A&E Food

A Guide to Coffee Shops in Tampa and St. Petersburg

By Emma Lynch

Whether you need a quick pick-me-up before your exam or are looking for a way to treat yourself in the early hours of the day, it is always important to know the best rated coffee shops in the area. A good coffee shop can be defined differently for everyone, whether that be a calming ambiance for studying with a good iced vanilla latte or the cutest hole-in-the-wall with that to-die-for matcha everyone raves about. 

“I’m definitely the type to get coffee every day, which has turned me into someone very opinionated towards the quality of a coffee shop,” said Raynah Alvarez, Hillsborough Community College freshman. “I like to do my homework at some places, and go to others for no more than a latte and a pastry. 

Willa’s Provisions

310 N Rome Ave. Tampa, FL 33606

“My current favorite is Willa’s Provisions,” said Alvarez. “I’m obsessed with their iced matcha and love having the opportunity to go do homework in a comforting and welcoming place if I choose to.” 

Willa’s is an all-day coffee shop, open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. They serve different coffees and teas as well as pastries and breakfast tacos. During the later hours, you can order food which comes from their restaurant next door, Willa’s. This is a great option for students looking for a quiet space at any time of the day.

Bandit Coffee Co. 

2662 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Bandit Coffee is a minimalist gem located in St. Petersburg and offers unique lattes with house-made syrups as well as different breakfast options serving all diets. Some of their menu items include avocado toast, vegan breakfast burrito, and egg & cheese breakfast sandwich. They are currently offering the maple bourbon latte as their seasonal option, which will soon phase out and transition into the spring flavor. Bandit is perfect for someone looking for a more artsy and local downtown experience. 

The Lab Coffee

1703 W State St. Tampa, FL 33606

The Lab offers specialty coffee, a small case of pastries and bagels and is just down the road from The University of Tampa. The accessibility of this space is great for students looking for somewhere small and quiet to get their work done, without having to go too far out of the way. 

“I’m on campus a lot so having a close and accessible coffee shop definitely is a pro for me,” said Diego Ramirez senior. “I’m not big on fancy coffee or places that are too fancy, so this spot tends to be my go to.” 

Flatbread and Butter

497 7th Ave. N St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Flatbread and Butter is located in a residential area of St. Petersburg in the Historic Uptown district. They offer both a brunch and all day menu to cater to a variety of customers. Their brunch menu includes avocado toast, lemon ricotta waffle, smoothie bowl, and breakfast burrito. For lunch, they mainly offer pizzas catering to both vegans and non-vegans. Some options include the BBQ chicken, Hawaiian, vegan buffalo cauliflower, and vegan artichoke and chick’n pesto. Flatbread and Butter allows people to make their morning coffee experience into more of a meal, however, it has a longer drive than some of the other locations listed.  

“Sometimes going to places like Starbucks or even Buddy Brew seems like the simpler option, which it often is, but it gets boring after a while,” said Gaby Diaz, USF freshman. I’d much rather go to different places, try new coffee, and make it more of an experience than just a five-minute coffee run.” 

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