by Joan O’Neill
Friends who brunch together, stay together. Go out for a Brunch Crawl this Weekend.
Looking to shake up your weekend brunch routine? Take a day trip to Saint Petersburg and explore their burgeoning foodie ambiance by taking a downtown brunch crawl. All of these locations are walking distance from each other and perfect to sample the best of the cities diverse food scene. Delight in a spectrum of options including seafood, baked goods, southern cooking, French cuisine, and traditional breakfasts with a St. Petersburg twist. And Saint Pete loves their pups, so feel free to bring along your furry friends. All of these restaurants have dog-friendly outdoor dining areas.
Start the morning off with brunch on Beach Drive at Parkshore Grill. Dine outdoors under the iconic blue umbrellas and take advantage of their two-day brunch menu available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, or start early at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Share a bottle of wine and indulge in a menu full of hormone and antibiotic free Niman Ranch meat, fresh seafood, and locally grown organic produce prepared by Golden Spoon Award-winner Chef Tyson Grant.
Parkshore Grill is also well known for their impressively extensive wine list. They have a selection of over 300 wines by the bottle. Most of their wine collection is American from California, Oregon, and Washington, although they serve what they call “old world wines” from Italy, France and Spain. Some of the South American wines include cabernets from Chile and Argentina. Unique to this location, the restaurant boasts Dr. Hayden Riesling, a dry German Riesling and a nontraditional red North Star Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington.
For food, my go-to favorite is the Banana Brioche French Toast, a dish of whipped maple butter, candied spiced pecans, applewood smoked bacon, and pure maple syrup. But I also highly recommend the Chorizo – Pork Belly Frittata made with Niman Ranch chorizo, braised pork belly, potato, Vidalia onion, petite tomato, and micro cilantro. Try the Crab Cake Benedict with creamed spinach, hollandaise, and potato hash, or to satisfy your inner chef, get creative and try the build your own omelet.
Make your entire Brunch crawl at Parkshore Grill: Brunch on Beach Drive: Parkshore Grill
Next my brunch partner and I walked down Beach Drive to Cassis for une petite French-American fusion. Cassis is well known for their A-team bar staff and their seven-day a week brunch menu that runs like clockwork until 3 p.m.
Other small serving brunch items are their fruit salad selections, granola parfait, or quiche of the day. As an added feature Cassis boasts a ton of vegetarian and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.
This is the perfect spot to grab something small and sweet if your saving space for our other spots. The adjoined Cassis Bakery also has offerings served to the bar and restaurant space. My favorites are the almond croissants or a cheese Danish, but I would recommend going for Le Panier, which is an assortment of about six of their best pastries served with jam and butter, made from scratch daily. It’s great for sharing and pairs well with the French Bellini from their brunch menu.
Other specialty drinks exclusive to Cassis include their amazing April in Paris cocktail made with Absolut Pear Vodka, St. Elderflower Liqueur, and sparkling wine. If you’re feeling fruity go for their Beach Dr. Lemonade made of Ciroc, lemon juice, club soda, and muddled strawberries. cassisstpete.com
Following Cassis, we went two blocks up to the Thirsty First Lounge on First Avenue North. From the outside it looks like a hole in the wall, vaguely prohibition themed bar and restaurant, but don’t let looks deceive you. If you’re a fan of authentic southern cooking, this is the epitome of good brunch food.
Typically, I order the Southern Living, Captain Crunch encrusted fried chicken over a big fluffy waffle with a side of maple syrup. This time I went for The King, which consists of a waffle topped with peanut butter, honey, green apples, applewood bacon, and bananas. It’s as delicious as it looks, and is on the lighter side if you’re still super stuffed. My friend went for their featured JB Bene, two poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise on a cheddar chive biscuit with sides of hashbrowns and fresh fruit. She too left very pleased.
Bloody Mary enthusiasts must try their signature Roaring 20’s cocktail. This is a liquid brunch, as this drink includes a skewer of large delightful bites: one buttermilk fried chicken slider, a cheese stuffed tater-tot wrapped in bacon, a steak tip slider, pickled veggies, a beer battered onion ring, a pickled egg, and celery. I also would recommend their unique BroMosas, a combination of vodka, peach schnapps, OJ, and bubbly so sinful it should be prohibited. thirstyfirstlounge.com
A favorite of the locals, this causal seafood spot is located on Central Avenue. They are best known for their namesake oysters and a classic $14 bottomless mimosa brunch special. This is another great restaurant to enjoy St. Pete’s outdoor dining with some of the best people watching opportunities around.
Oyster Bar has a variety of oysters from their regular menu available throughout the day, but in terms of brunch special items they offer their Fried Oyster Scrambler. This is a dish consisting of six fried Louisiana select oysters, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cheddar cheese, and picked jalapeno. I suggest sharing an order of Buttermilk Doughnuts sprinkled in sugar and vanilla icing too if you’re craving something sweet. oysterbarstpete.com
A somehow sophisticated pirate themed bar and restaurant… what more could you ask for? Right around the corner, The Galley on Fourth Street North is the perfectly whimsical place to finish off a Saturday or Sunday Funday.
At our final stop, we ordered The Frenchy to split, a Croque Madame with Harvariti cheese and ham on a 7-grain base with fried egg and Bechamel sauce. I would also recommend the Breakfast Cuban or the Weekend Burger from their brunch menu, they looked delectable. The Galley has super inexpensive drink deals, but I went with the Foyne’s Irish Coffee for a little pick me up.
The food was yummy, but the high point of The Galley is really the ambiance—the wood floors and ornate booths will really make you feel like you’re on Queen Anne’s Revenge. For cocktail seating they have elevated decorated barrel tables, board games, and the restaurant comes complete with an old-fashioned scuba suit. This brunch runs until 4 p.m. making this great for a late brunch date. thegalleystpete.com
Hungry for more?
Check out these other great St. Pete brunch locations!
400 Beach Seafood & Tap House– this restaurant is known for their Sunday Brunch Buffet composed of entrees, salads, seafood bar, and more running from 10a.m. to 3p.m. year round. 400beachseafood.com
The Lure– a trendy Central Avenue eatery, The Lure boasts an eclectic menu. Try an order of their famed Sage Viking’s Biscuit’s and Gravy. Rumor has this recipe came from Sage Granny, a notorious voodoo chef. thelurestpete.com
Del Mar Gastro Lounge– What’s better than pancakes and taco’s? The Pancake Taco. This is a must try paired with their $3.25 mimosa and $5.50 Silver Margarita brunch specials. delmarstpete.com
2nd and 2nd– in the mood for a 2a.m. brunch instead of 2p.m.? Brunch anytime at this 24 hour diner. This chic diner is clean and delicious alternative to any Waffle House, located in the heart of downtown St. Pete. Check out their decorated breakfast and cocktail menu. 2ndandsecond.com