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Neighborhoods

Downtown St. Petersburg

  • Events

  • Kid-friendly

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Movie theaters

Events:

Restaurants:

  • Marchand's Bar & Grill at the Renaissance Vinoy

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, Breakfast or brunch, Fine dining, Mediterranean
    Features: Beach/Waterfront, Jazz/Blues, Live music, Upscale

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The central Vinoy Bar shows off a small wine cellar room that provides an enviably intimate dining space for four, with a seafood focus, and dishes that reflect a stylish and loosely Mediterranean sensibility with saucing and garniture.

    The bar scene: It feels like something out of The Great Gatsby; the space is airy and clean. Kick back with a drink as the band serenades you with easy listening. There's also a jazz brunch Sundays starting at 10:30 a.m., plus a classical jazz pianist in the lobby weekday evenings. Fridays are your best bet; the band offers pure jazz until around 10 p.m., then mixes in some R&B.

    You can also take it outdoors at the Vinoy -- on the spacious veranda with its wicker furniture and ceiling fans, or in the courtyard just in front of the hotel, with outdoor heaters and a fire pit for chilly Florida winter nights.

  • MFA Cafe

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, Bistro
    Features: Beach/Waterfront

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

  • Z Grille

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, Mexican
    Features: Children's menu, Date night, Outdoor seating

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 104 Second St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Zack Gross makes killer deviled eggs. He makes sticky little Dr Pepper fried ribs that you will reduce to a pile of clean bones. And he is never afraid to say precisely what’s on his mind. A James Beard semifinalist in 2009, with a hip, loosely skateboard-and-tattoo-themed restaurant at the bottom of Signature Place, he is one of the elder statesmen in the increasingly dense downtown St. Petersburg dining scene.
    What to order: Despite a reputation as a meat-forward guy (that sounds unseemly somehow) — he’s known for his foie gras steak burger, and I was most charmed by his deep fuchsia root vegetable risotto, with red Himalayan rice meshed with cubes of beet, curls of wild mushroom and fluffs of goat cheese, and the bartenders seem especially gifted with Hendrick’s gin concoctions. Brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Birch & Vine at the Birchwood

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, New American
    Features: Outdoor seating, Upscale

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Wander from the white-curtained cabanas to the edge of the rooftop with its sweeping views of Tampa Bay and Straub Park and you'll hear people all saying the same thing: "Why doesn't every place on Beach Drive have a rooftop bar?" Still, the main attraction is the ground-floor 225-seat fine-dining Birch & Vine, open for lunch and dinner. The menu is ambitious, with lots of culinary buzzwords: There's compressed watermelon, there's sous vide, there's pork belly. Think butter-poached lobster on a bed of truffled grits with a swirl of vanilla rum butter and a frizzle of fried leek, to crispy fried Blue Point oysters nestled back into shells that have been filled with little scoops of chorizo-chipotle polenta, or thick discs of pan-seared foie gras married with a spoonful of star-anise-fragrant blueberry compote, a dribble of balsamic reduction, Parmesan crisps and a Gorgonzola fritter. It’s suave, and the setting parries step for step. Caveat: Prepare for a wait to get up to the thronged rooftop deck.

    Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., limited menu from 3-5 p.m., dinner from 5-10 p.m. daily.

    Read a review here.

  • Rococo Steak

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, Fine dining, Steak house
    Features: Date night

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 655 Second Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    From side dishes to musical selections, Rococo has brought a subversive eye to reinventing the steakhouse, its presence alone a novelty in downtown St. Pete, where there is an odd paucity of steakhouses. Rococo Steak offers no creamed spinach, no boats of béarnaise, no baked potatoes. Perhaps it's no accident that the new project from the Caledon Concept Partners (parent company of the Ceviche group) has set up shop in the historic 1920s YWCA building in St. Petersburg. It is seriously "W" friendly. It offers a range of smaller steaks, shareable appetizers, a wine list that goes far beyond big-name California cabs and a cocktail list that isn't dark-liquor dominated. And the décor has done away with the traditional paradigm of dark wood and "old boys' club" atmosphere, with deep gray walls, white cove ceilings and ruby-red chandeliers. Newly expanded in 2015. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tues. through Sun.

    Read a review here.

Bars:

  • Marchand's Bar & Grill at the Renaissance Vinoy

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, Breakfast or brunch, Fine dining, Mediterranean
    Features: Beach/Waterfront, Jazz/Blues, Live music, Upscale

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The central Vinoy Bar shows off a small wine cellar room that provides an enviably intimate dining space for four, with a seafood focus, and dishes that reflect a stylish and loosely Mediterranean sensibility with saucing and garniture.

    The bar scene: It feels like something out of The Great Gatsby; the space is airy and clean. Kick back with a drink as the band serenades you with easy listening. There's also a jazz brunch Sundays starting at 10:30 a.m., plus a classical jazz pianist in the lobby weekday evenings. Fridays are your best bet; the band offers pure jazz until around 10 p.m., then mixes in some R&B.

    You can also take it outdoors at the Vinoy -- on the spacious veranda with its wicker furniture and ceiling fans, or in the courtyard just in front of the hotel, with outdoor heaters and a fire pit for chilly Florida winter nights.

  • Birch & Vine at the Birchwood

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: American upscale, New American
    Features: Outdoor seating, Upscale

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Wander from the white-curtained cabanas to the edge of the rooftop with its sweeping views of Tampa Bay and Straub Park and you'll hear people all saying the same thing: "Why doesn't every place on Beach Drive have a rooftop bar?" Still, the main attraction is the ground-floor 225-seat fine-dining Birch & Vine, open for lunch and dinner. The menu is ambitious, with lots of culinary buzzwords: There's compressed watermelon, there's sous vide, there's pork belly. Think butter-poached lobster on a bed of truffled grits with a swirl of vanilla rum butter and a frizzle of fried leek, to crispy fried Blue Point oysters nestled back into shells that have been filled with little scoops of chorizo-chipotle polenta, or thick discs of pan-seared foie gras married with a spoonful of star-anise-fragrant blueberry compote, a dribble of balsamic reduction, Parmesan crisps and a Gorgonzola fritter. It’s suave, and the setting parries step for step. Caveat: Prepare for a wait to get up to the thronged rooftop deck.

    Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., limited menu from 3-5 p.m., dinner from 5-10 p.m. daily.

    Read a review here.

  • Annata Wine Bar

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: Dessert, Tapas/small plates, Wine bar

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sun.-Thur., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

    Read a review here.

  • Station House

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: New American

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 260 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    They’ve kept the cool basementy ratskeller feel of Cafe Alma, but broken up the center of the room with circular booths and, through a combination of new upholstery and blue-gray wainscoting, given the whole thing a higher level of sophistication. The best seats are at the bar, partly because of the dynamic bartending team and partly because customers seem especially chummy and prone to bar-wide conversation. The kitchen’s mission is what they’re calling “American cocktail cuisine,” small plates and sharables with dynamic juxtapositions that marry beautifully with a cocktail list that engages with big-city preoccupations like brambles and rickeys and things like big lavender-infused ice cubes (in a drink called a Bitter Betty, a spin on a Manhattan cocktail). Hours: 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Tues.-Thur., until 3 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

    Read a review here.

  • Stillwaters Tavern

    Editor's pick


    Cuisine: New American, Pub
    Features: Happy hour, Late-night dining

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 224 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    American style tavern with 20 beers on tap.

    Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

    Read a review here.

Attractions:

  • Mahaffey Theater

    Editor's pick


    Features: Beach/Waterfront, Date night, Outdoor seating, Private room

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The Mahaffey Theater is a bayside jewel of a concert hall. This 2,030-seat theater has waterfront views and European box-style seating, which is perfect for the orchestra and dance performances it hosts. It's the usual home for Saturday night Florida Orchestra concerts during its season, but it also hosts touring Broadway shows and musical acts. Across the way, past its sweeping lawn, is the newly-constructed Dali Museum, making the entire compound a little waterfront cultural center. If you attend an event, be sure to go early so you can enjoy a beverage upstairs with its gorgeous view of Tampa Bay. Parking is fairly easy in and easy out into a garage.

    The Grand Ballroom, Bayview Room, East Atrium and patio areas are available for special events. Through Mahaffey Gourmet, concert ticketholders receive discounts at participating restaurants within walking distance of the theater. Menus are available at the theater concierge.

    In 2005, the theater underwent a $20 million renovation, more than doubling the size of the lobby size and adding guest amenities. It is part of the renamed Progress Energy Center for the Arts.

  • Downtown St. Petersburg: 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33701

    The Morean is one of the Tampa Bay area's best-known arts centers. In addition to its space on Central Avenue, it also includes the Chihuly Collection on Beach Drive, the nearby glass studio and hot shop and the Center for Clay on Fourth Avenue S.

    The Morean states that its mission is "Connecting People with Art," and it does this through exhibits, hands-on classes and art outreach throughout the community.

    Current offerings include:

    Saturdays at the Morean: Free art experiences designed for families with children ages 5-10. The Bank of America Children's Learning Center will be open for art exploration, with open art stations and take-home projects. Instructors will be on hand to assist.

    Salon30: A new space in the ​Progress Energy gallery that will showcase artists' work and change every 30 days to show new artists and pieces. For the month of January, local St. Petersburg artists Susan Gott and Chuck Coley will be featured.
    Admission is free. More info here.

    Thursdays @ the Morean: Fun play date in art exploration with art making, music and stories. Suitable for ages 3-5. Advance registration required.  $10 members, $12 non-members, first child free, additional children $6 each.

    Saturdays@the Morean; Drop in family art studio open to all ages, $10 per family, no reservations needed.

  • Downtown St. Petersburg: 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    American Stage is the Tampa Bay area's only professional regional equity theater. It presents its six-play Mainstage Series in its brand new, 182-seat Raymond James Theatre, across from Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Other productions include the “After Hours” Series, School Tour, and camps and classes for children. American Stage is also known for its springtime American Stage in the Park (also known as Shakespeare in the Park), which was launched in 1986. In 2005, it began staging shows other than Shakespeare under the stars at Demens Landing.

    The new theater, built in cooperation with St. Petersburg College, contains approximately 40 more seats than its old venue, plus two large lobbies with 10 accessible restrooms. Ticket prices vary according to day and time. Some performances offer "pay what you can" at the door, or reduced advance pricing. Also, check the theater's website for a list of nearby restaurants offering discounts to patrons. The Historic Courtyard by Mariott and the Vinoy resort offer discounts on hotel rooms.

    During performances, patrons can park for free in the Synovus Bank, located one block up 3rd Street at 333 Third Ave. N. St. Petersburg College's parking garage is open to patrons for $5 on Friday night, Saturdays and Sundays and is located next to the theater on Second Avenue North. Along with street parking, there are two other garages within walking distance.

    American Stage was founded as The Palisades Theatre Company in 1977. It became American Stage in 1981 and, in 1984, became the Tampa Bay area's first non-profit theater company to operate under a full contract with Actors' Equity Association.

  • Studio@620

    Editor's pick


    Features: Date night

    Downtown St. Petersburg: 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    This eclectic art and performance venue was co-founded by playwright and actor Bob Devin Jones (left in photo) and Dave Ellis, a veteran exhibition designer who opened Great Explorations, the Hands-On Museum in 1987. The Studio's major goal is to meld, through art, people of various cultural backgrounds.

    The studio is likely to host talks, open mic poetry nights, art and photo exhibits, plays and live music, along with the occasional celebratory dinner.

    The studio recently opened a small annex in the new 600 Block arts district in downtown St. Petersburg, just a block away from its small space on First Avenue.

  • Downtown St. Petersburg: 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The Palladium Theater is a community theater now part of St. Petersburg College. It is the host of all kinds of events, from plays and shows to musical groups and other various entertainment. The Palladium's talent scales from big-name performers to high school plays and local emerging groups.