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SumitrA Espresso Lounge

Where can you find a cozy lounge, with a blended decor reflecting a cross between Casablanca and India?

Why Gulfport, of course!

Founded in 2018, SumitrA was created to provide a relaxing environment.

“Coffee and drinks that won’t let you down.”

A place for artists, poets and musicians.

Time to order

SumitrA specializes in CBD beverages and baked goods, but there are also a variety of gluten-free and vegan pastries and other options for the entire family. 

Iced coffee and coffee cake. A match made in heaven.

Take a trip without leaving Gulfport

SumitrA offers a wide variety of Espresso selections, loose leaf teas, CBD sodas, what grass shots, tonics, Nitro hemp cold brew, steamers and smoothies.

Oh and a variety of European style homemade baked goods.

SumitrA Espresso Lounge

2838 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport



Everyone needs one of these

Neptune Grill

Dine in, dine out, sing along, watch some sports. And did we mention you can actually hear your dining companions when dining indoors at Neptune Grill?

That is, if there’s time to talk to your group while you’re busy stuffing your face with Greek goodness.

Yes, the Bahama Mamas deserve top billing

And the chicken salad deserves the No 2 spot

I recommend trying the Pastichio. No matter if you’ve sworn off meat, pasta or Bechamel sauce.  You’re forgiven for cheating just this once.  

The Neptune Chicken is a delightful mixture of sauteed chicken breast, green peppers, spinach, tomato, basil, Kalamata olives and feta cheese.  

The good ole American cheeseburger is everything you want it to be.  Can you tell I’m a repeat customer?

Spinach Pie – Yum

5501 Shore Blvd S        


Open daily hours vary check website


GulfPerk Coffee Bar

GulfPerk opened in late 2019 and poof! Just like that, Gulfport had a second spot for coffee.

Set up in an old house, the decor, staff and vibe (and of course the coffee) will make you linger.

And return.

Tributes to Gulfport are evident throughout

Be one with the foam

Welcome. Inviting. Friendly. Great atmosphere.

Couches.  Community tables. Individual tables.

A great patio.

Delicious donuts, sandwiches and great coffee.

Time to start the great American novel?

Now is a perfect time to enjoy nature’s perfect beverage

GulfPerk Coffee Bar

3107 Beach Blvd South


7 days a week from 7 am to 4 pm.  (Check hours before going.)

O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille

O’Maddy’s is almost too popular for its own good.  It’s always crowded, but that’s because the food is always good.

Life always presents us with tough choices, but at O’Maddy’s, you don’t have to think too hard.  Whatever appetizer you pick (Frank’s Fried Fish Nuggets, Collin’s Irish Chips) is bound to be great.  Come for drinks and choose from inventive concoctions (Gulfport Guava Breeze, Key Lime Pie Martini) and beach cocktail classics.

One of many delicious sandwiches


O’Maddy’s knows how to feed a crowd in a timely fashion and they stay open late.  Really late.  3 am!  And some dishes on the menu are named after locals. You may be able to thank them in person.

5405 Shore Blvd South, across from William’s Pier and next to Salty’s



House’s Homemade Beignets and Ice Cream

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Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ

‘d be lying if I said I wasn’t suspicious of Smokin’’ J’s at first. I mean, they’re from Texas. Why did they leave the land of BBQ?! But after couple of meals here, I no longer care why or how they ended up in Florida—I’m just glad they did.

Smokin’ J’s has the secret sauce (literally, with two options: sweet and hot) and the tasty sides (green beans, mac and cheese, etc.) that you’d expect of a BBQ joint. Their brisket is actually my least favorite, as it is a little too dense and dry for me. But the ribs, smoked sausage and pulled pork (smoked for 14-16 hours and then hand-pulled) will satisfy any carnivorous craving. 

Assorted BBQ meats

If you’re in town for the holidays, be sure and call ahead to order a smoked turkey.  

Save yourself a load of work, give your oven a break and impress family and friends.

Smokin’ J’s goes all out for the holidays

If you dare, take on the Smokin’ J’s BBQ Challenge.  Win, and this challenge is free; lose and you’ll pay $49.  

To win, you have to consume the following in one hour: a pound each of sliced brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork, sliced sausage, a boneless rack of ribs, and pickles and onions on a bun with a jalapeno to top it all off.  

See the pictures.  And bless your little heart if you try!

Now making a dizzying assortment of homemade ice cream flavors

5145 Gulfport Blvd S      


Closed Monday and Tuesday


Pia’s Trattoria

Pia’s and Backfin tie for my favorite Gulfport restaurant. Pia’s food rivals anything I’ve had in Italy, and I ate well in Italy! Over the years, Pia has expanded from a tiny eatery to include a few indoor dining rooms as well as an outdoor courtyard and sidewalk dining.  This is a good thing: the word is out and Pia and the staff deserve all the compliments they get from happy diners. 

The Lasagna Bolognese is my staple but half the time I’m diverted from that option by a mouthwatering Daily Special. For appetizer enthusiasts, the salads and soups are equally delicious.  

Yep, that’s THE lasagna

Insalata Pia – Romaine, arugula, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese

Shrimp Scampi

Pia’s is located at 3054 Beach Blvd South.  

Phone 727-327-2190.


Backfin Blue Cafe

Despite the fact that they’re closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (the nerve!) Backfin Blue is one of my favorites. Why, you ask? Let me count the reasons: crab cakes, meatloaf, the Mr. Oscar (the day’s fresh catch, expertly prepared), crab and corn chowder, prime rib…I could go on! 

Backfin Blue is tucked in a charming old house on Beach Boulevard. Dine outside if you can: there’s better acoustics and you may be treated to a serenade by a crooner next door at the Peninsula Inn.

2913 Beach Blvd, 727-343-BLUE


Blake’s Great Cakes

No, it’s not Cathy’s Rum Cakes.  These are crab cakes. Cakes on the savory end of the “cake” spectrum. 

Made with Baltimore style jumbo lump crab meat.

Made with minimal filler.

Made with a hint of secret seasoning and Old Bay. 

Blake is from the Baltimore ‘burbs.  He started helping his dad in the kitchen when he was 5.   He worked for two well-known Baltimore seafood restaurants. He visited St Pete, fell in love with it and moved here a few months later. 

Pretty much the entire menu

What to Get


Crab cakes!

It actually says on the menu, underneath “Blake’s Cakes”, “this is what you came for”. 

Perfectly blended, so that the freshness and flavor of the crab shines through.  Just the bare minimums of seasonings and bindings to make the cake.  Perfection in a little golden ball.

The perfect complement to the crab cakes are the French Fries. These fries lightly dusted with Old Bay are on my top 5 French Fry list, which was unexpected. In a restaurant focused on crab cakes, it would be easy to “go easy” on the sides.  But it is clear that Blake has artfully crafted every single item he puts on his menu to the delight of my taste buds.  And Blake’s Yum Yum sauce (homemade Siracha mayo) was perfect on the fries. 

The Yum Yum sauce is in one of these

What To Know If You Go

They do sometimes sell out, so call if you’re coming late in the day or coming from a distance. 

They also don’t stay open very late.  Blake has a life.  As he should.

The place is very small.  You won’t be having your large birthday party here.  The size also means that it is easy to miss in the strip center if you’re not paying attention.  Put the address in your GPS and believe it when it says “you have arrived”.  You have indeed.


7224 Central Ave St, St Petersburg, 727-289-2322

Links to stories

Red Mesa Restaurant

My mom and I started dining at Red Mesa for over ten years ago.  We used to go for the Sunset Menu, which is a fixed price & set selection menu available from 4-6 pm Mondays through Fridays. I still love that menu option and the pricing is very attractive.  However, the Sunset Menu is very popular so this can be a very busy time slot!  The only thing missing from it is dessert.  Which you can always add if you have room in your waistband.

One of these days I’m going to make it for weekend brunch.

Why You Should Go


Chorizo fundido

Black bean soup

The desserts

Chorizo Fundido Served
Chorizo Fundido ready to eat

The Guacamole(s)

One food that makes my heart go pitter-patter Is guacamole. And Red Mesa Restaurant has 4 variations of guacamole. There’s a traditional guacamole made with fresh avocado, onion jalapeno, cilantro and lime. And a guacamole made with blue crab. If you’re feeling a bit spicy, you can choose the chorizo and corn guacamole or the Chipotle chili guacamole.

Or if you’re like me and can’t decide?  Opt for the guacamole sampler where you get a choice of 3.

Chorizo Fundido

Guacamole love aside, the fundido is why you’re really here.  I fell in love with Queso Funddo at a Rick Bayless restaurant, so I’m always looking for one to match that experience.  Red Mesa’s Chorizo Fundido never disappoints and is itself a meal.  It seriously just melts in your mouth.

The Desserts

Red Mesa doesn’t overwhelm you with a million choices for dessert. There are usually only a handful and I’ve had every one of them. While they are all delicious, if you have to choose here are my recommendations, in order: the guava empanada, the chocolate spoon cake, the churros and the creme brulee cheesecake.  Of course, if they ever have flan, get it.

The Red Mesa Restaurant Family

Red Mesa Restaurant is one of 3 Red Mesa dining experiences. The others include Red Mesa Cantina and Red Mesa Mercado.  These other two include more expansive menus and both larger restaurants with more outside dining space. If you have been to either one and would like to let us know what you thought, please leave your feedback in the comments section below.


Noteworthy: At one time the restaurant did not have a hard liquor license so all drinks including margaritas were made with wine. That has now changed and the menu for drinks includes an assortment of tequilas and spirits such scotch, whiskey, rum, vodka and gin.

Red Mesa Restaurant is located at 4912 4th St N in St Petersburg. Phone 727-527-8728.

Website here.

Craft Kafe – Gluten-Free Goodness

Have you ever had two different people tell you that you should meet someone, and then you met that someone in a totally random situation?

That happened to me in early December, and that’s how I came to learn about Craft Kafe.  The someone (Keith) turned out to be an invaluable source of food recommendations, second only to my friend (and sometimes-guest) Rita. 

So far Keith is batting 1000. 

I can just feel the microfoam on my tongue

Still, I’m sort of surprised that I didn’t just sense somehow that Craft Kafe existed.  It is the sort of place I pine for when I’m not in New Zealand. Which is 11 months out of the year. 

Craft Kafe just has “it”.  And you can tell by the loyal patrons showing up again and again.

How to choose, how to choose

It’s an easy shot from Gulfport (just head up 58th St and hang a left on Central) or from Treasure Island (head down Gulf Blvd to Central, hang a left and head to 6653 Central Avenue.

Everything we’ve had was delicious.  Check out the our pics and their website for ideas.

Raspberry turnover
Crafty cups

Oh and super bonus for some of you? It’s gluten-free.

Two locations: downtown and the one on Central Ave.  The Central Ave will be more convenient to Treasure Island, St Pete Beach and Gulfport guests.

Impossible to resist display case