Cafe Hey is a small coffee shop/cafe located near downtown Tampa. Unfortunately, it is located in a less than desirable neighborhood right near a highway overpass.
Overall, the overpriced mediocre food, bland service, and unappealing atmosphere make Cafe Hey an easy skip - there are so many better coffeeshops and cafes to check out.
Cafe Hey offers a full drink and food menu consisting of all different sorts of espresso based coffee drinks and also soups, sandwiches, and salads. Buddy Brew, a local roaster, provides the coffee. I was expecting more of a coffeehouse atmosphere, however, there are no relaxing couches or chairs to enjoy your drink.
A small breakfast menu consisting of items such as Cuban Toast, breakfast burritos, and granola is available. Lunch includes soups, sandwiches, quiche, and desserts.
On one positive note, many gluten-free and vegan choices are available. In addition, a few small substitutions can make almost any menu item fit your dietary preferences.
The sandwiches were just basic, nothing special, and really overpriced. $7 for a tiny hummus and veggie sandwich with nothing on the side just does not do it for me. In addition, the gluten-free millet and flax bread is an additional dollar.
A few chips, a pickle, or a few simple carrot sticks on the side would be much more appealing. Simply throwing a tiny sandwich on a big white plate was a terrible way to win back a customer.
The soup of the day was minestrone, and luckily it could be made gluten-free by omitting the noodles. Again, it was okay but just not presented nicely. Cafe Hey filled a gigantic bowl about 1/3 of the way with the soup. Why not simply use a smaller bowl? A few chips or crackers on the side would have been nice.
There really is not much service involved at Cafe Hey as you order at a counter, but what little service was provided was bland and unfriendly. Staff did not seem happy with their jobs.
Cafe Hey is in a very tiny space. It feels dark, cramped, and depressing. It feels neither like a restaurant nor coffee shop, so I'm not really sure what look they were going for when designing the space. Either way, I wouldn't come back for a coffee nor a meal.
A few couches, music, and more decor would have made for a nice coffee shop, especially with the attractive brick walls and local artwork. However, there were no relaxing chairs, the temp was freezing, and the whole place felt dark, all attributes which do not make for an enjoyable coffee drinking experience. In fact, I just wanted to get out because it was so cold and uncomfortable.
Cafe Hey doesn't really work as a restaurant either due to the poor quality service, cramped tables, and a lack of food presentation.
Cafe Hey should consider a complete remodel, either going for a cafe or coffeehouse design. They really need to turn their limited space into a more inviting space. In addition, hiring staff that cares about their job, better presentation of the food, and adding more options on the menu will go a long way in improving their image.