Anyone who lives in St. Pete knows that we are all about being LOCAL – heck it’s our motto – Keep St. Pete Local! So put down your Starbucks and check out the many downtown St. Pete local coffee spots we’ve highlighted below. Here are the top ones (in no particular order) that you may want to give a try.
1. Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails: This is a cool concept – coffee shop by day, trendy craft cocktail and oyster bar by night. But back to the coffee – you’ll find your favorite specialty coffee drinks, cold brew, matcha and more. They recently started serving some pretty delicious looking food as well, including salmon toast, mezzo salad, avocado toast, melon salad, and pita. Located at 1111 Central Ave.
2. Black Crow Coffee Co. – if you are looking for a slightly off the beaten path coffee shop, Black Crow is located just technically outside downtown in the Historic Old Northeast. They have mismatched coffee mugs and it has a thrift shop retro feel inside with antique furniture and chairs as well. Get cozy, bring your laptop – you’ll feel like you stopped by an old friends for a coffee. They also offer many vegan baked goods and ice cream, and a free little library of books to read while you’re there. Located at 772 2nd St N.
3. Bandit Coffee Co.: Known for their great cold brews, their single origin coffees and even kombucha, Bandit has become a local favorite and draws the hipsters with their cool light and bright minimalist vibe. They also offer baked goods and new special bouquet lattes, which are as beautiful as they are fragrant. The only thing I have to say about this one is once I went in and was looking for Sweet & Low packets for the coffee I’d just ordered. They didn’t have it, or any other artificial sweeteners. The clerk at the counter explained “Artificial sweeteners are bad for you”. I replied, “Yeah, well so are donuts.” referring to some they had in the case. They offered agave, honey and sugar at the time of my last visit, none of which I can use. A very European concept – it is hard to find an artificial sweetener there as well. For diabetics, hypoglycemics, or people doing any kind of low-carb/keto lifestyle, having some kind of artificial sweetener is essential. I am like an old lady now who carries the pink Sweet & Low packets in her purse, which is kind of annoying. Be warned if you can’t have sugar either and you don’t take your coffee unsweetened. It’s not a slam on Bandit, just a warning to those who can’t have sugar. Bandit is located at 2662 Central Ave.
4. Kahwa Coffee: If you live in Tampa Bay, you know about Kahwa. Kahwa is a local coffee purveyor that has branched out and become a local chain. Their first location was in Downtown St. Pete (where there are now 2 locations), and Kahwa Coffee focuses on blends over single origin coffees in order to bring complex flavors to each cup. There are 2 locations downtown to serve you, one at 475 2nd St N and one at 204 2nd Ave S. I especially like their decadent cappuccinos.
5. Brew D’ Licious: Ah I love this place, because I can bring my two best friends. If you know me at all personally, you know I am a huge dog lover (see above, those gorgeous blue eyed babies are mine). And Brew D’ Licious has signs on the front door like “Dog friendly AF”. If you don’t know what the AF part means, look it up in Urban Dictionary. But seriously – this place is dog friendly AF. You can bring your pooch right inside the air conditioning and plop down on one of their comfy couches and feed Fido the Milk Bones they have set out for him or grab a drink from the many dog bowls. The other fun thing about this place – the baristas. The baristas know many of their regulars by name and have their orders waiting as they come through the door. It’s a no frills place that serves “No Name Java”. They also serve you in mismatched mugs and offer a few baked goods. Oh yeah and there is NO WIFI here. They prefer you actually speak to one another. How’s that for a concept? Located in the 600 block of Central Ave.
6. The Bikery Coffee & Bicycles: Need a bike tune up and a cup of joe? This is your place. Here you’ll great craft coffees and espresso, tea and matcha lattes, bicycling repairs, fittings, riding clubs and more. At The Bikery they make every effort to serve the freshest coffee possible. Every Tuesday they visit the Roastery and pick up their just roasted coffee. The idea is to have very little coffee remaining in the shop Tuesday morning from the previous week. The Bikery is at 2222 1st Ave S.
7. The Campus Grind: Open Monday – Friday only, this coffee shop caters to the USF student population, as it is right next to USF St. Pete’s campus at 121 7th Ave S. They offer some great brews to the community of coffee lovers, as well as a variety of pastries and other baked goods plus sandwiches, pizzas, soups and more. They even accept student meal plans.
8. Craft Kafe: Craft Kafe is dedicated to being a gluten-free establishment, offering salads, sandwiches, baked goods and more, and of course, coffee. They offer single origin coffees and espressos, cold brews, and some fun specialty coffee drinks with creative names like “Hot Mom” and “Pretty Woman”. They have locations on Central and 2nd as well as Central and 66th.
Honorable mention: Slightly outside downtown, a newcomer to be on the lookout for is Vice & Virtue Coffee Co. which will be located at 3045 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd N. in the Fall of 2018. Run by two dear friends of mine and offering a drive thru – this will be a hip new coffee spot for the neighborhood. And they have assured me they will not be soooo hipster that they don’t have an artificial sweetener or two. Thank you Laurene & Tara!