I like to think of myself as a coffee enthusiast (more like coffee fanatic if I am being honest), and Tampa has been pretty high on my bucket list in terms of trying out some of the best coffee there is. And I can definitely say all expectations were met! Tampa has some of the most unique, best-tasting coffee I have ever had. The shops were beautiful and inspiring, and the baristas were all so kind and helpful while making you the coffee of your dreams! This will be a guide to the best coffee shops in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area and unique traits of each shop.
*These shops will be listed in no particular order. Tampa shops will be listed followed by St. Petersburg area coffee shops*
Tampa Coffee Shops
The Blind Tiger
The Blind Tiger actually has 3 different locations in the Tampa area. We went to the SoHo location near Hyde Park Village since it was the nearest one. It had this beautiful mural across the street that was being used as a photo spot for tourists! While this shop did not have my favorite coffee (the syrup was a little too sweet for my taste), the acai bowls here are literal perfection (they even have one with all kinds of espresso in it). The Blind Tiger is inspired by the tailored and craftsman feel of a speakeasy, providing a comfortable space for business workers, students, and entrepreneurs alike. This shop seemed like the perfect spot to get some studying done or to finish out a work project!
Buddy Brew was very high on our expectation list just because of all the hype that surrounds it. It lived up to any expectation and featured some of the best coffee of the entire trip. Buddy Brew has several locations across the Tampa Bay area. We visited the Hyde Park location since we really wanted to check out the area (it was the cutest area with some amazing shops- a definite must visit). This shop is the perfect backdrop for blogger, social media influencers, and the like. Their shop’s motto “Brew Good, Do Good” can be seen all over the interior and on merchandise. The coffee had some of the best flavor of any coffee we tried, and it was probably in our top 3 list of favorite shops! Buddy Brew was bustling with people, and it was almost impossible to find a seat so make sure to get there early!
The Lab Coffee
Before we ever visited Tampa, we had actually heard of the Lab Coffee from a coffee shop in Orlando that sold their coffee beans. That being said, we were pretty excited to try out this coffee shop! This coffee shop is located near Hyde Park area somewhat in the middle-of-nowhere. The shop was very quiet, and it would probably be a great place to get some work done. The barista was super nice, but the coffee was just decent!
Caffeine Roasters has two locations in Tampa, one in Downtown and one near the Hyde Park area. We once again visited the Hyde Park location, and we were met with the cutest coffee shop exterior. Overall the design of this shop cannot be beat. All the artistic elements, natural lighting, and cozy furniture made this shop so welcoming and inviting for every person that stepped through the door. The coffee was great, and the atmosphere was even better at this shop!
Foundation Coffee Co.
Foundation Coffee Co. has two locations, one in Riverview and one in the Tampa area near Downtown. We visited the Tampa location, and everything about this shop was unexpected. Looking at it from the street, you would not guess this is a coffee shop as it keeps the classic exposed brick feel to it. When you walk in though, you feel as though you are transported to an oasis. The space is so large, and the shop feels like it goes on forever. They have an outdoor area that is connected to the main shop, and it is probably the same size as the indoor area. The actual space, architecture, and design of this shop is the main highlight of Foundation Coffee Co! We were also obsessed with their logo and merchandise designs. They kept everything simple and clean, while still making it all about the coffee! As fellow Christians, we also love that this shop and the owners are faith-based, working to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The coffee was great, but honestly what I will remember most about this shop is that I just want to live here all day, every day!
Union at Armature Works
Union is actually a location of Commune and Co nestled in Armature Works, a mixed-use building featuring restaurants, pop-ups, and shops. Armature Works was one of our favorite parts about Tampa, and is an absolute must visit of any Tampa trip! Union is located right in the heart of the building with a coffee-bar setup. This shop is definitely trendy and creative, with unique lattes and specialty drinks you would not see on menus. The coffee options were very limited, and we tried the Horchata Latte, which was a little too spicy for my taste in coffee. The coffee is still great, we were just not a fan of the options on the menu. The latte art, however, was beautiful, and the atmosphere was perfect for conversations with friends!
St. Petersburg Coffee Shops
Craft Kafe has two locations, one nestled in the business district of Downtown St. Petersburg (which is the one we visited) and one farther north in St. Petersburg. The design of this shop was very industrial and unique, and we loved all the different wood touches that could be found throughout the shop. This shop had some of the best latte art, and the friendliest baristas in the area. The baristas here were able to give us recommendations for other great coffee shops in the area, and helped make our day so much better with their conversations! The coffee was great, and we loved the selection of coffee beans from different roasters you could buy at this location!
Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails
Overall this shop was probably our favorite of all the coffee shops we visited in St. Petersburg and Tampa. The design was perfection with natural lighting, greenery, open space, and neutral colors. The baristas were great, and they were so easy to talk to. The coffee was definitely the best we tasted during our entire trip. The latte art was unique and incredible. And overall we loved the atmosphere and feel of this location and the area it is in! Intermezzo Coffee is located near the downtown St. Petersburg area, in a mixed-use building. The area is filled with sidewalks and palm trees, and Intermezzo even has a little patio area connected to their shop that is perfect for people or dog watching!
The Bikery is such a cool concept, mixing bicycles and gear with coffee, espresso, and pastries. The coffee here was probably our least favorite of the trip. The latte art was great, and we loved the whole idea behind the shop, but it did not deliver in the way we thought it would. When walking into the store, it definitely felt more like a bike shop than a coffee shop, and the seating was lacking. It is definitely worth a visit to check out some of the bicycles and gear they have, but it was not our favorite for coffee taste!
Bandit Coffee Co
Bandit Coffee Co was one of our favorites for atmosphere and design! The exterior of the shop is beautiful with a large mural right outside on the side of the shop. The layout and seating in the shop is laid out perfectly, and we loved that they had a Slayer espresso machine! The coffee is very unique here as their syrups are completely homemade, and taste very different from your typical flavors. Bandit’s atmosphere was perfect for students, entrepreneurs, and friends just meeting up for a quick conversation.
Thank you Tampa/St. Petersburg for being the place of coffee dreams. I cannot wait to visit you again soon,