Explore your City - St. Petersburg II
I've written about travel romps in St. Petersburg before, but every time I go there are new things to enjoy. New local eateries have appeared, new street art has been painted, and there is always something worth sharing, along with the repeats that have remained tried and true.
I'm happy to say that Bandit, while it has all the trappings of a hip coffee shop, does not include the awful service and apathetic attitude that I have found in most young and independently owned shops. After several visits, I know that the good service, patient baristas, and welcoming atmosphere is not a fluke. Even better the coffee is delicious. Bandit, please don't ever change.
Intermezzo Coffee + Cocktails
As far as St. Pete coffee was concerned, my heart belonged to Bandit, but Intermezzo was a new spot I still needed to try. Another beautifully clean space with pops of cozy colorful corners, but surprisingly again, very nice baristas. What is happening in St. Pete that we are missing the mark on in Orlando? We need their secrets!
Beyond coffee they do have a full bar for drinks later in the day, but most importantly make sure you try their matcha lemonade when it's on the menu.
Parks and Rec junkie that I am, I definitely yelled "BOOLA BOOLA BOOLA" before entering this new-to-me spot off of Central Avenue. They have six ramen dishes to choose from, a cocktail menu, a whiskey menu (including whiskey flights) and an Izakaya menu of small plates/tapas items.
I got the Godzilla cocktail reyka vodaka, passoa passion fruit liquor, kiwi puree, and lemon ($11), the Char Grilled Edamame ($7) and the Pork Belly Ramen ($16).
In my opinion, this was really great ramen, from the drinkable broth, to the texture and taste of the pork belly, to the perfectly cooked noodles. I was a fan.
Some people come here for the cute juice bar inside, which is all well and good, but I'm here for the main event. The meat. Pictured below is absolute lechon bliss. I haven't found lechon this good in Orlando that wasn't made in someone's kitchen at home. The lechon platter here will run you $9.25 and comes with black beans, maduros and onions. The lines here can get really long, so if you are nearby during a lull, take advantage of it.
There is a lot more to the menu at Noble Crust besides the pizza, but I love it. I've dined in here, and also had it delivered to my AirBNB with no misses in the quality. The pizza is my go-to, but I've had other item on the menu and nothing has disappointed.
If you are familiar with Fresh Kitchen, Better Byrd is its chicken-loving sibling over on the West Coast. The menu is full of 100% steroid and hormone free chicken options you can create a multitude of ways. I got the Kale Ceasar bowl ($8.95) with fried chicken. Much like Fresh Kitchen there are several options on the healthier side of fast casual dining, while treating guests to a fun and colorful atmosphere.
If Florida temps are not cooperating with your Central Avenue stroll, it's nice to have a chill watering hole to stop and recoup, and it's even better when you can entertain yourself with old school video games. Nintendo consoles, arcade games, board games in the back and plenty of beer on tap and bottled make for a enjoyable cool down.
Salvador Dali Museum
If you haven't been to the Salvador Dali museum I would recommend it. If you aren't a big museum person, it's not overwhelmingly large and it won't take up a large chunk of your day. If you love strolling slowly through exhibits, there aren't very many museums that come in such a stunning setting.
Regular admission is $24, which isn't exactly cheap, but it's a beautiful experience to walk around, take some photos, explore the grounds out back, and relax.
Other worthwhile pit stops:
- Haslam's Book Store
- ARTpool Gallery & Vintage Boutique
- Janet's Antiques (Antique Mall)
- The Dog Bar (if you are traveling with your furry family member)
- Furnish Me Vintage (part furnishings/part music shop)
- Green Bench Brewing
- Vinoy Park
St. Petersburg's street art is thriving in due partly because of their annual Shine Mural Festival. This is a small smattering of some art that caught my eye on my last trip, but here is a full map from Shine, for your next mural hunt.