tampa guide


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Today’s city guide comes to us from Tampa-based wallpaper designer and full-time resident, Given Campbell. Given not only loves to eat, live and play in her city, but she also uses her business to give back to the community by donating some of the proceeds from select designs to charities in her area.

In her Tampa guide, Given takes us on a tour through this West Coast Florida town with a variety of shopping, eating and sightseeing gems. Thank you, Given, for this great guide! — Stephanie

CLICK HERE for the full guide after the jump!

Built on coffee and cigars, Tampa Bay is a vibrant city perched on a peninsula of Florida’s West Coast. Cuban, Italian and Spanish influences are ever-present here, and they create a thriving cultural heritage. Tampa Bay is quickly coming into its own as a metropolitan city. We have four new museums set to open before 2011: Salvador Dali, a permanent collection of Chihuly glass, a brand new Tampa Museum of Art and the new Glazer Children’s Museum. Two of our national sports teams have championship titles, we have hosted the Super Bowl three times and our baseball team recently played in the World Series. Combined with the refurbishment of Tampa’s aging cigar and coffee factories for living space and education, and the revival of the once-extinct streetcar system, Tampa is moving forward with a connection to the past.

Beyond our heritage, a wealth of shopping, wonderful out-of-the-way coffee bars and eateries, festivals, attractions and day-trip-worthy destinations make Tampa the perfect city. We are the only city in Florida not dependent on tourism for revenue, so you won’t have to slog through tourist attractions to find the best places in town. As an 11-year resident, here are my picks for places to go in and around Tampa Bay for R&R and retail therapy.

Design and Home Shops
As a wallpaper designer, I love design shops. Whenever I go into a shop for the first time, I feel like I am learning a secret. South Tampa and Hyde Park are the best places to find these stores. The storefronts are charming, beckoning you to browse and tempting you to buy. Parking is usually easy to find, but you may have to go down a cobbled street block or around the nearest corner for the best spots. Here are some of the best in town:

Magnolia — Carrying a wonderful list of other high-end designers, including Given Campbell wallpaper. They also have the best children’s section, thoughtfully chosen with a wide range of options. Also focused on promoting local artists.

Blue Moon Trading Company — Specializes in consignment and refurbished pieces. Inventory changes almost daily. Currently, the most fascinating pieces in the store are a old ship’s door, complete with riveted ends, and a vintage library table with chairs from the 50s.

Marketplace — Located in the Interiors Trading building in the design district, they are equal parts retail and consignment. Lots of great Asian pieces and architectural salvage stand out among subtle but captivating metal jewelry, great home accessories and funky signage. Inventory changes frequently in this unique shop.

Casa Nova — Furniture and home accessories store located in South Tampa. They also have an incredible selection of fabric and eco-friendly upholstery.

Retail Therapy
Vinyl Fever — Killer independent record store — you know, the kind with hand-written dividers between artists. Like a small Tower Records, they re-stock shelves daily with new CDs to help keep the store dynamic and vibrant. Their extensive collection of used vinyl, CDs and DVDs are what really help them stand out. I bought my dad a fantastic set of swing albums. The best place to plump up your CD collection for a fraction.

Mosh Posh — Mosh Posh is a high-end designer consigner carrying A-list designers at C-list prices.

Coffee Culture
Tampa is rumored to have the most coffee bars per capita of any city in the nation (yes, even Seattle). Those big guys tend to overshadow the fact that the last working coffee mill is in the Tampa Bay area.

In 1921, Carlos Menendez, a Spanish immigrant, founded the Naviera Coffee Mills in the historic Latin Quarter in Ybor City (pronounced EE-Boar). The name “Naviera” came from the shipping lines that brought him to America. Working in a cigar factory by day, he roasted the coffee at night and delivered his fresh-roasted blends door-to-door by bicycle each morning.

Today, the operation is a bit bigger, servicing clients throughout the country. I often give this coffee as thank you gifts to friends. Feel free to visit their on-site coffee bar for fresh coffee roasted daily or pick some up at a local supermarket.

The coffee bar in the Naviera Mill is open daily until 3:30, when you can taste the beans at their peak of flavor. Coffee like this begins to be something else when you are lucky enough to experience the freshest roasted coffee available. Other places to sit and have a cuppa:

Buddy Brew Coffee — Artisan roasters offering in-store roasted beans in small batches at fair prices. They buy their beans green and roast them to your specifications; you truly taste coffee on a whole new level.

Datz — A unique restaurant serving fresh new takes on deli. With cheese and charcuterie flights, one of the largest wine selections in Tampa Bay and delicious coffee served in French presses, you are sure to find yourself lost in the flavors and textures of a deli you could never dream of.

Bookstores
Mostly, we have big-box booksellers, but there is a place in Hyde Park called Inkwood Books. Inhabiting a restored yellow bungalow in Hyde Park, Inkwood Books is just what a bookstore should be: cozy, inviting and thoroughly engaging. They are the only independent bookstore in Tampa for new books and well worth the trip. They have a wonderful selection along with stationery and journal supplies. In the summer, you can while away the afternoon thunderstorms by settling in with a great read.

Eat Drink and Be Merry
Ceviche — The Ceviche menu is comprised of over 100 different hot and cold tapas, as well as paellas and cazuelas. Most of the tapas recipes are from northern Spain and Catalan, and many of the products are imported directly to the restaurant to maintain the authenticity of the dishes. An exclusive Spanish wine list has been carefully designed by the owners, and the Sangria has been voted “Best in Tampa Bay.” Definitely a plus, and great for getting together with friends.

Six Tables — A unique dining experience, Six Tables is a small, private restaurant where you can reserve a dinner for two or a small event for up to 26 people. Reservations are made in advance, and meals are comprised of six courses chosen from the chef’s menu.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen — English Pub on south MacDill serving authentic draft beer and an extensive pub menu. The best place to catch English league sports and lift a pint.

Cappys — The best pizza in Tampa. Located in a restored bungalow in South Tampa, their pizza is handmade and incredibly fresh. Offering New York and Chicago styles along with a host of other dishes and salads, it’s a great night out for a great price, but get there early because tables fill up fast.

Colombia — The Columbia Restaurant opened its doors in 1905. And since then it has endured as the place to get the best Cuban food in Tampa. Sit back with their signature “1905 Salad” and enjoy a live Flamenco show. Order up their delicious sangria or a round of tapas dishes, and enjoy the beautiful hand-painted tile that adorns the restaurant.

Cepha’s Hot Shop — For the more adventurous soul, there is the Aloe Smoothie at Cepha’s Hot Shop in Ybor (pronounced EE-BORE) City. Touting the benefits of the elephant aloe, Cepha whips up his signature aloe smoothies on a daily basis.

Spas
Spa Jardin — Offering services such as mud wraps and prenatal massage, Spa Jardin is nestled in a Key West-style building on south MacDill. Be sure to try their Thai Ceremony massage, which blends Yoga elements with Thai massage. Heaven!

The Grand — A European Day Spa, the Grand offers Thai and Ashiatsu massage along with pre- and post-natal massages to help get you back where you belong. Also offers a salon and Med Spa, and there are many different packages to choose from. The Grand is worth a whole day.

Day Trips
Florida is a state where nature abounds. Our beaches are some of the most desirable in the world, and most of the tourist attractions in Florida offer discounts to residents. From remote beaches to crowded tourist destinations, Florida has a lot to offer, and most of these places are within a day’s drive of Tampa Bay.

Weeki Wachee — A live mermaid show is the star attraction at Weeki Wachee. There are many opportunities to see the primitive side of Florida nature by kayaking or canoeing down the Weeki Wachee River. Look for manatees drifting lazily along the river just under the surface. No snorkeling gear needed here: the river water is as clear as your bathtub. Aside from manatee, you can see gators, exotic birds and fat turtles basking on rocks along the riverbanks.

Sarasota Film Festival — Feature-length films, shorts and foreign films are ever-present at this up-and-coming film festival located in the heart of Sarasota.

Ringling Museum — Exhibits and tours that keep the history of the circus alive for generations to enjoy. Tours of the John and Mable Ringling house are also available.

Keel and Curley Winery — Specializing in fruit-derived wines, such as blueberry, tangerine, black raspberry, strawberry, mango and peach. Open for tours.

Bok Tower — Gorgeous gardens, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., that consist of tranquil resting places, shady glens and picturesque vistas splashed with color to create a meditative setting in the center of Florida. Play in a vine-covered arbor, or sit back and watch delicate butterflies float through the perfumed air.

anne

Oh you guys I love, LOVE these guides and have found them useful in SLC and Orlando.
I live in Tampa and I just know there is SO much more to offer here. There is a huge resurgence of museums downtown, a ton of antique shops and great, great local food movements.

Can I help you add to this?

Ryan

Thanks so much. We have lived in South Tampa for a year and I have been looking to dive into some local culture!

Brigitte

I’ve lived in the Bay Area for nearly 30 years, so I’m happy to see it getting some love! Just FYI the Dali has been here since before I was born, they’re just relocating, so you can visit it now. Also, for books, Haslam’s. Amazing, giant, if you love books you must see! I’ve picked up a lot of out of print favorites there for very cheap!

grace

anne

please feel free to add any suggestions here, if they build up significantly we can definitely consider making additions to the guide :)

g

Leigh

I have family in Tampa so I’ve gone there to visit all my life– I have fond memories of going to Weeki Wachee for the mermaid show as a little girl!! & I’ll cast my vote for the Columbia for awesome food. I’ll definitely consult this guide next time I’m in TPA for some new faves. Thanks!

Jennifer Hamilton

Just a quick update, Tampa lost one of it’s last bastions of music with the closing of Vinyl Fever a couple of weeks ago.

Katie

Totally check out the Dali museum. I’ve been twice since it’s always changing and while you’re in St. Pete check out this little shop called Cherie’s. Czar is the club where all the young hipsters go. And of course you have to stop by the International mall. This actually makes me miss Tampa, just for a minute.

anne

Thanks Grace!

Like I said downtown along the waterfront there is a new art Museum and a new children’s museum. You can also get a glance of the architecture at Univ. of Tampa. They are located along the river walk and have a nice outdoor space. The Art museum as a dine-in cafe that is catered by Mise-En-Place a great local favorite.

Near the Forum (where they place hockey) is Channelside. This is where the cruise ships leave from. There is also a Tampa history museum that has a great activity center. They have a cafe catered by the Colombia – a legendary Tampa institution where you can get traditional Spanish/Cuban food.

Both Mise-en-Place and the Colombia are Tampa institutions. But we cannot forget Berns – a steakhouse that has it’s own farm and has been locally sourcing it’s food for decades. The inside is a site to be seen and has a special room upstairs specifically for desserts. They also have a huge wine cellar and offer tours of that and the kitchen.

Next door is a wine shop that has weekly tastings and a modern (also locally sourced) restaurant – Side Berns.

I have a bunch more suggestions – but those are a good start for visitors!

lynn

Thanks for finally giving Tampa its due. I don’t live in the Bay area but visit often and am always looking for new gems. You left off most of my favorite restaurants: The Refinery, Ella’s, and The Floridian (for the classic Tampa-style Cuban sandwich), and didn’t even mention the Seminole Heights neighborhood, which features many more great small shops and restaurants. There’s also a great collection of antique stores along Florida Avenue I never forget to visit.

All the shops/restaurants mentioned are in Tampa. The Dali Museum and Rays stadium are located in St. Pete, which has its own, more relaxed vibe. Grab a beer at the Independent Bar or its new sister bar The Rex (there’s also an Independent in Seminole Heights.) Central Avenue has tons of cute coffee and retail shops as well. I highly encourage folks to visit the St. Pete Shuffleboard Courts on Friday nights. There’s occasional live music, BYOB, and awesome breezes from the Bay!

And I can’t forget the amazing beer coming out of the local Cigar City Brewing, which has a tasting room in Tampa. A day trip to the cute coastal town of Dunedin is always fun, too. Honeymoon Island is my favorite beach spot — its nearly empty shores are always beautiful.

Ashley

Hooray for Tampa! I’ve lived here for almost 2 years and I absolutely love it; I’m holding onto this list so I don’t ever forget about all of the great things to do!

Heather

You also need to include a visit to Tampa Theatre in the list (especially since that’s the image used at the top of the article.) It’s a beautifully decorated old movie theatre that has an organist who comes up through the floor. If you are looking for indie flicks or old classics, that’s where to go.

A usage note: The city is Tampa, not Tampa Bay. If you are talking about Tampa Bay, you are including St Pete and Clearwater.

steve

I would recommend Cigar City Brewing. They are doing some amazing things. You can probably get many of their beers in the local restaurants, but they also have a tasting room at the brewery.

Pammy

Yess!! I am visiting Tampa in March and had checked your website for a city guide. You published this just in time :) Thanks

Renee Rivas

As a third generation Tampa native, I can attest that this guide rocks! World-renowned art, vibrant history, rich culture, and great food… Tampa’s got it all. :-)

Lauren

Thanks for highlighting Tampa! The Dali Museum is awesome and Ybor is always great to walk around and go to shows.

I live on the East Coast of Florida, but we visit Tampa often and always eat at Taco Bus (at the intersection of Hillsborough and Nebraska) – they have the best Mexican food around.

Also, Airstream Ranch is totally worth visiting. You can see it off I-4 when you’re heading into Tampa, but if you go to Bates RV and ask them for directions to it, you can stand among the half-buried trailers.

maya

oh, this list doesn’t begin to capture the good stuff on the pinellas side of the bay.

Shops:
Being, Fig (next door to each other on 4th…great home goods), Craftsman House (jewelry, pottery and more), Haslam’s Book Store (great indie book shop with a huge selection of used books), Daddy Kool Records (st. pete’s answer to vinyl fever)
Food:
Kahwa Coffee, Nitally’s Thai-Mex, Queens Head Euro Bar, Cappy’s, Queen & I, Perc, Rex, Independent, St Pete Brasserie, India Grill, Bella Brava, Cassis Bakery
Art/Museums:
Chihuly Collection, Dali Museum, Studio 620, 600 Block Central, Florida Craftsman Gallery, Arts Center, St. Pete Clay Company, Creative Clay, Pale Horse Graphic Studo, Living Room
Parks:
Honeymoon Island, Ft. Desoto, Trout Creek/Flatwoods/Hillsborough River State Park (on the Tampa side of the bay)

Natalie

LOVE that there is a TAMPA guide, but so much of what is cool is also in St. Pete, as a couple comments stated. So many people don’t realize that everything within the entire TAMPA BAY AREA is within 30 minutes to an hour to visit, no matter where you are. Its a pretty wonderful place to live! Great Job to Given for at least getting the comments started on other great places to visit in our area!

Deb

Ybor itself has tons of great offerings too- a great coffee bar there is Tre Amiche at the Bunker. Definitely try the TC sandwich there, I’m partial to it because it’s named after my niece! Tampa has a bit of a struggle with truly becoming more urban, but there are lots of wonderful people who are truly devoted to making that happen. http://www.urbancharrette.org That’s just one great organization trying to make a difference. Go Tampa!!!

Daniel

Lived in Tampa for almost 22 years now and am just discovering it’s culture however I do have some good stuff to add!

A few people mentioned “The Independent” if you hit the one in seminole heights make sure to grab some food there also, fantastic menu more gourmet than bar food, the combination of brick and modern design here is one of my favorites.

“The Bricks in Ybor” (EE-boar) on 7th ave also has a fantastic menu they opened last year I believe, the dining room is open and sunny, perfect for sunday lunches (or just meals really) with some windowsill seating available, and a fantastic interior design, their beer draft menu is a little small but it’s all good mostly craft beers non of the big three (bud, miller, coors) They have a large bottle selection (also craft) haven’t tried anything else from their bar but if the rest of the menu is any indication, it’s probably good,
also they get their coffee from “Kahwa” in downtown St. Pete which is fantastic.

Right down the road from The Bricks is “King Corona Cigar Bar” huge glass walls on the front of the store facing 7th so you can watch the little city go about its day, great beer selection, good wine, (fantastic hot chocolate, just sayin’) amazing cuban sandwiches and the back wall is covered with cigars, the design is classic Ybor Cuban heritage. beautiful.

Authors note: on the weekends anything in ybor is really better during the night it’s more of a club scene.

lisa

I am so happy to see TAMPA featured, and even happier that many comments suggest driving over to St. Petersburg. I own Electric Voodoo Tattoo so make sure to stop in to say hello if you are ever in downtown St. Pete!! And enjoy a cup of coffee at Cafe Bohemia next door :)

elizaabeth

This is great! I live in St. Petersburg (across the bridge from Tampa) so great to see the attention coming our way! Also cool to know there are fellow local folks that appreciate D*S as much as me. A must restaurant for this list is Pane Rustica on MacDill in Tampa. It is the BEST! Their pizza is my absolute favorite but they have so much more to offer besides pizza. St. Pete is getting a Taco Bus so will check it out (someone mentioned it above). MarketPlace Interiors is on Willow Ave in Tampa that is a great mix of old and new home furnishings. It is made up of about 15 vendors under one roof (including clothing from Twig).

Can’t wait to read about some new spots I haven’t tried.

Bonnie

I am also a third-generation Tampa native, and have throw in a couple of my favorites: Gino’s, a tiny Italian restaurant with great food and atmosphere, and La Teresita for Cuban food. OH! And Maurico Faedo’s Cuban bread! It is the very, very best.

michelle

I was born and raised in Tampa and so happy to see what I thought was a sleepy town mentioned here. Please don’t forget to go to Trangs! THE BEST Vietnamese out there and super affordable!!! And Hugo’s for Cuban food!
Sadly Vinyl Fever did close but they have an AMAZING independent book store called Inkwood books! Best customer service!

Henry

Mad Dog’s and Englishmen is THE best place in South Tampa. You can not go wrong. It’s fabulous.

Sarah M.

I’m glad to see D*S reppin’ my hometown, but I must admit I’m a bit shocked by the omissions in the guide! Just off the top of my head…

Thrifting! The Tampa area has some of the best vintage & thrift shopping of any city I’ve lived in. La France (in Ybor City) has some higher-end vintage and new period clothing, including lots of jewelry, shoes, evening wear and underpinnings. Even the regular thrift stores in the area have above-average clothing and furniture– Sunshine Thrift on Dale Mabry, Second Image (!!!!) at Kennedy & Armenia, the Salvation Army & giant Community Thrift on N. Nebraska. Revolve is also in Ybor City and is a bit more like Beacon’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange.

The outdoors! Beaches, parks, and Bayshore Boulevard, the world’s longest continuous sidewalk (and a great place to jog, stroll, and look at the water or the giant South Tampa homes). Tampa and, by extension, the Bay area has a lot of great indoor-outdoor spaces and restaurants, but you can also get classic Florida with beach time at Ft. DeSoto State Park, Indian Rocks Beach, the town of Seminole, or Clearwater Beach (for a legit boardwalk experience).

Kitsch and weirdness. The Fun-Lan drive-in movie theater, Evos (a tiny Tampa-based chain that specializes in good-for-you fast food), Skipper’s Smokehouse (amazing Southern-y music venue with gator on the menu), and although it’s not really weird, the Tampa Theater.

The day trips list could also be expanded (although I understand it’s not the point of the guide)– Dade City is great for vintage and antique furniture, Plant City is a great rural town with amazing strawberry milkshakes at every turn, and Tarpon Springs is a historically Greek town with tons of good food and deserted beaches & keys.

Nicole

Vinyl Fever just closed it’s doors two weeks ago. It was fun while it lasted, a true legend.

Jeanne

We are excited in St. Petersburg to have the new location of Dali museum just open in the last two weeks (the old one was just a couple of blocks away) and the Chihuly collection recently opened on Beach Drive. The Museum of Fine Arts, also on Beach Drive, added a new wing, partially comprised of glass. The Museum also added a nice cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and looks out at the bay.

St. Pete also has the Vinoy Hotel which was originally built in the 1920s and has an amazing veranda to sit and look at the water and have drinks.

Beach Drive has a number of excellent restaurants-Moon Under Water, Parkshore Grill, Ceviche’s and Cassis, a beautiful French restaurant that also has a bakery and ice cream shop next door. Bella Brava’s has moved into the old Cherie’s spot.

Hooker Tea Company and Kahwa Coffee offer great drinks. Schkolad offers handmade chocolates on Central Avenue. Jannus Live has live music several nights a week.

There are so many great things in St. Pete! What we really need is to split the guide-one for Tampa and one for St. Pete.

Kelli

I’m so excited to see this guide. We leave for Tampa this week. We are looking to relocate to Tampa, so I enjoy not only reading this guide but what the other locals have to add. I look forward to all the Tampa Bay area has to offer!

Emily A.

I can’t believe only one other person has mentioned this thus far – you used the Tampa Theatre sign, and yet there is no mention of it in the guide! I was an undergrad at UT, and one of my favorite things to do was to go catch a flick at the Tampa Theatre – it’s a beautiful 1920’s building with gorgeous Rococo interiors!

I also have to second La France, Evos, and Pane Rustica. And yeah, Vinyl Fever recently closed its doors forever. I only make intermittent trips to Tampa and I knew that.

Lyndsey

I grew up in the Bay area and just recently moved to Orlando. This is a nice guide, but I have to say, I hated Tampa. The things listed are the only things that make it worth visiting!

Lindsey

My husband and I are Tampa Bay natives, and I’m so excited to check out some of the new places everyone has suggested.

I echo what was said above–everything in the Tampa Bay Area (Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete…) is really only 30 minutes to an hour away! Explore. There’s a lot to see!

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler

I just moved to Tampa in November, so this guide couldn’t come at a better time! I’m already having a great time exploring on my own, but I will definitely follow some of the suggestions given here (independent bookstore, here I come!).

Gretchen

Oh wow! I grew up in Tampa, spent most of my life there.

The military has taken us away.

This makes me aweful homesick today! But it’s nice to see some things from home.

Thanks for sharing this!

kimberly

Yes! I love Datz!

The Independent is fabulous, though I’ve only been to the Tampa location.

There’s also Ella’s Folk Cafe and the Taco Bus! And Mema’s Alaskan Tacos (shrimp tacos are so greasy yummy).

Cafe Hey, for great coffee and kale salad and pastries.

New World Brewery is fantastic and in Ybor – it’s great for weekends because it’s not on crazy, meat market 7th Ave – great beers and a wonderful patio.

Bern’s dessert room is an absolute treat – the entire place is like out of Twin Peaks. Wild and wacky and opulent.

And T.C. Choy’s does dim sum on the weekends, complete with carts of food.

Joe Clay

As a Tampa native of 26 years, I’d just like to point out that, while this is a decent list, it’s very South Tampa/Hyde Park centric and even misses a few great destinations there. Do yourself a favor and explore the rest of the city if you get a chance.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love South Tampa and Hyde Park too. But there’s more to Tampa than just what’s south of Kennedy.

There are wonderful places all throughout the city, like the Bunker in Ybor (or most of the places there), Square One Burger in South Tampa, Bern’s in Hyde Park (for some of the best steak in the city), Ichiban Sushi near USF, or The Spain in downtown (which as a spaniard I much enjoy over Ceviche in taste, parking, and
atmosphere).

Don’t miss out on all of the amazing places in the historic neighborhood of Old Seminole Heights like it’s own Cappy’s, Ella’s (easily one of the top restaurants in the city but a difficult one to find parking at), The Refinery, Taco Bus, The Front Porch, and The Independent (the original is in St. Pete). 3 Coins Diner is also a good place to get food 24/7.

There’s also a good variety of antique/vintage stores in Seminole Heights.

Also, I heard that Vinyl Fever is closing, so if you want to go there, you better hop to it!

Joe Clay

And as you can see there are plenty of things even I forgot about, like Skipper’s!

This list could really be expanded. : )

inFITation

My family has lived in the bay area for 4 generations. It is a beautiful place to grow up and the culture of old Tampa gives the city so much character. Like others have mentioned, the Tampa Theatre is a must see. My husband & I went on one of our first dates there to see a showing of Casablanca. So glad to see you feature this great city!

virginiajane

I grew up in Tampa and lived there til I was in my early 20s – Some of my favorite places growing up were Lettuce Lake Park (beautiful natural Florida trails/boardwalks), Lowry Park Zoo, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Sarah

I am so happy to see a Tampa city guide! I was born and raised in Tampa, and although I relocated to Baltimore, I still go home to visit several times a year and have love for my hometown. I also loved reading all the comments, so many people love and know of all the same places I loved going when I lived there, so I have to throw my weight behind them now:

The Bricks definitely needs to be on the list. They have great food, and they are owned by the guys from The Skatepark of Tampa, a world-renowned destination for skateboarding.

La France in Ybor has amazing vintage shopping, not to be missed!

Boca Bargoons is a wholesale fabric store on Hillsborough avenue that is amazing, my mom has been going there since I was a kid, the prices are usually pretty good.

New World Brewery is a great place to go hear live music and drink beer

Trangs DOES have really great vietnamese food, and La Teresita has amazing cuban food

Lettuce Lake Park, Lowry Park Zoo, and all the nearby beaches always have to be mentioned as well!

anyway, there is so much to do in Tampa it’s hard to come up with everything here. Thanks for the guide, now when I come home next I’ll have some new places to check out! :)

Daniela

Love this!

Thanks for publishing. Also in south Tampa, my family and I recently discovered a little mom/pop diner -Pinky’s. Amazing breakfast/lunch. Get there early, it gets packed. And of course, Cappy’s is right across the street! Delicious!

As for another on the list, I agree about Spa Jardin. I’ve been there many times and the staff is wonderful….stop next door at Melt Out for a quick air brushed tan!

Cory

I am not sure if anyone mentioned The Cupcake Spot, which has a location in St. Pete and Tampa. Yummy!

Sharon Laird

Great guide. I would agree with all of your choices. I would add Summerhouse on Manhattan to your list of shops. It’s a great resource for funky home goods at great prices. I try to pop in at least once a month.

Josephine

Almost all of my favorite places are on this list! Inkwood Books is amazing, and you’ll be totally hooked after one visit to Spa Jardin (get there plenty early for a warm foot soak!).
But my absolute favorite place in Tampa is Schiller’s Salvage, hands down. I’m an avid DIY’er with a love for all things old. this is my place for inspiration. I always find something unique that I can breathe new life into.

Kristin

There are 2 amazing store missing on this list!!!

Being- Furniture & home accessories, design services etc. Gorgeous store with a wall full of catalogs & fabric swatches. Great lighting, rugs, upholstery, amazing candles, jewelry. This list goes on! My favorite store in St Pete.

Fig- next door to Being. Absolutely fabulous high-end linens, garden accessories, vintage one of a kind found objects. This store is a little piece of heaven.

Both on 4th street in St Petersburg, next door to one another. Definitely worth the trip over the bridge!

Kat

This guide feels really incomplete – you could include a section just for all the great places to get a Cuban. Although that would get very opinionated very fast, exactly what ingredients do and do not go on a Cuban sandwich is hotly debated.
I can recommend a great food experience and a indie coffee shop:
Every Sunday the Wat Tampa (www.wattampainenglish.com) serves Thai for cash donations to help with the Temple upkeep; its an fun and delicious experience.
And Sacred Grounds (www.sacredgroundstampa.com) the gblt friendly coffee shop on Busch.

Grant

You should definitely add the Oxford Exchange to this list: great bookstore, an interesting shop, lunch stop, Teabella Tea bar, and Buddy Brew coffee bar. Plus some really awesome architecture.

Eleanor S

Time for an update. Need to include Ella’s Folkart Cafeand The Refinery…just to name a few.

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