Looking for personal recommendations for seafood restaurants in St. Petersburg, FL area.
March 26, 2009 7:20 AM   Subscribe

My SO and I will be in St. Petersburg, FL area for 2 and half days and I've been put in charge of lining up where we should eat. His requirements are to pick a place with ice cold beer and conch listed on the menu. My requirement is to find a place where the locals go and tend to be less touristy. Suggestions for places you've actually dined that meet both of our requirements? Oh, we will have a car, are flying in and out of Tampa and don't mind travelling a bit farther out for a great place. Thanks!
posted by getmetoSF to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
Welcome to St Pete!
As a vegetarian, I'm afraid I know zero about seafood restaurants, but I wanted to point out that we do have a free weekly paper (Creative Loafing) that tends to skew toward unique and unusual places to eat.

Here's their "Food and Restaurant" section of their website.

I'm sure others will come up with great places to go and eat, but thought you might want to explore a little bit online, too.

Have a great time, oh, and make sure you visit Fort Desoto Beach.
posted by willmize at 7:41 AM on March 26, 2009

My brother's lived there for a few years, and he has two immediate recommendations:

Dockside Dave's | Mid-Peninsula Seafood
posted by mykescipark at 7:55 AM on March 26, 2009

Conch? In St Pete? I lived there for years and tended only to see it further south. YMMV. Local speciality is grouper sandwich or Cubans at most places.

Seconding Creative Loafing. I went to Guppy's on Indian Rocks many a moon ago (i.e. the 90s) and it was good. Crabby Bill's was also popular.
posted by methylsalicylate at 7:58 AM on March 26, 2009

I stand corrected, on a hunch, Molly Goodhead's has conch. Ozona is north of Clearwater.
posted by methylsalicylate at 8:00 AM on March 26, 2009

Oh, and since you're willing to drive my all-time personal fave, Frenchy's Saltwater. Okay, I'll stop now.
posted by methylsalicylate at 8:03 AM on March 26, 2009

The Reef on St Pete Beach: Might be a bit touristy, being on the beach but lots of locals and they probably have conch.

Philthy Phils and the Rusty Pelican across street, also St. Pete Beach: Same as The Reef above but less divey and with live bands at night.

Sculley’s, on the boardwalk in Johns Pass on Madiera Beach. Personal favorite. On the water.

VIP Lounge, Treasure Island. Personal favorite. Basically a dive bar. Not really what you mentioned, but thrown in because it has the best Mexican food in the area. Also Sloppy Joe’s across street. Touristy but probably has Conch. Also Ricky T’s next door, very popular.

Crabby Bills, several locations. Good.

Frency’s in Clearwater Beach. A couple of locations. Very popular with locals. Try the grouper reuben.
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:22 AM on March 26, 2009

Oooh! Oooh!

Billy's Stone Crab and Lobster, Tierra Verde (part of St. Petersburg)
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2009

I second methylsalicylate's suggestion of Molly Goodhead's, I really don't think you could ask for a more non-touristy place (actually it's a bit tricky to find the first time, so get good directions or bring a gps!). I don't eat seafood so I can't say much about their conch, but everything else I've had there has been quite good and they're happy to keep the beer flowing. Lots of character and always an interesting crowd.

Another suggestion, if you're up for a trip out to Tampa, would be Rick's on the River - it's right on the Hillsborough River, definitely a 'locals' place, definitely meets the cold beer requirement, and I know it has a raw bar and also does mussels; I can't guarantee the conch but you could give them a call and see ...
posted by DingoMutt at 10:32 AM on March 26, 2009

I grew up in Tampa, and would recommend The Hurricane on St. Pete Beach (Pass-a-Grille). It might be a little busy with spring break crowds, but most of the tourist action seems to stay up on Clearwater Beach. They have a bar on the roof where you can watch the sun set, and they have conch fritters!
posted by matteesee at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2009

The Conch Republic on Gulf Blvd (a great seafood place, not too touristy)


Salt Rock Grill also on Gulf Blvd (really expensive, but great seafood)


Both of these spots are 15min or so from St Pete. Have a nice trip!
posted by gibbsjd77 at 1:06 PM on March 26, 2009

While it doesn't involve seafood, if you're up for something unusual to do, why not sit in a rotating bar on the top floor of a beach hotel?

I think it goes faster, the more you drink.
posted by willmize at 12:50 PM on March 27, 2009

Thanks Hive! Can't wait.
posted by getmetoSF at 7:51 AM on March 28, 2009

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