rankings · weekends

Tampa Travels: Red Mesa Mercado in St Petersburg

Ahhh… Mexican food.

Queso, soft tortillas, salty chips, sour cream, queso… while I am admittedly a picky cheese-atarian, I can always find something at a Mexican restaurant, and usually something that I can easily eat until I enter into a food coma.

So when Russell and I headed over to his sister Phylliss’ new digs across the bay in St. Petersburg, I suggested Red Mesa Mercado for breakfast. My friend Jordan had recently eaten there, and her recommendation is usually on point, so we found a spot on the street right in front of the outdoor eating area’s entrance.

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Located near trendy Central Ave in St. Petersburg, the restaurant has a small parking lot but was surrounded by ample street parking the day we visited (on a Sunday morning).

 

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We took advantage of the cool temps that morning and snagged a rare table in the sun, but for warmer days there is lots of shade and many fans to help with the heat.

 

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I believe there is an indoor “market” area to sit as well, but it was closed for renovations when we visited. The outdoor seating worked perfectly for us and this chicken, though.

 

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Me: Veggie burrito, minus the veggies, with a side of queso and tots. Russell: Huevo Ranchero Burrito.

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Our visit wasn’t all liquid cheese and sunshine; although Russell ordered the French Toast in addition to his burrito and even pointed at it on the menu, the man taking our order did not fulfill this request. Oddly enough, when Phylliss arrived and ordered, the same thing happened to her.

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Added perk: Check out this street art encouraging passerby to share an item off their bucket lists. Read more by clicking on the photo.

If you go: Red Mesa Mercado is about 20-25 minutes from downtown Tampa across the Howard Frankland Bridge (275 SB) to downtown St. Pete. Due to the miniscule parking lot, you’ll likely need to park on the street, which could be tricky on busy weeknights or weekends.

Tampa Travels Ranking: 5/10*

*A completely unscientific ranking method that admittedly does not apply well to food-only locations

  1. Allows pets: Y
  2. Wifi: N, at least I don’t think so!
  3. Makes us feel good about our bank account: N – Our meal was somewhere around $30.
  4. Available Toilets: Y
  5. Reachable by bicycle from our house (near downtown Tampa): N
  6. Alcohol allowed: Y
  7. White Zinfandel: N, but at least they have wine.
  8. Cheese-atarian Food Option: Y!!!
  9. Activities to keep Russell occupied while I read: N, unless the “If you die” wall counts.
  10. Gives Mom FOMO: If queso doesn’t give you FOMO, I’m not sure we should be friends. Y

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