Cold Brews and Classic Roasts: Stay Caffeinated on Florida’s Gulf Coast

The menu at Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Melanie Levi.



You might be shocked to learn that one of the most common things Tampa Bay travelers have to say about the area is just how much high-quality coffee they’ve found around every corner. Tampa natives know that there’s no shortage of eccentric cafes and inviting shops that offer an opportunity to caffeinate and connect over a delicious, one-of-a-kind beverage. While many travelers are tempted to stop in at the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin, they quickly change their minds when they see the long list of unique search results for “coffee near me.”

Tampa’s Coffee Culture Might Surprise You

If you aren’t from the area, you might not associate Tampa Bay with coffee culture. New York City, certainly. Seattle, definitely. But Tampa? Ranking at #7 on WalletHub’s list of Best Coffee Cities in America, Tampa boasts personality-packed coffee spots where the coffee is roasted in-house and curated from some of the finest ingredients. Even better, many of these coffee shops are family owned and dedicated to quality over quantity.

Whether you’re in town right now, planning your next trip to Tampa, or simply wondering what you missed out on during a recent visit, this list of must-visit attractions and cafes in the area showcases Tampa’s best coffee spots.

Buddy Brew Coffee

This Tampa-born coffee classic first opened its doors in 2010, serving $2 self-service bottomless cups of coffee to locals. Now, Buddy Brew boasts eight locations across the Tampa area and offers specialty craft coffee roasts. Caffeine aficionados can stop in for everything from cold brew to espresso to affogato and beyond. As an added bonus, they’re Brew Good. Do Good. mission is what drives them to encourage local change through positive interactions, generosity, and hospitality. You’ll be hard-pressed to find friendlier staff!

Taba Brew

Located in Ybor City, Taba Brew offers an unmatched menu of Cuban coffee options in the heart of a historically rich area on Florida’s west coast. Guests can sip their beverages while observing the hand-rolled cigar process at Tabanero Cigars, making this a two-for-one experience during your stay in Tampa. Elevate your tourist experience by immersing yourself in the Cuban culture nestled in this incredible location.

The Blind Tiger Cafe

If you’ve ever wanted to combine a coffee shop with a speakeasy, Blind Tiger is for you. Created to offer quality and original roasts on Florida’s coast, this cafe now features seven locations and an extensive menu of original coffee flavors. A fan favorite is the Dirty Thaiger, which includes espresso, Thai tea, milk, ice, and a cinnamon topping. Locals practically worship their relationship with Blind Tiger’s subscription model, which allows them to enjoy Blind Tiger coffee beans from the comfort of their homes. If you end up stopping through and decide you, too, can’t live without their uniquely delicious roasts, you might want to check it out for yourself.

The Lab Coffee

As their name suggests, The Lab is always cooking up new ideas for caffeine lovers in Tampa. Driven by the desire to help visitors find their new favorite coffee drink, the team at The Lab aspires to create a welcoming atmosphere for coffee newbies and experts alike. They partner with local roasters – including The Blind Tiger Cafe – to offer a constantly rotating menu of delicious coffees and sweet treats in a modern garage-style space.

Victory Coffee

This popular hangout spot welcomes locals and visitors in and invites them to stay awhile while they enjoy fresh roasts and an enticing menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch options – including Cuban toast. Victory Coffee considers itself to offer a rustic-chic environment and is loved by all who visit.

Caffeine Roasters

Featuring two beautiful locations, Caffeine Roasters offers a fresh-cooked classic breakfast menu – including peanut butter banana toast – and even better brews. Their specialty coffee menu will invite you to try new things, intriguing flavors, and challenge your own “favorites” along the way. As an added bonus, you can order and pick up on-the-go thanks to their convenient drive-thru.

Cafe Hey

Open 7 days a week until 3 p.m., Cafe Hey has proudly served Tampa Heights since 2007. Featuring a relaxed environment and sometimes even live music, you’ll be sure to find enjoyment while you’re there. Plus, Cafe Hey offers an incredible vegan brunch menu that locals swear by – order the Peaches ‘N Cream French Toast, the vegan whipped cream is delicious.

22nd Street Coffee

Touting itself as a “destination experience,” 22nd Street Coffee is largely influenced by Cuban culture and history. According to their website, they use “a combination of old-world craftsmanship and modern technology to roast the perfect cup.” Their very own roastery originated in the back of a warehouse in Ybor City back in 1968, and they’ve carried on coffee-related traditions ever since.

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