It’s Always Sunny in St. Pete and at Little Philly

It’s Always Sunny in St. Pete and at Little Philly

Recently Kevin, Lori and I had a St. Pete Foodies night out, eager to explore one of the newest additions to our city – Little Philly. Located at the corner of Central Ave and 21st St N in the Grand Central District, it’s a great spot for various occasions, whether it’s a pre-game meal before a Rays game, a casual lunch spot, or a quick bite after a busy workday.

Little Philly Entrance

Little Philly is co-owned by Renaud Cowez and Chef Sean Ford, who have previously partnered on other restaurants in the St. Pete area, including Tryst and Tropez. Chef Sean is originally from Philly and wanted to share his home town food with St. Pete.

Little Philly Bar Seating

Ordering at Little Philly might initially confuse those unfamiliar with Philly cuisine, but the staff is more than happy to assist, making the process simple. The “Plain Cheesesteak” and “Cheesesteak” are essentially build-your-own options. The menu does not clearly state that, which is apparently how it is in Philly too. From there, you can pretty much choose anything you want to put on it; from building a classic (or at least what I would consider a classic… honestly, I am questioning my knowledge of a Philly Cheesesteak after visiting) with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and whiz to ordering, as I like to call it, a Lindsey Cheesesteak (more on that later). They do have a little sign that can help guide you through the basic options. Pizza sauce anyone?

Order Sign
Little Philly Order Counter

We were lucky enough to have Renaud help us decide on our meals and tell us about the restaurant. One of the most important things that caught my attention was Little Philly’s dedication to quality. All meats are sliced in house from the deli meats for the hoagies, to the ribeye for the cheesesteaks—sliced fresh off of a full ribeye sub-primal. (Some places use frozen, pre-sliced beef for their cheesesteaks.)

The hoagie rolls, which are a crucial part (possibly just as important as the meat) of the authentic Philly Cheesesteak experience, are exceptional. It took many hours of tweaking and experimenting to get them perfect. Chef Sean is working with a bakery in central Florida. He started with his family recipe, but with the differences in the Florida climate and water, several tweaks had to be made to get them perfect. The rolls are soft and pillowy on the inside, have an awesome chewy crust on the outside, and are packed with flavor. Fresh baked rolls are delivered everyday. You will never get a day-old roll here.

The Full Spread
Texas Tommy Hot Dog

The Texas Tommy Hot Dog is served with crispy bacon and American cheese. Despite its humble appearance, this large hot dog, nestled in the same soft bun as their sandwiches, boasts a rich smoky flavor that delights the palate. I quite enjoyed the combination of the smoky hotdog with the salty, fatty bacon and the American cheese.

Philly Cheesesteak

I am a believer that Phillies should be messy to be delicious. It shows that without even having your first bite, you already know that it’s going to be moist and satiate your taste buds. We ordered the Philly Cheesesteak with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and whiz. And let me tell you this one came out messy and delicious, to the eye and the mouth.

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South Philly Chicken Cheesesteak
South Philly Cheesesteak

The South Philly Cheesesteak is what I would say you should order if you want to *pretend* to be healthy. The South Philly comes with ribeye or chicken, spinach, provolone, and peppers. The combination of toppings really makes you feel like you are eating a fresh healthy meal while also indulging. I think I preferred the toppings with the chicken, but that might just be my bias on wanting a gluttonous cheesesteak when using ribeye meat.

Philly Loaded Chicken Philly

Little Philly’s Loaded Chicken Cheesesteak is a surprising delight, blending chicken, mushrooms, American cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, and fried onions. While the combination may seem unconventional, the result is a symphony of flavors that surpasses expectations, leaving taste buds tingling with delight.

Italian Hoagie

The Italian Hoagie comes with capicola, soppressata , salami, prosciutto sliced in house, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, and vinegar, and served on their soft hoagie bread. I realized later that this didn’t have mayo or mustard on it and the fact that I didn’t realize it or miss it really stands as a testament to the restaurants commitment to quality.

Lindsey’s Favorite Way to Order a Cheesesteak

I enjoyed my meals so much the first time, I decided to go back a week later. I ordered what I’ve dubbed The Lindsey Cheesesteak – my special way of getting it extra messy with extra provolone, mayo, peppers, and onions. It came out just perfect, maybe the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t want Kevin and Lori to have to deal with all the extra cheese and mayo, so I kept it to myself.

Macaroni Salad

The macaroni salad at Little Philly is a classic favorite, offering a tasty and satisfying side dish that perfectly complements their hearty sandwiches. Not too heavy, yet full of flavor, it’s the ideal accompaniment to any meal.

Chicken Tenders

While it might not normally be at the top of your list when visiting a Philly Cheesesteak restaurant, the chicken tenders are a not-to-miss menu item. They are juicy, tender, crispy, mouthwateringly perfect chicken tenders. I think Lori may have mentioned they were at the top of the list of items we tried and maybe even some of the best tenders she’s had in St. Pete.

Little Philly’s menu is a delightful exploration of Philadelphia’s culinary heritage, with a dash of innovation thrown in.

As we wrapped up our meal at Little Philly, I couldn’t help thinking about what I would order next time. With promises to explore their ribeye burgers and upcoming specialty items, we left with full stomachs and eager anticipation. Little Philly had won me over with its dedication to quality, variety of menu offerings, and welcoming atmosphere, ensuring that it would become a restaurant I frequent for many years to come.

Little Philly Menu


Little Philly
  • Readers Rating
  • Rated 4.9 stars
    4.9 / 5 (12 )
  • Your Rating

  • Little Philly
  • (727) 256-0289
  • Philly Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, Burgers
    • Tue - Sat 11:00am - 10:00pm
    • Mon - 11:00am - 9:00pm
  • 2063 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713,

Philly Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, Burgers and more in the hip Grand Central District of St. Pete.

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.

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