This list has been overdue. Tampa has a blossoming coffee scene, you would be hard pressed to find a local coffee shop 5-10 years ago. Recently local coffee shops have been showing up all over town. Here are my current top 8 coffee shops in Tampa.
The factors used to rate the cafes are quality of coffee, affordability, consistency, atmosphere, and customer service. This is a personal list and your list may differ from my own and that’s alright.
Here we go:
#1 – The Lab Tampa – Coffee Shop
Most baristas around town I’ve talked to and local business people mention The Lab. Local coffee has a community that has built around Zeal Coffee Roasters and The Lab was started as a partnership between Blind Tiger Coffee and Zeal Coffee Roasters. It’s obvious that these two ambitious local businesses joining forces would create a great product.
I only recently visited The Lab for the first time, but the coffee, conversations, and customer service has been top notch. The interior is being renovated and worked on, but to be honest – the coffee I have had here makes up for anything in the atmosphere. The friendliness of all the people who stop in also is something to appreciate.
Of all the coffee shops I have visited and constantly visit, The Lab has impressed me the most. It may not have a beautiful courtyard or baristas with bowties, but it captures the essence of what makes a good coffee shop and that makes it the best in my book.
1703 W State St.,Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 451-6662. http://www.zealcoffeeroasters.com/location/
#2 – Buddy Brew Coffee – Hyde Park Village
If we’re talking atmosphere – Buddy Brew Coffee in Hyde Park Village is a beautiful shop that I love to visit. Hopefully one day the rest of the construction in Hyde Park Village will subside and match this shop. The baristas at BBC are friendly, but not quite as friendly as some other shops. The coffee I ordered on various visits has been enjoyable.
The selection is also a little limited – but to me the atmosphere here makes up for that. Plus there is plenty of parking with the Hyde Park Village garages nearby which can be an issue at numerous shops around town. Buddy Brew has numerous locations around Tampa, but this one is my favorite.
1605 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 575-2739. http://www.buddybrew.com/locations/hydepark/
#3 – Caffeine – Kennedy
I enjoyed the Caffeine location in Downtown Tampa in the past, although parking is an issue both in Downtown and also at their new shop on Kennedy. I love the atmosphere inside the new Caffeine on Kennedy. The coffee here is good though not the best in town, but I do enjoy stopping by for a cup and the shop is incredibly accommodating to people who work on laptops.
The baristas are also super friendly and the poached egg and avocado toast is excellent. Nothing wrong with a coffee shop that actually has a great food selection.
2420 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609. (813) 644-7245. http://www.caffeineusa.com/
#4 Spaddy’s Coffee Co. – Seminole Heights
I met Greg Spaddy last year at the Seminole Heights Japan Fest. The man has always been a friendly neighborhood guy that anyone can converse with. When he opened shop in Seminole Heights this year in the courtyard next to Red Star Rock Bar, lines of customers were ready for him.
The coffee and tea selection has always been excellent at Spaddy’s and prices are fair. Coffee is sourced from Zeal Coffee Roasters. One of the best things at Spaddy’s Coffee Co. is watching the locals stop by and chat about what is happening in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. That’s what community is all about and Spaddy is a community player.
The only downside to Spaddy’s is that this location is outdoors and prone to the hot Florida weather and rain. Little by little, changes have been made to address this by adding shade and power outdoors. Don’t miss the First Friday events at the truck that bring in other local food trucks and live music to the neighborhood.
5206 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603. (954) 829-2111. http://www.spaddyscoffee.com/
#5 Ginger Beard Coffee
Ginger Beard Coffee is known as one of the first shops to sell nitro brew coffee in Tampa. Their audience is niche and mainly drawn from locals in Channelside, but I’ve always enjoyed my experiences at their shop at Grand Central on Kennedy.
The shop regularly partners with other local players such as Bake’n Babes and TeBella and keeps releasing fresh ideas. Plus I love the red ginger beards the owners have. I’d recommend giving Ginger Beard a look – it won’t be for everyone, but I love it personally.
1208 E Kennedy Blvd #112, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 434-0795. http://www.gingerbeardcoffee.com/
#6 Foundation Coffee – Tampa Heights
Foundation Coffee was one of the early players in Tampa Heights which is now starting to boom. Originally from Riverview, Foundation is often not afraid to take risks and enter untested markets which is commendable.
The coffee at Foundation can be best described as good, but not the best I’ve had. The baristas are friendly, but not in a memorable way.
The atmosphere at Foundation in Tampa Heights cannot be beat. The outside courtyard is truly relaxing and makes you wonder why more people do not utilize the outdoors in this fashion.
Also – personally the Wi-Fi at Foundation is terrible and disconnects frequently making it a difficult shop to get any work done at. On the plus side there are plenty of plugs to charge your devices.
1607 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 358-5781. http://www.foundationcoffeeco.com/
#7 Tre Amici at The Bunker – Ybor City
This shop has been in Ybor City for over 10 years and is a beautiful bungalow. There is a wide variety of options for coffee sourced from Buddy Brew and also tea and excellent Cuban toast that is representative of Ybor City.
The baristas I have encountered at Tre Amici have been friendly. Paid parking is available nearby, but actual parking spots can be a little scarce near the shop. The shop is constantly packed with customers and locals.
There are a ton of tables and plugs lying around for people who need to get work done or have a meeting.
1907 N 19th St, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 247-6964. http://www.bunkerybor.com/
#8 The Attic Cafe – Downtown Tampa
Coffee shops are a mix of coffee and your experience there. The Attic relies heavily on experience and is more of a mix shop serving a variety of things. The thing not to miss here is the view.
The Attic has a beautiful skyline view of Downtown Tampa that you will not find anywhere else. Visit during sunset and it may be one of the best city views in Tampa.
The coffee is satisfactory – not the best I have had. The staff is much more like what you would find at a local sandwich shop, the baristas do not seem to have the same kind of passion for coffee you’ll find at other shops around town. Still – the view at The Attic cannot be beat.
There are also plenty of plugs and excellent Wi-Fi at The Attic. Parking can be a pit of a pain due to the meters in Downtown.
500 E Kennedy Blvd #400, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 226-1003. http://www.atticcafe.net/
What are your favorite coffee shops? Let me know in the comments.