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Marketplace Express @ St. Pete Florida

June 4, 2010

St. Petersburg Florida is the antithesis of how I would imagine this famous place-name to be. There are no frozen streets, icy morning steam rising from the roads, big men (and women) wearing bear hats, golden onion domed cathedrals or vodka swilling consumers. Perhaps there is vodka being consumed but most likely to be in a cosmopolitan than a straight shot.

Instead, Florida’s St. Pete is a mix of big old homes resting quietly in affluence, an inner city mix of urban new and run down old that is fast on its way to redevelopment; and a famous gallery housing some of Salvador Dali’s finest. Restaurants and bars a butt each other plying food and drinks down the throats of wannabes and tourists while a zen looking tea shop sits between a busy ice cream parlor and a restaurant; its tranquility displaced on the noisy street.

On the corner of eat street (my label) opposite the St Pete’s Art Museum, is an unassuming deli — Marketplace Express. It’s a place you could easily pass if it weren’t for a couple of tables and chairs usually filled with people in need of solitude; away from the bustle that exists further down the street.

This deli has become my hub of choice when I visit St Pete. It doesn’t offer fancy dishes just simple fare like soups, breads, salads wraps and Panini, muffins and scones, and good coffee. I’m all for good coffee.

by Cate

Inside is set up with high tables and stools, a coffee service and food production area. It’s the shelves stocked with deli goodies, the kind you know is imported from  France, Italy, Switzerland, wine from California and Australia, as well as teas and tea accessories that give Marketplace Express its character. It is different to the growing number of eateries around the area, and judging by the crowds that flock to it during lunch hours, it’s a hive of activity. But when I visit, it’s usually after the crowds have moved on taking their noise with them.

by Cate

Marketplace Express is not a haven for coffee or tea aficionados, more like a place to refuel, to sit and watch seagulls scrounge, cars roll by and yachts punter in and out of the bay.

It has its fans and opposers who claim the food is pricey and the service slow. I haven’t found it so. Not yet. So I’ll keep returning as long as it delivers.

by Cate

St. Pets is close to Tampa and Clearwater. It has an airport and boat berths. Marketplace Express is located along Beach Drive, opposite the art museum within walking distance from the waterfront.

Caffeinated Traveller

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9 Comments
  1. June 4, 2010 7:11 pm

    I am going to be visiting Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida at the end of July and beginning of August and I would like to know what is there to do for enjoyment in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida?

    • June 7, 2010 10:26 am

      Hi Max!

      There is plenty to do around this area but it depends on what you want to do. Busch Gardens is one worth going if you have family or want fun. Harbourside in Tampa is also worth a visit and if you have a car then you can visit some of the smaller towns out of the city: Dunedin, Tarpin Springs, Clearwater. I would also recommend Fort De Sota out of St Petersburg as well.

      Cate

  2. travelforaircraft permalink
    June 5, 2010 9:08 am

    I know this deli and, like you, enjoy it very much. It is near the art museum, as you said, and also by the history museum and Vinoy Basin — an enjoyable area of St Pete that one can have a short stroll. Older houses are in the neighborhood to the north and bicyclists also enjoy the area and the deli.

    The menu is good and the service is quick, too.

    • June 5, 2010 9:49 am

      Very descriptive, you could write for a tourist site if you chose, thanks for the extra info.

  3. June 7, 2010 2:15 am

    I’m fascinated by the design on the table top. Kind of makes you want to linger with your coffee.

    • June 7, 2010 10:45 am

      Kind of cool looking, was hoping there would be a jazz band playing somewhere, but there wasn’t.

  4. June 11, 2010 4:20 am

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks 🙂

  5. June 13, 2010 7:52 am

    St. Pete is a great place to live, glad to see you have found aplace to relax on our waterfront, you can check out my blog to find more places to visit next time you are in town !!

    http://dwntwnstpete.blogspot.com/

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