I’ve always wanted to live in a city with a present coffee shop scene. With over 30 coffee shops in St. Pete, I think I found the right city! I’m a tough critic of coffee, while the ambiance and experience of the cafe are important, at the end of the day, the coffee needs to speak for itself.
To my surprise, I was initially disappointed with a majority of the most popular St. Pete coffee shops. I honestly didn’t see myself ever creating a blog post on this topic as none of them were leaving me fully satisfied! After recently going on a coffee roasting tour in Grand Rapids, MI I learned that the type of water used in different cities can affect the taste. I wonder if that’s the taste differential in a lot of these St. Pete coffee shops. Thankfully, towards the end of trying almost all of the coffee shops in St. Pete, I found places that not only have great coffee but fit different occasions.
The owners of The Chelsea inspired their St. Pete coffee shop through their English roots. It’s so it’s cute seeing a reflection of their background in the name and decor! This newer little coffee shop is located in the Warehouse Arts District on the west side of downtown St. Pete.
You can browse the trinkets, soaps, jewelry, candles, and art while waiting for your drink. The indoor seating is quite limited but the outdoor patio is quite lovely and truly reminiscent of British back garden space with the fencing and plants!
Their iced oat milk mocha is one of my favorites in town, it’s just so smooth and creamy! & finally, someone who understands there shouldn’t be an upcharge for milk alternatives!!! The menu is pretty standard but besides coffee and espresso drinks they’re serving up chai, matcha, lemonade, and tea. If you want something to nibble on they have local baked goods added daily!
Want to be transported back in time? Inside the doors of the historic Cordova Inn hotel lobby, you’ll find a hidden St. Pete coffee shop, The Scott! The decor gives me a timeless Old Hollywood feel with historical photographs from St. Pete’s history covering the walls. The attached front porch is a relaxed area with rocking chairs, tables, and music playing in the background–it’s really a good mood spot to enjoy a coffee or cocktail!
The coffee menu is simple, they serve traditional coffee and cocktail favorites. One thing about me is that I LOVE having options, so at first I thought that was going to be an issue, haha! But after I took the first sip of my latte I knew it was special… that is because they use HoggBatch coffee, made right in the neighborhood! HoggBatch uses bourbon-infused barrels (& other spirits) in small batches to create unique flavor profiles.
Additionally, the location of this coffee shop in downtown St. Pete couldn’t be more perfect! It’s just a couple blocks away from the best bars and restaurants and under a 10-minute walk to St. Pete. Pier. With a scheduled expansion to be completed in 2023, I feel like this budget boutique hotel is going to be bustling in the years to come!
I had never even heard about Crislip Cafe until a few weeks ago and I wish I would have found this impressive St. Pete coffee shop sooner!!! The entrance is located inside an alleyway right on Central Ave. and feels very reminiscent of a hidden European cafe. The space is small but the high ceilings, vintage furniture, and bench seating with pillows make it a cozy place to work.
The walls of the cafe are covered with a hodgepodge of art which is fitting because the Crislip Cafe is connected to a gift shop in the front called The Merchant (directly on central). The majority of items are made by local artists and small businesses! I definitely was eyeing some of the small prints and need to go back to grab one for my living room!
I ordered one of their specialty lattes called Black Magic Woman which has cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, dark chocolate– delicious! Considering how cute the inside is, I would’ve been crushed if I didn’t like it, haha! A few other eye-catching latte flavors were coconut & white chocolate, honey & bourbon maple syrup, and creme brulee. They also have classic and globally inspired drinks! The coffee used is organic local beans from Joffery’s Tampa Coffee.
If you aren’t impressed yet, just wait until I tell you about the food menu… They carry four local bakers that provide croissants, desserts, waffles, bagels, and bread for sandwiches. The next activity I want to do here is date night because they also have wine and charcuterie boards with the option to customize your own! How fun!
I originally went to Uptown East to try their brunch bowls and was shocked to learn they also have a decent coffee menu. I wouldn’t label them as a full-on St. Pete coffee shop because seating fills up quickly and most people are eating so it’s not the most work-friendly space. I really enjoy getting their mocha, it’s rich and on the sweeter side! I learned they use Blazing Bean Roasters, roasted in Clearwater, Florida. In the future I won’t have to worry about picking a brunch spot and having to settle for an average cup of Joe, Uptown Eats has me covered!
My Finding's Tip: Uptown Eats is brunch spot so they open later than more traditional St. Pete coffee shops. They are closed on Monday's.
Pineapple Espresso is one of my newest favorite St. Pete coffee shops. It had been on my list for a while but I kept putting it off as it’s only a drive-thru, meaning no pull for an aesthetically pleasing interior… I know, kinda lame, but aren’t we all guilty of this?! Don’t let that distract you as it did to me!!! I ordered a hazelnut cappuccino and it really exceeded my expectations! They have a fresh food menu with toast, sandwiches, salads, and fruit parfaits. I’d say that’s a bit of an upgrade from the re-heated Starbucks sandwiches.
I went around Halloween and they had it decorated for fall with spooky music playing, I’m curious to go back around Christmastime to see what it looks like then! It’s located a little bit outside of downtown St. Pete on MLK so no dealing with the street parking situation!
TeBella inside Station House St. Pete
Inside of Station House (a co-working space) is TeBella, located on the second floor! It’s one of the most stylish coffee shops in downtown St. Pete. The pictures I saw of the reviews on google do NOT do it justice, this place is a modern vintage Pinterest board come to life. It’s a large open space with wooden structures, exposed pipes, brick, and pops of checkerboard flooring. A dreamy spot to work on my computer!
The layout has a lot of different seating sections which allows for more privacy while still being able to enjoy the ambiance. At TeBella they specialize in tea, obviously, but don’t worry! They serve local Kahwa coffee and espresso drinks too! I tried the maple spice latte and a chocolate chunk cookie which both were bomb, but after looking at their expansive list of teas and tea lattes I’m going to have to mix it up from coffee at some point!
The Blend Coffee & Wine
Have you ever tried a coffee flight? YES. It’s a thing now! At The Blend, you’ll be able to try that along with a lot of other unique stuff! I’d never heard of white espresso either until I tried it in their white espresso flight, it’s lighter in flavor and tends not to have a bitter aftertaste. For a healthier energy drink alternative try their B12 Fusions, the cherry lime was super good! You can also find light sandwiches, bites, wine, and recently added beer.
One con is it’s one of the more expensive St. Pete coffee shops, especially if you get anything special it can easily touch $7 + tip.
There are three locations, 34th St. N, 4th St. N, and downtown in the Tampa Bay Times building. My favorite one is the 34th St. because it’s the closest to my apartment and has a drive-thru, however, the Old Northeast (4th St) has more seating space inside.
My Finding's Fact: White espresso is roasted at a lower temperature than normal coffee allowing for higher levels of chlorogenic acid and antioxidant molecules shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and reduction in inflammation.
When I think of Kraft Kafe I remember how communal it feels! It’s unusual for a St. Pete coffee shop to have outdoor seating, and their large shaded space attracts so many different demographics; cyclers, dog owners, families, friends meeting for brunch, ect. Indoor seating is also available for those humid or rainy days.
The housemade caramel sauce in their Hot Mom is the star from their menu and I also want to mention that they sell superfood tea lattes. Craft Kafe’s focal point is being completely gluten-free and sourcing the best clean ingredients! Even though I am not gluten-free I didn’t mind because the bread on my Craft Sandwich tasted good!
FLATBREAD & BUTTER
FLATBREAD & BUTTER is neighbors to Pete’s General right across from Historic Round Lake Park, mentioned in my Free Things in St. Pete post, a tiny lake park with a sidewalk and banyan trees. The minimalist modern interior of the cafe is refreshing but small so I like to take my coffee to-go and sit on the benches or walk a few laps around the park for some movement. The taste of the coffee is light, bright, and acidic, while that’s not usually my go-to flavor profile for coffee, theirs has a smooth aftertaste so I enjoy it! Come in for a casual breakfast or brunch and try one of their, sandwiches, acai bowls, or personal pizzas (I heard from a local Italian they’re amazing)!
Beans & Barlour
Am I dreaming or is this place real life??? Beans & Barlour is like something out of an animated movie! It was the first boozy dessert and coffee lounge to come to Tampa Bay, they’ve gained massive hype for their boozy and whimsical creations, rightfully so. The dangerous part is they stay open late, so it might be hard to resist indulging on a night out.
When you walk in you’ll notice the old-school copper espresso machine immediately. I tried a signature latte, Campfire Story, which has hickory smoke, milk chocolate, housemade vanilla, and a toasted marshmallow on top! It was really good, I could clearly taste all the elements of the drink.
Their menu is massive so here’s the summary 😉
- Milk Shakes
- Dole whip
- Root beer floats
- Specialty lattes
- Boozy/regular ice creams
- Spirited floats and sundaes
Beans & Barlour goes all out for seasonal specials so check that out at the bottom of their menu!
As the name states this restaurant is in fact themed as a library, with books from floor to ceiling it really is an Instagram-worthy backdrop located within the John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
People who live in Tampa are OBSESSED with Buddy Brew and The Libary is the best coffee shop in St. Pete to go to if you need your Buddy Brew fix or don’t want to drive to Tampa to try it! The first time I tried it was at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa and didn’t like it… I had to give it another shot and it was a completely different story the second time around– delicious! I heard a similar experience about a friend of a friend, so make sure to speak up if something seems off. Hand me a Buddy Brew rosemary latte paired with The Library’s eggs benedict or lemon poppy seed pancakes and I’ll be a happy gal!
That’s a wrap on the best coffee shops in downtown St. Pete! 🙂 Which of these spots would you want to visit first? If you’re a local, drop your favorite coffee shops in St. Pete in the comments. A couple of other Tampa Bay related posts you might enjoy are 7 Non-Touristy Tampa Activities, 30+ Birthday Deals in Tampa, or Ultimate List of St. Pete Parks.
Pin for when you can’t decide what St. Pete coffee shop to visit next!
Until next time,