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The best old-school restaurants in St. Pete

The best old-school restaurants in St. Pete

Bright Orange Sign that reads El Cap
Outside the 4th Street North burger icon El Cap

Ah, sweet nostalgia. Whether it’s homemade meals that remind you of mom’s cooking or an ambiance that takes you to another era, St. Pete is full of old-school eateries. From traditional pubs and tearooms to family-run spots that have been dishing out food since your grandma was a kid, we’ve scoured the city to list the best spots that serve more than a meal. They serve memories. Come with us on this trip down memory lane, one bite at a time.

Did we mss your favorite old-school spot? Send an email to with subject line “Old School Restaurants” and we’ll be sure to add it to the list.


exterior of a restaurant with a green awning
Outside Harvey’s 4th Street Grill in St. Pete

Harvey’s 4th Street Grill

3121 4th St N
Peel and eat shrimp, grouper nuggets, cheeseburgers, and milkshakes: you simply can’t go wrong at this West Coast Florida-style bar and grill. Stop in this St. Pete staple for shareable apps, a dinner platter, Sunday brunch, or even just dessert (we love their Key Lime Pie!). While you dine, take a moment to appreciate Harvey’s decor, as most of it comes from local St. Pete hotels, including the Vinoy, the Soreno, and the Albermarle. Even their doors have historic roots that go back to the Sunshine School in St. Pete Beach. It doesn’t get more local than that!

Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish

1350 Pasadena Ave S
If we had it our way, every beach day would end with a trip to Ted Peters. Known for its elaborate fish-smoking process, this family-owned and operated restaurant has served up smoked fish lunches and dinners for more than 70 years now. Take your pick of salmon, mahi mahi, mackerel, and mullet, or opt for one of their sandwiches. Using red oak, a native tree to Florida, the cooks at Ted Peters smoke raw fish for up to six hours until it reaches the perfect point of flavor and texture. Want to make the experience last a little longer? Smoked fish by the pound is available in their smokehouse, and most sides spreads, and soups are offered by the pint or quart.

McArthur’s Irish Pub

9246 4th St N
You certainly don’t have to go all the way to Ireland to experience the warmth and spirit of one of their pubs. McArthur’s Irish Pub is here to bring the traditions of the Irish right to St. Pete. Here, they pride themselves on creating an authentic Irish experience with classic dishes and drinks, including Cottage Pie, Guinness Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and, of course, a variety of Irish beers. With live music events, traditional Irish music sessions, and local spotlight nights, this is the place for dipping your toes into Irish culture. For beer aficionados, come by on Thursdays for Irish Pint Night to try their selection of Irish draft beers.


exterior of a restaurant with rainbow colors
The Chattaway is an Old Southeast treasure.

The Chattaway

358 22nd Ave S
Who would have thought you’d be able to find a taste of England here in St. Pete? The Chattaway is a local favorite founded by Jillian Frers, originally from England. Now completely family-operated, this historic restaurant is a go-to for burgers, seafood baskets, and, lest we forget, afternoon tea. Dine outside with live music and firepits, or make a reservation for traditional English afternoon tea in their dining room. You’ll be able to order from a selection of sandwiches, scones, crumpets, clotted cream and preserves, and desserts with unlimited English tea.

Three Birds Tavern

1492 4th St N
Located inside a century-old farmhouse, Three Birds Tavern invites you to take a step inside this quintessentially St. Pete restaurant. Indigenous Florida plants and trees surround the grounds so that you can feel right at home as you enjoy a bite while out on their shaded porch. With happy hour running Monday through Thursday, there’s no better place to order an ice-cold drink and sit back while escaping the sun. Their food offerings include pub-style starters, wings, entrees, and handhelds, with brunch food and drink specials on the weekends.

Casual Clam Seafood Bar & Grill

3336 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N
For New England transplants and seafood lovers alike, there’s no better place to find Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder, and Wholebelly Ipswich Clams than Casual Clam Seafood Bar & Grill. The moment you arrive, you’ll fall for their coastal beach bar vibes with outdoor picnic benches, colorful murals, and laid-back charm. Their menu isn’t short of options either: their mussels, oysters, shrimp, po’boys, and baskets are all in high demand. Want something cold to help you wash down your meal? Beer, wine, and cocktails are available from the bar.

Bright Orange Sign that reads El Cap
Famous for its burgers, El Cap is a 4th St cornerstone.

El Cap Restaurant

3500 4th St N
This St. Pete landmark has been stealing hearts and winning over customers for more than 60 years. You’ll know you’ve arrived from the sight of their retro neon sign. Come in and catch the game with a cold beer and wings, or sit outside on their pet-friendly patio. Weekly specials make this a popular spot any night of the week, though El Cap is known for their legendary burgers, specifically their “World Champ” Cheeseburger, which you can order for just $8.50. Feeling especially hungry? Go for their Daily Double, or two burgers in one, deal for $12.


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