Make us your home page

Bar review: A beer flight board with 25 brews? Get sipping at TiKanis in St. Petersburg

I love a hidden gem. A place that has hundreds of five-star reviews across several online review and social media sites doesn't seem like it would qualify, but I can't think of a better way to describe TiKanis, an unassuming pizza joint on Bay Pines Boulevard in St. Petersburg that I never would have come across had a friend not tipped me off.

Inconspicuously located in a small strip next to dive and bait shops, TiKanis uses its small space wisely. This stretch of Bay Pines isn't exactly a drinking and dining magnet, so unless you spotted the tiny tiki-esque patio out front, you wouldn't be likely to notice it.

But inside, TiKanis is cozy, upbeat and a refreshing change of pace from the flavorless dives more commonly seen in the area.

There's a bar and a small dining area, the latter covered overhead by rows of luggage stuck to the ceiling. It's a neat visual touch, complemented by dozens of travel photos (courtesy of the owner, a self-professed world traveler) and mile marker signs for various exotic destinations.

The name of the restaurant — TiKanis — is translated as "What's up?" or "How's it going?" in Greek. So it's not surprising that the menu includes a small selection of Greek fare alongside the familiar pizza-and-wings menu format. And then, of course, there's beer.

Pizza and beer isn't anything new, but TiKanis is on a different level in both regards. I heard the pizza was great, so I gave it a shot: medium, marinara base, no cheese; artichokes, black olives, spinach, and mushrooms. I've made similar orders at endless pizza places and am rarely wowed, but the flavors and textures contained in this modest pie were greater than the sum of their parts. It's easy to make a passable pizza marinara with typical veggie toppings, but it's another thing entirely to make it memorable. Score, TiKanis.

The pizza was a nice surprise, as I really just came for the beer selection, which I heard was significantly above-average for a pizza joint. Throw another one up on the scoreboard, because TiKanis has a beer list to rival that of most beer bars in town, with a regularly updated list of domestic craft brews, including a respectable seasonal selection.

They keep 28 beers on tap, which seems like a lot given the size of the place. That tap list is updated regularly and — based on a little online research — has enough turnover to ensure a good beer-drinking experience. There are a few fall seasonals still on tap, but they're the kind that an extra month or so won't hurt, like Southern Tier's Pumking and its variants, Warlock and Rumking.

There are a handful of less-common finds on the menu, like Smuttynose's Really Old Brown Dog stock ale, as well as Harpoon's fall seasonal hoppy amber, Flannel Friday. Someone at TiKanis knows beer, as this isn't the list that you get by just going through the motions with your distributor rep.

Here's a fun one: If you look above the bar, you'll see a somewhat nontraditional flight board. Most bars, including TiKanis, offer flights of four beers. Some — Rapp Brewing comes to mind — offer as many as nine samplers in a flight. TiKanis has a flight board that holds 25 beers, representing all but three on tap. If you order this, make sure you've got a ride — it's the equivalent of six pints.

Based on the number of takeout orders that occurred during my visit, as well as the number of people at the bar, I think it's safe to say that TiKanis has a pretty strong following. So is it fair to call it a "hidden gem?" I don't know, but for a pizza restaurant located next to a bait shop on Bay Pines, TiKanis overshoots expectations by a wide margin.

I wouldn't have made the stop if I didn't hear about TiKanis from a friend, and maybe you're in the same boat. Consider this my tip to you.

— Contact Justin Grant at Follow @WordsWithJG.


9385 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg; (727) 398-9998;

The vibe: A travel-themed pizza joint with an impressive beer list and cozy neighborhood feel.

Food: Sides, salads and appetizers, $1.50 to $9.75; entrees, $8 to $21.99.

Booze: Beer and wine. Beer, $3 to $10; wine, $5.

Specialty: The rotating list of 28 brews offers plenty of variety, but if you can't decide, try the $45 flight board, which includes 25 samples. If six full pints in flight form is a touch too ambitious, traditional flights are also available for $10.

Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday; 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.

Bar review: A beer flight board with 25 brews? Get sipping at TiKanis in St. Petersburg 12/01/16 [Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2016 1:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24


    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23


    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others


    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]