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St. Petersburg Foodies Give Their Picks For Must-Visit Restaurants

Kevin Godbee and Lori Brown side-by-side
RACHEL COVELLO
Kevin Godbee and Lori Brown are the team behind St. Petersburg Foodies.

Looking for some dining options in St. Petersburg? Here are their recommendations.

Kevin Godbee and Lori Brown are the force behind StPetersburgFoodies.com. They’re the hosts of the St. Petersburg Foodies podcast; they’ve got lots of dedicated fans on social media; and their Facebook group, St. Petersburg Foodies Restaurant Reviews, boasts more than 14,000 followers.

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Brown says that in the last few years, St. Petersburg has developed enough of a food scene to merit the attention.

"It's grown so much over the last 10 years," Brown says. "I've lived there nine years, and I can't believe the growth. We had hardly any restaurants back then. And now we have amazing chefs -- James Beard nominated chefs, right here in town. St. Petersburg just deserves that recognition."

When asked about their picks for must-visit restaurants, Brown said her No. 1 choice is Il Ritorno, where the kitchen is helmed by Chef David Benstock.

"I love Chef David's take on everything he does there," she said. "I've never had a bad meal there. And it's just an exceptional restaurant."

Brown and Godbee gave several more recommendations for downtown or beachside restaurants on this episode of The Zest podcast.

The two also organized the St. Petersburg Foodies Restaurant awards this year, chosen by their readers and listeners.

St. Petersburg Foodies Restaurant Awards Winners:

Best Downtown
Brick & Mortar - Kitchen & Wine Bar

Best Gulfport
Pia's Trattoria

Best North St. Pete
Noble Crust

Best St. Pete Beach
Sola Bistro & Wine Bar

Best Italian
Gratzzi Italian Grille

Best Mexican
VIP Mexican Restaurant & Lounge

Best Seafood
Alto Mare Fish Bar

Best Steakhouse
Beau & Mo's Italian Steakhouse

Best Sushi
The Lure

Best Pizza
Pizza Box

Best New Restaurant
Sophia's Cucina + Enoteca

Best Fast Casual Restaurant
Bodega on Central

Best Casual Restaurant
Noble Crust

Best Upscale Restaurant
Il Ritorno

Best Overall Restaurant
Beau & Mo's Italian Steakhouse