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Editor’s Choice: 4 essential cafes and coffee shops to visit in Tampa

Exterior of a coffee shop with three glass bay doors, and a green mural painted over its white facade.

Tampa has so many coffee shops. We are spoiled for choices across the city, and sometimes it’s hard to decide where to post up for a cup of Joe. So here comes my own personal cafe list. This list is in no way meant to be a definitive “best of the best” ranking. Rather, these are the coffee shops in Tampa that I personally love. I also haven’t managed to make it to every single coffee shop in the city, and I Imagine as the months go on this list could change/expand.

At the bottom, I’ll include the most recommended coffee shops from our readers that I need to check out soon. If you disagree with any of my picks, well I get it – we all have different tastes and preferences. My picks are based on a variety of factors, and yes, even “good vibes” is on my rubric.

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Note: I didn’t want to ramble on too much, so I limited this list to 5 shops. I love far more than just 5 cafes in this city, and believe me it wasn’t easy to narrow it down.

interior of a cafe with orange seating
Inside BlindTiger’s new flagship cafe

Blind Tiger Coffee

Locations:
2223 N Westshore Blvd
201 N Franklin Street
934 S Howard Ave.
3030 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
10118 Montague St.
1901 E 7th Ave.
459 Brandon Town Center Dr

I’m not going to try and say which Blind Tiger location is my favorite (it’s the original Ybor shop), but each one is brimming with that quintessential cool vibe that makes me want to pull out my wallet and buy every single piece of merch on the shelves. This local passion project even has a space centrally located inside the bustling International Plaza.

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I love a strong cold brew, and Blind Tiger does it well. They also have an incredible staff, carry tasty pastries (vegan-, and gluten-free options are available), and the Ybor shop has a mesmerizing tiger mural that I love to gawk at. There are power outlets throughout the cafe so it’s a great spot to post up if you need to get some work done during the day.

Blind Tiger is also set to open in a new expanded space in Ybor City that will include a rooftop bar concept.

A new caramel apple butter latte just hit their fall menu, and just its aroma will make you feel like your crushing foliage with your Doc Marten’s in a New England town. The matcha tea is also pure fire.

a purple cottage with a willow tree hanging overhead. A pride flag hangs over the front door. A brick patio is shown on the side with a colorful mural painted on the purple exterior.

Felicitous

Locations:
14204 42nd Street
11706 N51st Street

A quaint, dreamy purple cottage. Beautiful shade serving trees. A perfect outdoor patio, and a mini local shop inside. Felicitous is a storybook cafe in my opinion, that also delivers one of the most eclectic pastry menus in the region.

The owners are obsessed with coffee. They’ve fully poured themselves into this business, and crafting the perfect cup for each visitor. If you’re feeling sweet they make a mean camp fire latte. Once again, I’m a black coffee person, and I have infinite amounts of respect for their cold brew. Felicitous absolutely breaks my vibes scale.

It’s the kind of coffee shop I’d show up to with my entire TBR pile. In addition to being an absolutely stellar cafe 7 days a week, this shop also hosts karaoke nights, and weekend markets with some enchanting local vendors. Felicitous is everything a cafe should be. If you’ve never visited before, then please amend that ASAP.

They’re also slinging a new fall drink: Harvest Moon Cold Brew. It’s a specialty cold brew with a dash of vanilla spice, topped with pumpkin pie cold foam.

Exterior of a coffee shop with three glass bay doors, and a green mural painted over its white facade.

King State

Locations:
520 E Floribraska Ave
Coming soon:  15 8th St N

The first time I went to King State, I did not feel cool enough to be in King State. It’s a cafe, yes, but it’s also so much more. It’s evolved to be a must try craft cocktail bar, a 5-star pizza kitchen, a gourmet burger joint, and a proverbial drip factory with its wild merch ideas.

I love the atmosphere. When a friend is in town and they ask if I want to meet anywhere in the morning, King State is the place. I know it will impress a newcomer, while at the same time making them feel right at home. Food & Wine named it one of the best coffee shops in America just a few years ago, and for good reason.

So, should you visit King State today? As the owners might put it, “yuh!”

Spaddy’s

Location:
5206 N Florida Avenue

Some cafes I turn to when I need to get work done. Others I frequent to unwind with a good read, or binge a podcast (thanks for the hours of entertainment, What Culture Wrestling). Spaddy’s is the kind of spot I go to totally zone out and stare at the sky like some kaleidoscope. It’s the best. I love the courtyard, and the trailer that the coffee is served from. I’ll take just about any excuse to head on over to Seminole Heights.

Submit yourself to the influence of cheesy cuban toast with an iced Thai tea. Or enjoy a bagel loaded with cream cheese and matcha latte. Spaddy’s is always slinging the goods in Seminole Heights, and as we move into the colder months in Florida, their courtyard is transforming into a hot coffee lover’s paradise.

Honorable mentions:

Leads Coffee House – a gorgeous venue with an unrivaled cafe menu
22nd Street Coffee – a hidden gem with a phenomenal medianoche Cuban sandwich
Lady and the Mug – a fairytale cafe with rainbow bagels and great cold brew coffee
Kahwa Coffee – the OG in Tampa Bay, offering some of the most exciting seasonal drinks in Tampa Bay, and the flybiscus tea is goat’d
Jet City Hyde Park – tucked inside a beautiful home in the Hyde Park neighborhood is Jet City. Enjoy coffee and a pastry in the gorgeous front yard, or marvel at the decor inside the intimate venue

The most recommended coffee shops in Tampa by our readers that I still need to visit:

Bean Bar, 17018 Palm Pointe Dr
The Lab Coffee, 1703 W State St
Ginger Beard Coffee, 1208 E Kennedy Blvd #112
Foundation Coffee Co., 1907 N 19th St



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