Central Avenue restaurants
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St. Pete is full of amazing restaurants, and one of the best areas for dining quality and variety is Central Avenue. This stretch of downtown St. Pete is dotted with culinary delights – plenty for many date nights to come. We have you covered with a map of the best date night Central Avenue restaurants and watering holes in St. Pete.

Starting west moving east, we’ve grouped these into the 3 main walkable areas along Central Avenue, although most of these restaurants are technically within walking distance of each other if you’re up for it. Pick and choose more than one for your night on the town, and finish it off with after-dinner drinks. We even put together a map for you to plan your evening on Central Avenue. Enjoy!

Central Avenue, St. Petersburg Restaurants
Your Culinary Map of Central Avenue Restaurants, grouped into 3 walkable areas.

St. Pete Central Avenue Restaurants:

West of MLK

Edge Eatery

Photo credit: Edge Eatery


The farthest West of our picks, Edge Eatery is great for casual dates, a quick bite before or after a baseball game or sipping beverages on the sidewalk. With a mini food-hall vibe, choose from their Italian, Cuban, or Colombian menus, and pair with cocktails from the bar. Try the Cuban sandwich (they make the bread in-house).

Hawkers Asian Street Food

Central Avenue restaurants
Photo credit: Hawkers


Transplanted from the original location in Orlando, Hawkers has been serving bold and authentic Asian street food in St. Pete since 2016. It’s a top spot for date night among Central Avenue restaurants so get there early or expect a wait.

The food menu is extensive and sure to have some of your favorites. Grab some fluffy bao buns stuffed with duck, Seoul hot chicken, pork belly or Chinese BBQ and pair them with a cocktail from the quirky and cool drink list. They also have unique tiki drinks and street-style bagged cocktails. You are sure to leave Hawkers full and happy. 

Pro Tip: Go during Chinese New Year to enjoy traditional Chinese Lion Dance performances.

Feature Image credit: Hawkers

Bodega on Central

Central Avenue restaurants
Bodega’s award-winning Cuban sandwich. Photo credit: Bodega on Central


This long-time Central Avenue staple is so good, they took their tasty Cuban sandwiches across the bridge to Seminole Heights. Bodega is a great, quick and casual spot for Latin street food as you stroll the other museums, attractions and bars along Central Avenue.

Add a delicious Cuban coffee or one of their homemade Agua Frescas.

Red Mesa Mercado

Photo credit: Red Mesa Mercado


Another local staple, Red Mesa Mercado is the quick-service sister restaurant to the bustling Red Mesa Cantina down the street in downtown. The perfect casual spot for a group hang before or after a game, with something for everyone including vegetarian options and refreshing beverages.

Relax with tasty tacos under covered outdoor seating and make sure to try the Rita’s Passion Margarita.

Buya Ramen

Central Avenue restaurants
Crispy Duck Ramen at Buya Ramen. Photo credit: Farhaan Farooq


Boasting “Japanese soul food with a punk rock attitude“, come for the noodles and stay for craft cocktails. Known for large portions, delicious ramen and a top-notch atmosphere, Buya’s menu is small but mighty and includes a variety of sake and wines to choose from. Try the gyoza or bao buns.

Grab Drinks:

Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails

Photo credit: Intermezzo


Open early for specialty coffee and late for craft cocktails – Intermezzo is a Central Ave. staple. This is the perfect spot to start your day with a latte or wind it down with after-dinner drinks. With daily happy hour from 5-7pm, it’s the perfect place to gather over drinks.

READ MORE: Best spots for St. Pete Coffee

Dirty Laundry

Photo credit: Dirty Laundry


Another coffee + cocktails spot but with a totally different vibe from Intermezzo, Dirty Laundry is Tampa Bay’s newest speakeasy. Serving up coffee as early as 8am in the front cafe, pick up the payphone and give the code to disappear inside one of St. Pete’s most Instagramable spots for cocktails. Open late (til 3am Thursday-Saturdays), their Cuban-themed food and drink menu won’t disappoint.

Share a pitcher of your favorite mojito with your date and get the Mojo Pork Tostones and rice and beans.

READ MORE: Step Inside One of Tampa Bay’s Speakeasies, Dirty Laundry


St. Pete Central Avenue Restaurants:

Central (between MLK & 4th)

In case you missed it, here’s our culinary map of Central Avenue restaurants again.

The Lure

Photo credit: The Lure


Way more than just delicious sushi, The Lure also offers tacos, tapas and more, plus a really nice lounge with a pool table in the middle of the action. With some seriously unique specialty rolls, try the Bacon-8-her roll with an “oscene amount of bacon”, asparagus and avocado wrapped in soy paper with eel sauce and tempura chips.

Bonu’ Taverna Italiana

Central Avenue restaurants
Pinsa at Bonu’ Taverna. Photo credit: Anastasia Bizzarri


New(ish) kid on the block, Bonu’ Taverna recently celebrated its 1-year mark on the corner of Central and 6th Street where it replaced The Cider Press Cafe. They boast an ever-changing menu focused on specialties from southern Italy and the Mediterranean including pinsa, a 100-year-old Roman style of hand-pressed pizza dough.

Try the Figata  specialty pinsa with prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce and fig jam, yum.

Brick & Mortar

Photo credit: Brick & Mortar


The perfect cozy date night spot, Brick & Mortar has outstanding food and a very nice wine list. Serving up “creative New American” fare including seasonal and adventurous ingredients like octopus and duck along with short rib and filet. Their B&M burger is easily one of the best in St. Pete, with sharp white cheddar, bacon onion jam, arugula, and garlic aoili on a pretzel bun with house truffle fries.

This is one place you’ll definitely want to save room for dessert, too: the donut bread pudding is pure decadence and the lavender basil panna cotta had me doing my happy dance in my chair.

Il Ritorno

Polpette at Il Ritorno. Photo credit: Taylor Greer


Italian and modern, Il Ritorno is the perfect spot for special occasions. The standard menu is chock full of high-end fare and constantly changing with the season and available fresh foods, but the chef’s grand tasting menu is where Il Ritorno truly shines. Settle in for course after course of modern, rich and unique dishes.

Each dish is sure to delight, but also surprise because the tasting menu cannot be previewed. If you are adventurous eaters – this is the perfect spot for an unexpected dining experience. Tack on the wine pairing to complete your experience.

La V Vietnamese Fusion

Photo credit: La V Vietnamese Fusion


With some of the best bahn mi and phở in town (they stew the broth >12 hours), La V is a delicious date night option with outdoor seating on Central Avenue. With a whole menu page for vegetarians there’s something to please every appetite. Build your own boba tea and try the Lemongrass Beef Vermicelli.

Grab Drinks:

Cycle Brewing

Photo credit: Cycle Brewing

True beer enthusiasts already know, but even a casual beer drinker will love to grab a brew at Central Avenue’s Cycle Brewing. Known for its robust barrel aging program, core beers like Crank IPA and Cream and Sugar, Please, are nothing to sneeze at. 

Pro Tip: Go during Tampa Bay Beer Week for coveted limited release bottles (but get there early!).

The Floridian Social

Central Avenue restaurants
Cocktail Lounge at The Floridian Social. Photo credit: The Floridian Social


Finish your night with craft cocktails and a show at the swanky Floridian Social. Known for sultry spaces, live music and impressive artistic performances (think aerial acts, cabaret and burlesque) every Thursday through Sunday, you and your date are sure to be entertained. Book one of their Banquettes or VIP Lofts for comfortable seating (reservation fee and drink minimum apply) while your eyes and taste buds are amused.

There is a cover charge so check their event calendar for daily details.

St. Pete Central Avenue Restaurants:

East/Downtown (between 4th & Bayshore)

Here it is one more time: our culinary map of Central Avenue restaurants

The Lemongrass Sushi Thai Tapas

Photo credit: The Lemongrass Sushi Thai Tapas

Experience the liveliness and excitement of the exhibition kitchen at Lemongrass Sushi Thai Tapas. Known for fresh and delicious sushi, but with a huge variety of other options to choose from you can’t go wrong. Food is reasonable priced, comes out quickly and most items are available as a half roll, full roll, or cone.

The Oyster Bar

Photo credit: The Oyster Bar St. Pete

Offering upscale seafood with a casual feel, The Oyster Bar is the perfect spot to wind down after work and soak in the vibrant sidewalk culture of downtown St. Pete. Be a part of the action with daily deals ($5 martinis on Mondays, half-off bottles of wine plus live music on Tuesdays, etc.) and a regular daily happy hour from 3-6pm serving $1 oysters.

Speaking of oysters, their selection is good and competitively priced. And, the Oysters Rockefeller are baked to perfection. 

Naked Farmer

Central Avenue restaurants
Steak and Tomato Bowl at Naked Farmer. Photo credit: Naked Farmer


The perfect combination of “delicious and healthy” plus “fast and easy”. Serving new American food sourced from small to midsize local farms, Naked Farmer will be your new Go-To for seasonal, healthy food. Build your own Harvest Bowl or opt for the Southern Comfort, with grass-fed beef, charred broccoli with lemon & garlic, mac & cheese, butternut squash farrro and spicy harissa dressing.

Taverna Costale

Photo credit: Taverna Costale

With so much around them Taverna Costale is easy to pass by, but don’t. Right in the middle of the action with an inviting sidewalk bar is Fabio Viviani’s rustic Italian eatery serving up delicious pastas, pizzas and seafood. A great date night spot, the wine list is really nice and seating areas are well-thought so you’re not shouting to have a conversation.

Try the truffle pasta, the tartufo e prosciutto pizza and, definitely get the foccacia! 

Oak & Stone

Central avenue restaurants
BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger at Oak & Stone. Photo credit: Oak & Stone

Not your typical tavern, Oak & Stone is a beer-lovers paradise. With elevated pub food including brunch on the weekends, this Go-To spot for pizza, handhelds and beer encourages you to “craft your own story”. Help yourself to local brews from the region’s largest self-serve beer wall, create your own bourbon flights, or choose craft cocktails.

They even have choices to dip your crusts in, what more could you ask for?


Photo credit: Datz

With a menu full of creative and crowd-pleasing hand-helds, Datz is a favorite amongst Instagrammers and foodies alike. Known for soul food staples like shrimp ‘n grits, mac ‘n cheese, and biscuits & gravy (“biscuits and crazy”), Datz always goes over the top to create their own spin on things. Meatloaf stuffed with jalapeno mac ‘n cheese? Yes, please!

Datz has been featured on the Travel Channel and their sister bakery, Dough (in Tampa), was famous for baking beautiful sweets for the set of The Hunger Games.

Grab Drinks:

Mandarin Hide

Smoked cocktails at Mandarin Hide. Photo credit: Mandarin Hide


Mandarin Hide is a craft cocktail bar for serious craft cocktail enthusiasts. Well stocked with over 450 excellent spirits and fresh ingredients, you will find both unique cocktails and spectacularly executed classics. Everything from glassware, to ice to aging is taken incredibly seriously here – they even offer cocktail classes and tasting events for true cocktail aficionados.