom’s Peanut Butter Pie. Not into beer? They also offer a delicious Strawberry Cider and a few wine choices.
- Bandit Coffee (2662 Central Avenue): Yes, I’ve added a second coffee shop to the list, but it’s only because their drinks are delicious. They have transformed me to an iced-coffee only gal to someone who orders pour-overs, black without a second’s hesitation. David and I have spent so many hours here, getting work done on the weekend. (#powercouple)
- Murals (Central Avenue): If St. Petersburg is lacking anything, art is definitely not on that list. The city takes a huge amount of pride in our appreciation for the arts with many art museums in the downtown area. However, it is our street art that I feel most proud of. I have spent hours strolling down little side streets and alleyways where some of the best murals from nationally recognized artists are tucked away. I love living in a city that embraces something that once was viewed as taboo and celebrates it for what it really is: art and freedom of expression.
- Rays Baseball (1 Tropicana Drive): Not many tourists know this but the Tampa Bay Rays actually play right here in St. Pete. Remember, Tampa Bay is not the name of a city (like Green Bay), but is the name of the whole region I call home. The juries still out on how long this team will stay in the Sunshine City, but I say take in a game while you can and enjoy some of the best AC the city (or MLB) has to offer.
- Boutiques (1027 Central Avenue): What kind of style blogger would I be if I didn’t talk about shopping at all? Right on Central Avenue is one of my favorite boutiques in the city, Ashe Couture. David knows full and well to keep me away from this story because I absolutely never walk away empty handed. To quote their website, “Ashe Couture is a curation of things beachy, boho, laid back, and luxe.” That sort of sums up the city pretty nicely too.
I really hope you get an opportunity to visit St. Pete and take it. There is such much that my city has to offer. Remember, I only highlighted a sliver of my favorites between ten blocks on one street! Trust me, there is so much more! If you have any questions about the Sunshine City feel free to comment below or e-mail me. Think of me as the unofficial spokesperson/tour guide for the city! Hope to see you soon.
Love from Florida,