Coffeeshops in the Tampa Bay area

Coffee – it gets us going in the morning, boosts our productivity, and it just tastes so good! Doesn’t matter how you drink it – black, iced, pour over, or cappuccino style… it’s America’s favorite drink regardless. So, really it is no surprise that independent coffee shops specializing in all sorts of custom drinks have been popping up just about everywhere nowadays. While you could simply brew up a pot at home, it’s fun to get out once in a while and enjoy an expertly brewed drink in a new setting.

I love lounging around all sorts of coffee houses, enjoying the eclectic vibe that I cannot get at home. Whether working on my laptop, people watching, socializing with friends, or simply relaxing before hitting a trail or the beach, I always enjoying starting my day off with a great cup of coffee in a unique non-chain coffee house. Tampa is often rated amongst the best cities for coffee lovers, and you will find no shortage of wonderful independent shops. Here are 5 of my top picks…

Indian Shores Coffee Company – Indian Shores

Indian Shores Coffee Company in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

A breezy outdoor patio, creative drinks, friendly staff, and a prime beachfront location – what’s not to love about Indian Shores Coffee Company? It’s the best Tampa Bay coffeehouse with the best location! As opposed to the boring chain shops that typically take up beach front property, Indian Shores is a nice alternative option where you can enjoy a laid-back, cozy vibe, which fits in with the relaxed, beachy vibe of Indian Shores perfectly.

Breezy outdoor patio at Indian Shores Coffee Company in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

I’ve never had a better Americano in the Tampa area than at Indian Shores. They use organic coffee too, which is a big plus. The creative selection of mochas includes options such as a Banana, Dark Chocolate & Almond (it’s the must try here!), Toffee Coffee, amongst many others. It’s so much fun trying out all these creative drink choices which would be no easy feat to make at home. While I am not personally a fan of cold brew (cold coffee – yuck!), I’ve heard from others that it is fantastic.

Americano at Indian Shores Coffee Company in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

The smell of freshly roasted homemade pastries (it’s tempting to walk out without trying one) and friendly staff greet you as soon as you enter the doors – Indian Shores is a true neighborhood cafe. Also be sure to make room for open mic nights on Fridays from 7-10:30pm where you can kick back and relax with a drink (both beer & wine are available), enjoying the year-round warm nights.

After enjoying a drink on the wonderful leafy outdoor patio (don’t be surprised if the resident cat starts meowing at you), you can take a stroll over to fabulous Indian Rocks Beach – one of the Tampa region’s most beautiful and least least congested beaches. The vibe here is not at all touristy or party like, meaning you can enjoy a laid-back afternoon of fun in the sun. It’s also a great place for swimming and collecting unique seashells.

Quiet, laid-back Indian Rocks Beach
Gorgeous Indian Rocks Beach – the Florida Gulf coast beach you always imagined!

Update: It seems ownership has changed here. As of 2023, the place appears to need a major cleaning. Also the staff is not the friendliest anymore, unfortunately. On the bright side, the coffee is still excellent and you can’t beat the location.

Chill – St. Pete Beach

Update: Steam coffee shop is now closed, however, the restaurant Chill is still open.

Chill St. Pete Beach

Chill is one of my favorite places to grab a healthy breakfast and a delicious espresso drink before hitting the beaches or beautiful nature preserves in the St. Petersburg area. The relaxed ambiance, diverse menu of healthy offerings, and prime location just a short drive from the beaches make it an easy pick when planning a great coffee shop before your day out in the sun.

Chill St. Pete Beach coffee shop
Love the cozy, relaxed setting here!

Asides from fantastic espresso drinks (Chill serves a delicious house blend from local roaster Kahwa), Chills offers a tasty breakfast menu with a bit of something for everyone including vegans (try the vegan hash!) and those following a gluten-free diet (GF waffles and muffins are available!). The mocha, using high quality Monin chocolate, is amazing – definitely the must try here!

Americano at Chill St. Pete Beach
A perfectly made Americano!
Delicious vegan hash at Chill St. Pete Beach
The Vegan Hash – a delicious choice whether or not you are vegan (you can top it with eggs!)

After breakfast, check out all the unique boutique shops on Corey Avenue. There always seems to be something going on here – sidewalk sales, farmers market, and art fair, and so on…In terms of nearby beaches, I recommend Pass-a-Grille, a relaxing choice as opposed to the more trendy, tourist St. Pete Beach and nearby Clearwater.

Pass-A-Grille beach in St. Petersburg
Gorgeous Pass-a-Grille is my favorite quieter alternative to the very busy St. Pete & Clearwater beaches!

Eco Beans – Tarpon Springs

Update: Eco Beans is now closed.

Eco Beans in Tarpon Springs, Florida

Eco Beans is a health conscious coffeehouse with a relaxing vibe in the Tarpon Springs area. This is the coffee shop for you if you are seeking organic coffee and/or treats. A delicious variety of homemade treats will tempt just about everyone, whether or not you have any specific dietary concerns. I highly recommend treating yourself to the delicious gluten-free/vegan blueberry cheesecake, if available. In addition to serving fair trade/organic coffee, Eco Beans is the only juice bar in the area, so you can really go all out in terms of healthy drinks.

Raw blueberry cheesecake at Eco Beans in Tarpon Springs, Florida
Americano at Eco Beans Coffee Shop in Tarpon Springs, Florida

An abundance of light healthy breakfast choices like smoked salmon, gluten-free pancakes, and free range egg based dishes are available. Mochas are deliciously made from organic house made syrups – you can really tell the difference. Additionally, Eco beans is up to date with the cold brew trend and serves Nitro Coffee, if that is your thing. Smoothies, health elixirs, and frozen coffee drinks are also available, giving you plenty of options depending on your mood.

While the seating area inside is a bit small, the shady outdoor garden patio is the perfect escape from the brutal Florida heat. It’s quite an oasis from the intense sunshine – the perfect tranquil nature setting for a laid-back coffee break.

Outdoor patio at Eco Beans in Tarpon Springs, Florida

While in the area, I recommend taking a stroll around downtown Tarpon Springs (home of the world famous sponge docks), or checking out the fantastic Pinellas Trail bike/walking path if you are up for a bit of exercise. Fred Howard Park is the best local beach in the area, and of course, dolphin watching is a must when visiting Florida!

A gorgeous section of the Pinellas Trail near Tarpon Springs, Florida
Gorgeous sunset at Fred Howard Park

Lelu Coffe Lounge – Sarasota

Update: Lelu is now closed.

Lelu Coffee Lounge in Siesta Key, Florida

The beachy vibe of LeLu really compliments a day out in the Sarasota area. Before heading to the gorgeous white sand beaches (check out 6 of my favorites), enjoy an energizing pick me up drink in a cozy, tropical inspired setting. Lelu Coffee’s lounge ambiance is just perfect for anyone seeking a relaxed coffeehouse vibe, and includes cozy couches, beach decor (they even sell surf and paddleboards), and books and games to enjoy during your visit. Lelu’s is a great place to lounge around for a bit – basically the total opposite of your standard quick service chain.

Relaxed vibe of the Lelu Coffee Lounge in Siesta Key, Florida

Lelu’s menu is really creative and includes a number of signature drinks – the Island Coconut Mocha, the CoCo-CoCoBanana, & the Orange Dreamsicle. In addition to offering just about every espresso drink, Lelu offers a pretty sizable breakfast menu. All chocolate based drinks are made with Ghirardelli and flavored drinks with the highly regarded Monin. I recommend Monkey Mocha (caramel, banana, espresso, and steamed milk), if you are looking to try something new and unique.

Their standard Americano and house coffee are smooth and delicious as well. The ability to substitute almond milk for any drink should please those going dairy-free. And for those avoiding caffeine, there are plenty of tasty smoothies to choose amongst – the perfect cool down on super hot and humid Florida summer afternoons!

Americano and house coffee at Lelu Coffee Lounge in Siesta Key, Florida

Besides the gorgeous beaches, other must-do’s in the Sarasota area include Sarasota Jungle Gardens and shopping/dining at St. Armand’s Circle. Be sure to treat yourself to a wonderful meal at Columbia – Florida’s oldest and largest Spanish restaurant!

Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida
Clear water & 99% pure quartz sand draw tourists all year-round to gorgeous Siesta Key beach!
Flamingo at Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Cuban Black Beans at Columbia in Sarsasota, Florida
Must try the Cuban Black Beans at Columbia!

Brew D’Licious – St. Petersburg

Update: Brew D’Licious is unfortunately closed.

Brew D'Licious in St. Petersburg, Florida

Brew D’Licious is a eclectic local coffee shop in downtown St. Petersburg. Although there are plenty of coffee shops in this area, Brew D’Licious offers the most relaxed and friendly vibe of the bunch.  I love the vibe of this place – they do not offer WiFi and urge you to instead connect with the community – something we do not see much in this day and age! The ambiance is cozy and friendly just like your neighborhood coffee shop you always imagined.

Cozy seating area at Brew D'Licious in St. Petersburg, Florida

Beans are roasted from No Name Java (a roaster whose slogan is “our coffee is so good we do not need a name”). Not much food is offered outside of a few pastries from local companies, which is great as I prefer coffee houses that focus on coffee, not food! Several specialty mochas and lattes to choose amongst plus your standard espresso drinks.

Delicious drinks at Brew D'Licious in St. Petersburg, Florida
Excellent drinks and cute mugs!

Brew D’Licious is somewhere that locals can come back to time and time again and be surrounded by familiar friendly faces. Lots of eclectic decor to enjoy as opposed to the boring stiff chain shops that we often choose just because we are used to seeing them taking up space in every strip mall. Love the pet friendliness aspect of this cafe – dogs are allowed inside as well as outside which is awesome!

Eclectic decor at Brew D'Licious in St. Petersburg, Florida

If you are up for trying something new, be sure to give Brew D’Licious a shot! Afterwards, bypass the touristy beaches in favor of a quiet nature walk at gorgeous Weedon Island Preserve – home to gorgeous views of the bay and endless wildlife watching opportunities!

Armadillo sighting at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg, Florida
Armadillo sightings are very common at Weedon!
Views of the bay from Weedon Island Preserve
Fantastic views of the bay from one of the most beautiful parks in the Tampa region!

What are some of your favorite coffee shops in the Tampa Bay region?