It’s Fall – not that it really feels like it here in St. Pete – but it does mean it’s #PSL season.So here’s to all the local coffee addicts and basic bitches out there. If you haven’t had you fall coffee fix yet, or even if you have, here’s a list to guide you to the best spots around St. Pete to get a cuppa. The East Coast Coffee Tour was a journey and somewhat of a “how now shall we live” and since that question is never really answered, this is tangential to that post. 5 months later, things have changed. Duh. My coffee love however has not wavered.
I’m not going to lie, the greater amount of coffee shop vibes here in St. Pete was definitely a factor in my moving here. To bow down in respect I’m going to feature my favorite, and really the best in the area.
The newest spot to hit DTSP is Black Crow Coffee. Less than 5 weeks old, they’re a branch of Indian Shores Coffee Co. Perfectly located to succeed and I really recommend we make that happen. They’re posted up between a yoga studio and laundromat smack in the middle of the residential neighborhood. So whether you’re walking the dog, waiting for laundry, or looking to prolong your savasana – they are RIGHT there.
Hip industrial chic/ antique-y decor and a record player that customers can treat like a jukebox from the old days reminds me of my old Brooklyn stomping grounds….who doesn’t want to feel like they’re a cool urbanite?
722 2nd St.
Considering this next spot’s location compared to the rest, they must be good to get all the hype they do. Craft Kafe is on Central Ave, but a ways away from DTSP (like 15 minutes driving, which really isn’t that big of a deal…). An 100% Gluten free bakery and cafe, but the food is actually pretty darn good, what else can you expect from Greek and Russian owners.Since my family owned a Greek/Russian restaurant when I was a preteen (it’s gone now), I really hope for the best for this place. Sporting purposefully trendy raw wood and succulents, Craft Kafe still avoids the contrived feeling.
Customers quickly become regulars and get excited about new gluten free creations gracing the pastry case. In regard to their food, from experience I’ll say the Chicken Avocado Cream sandwich and the Pizza hit the spot. As for coffee, it helps that they serve Buddy Brew (among others). Almost everything is housemade – Coffee, food, gelato….yeah, they have gelato.6653 Central Ave.
This one isn’t really a coffee shop per se , but they dedicate space to the art of craft coffee and a unique new business to hit St. Pete. Old Southeast Market opened its doors this year and have slowly been building up their offerings and become a community staple.I always feel welcome here (thanks Jim!) and they’re coffee bar is small but really has everything you need if you’re the type that sees coffee as either regular or decaf (no fancy espresso here yet). They’re not far from the USFSP campus or downtown. Plus, there’s a really fun little hump/bridge you get to drive over on the way there that gives you stomach butterflies. Grab a muffin and some black Buddy Brew coffee!
1700 3rd St. S.
With all these new places to get your coffee from, I’m in awe of businesses that are still popular without compromising their identity. For coffee in St. Pete that is Mazzaro’s Italian Market. This place makes me happy, and I’m the type that goes to grocery stores for fun. They have everything a gourmet grocery store should have but with an Italian flair. There’s so much I could say about their offerings, but as they’ve been a community staple since forever and take up an entire city block, you should just go.This place is always bustling and I love watching regulars yell how many pounds of cookies/ pasta salad/ gelato they want over the counters, but after a winding path through the establishment leads me to the back I really just want to sit. That’s where the gourmet coffee bar comes in. In the middle of all this is a U-shaped bar where you can eat, but really it’s great for sipping espresso.
2909 22nd Ave
I first got a coffee here one summer (before I became a local) after visiting Daddy Kool Records across the street, and it was a perfect combination for me glean some understanding on what this town is about. Whether it’s just a stop on your morning walkabout or a destination in and of itself, the barista is always friendly, the coffee strong (or sweet!), and the vibes “living-room-chic” fun. Oh and they’re very dog friendly.
667 Central Ave.
Let’s end with a local favorite. A name that is a whisper on the wind wherever you go, Kahwa Coffee is inextricably linked with St. Pete. As of now they have 8 locations serving their own coffee and food. One of my favorite things about them is that they use their Tampa Bay fame to promote local artists’ work in their cafes. Another reason you should choose them over Starbucks, they have craft coffee drive through locations (!!!). Game over.
Keep St. Pete local people.