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Good Food Shopping in St. Pete/Tampa?

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We are relocating to St. Pete early next year from Portland, OR and are very anxious about the change in eating that will definitely be occuring. Where is the best food shopping in St. Pete for produce, fresh meats, cheese, oils/salts, organic/natural stuff...

Also, COFFEE????

Any restaurant heads up are esp. wanted as well! Thanks!

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As far as organic/natural foods Wild Oats just opened in Tampa on Dale Mabry. Not sure where in St. Pete you're located but there's also a Whole Foods in Sarasota. What I truly miss (I've been down here a year. Moved from Chicago) is Trader Joe's. Although someone on these boards heard they were opening a distribution center in Atlanta to pave the way for opening more stores in the South. Here's hoping.

Publix seems to be the best grocery store around; good selection, great customer service. Although the new Sweetbays (Kash and Karry conversion) are also very nice with a good butcher case.

There's also a Fresh Market in Clearwater on US19. Smaller grocery store carrying gourmet food, cheeses, meats and nice bakery. I don't know if there's one closer to St. Pete.

Surf and Turf market in Palm Harbor has an excellent selection of meats, they even carry some prime cuts. Nice gourmet selection and well-priced wines.

The Oldsmar Flea Market has a truck that sells great seafood at excellent prices. It was the first time I've bought shrimp with the heads still on and they are probably some of the best shrimp I have ever had. There's also a large vegetable stand there to with very good prices.

PM me if you need any more info.

Hope this helps and welcome to Florida. Love the winters, hate the summers and hurricane season!


Edited by twocat (log)
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All excellent choices but not too close of a drive from St. Pete. For the flea market try the Wagon Wheel on Ulmerton Rd which is a lot closer. No Fresh Markets in St. Pete but check around for other specialty grocery stores. For regular grocery stores I would choose Publix over any other store due to customer service. They top the list and their spot in the market place reflects it. I am in the northern Pinellas area so can't give good advice on St. Pete. I like to search out local ethnic stores and St Pete has plenty.

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Please list any and all of these. Someone on Chowhound hipped us to Mazzaro's which looks really great and certainly better than a Fresh Market. I worked for Fresh Market in college and found them to be quite the shell of a fine market. I am surprised they are still in business actually.

I am glad to hear that Publix is so good. It was good when I last lived in Florida. Have they added more natural/organic foods and do they have decent meats/seafood?

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  • 2 months later...

I would second the recommendation for Mazzaro's on 22nd Avenue in St. Petersburg. They have an incredible selection of fresh meats, cheeses, dry foods, and the best bakery you could ask for. Their coffee is absolutely the best. And they recently added a large wine selection, too!

I have two other favorite small stores in Pinellas. First is Shaner's Land & Sea in Pass-a-grille, an adorable beach town at the southern tip of the Gulf beaches. They've got the best seafood around. Second is Natural Foods on Central Avenue in southwestern St. Petersburg for a good variety of healthy/organic foods.

Be aware that not all Publix are created equal. There are some fantastic Publix stores in Tampa, but most of the Publix in St. Petersburg and the beaches are just okay. Sweetbay is a welcome addition.

If I get going on restaurants in the area this will go on forever. I have a list of restaurants and my own reviews on my web site--PM me if you'd like that web address.

Good luck! Please let me know if I can help further.


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  • 1 month later...


The St. Pete times website just put out an article detailing all the different ethnic markets in the area. Click Here . It that doesn't work here is the URL


It's a pretty nice rundown. Bakeries, markets, etc. FWIW, count me in as a fan of Mazzaro's. I wish they kept longer hours. They close at 6pm on weekdays and 2:30pm on Saturdays. Saturdays are a nightmare with all the people that show up but that's when they have the BBQ grill out front of the market. Last time I was there I got to sample some grilled pork tenderloin. Yum!!! :smile:



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