Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in St. Petersburg / Clearwater and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Sea Critters Cafe thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Dockside Dave's, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

Marketplace Express
It's a gourmet grocery...It's a coffee shop...Well, actually, it's both! Marketplace meets not only immediate needs but anticipated ones as well — a boon to folks on-the-go. The place stocks and prepares pastries, wraps, salads, sandwiches, soups, and breads, ideal quick-fare for a picnic or even to enjoy on their outdoor patio. Whether your tastes run to doughnuts or to pâté, Marketplace can easily accommodate. Fragrant, steaming coffee drinks also prove satisfying, and wine and beer are available as well. (727-894-3330)

Sea Critters Cafe
Set right on the water, this island-styled restaurant is a terrific respite from the everyday. Its casual ambience and decor, coupled with outdoor dining and a substantial menu of great food, beckons to folks who just want to relax. Most appetites find accommodation in pastas, sandwiches, steaks, chicken, and — especially — seafood. Boat-fresh fish and shellfish are incredible, as evidenced in crab cakes, shrimp, salmon, and grouper, the welcome Florida standard. A full bar and water access are available. Family-owned. (727-360-3706)

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Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish
Longevity gives added credence to the quality of food at Ted Peters, a local institution that's held court over this part of Pasadena Avenue for more than a half-century now. The unassuming place attracts scores of diners daily, who crave the earthy flavor of smoked mullet, salmon, and mackerel. The fish comes with sides of German potato salad that's arguably as popular as the main course, and cold beer ties everything together nicely. Burgers enjoy a faithful following as well, along with a rich gumbo and savory clam chowder. Outdoor dining. (727-381-7931)

Dockside Dave's
Dave's offers Florida dining the way it used to be: casual surroundings, top-notch fresh seafood, and incredible, friendly service. The local place offers up burgers, salads, and sandwiches, along with pastas and hot entrees, but seafood is the hands-down winner. Whether fried or sauteed, fish, shrimp, and shellfish are succulent and perfectly prepared. Of course, it would be negligent not to try the fresh grouper sandwich, which is tender, moist, and has earned kudos from a host of local and regional publications. Don't miss it. There's another location at 7141 Gulf Blvd. on St. Pete Beach. (727-392-9399)

El Cap
Adorned with sports photos, articles, pennants, and memorabilia, this casual eatery maintains a reputation for its terrific burgers. Folks generally know about the place from friends, who keep the chain of visitors going, and a steady stream of regulars comes in almost daily to sample all-beef burgers dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and the like. Fries are a must, and a cold beer only highlights the formula. Other bar food (usually fried) is available as well, and TVs are, without fail, tuned to sports events. All sorts of folks frequent the place, and happy hours are a good time to socialize and come down from a hectic day. (727-521-1314)

Sea Porch Cafe - Don CeSar
Dining at the wonderful Don CeSar is a sublime experience in itself, and this cafe entices with its beach views and gracious, garden-themed setting. Folks find it hard to resist the place, especially when faced with a selection of fresh, light dishes that enjoy a touch of island flair. Sandwiches and paninis are a wise choice, savory and warm, and crisp salads, chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables, prove ideal for the location. You'll also find pastas and delicate seafood dishes to be perfect appetite fillers. (727-360-1884, 866-728-2206)

Maps and Directions

Marketplace Express 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Coffee Shop, Continental
Neighborhood: St. Petersburg
Cost: $
Sea Critters Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger, Seafood
Neighborhood: St. Pete Beach
Cost: $$
Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Neighborhood: St. Petersburg
Cost: $$
Dockside Dave's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger, Local Specialty, Seafood
Neighborhood: Madeira Beach
Cost: $$
El Cap 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger
Neighborhood: St. Petersburg
Cost: $
Sea Porch Cafe - Don CeSar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Caribbean, European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: St. Petersburg
Cost: $$
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