One of Tampa’s favorite pastimes is just hanging out in the local Tampa cafe, enjoying a fresh brew and
taking advantage of free Wifi. While the bar scene is still going strong in the area, you’ll find that the coffee house is where Tampa meets, works and gets their fill of live music, spoken word and a hot beverage. A strong coffee culture is high on the list of Tampa Florida attractions.
Don’t think that it’s a one size fits all environment when choosing your café of choice. You’ll find plenty of Starbucks if you want the pleasant, but generic cup and atmosphere combo, but the choices you have of independents is way too great to make that a regular choice.
Take this list of Tampa attractions for what it is, a menu of the coolest places to spend a morning, afternoon or evening with the brew of your choice.
Tre Amici at the Bunker
1907 N. 19th St., Tampa. Located just a little over a block north of the 7th Avenue strip, the Bunker is right across from the park at 8th Avenue and 19th St. Like many of our Coolest Coffee Shops choices the Bunker makes a great Cuban Coffee, but the real story here is the atmosphere. It’s not called Ybor City’s Living Room for nothing.
Local artworks dot both the walls and the ceilings. Coupled with modern styling, comfortable chairs and tables to share the art really gives the Bunker an eclectic feel. Head over for the Saturday Ybor Market across the street, then cool off at the Bunker. Hit the Bunker on a Thursday or Friday night and check out the Mpen Mic or Singer/Songwriter nights.
North Tampa and USF area have plenty of the usual coffee spots; Starbucks, Einstein’s, but neither is a Tampa cafe. But there are several much cooler independent places to take your text book and I Pad. Felicitous is a new addition to the area, but fits right in.
Felicitous is located on 51st St., wedged in between the CDBs plaza and Starbucks. Several months ago the owners converted a small bungalow into a place for music and society. This small space is filled with homey furniture, board games and a great selection of both teas and coffees. If it’s a nice day, take advantage of the side yard, full of umbrella’d wrought iron tables and shade trees.
This particular cool coffee shop also hosts musicians and poets on a regular basis so bring your backpack to study during the day and your friends to chill out at night.
Sophie’s French Bakery Café
Sophie’s is baked goods gem located in Hyde Park Village, on of Tampa Florida attractions we feature regularly. What makes Sophie’s stand out in our crowded field of coffee houses is its emphasis on BAKERY. While the rest of our 7 Coolest selections start with a hot steamy cup of java, then adds the tasty treats, Sophie’s does the reverse. Coconut Macaroons, Bread Pudding, White Chocolate Caramel Brownies, Strawberry Croissants adorn their mouthwatering menu.
If you’ll notice, each and every pastry Sophie’s is good enough to serve up to a hungry Tampa populace is perfectly matched by a great cup of coffee!
While Felicitous is small and quaint and the Bunker has this modern art-house vibe, Sophie’s provides you with a large and airy space to relax. There are tables large enough for 8 and small enough for just you and a newspaper. It also sports covered outdoor seating that makes you part of a beautiful morning in Hyde Park Village.
Time your visit to Sophie’s Bakery Café with the Hyde Park Village Market that takes place monthly on a Sunday.
The Library Coffee House
This may be the hardest to find of Tampa attractions, but it’s worth it! The Library is located at 3201 S. Dale Mabry Highway in South Tampa. If you’re headed South on Dale Mabry you’ll have to slow to a crawl to see it after you pass Bay to Bay Blvd. and look for it in a strip mall on your right.
Why did The Library make our 7 Coolest Tampa Coffee Shops list? It’s hard to put a finger on what makes this small space so appealing.
It could be that it’s the perfect spot for those that still enjoy holding paper in their hands when they read. You can actually bring a book to The Library and exchange it for one on their shelves, or maybe just bring your own bookmark and work on one just while you’re there.
It could be that the food is so fresh you can taste each individual ingredient. Get the quiche for lunch sometime and you’ll see!
It could be the comfortable, almost flea-market furniture that lends to the funky-chic ethic that makes The Library so appealing. But more than likely it’s a combination of these things that make a great spot to spend a few hours over a cup of coffee.
Mojo’s Books and Music
Mojo’s just barely made our 7 Coolest list. Not because it’s not cool, because 2 minutes after you walk in you’ll realize that it’s a great spot, but because it’s BARELY a coffee shop.
The coolest things about Mojo’s are that they sell used books and LPs. A LOT of used books and LPs. There are really very few used bookstores in Tampa proper and this place fills a need for starving students and the budget conscious public as well. The record collection is diverse and impressive, they must have cleaned out every garage sale for the past 10 years to find that kind of quality inventory. The combination of the books and the records bring in a diverse and interesting clientele. Students, business people, sci fi geeks and music aficionados all stop in for a browse and a brew.
Oh, and they serve coffee. It looks like they carved out a section near the front door to provide some much needed caffeine to the shoppers. While it’s certainly cool at Mojo’s, you probably won’t tarry long over your cup.
Mojo’s is located on the North side of Fowler Avenue between 40th St. and the University Mall. If you’ve got a gray hair or two you may remember that this plaza is where Merlin’s bookstore used to be.
CURRENTLY CLOSED AND LOOKING FOR A NEW SPOT! Infusions, up until recently called Hooker Tea, has developed into a bit of a destination spot in South Tampa. In an area that’s already bursting with bars, restaurants and clubs, Infusions has carved out a great niche as place to chill, night or day.
Infusions is not a place to rush in and out, it’s a place to relax. The staff is wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable about their tea and coffee. If you want tea, just tell them the kind of drinks you like and they’ll walk you through the dizzying selection to just the right blend for you. Also, the food is all made on-site by one of the owners – you’ll always get fresh and tasty, but don’t expect the “15 minute” lunch buzzer to be set on the table. I only mention this because you might expect the Starbucks experience where you walk in and grab something in plastic wrap…not happening here, it’s all real food.
Infusions features an Open Mic night once a month and just recently added a DJ on an occasional weekend night to add to its cool atmosphere. They’ve also added Cigar City beers on tap and nice little wine selection if you’d rather choose something a little more mellowing than Buddy Brew coffee.
Infusions Lounge is located right on the corner of S. Howard Avenue and Platt St. and only a minute or two off of I-275. Parking is sort of behind the Infusions building, so take that corner slowly and be ready for that left hand turn into the parking lot.
The Bricks of Ybor
Picture Skateboarders. Now picture a production company that does skateboarding events worldwide. Now picture what would happen if people that skate, own a skate shop, produce skating events and love the Ybor City vibe open up a bar and coffee shop. Welcome to The Bricks!
You can hit the Bricks on 7th Avenue at 11AM for lunch and a good cup of coffee, then set up your laptop and work the afternoon away. Stay for dinner, and watch the place start to pulse with that characteristic Ybor City nightlife.
The coffee is great, the atmosphere is great, but the star of the Bricks show has to be the menu. With a dozen Vegetarian options this place is a particular favorite, but there MOST interesting thing about the menu is that there’s a Peanut Butter Bar; you basically choose your bread type, peanut butter type and toppings, it’s crazy good!
The Brick’s even has its own documentary, check it out on their Facebook Page.
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