I joined forces with a new food startup called Lunchpool on Sunday, May 19th for a Foodie Photoshoot / St. Pete Lunchpool Takeover. The idea was to eat our way through a section of Downtown St. Petersburg and connect people over food while trying some new places or outposts of businesses I have seen around Tampa.
Food has always been a passion of mine and a huge part of my life and this was another new avenue where food can make a difference.
The event was sponsored by Carlos Eats and also Rising Tide Innovation Center, a cowork space located in Downtown St. Pete that works to connect like-minded collaborators.
We made several stops throughout the day at popular restaurants, cafes, and shops in Downtown St. Pete. Some of them I was familiar with, but many of them I had never heard of as a citizen of Tampa across the bridge.
What I found is that there are plenty of awesome spots just waiting for people from Tampa to try. We cross the bridge for Rays games, Rowdies games, concerts at Jannus, and for First Friday. These are spots we should know and so I want to share them with you.
Stop No. 1: Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails
I love coffee and Intermezzo has to have one of the most beautiful shops I have seen in the Tampa Bay area. The espresso pours are excellent, the staff is friendly, and it is conveniently located next to plenty of restaurants on Central Avenue.
During this visit with Lunchpool I also tried the matcha for the first time through a friend and it was obvious that Intermezzo does its best to provide a quality product to all its customers. They have cocktails for those looking for a chill venue in the evenings after a long day working on your laptop.
1111 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705. (727) 873-6664. http://intermezzo.co/
Stop No. 2: Ford’s Garage:
Ford’s Garage has exploded in growth as a franchise in recent years. I still remember the first location in Brandon and how crazy packed it gets compared to its predecessor. Ford’s Garage has a wide-variety of burgers on the menu and an option to build your own as well.
We mainly shared appetizers and one thing that was surprising was how good the wings were. If you love craft beer, Ford’s Garage also has a very expansive beer menu with tons of local options which is how it should be everywhere in this town.
200 1st Ave S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 295-3673. http://www.fordsgarageusa.com/locations/st-pete/
Stop No. 3: Pacific Counter
Poke has been absolutely on-fire in Tampa and across the bridge it is also taking hold of St. Petersburg. What I really like about Pacific Counter is the different options for their poke bowls and sushi burritos, but also the atmosphere which has a surfer ambiance.
So many places across the bridge fail to make an ambiance that is enjoyable and I notice St. Pete is especially good at this. During a second recent visit on another food tour I had the noodles and salmon and it was excellent. Also: try the Dole whip ice cream. It’s excellent and perfectly refreshing in this horribly hot weather.
660 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 440-7008. http://pacificcounter.com/
Stop No. 4: Fabrica Pizza
This spot originally from across the bridge in Channelside has long been a favorite of mine and is on my Top 7 Pizza List. The owners hail from Italy and they do everything they can to put a quality experience into their product.
I love almost all their pies, but my sinful favorite is their Nutella Pizza which is something you have to treat yourself to after a long week of work! Their wines are actually also imported from their own vineyard in Italy if I’m not mistaken. The Downtown St. Pete location is just as beautiful inside as the Tampa spot.
101 7th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 290-9643 http://www.fabricapizza.com
Stop No. 5: The Hyppo / Swah-Rey
Dessert was a fun-filled affair with Lunchpool. From the torch-roasted cakes at Swah-Rey to snapping photos of popsicles at The Hyppo, we were having a blast. I actually needed a coffee to keep myself going so I grabbed an espresso shot at Swah-Rey and it was quite enjoyable. The staff was super friendly as well.
Swah-Rey 625: 625 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 767-0527.
The Hyppo: 627 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 498-6536. http://www.thehyppo.com/
Stop No. 6: The Canopy at Birchwood
After a long day of walking, making new friends, and seeing so many things that St. Pete had to offer, we ended up at The Canopy at Birchwood, a rooftop bar in Downtown St. Pete that overlooks The Vinoy and the upcoming St. Pete Pier. The views from The Canopy are great and our server was a delight. The Canopy is the perfect way to end any day in Downtown St. Pete and it is probably one of my favorite places in the neighborhood.
340 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 896-1080. http://www.thebirchwood.com/thecanopy
It was a great day in Downtown St. Pete and I had a blast with the Lunchpool crew. Lunchpool is working to change the world through food. You can find out more about them at letslunchpool.com.