Last month, before hurricanes, and bar exams, I was invited to Hawkers Asian Street Fare in St. Pete. I live in Tampa, but St. Petersburg is just a quick trip over the bridge (“quick” depending on the time of day you are driving).
I’d passed Hawkers a few times, off of Central Avenue, within walking distance of Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s a really fun place, with a total vibe perfect for that area of St. Petersburg. And yet, we’d never made it there to eat (or drink). The food at Hawkers is inspired by travel throughout SE Asia combined with a selection of their favorite family recipes and traditions.
We met with Kaleb, one of the co-owners of Hawkers, and you could tell his passion for this menu is deep. After each dish we tried, Kaleb would pop back over to explain the story behind each dish. I love a good foodie story, so you know that was totally up my alley.
We ate a lot, you guys. Since the food at Hawkers is inspired by the food centers and hawker stalls (street vendors) of SE Asia, most items on the menu are small plate-style. Which is just more reason to try a few plates!
We started our meal with an order of Roti: Malaysian flat bread served with a side of our signature spicy curry dipping sauce. Anytime a meal can start with any type of bread, I’m a happy girl.
Everything we tried, was incredibly tasty. But truthfully, my absolute favorite item was the Pad Thai. If you like Asian eats, you’ve probably had Pad Thai before; I had not, and I can’t believe it. It was such a comforting, flavorful bowl of goodness. As I type this, I am craving Hawkers Pad Thai: Stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp, chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, carrots, scallions and red chili pepper topped with crushed roasted peanuts and lime garnish.
Messy, but flavorful – crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside #DimSumCrunchyBalls were fun to try: shrimp, rolled in rice noodles, and fried to perfection.
Food we tried, that didn’t make it in time for my camera: Singapore Chili Crab, Hawkers Tiger Salad, and Summer Rolls.
Hawkers is a great spot for date night, post-work noms, and in my opinion if you’re over the normal tailgating options before/after a Rays game, Hawkers is a great spot for that as well. Hawkers is located at 1235 Central Avenue, in St. Petersburg. You can peek their menu, here!