Take Out



Small and cozy, this combination grocery and Mexican eatery isn't fancy, but it certainly is good. Depending on your needs, you can pick up Latin ingredients or stop in for awesome tacos, filled with lamb, pork, chicken, or even beef tongue. Although the menu is abbreviated during the week, weekend offerings include more elaborate hot entrees, including hearty stews. Given the scale of the operation, you'll be especially impressed by the homemade food and the careful attention it's given.

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St. Petersburg

Its interior a contrast of lights and darks, accented with metallic tones, Bonefish combats the backwoods stigma of seafood restaurants with fashionable environs. Its strong popularity also gives credence to a tasty menu. Fish (you choose from several varieties) is cooked over a wood-fired grill; the smoky flavor is accented with citrus-, garlic-, and butter-tinged sauces. Mussels, rock shrimp, calamari, and lobster also make appearances, and pastas, chicken, steaks, and pork round out the options. Waits can be common, so plan accordingly.

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St. Petersburg

If you're doing a little sightseeing and need to take a break or wind down a bit, then head to Starbucks. From flavored coffees and caffé lattes to teas and ciders, the menu on the wall has it all. An enticing selection of muffins, biscotti, and pastries is also on display. Frappuccinos and iced coffees are available for mid-day refreshment, or you can choose a hot chocolate, mochaccino, and cappuccino to reward yourself after a long day.

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Focusing on morning and midday meals, this pleasant eatery does well what it knows best. As local folks will attest, omelets are awesome, filled with mushrooms, avocado, cheese, ham, turkey, and bacon. Light, airy pancakes and French toast are graced with syrup and butter, and waffles are simultaneously crisp-edged and tender, just the way they're supposed to be. With coffee, juice, and signature First Watch potatoes, each meal is a shout-out to the morning that can't be ignored.

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St. Petersburg

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.

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High-quality Japanese cuisine takes the forefront at this comfortable restaurant. Owner Charlie Lam prepares impeccable sushi rolls and sashimi, crafting fresh fish and vegetables into tidbits that are as beautiful as they are tasty. If you love sushi, you can't beat Charlie's offerings. If you desire a more traditional meal, you'll find beef, chicken, and fish dishes, often grilled and teriyaki-spiced. They come with side dishes to ensure that no one goes away hungry. Vegetable-based offerings available.

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You're certain to have fun at this festive restaurant, adorned with Mexican garments and memorabilia and host to weekend mariachi bands. The cuisine promises a flavor fiesta, made deliciously complex with fragrant chilis and herbs. Fajitas come from the kitchen with a customary flourish, and carnitas, generous margaritas, and a lush mole sauce give credence to the place's constant crowds. A casual ambience reigns, and bilingual servers guarantee that there's no problem getting what you want. Full bar.

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St. Pete Beach

Yes, you do sit at picnic tables inside, but how much easier could it be to crack crabs and dig into Bill's good, simple seafood? This family-owned place appeals to folks who don't want impressive decor but just a fun time eating. The menu offers crabs (of course!), oysters, and platters of flounder, grouper, shrimp, yellowfin tuna, and catfish. Frog legs, lobster, crab cakes, scallops, and even conch fritters please diners' palates, and steak, chicken, and ribs satisfy the uninitiated. Affordable and great for family outings.

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Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish
Photo courtesy of Ted Peter's

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.

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Up in Dunedin, folks favor this comfortable restaurant, which cultivates a lazy, old-fashioned island ambience that's perfect for leisurely dining. Expectedly, seafood paves the way to pleasure. Tuna, crispy-fried shrimp, and mahi mahi take on Caribbean appeal, thanks to the presence of peppers and tropical fruits. If that doesn't suit, more standard fare like pastas and the house chili are available, along with a host of daily specials. A great post-beach stopoff.

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