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Best Cheap (But Delicious) Eats in St.Petersburg Florida

June 11, 2014

Though the economy keeps heading South, Americans continue to dine out.

People are dining out more for value. They’re searching for quality food at beer budget prices. Here’s is few of my favorites, most have been around for a few years. Let me know your favorite! Friend me on Facebook, JoyceLaFray, or email me at

Here we go!


Babalu Restaurant & Bar
9246 Fourth St. N. • (727) 576-7414
Seafood & American

Love their motto, “Tacky on the outside, tasty on the inside!” and how true it is. "'All-u-can-eats' and daily specials include generous servings of catfish, grouper fingers, baby back ribs, scallops and shrimp. Wings are cooked six ways”: homestyle soups and chili are starving students’ nirvana.


Biff-Burger and Buffy’s Biff
3939 49th St. N. • Biff (727) 527-5297 Buffy’s (727) 522-0088

Some prefer french fries thick with skins on while others like them skinny like matchsticks or crinkly cut. Biff’s flawless fries are better than McDonalds and burgers are hearty and cheap. Next door at Buffy’s, owners integrate slabs of southern pit barbecue hickory-smoked ribs, and good portions of nostalgia, country and rock n’ roll. Roll up those sleeves and dig in!


Cha Cha Coconuts
800 2nd Avenue NE. Island • (727) 822-6655

At the Pier Dine affordably alfresco on a comfy patio patio setting overlooking the Bay. Good burgs, crispy tasty fries and zesty tropical tastes make this worth Cha cha’s is the brainchild of the Gonzmart family, owners of the also popular Columbia Restaurants.


The Chattaway
358 22nd Ave. S. • (727) 823-1594

Onion rings so large they’re more than a mouthful, burgers thick, moist and perfectly seasoned. Best bet are the Chattaburger all-the-way (relish, onion, mustard, etc.) and the giant onion rings.This little wooden building that serves up cheap eats once housed a grocery store, a gas station and a trolley stop. When Helen Lund bought it in 1950, she expanded it into a full-fledged restaurant. Since then, it has become an local historical landmark.


Coney Island Grill
250 MLK St. (9th) • (727) 822-4493

Take a step into the past at this chrome and vinyl hot dog joint that’s almost as old as St. Pete.. Yesteryear’s grilled dogs were a nickel; today they’re a little more than a buck. Buy a sackful and a few hand -dipped milkshakes and your family and friends will love you forever. How can dogs taste this good? Must have something to do with the seasoned grill.


Dairy Inn
1201 MLK St. N. • (727)822-6971

Sixty-one years ago this corner eatery was Pinellas County’s first Dairy Queen. Today the name has changed, but it’s still is tops. In fact, get in line (and chances are you will wait in line to order their Almost Famous double burg priced under four bucks. Hot “diggity” dogs are under two bills. A 32- ounce handmade shake is a bargain there’s an old fashioned egg cram to crave.


Harvey’s 4th Street Grill
3121 4th St. N. • (727) 821-6516

Owner Dan Harvey offers an all-encompassing menu with choice of 20 appetizers, jumbo salads, burgs, two-fister sandwiches and half-portion entrees at affordable prices. Dan takes pride in keeping prices low, quality high and service near perfect.


3920 6th St. S. • (727) 896-5972
Southern and American

Hearty down-home chow like fried green tomatoes fresh fish, soups. Lots of local color and weekly specials. SOS made with fragrant cheddar cheese and chopped ham over toast; homemade maple and brown sugar sausage; Texas hash with smoked chicken with garlic, potatoes, pepper and onions. Try the style meatloaf real made-from-scratch Key Lime pie. Much like Coney Island Grill, it’s a step back in time. Guy Fieri love this one!


6000 4th St. N. • (727) 521-2656

Good pizza and inexpensive pasta. Always reliable with speedy friendly service. The Pizza/pasta buffet is one of the best deals in town. Not as big as Co.


Siam Garden
3125 9th St. N. • (727) 822-0613

Friendly owner Boon, who ran the famous Mai Kai Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale for years now creates the best Thai food in town. Share the pu-pu Platter and a large fresh papaya salad. Lunch and dinner specials are the best deal on the menu. Heap on the steamy Jasmine rice.–beef, chicken, or pork stir-fried with fresh Thai basil, garlic, onion, and fresh mushrooms.

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