A Slice of Tampa Life: Top Places to Grind


June 8, 2016



When do you go for coffee?

Before work. After work. During work. Often times instead of work.

An army marches on its stomach, and Hillsborough’s workforce pushes on with its coffee in hand. Tampa is no slouch when it comes to its brew. Coffeehouses are not simple and quick stops on the way out the door, but hub for meetings, mingling, and melting ideas together.

Rather than hitting a chain drive-thru on the way into the office, there are a couple hidden gems on the doorstep of Tampa’s downtown.

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The Buddy Brew Bar at the Oxford Exchange

Buddy Brew Coffee
Started by locals David and Susan Ward out of their garage, Buddy Brew has grown into four brick-and-mortar locations since 2010. Recognizable by the canine profile logo, Buddy Brew can be found on West Kennedy, inside the Oxford Exchange, and at a new location in Hyde Park Village.

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The Kahwa Bar in the bottom of Rivergate Tower.

Kahwa Coffee
Invading from across the Bay in Saint Petersburg is Kahwa, a roasting company whose name originates from the region in Africa where coffee was first discovered. Kahwa has been locally owned and operated since 2006 and has been voted best in Tampa Bay for six of its ten years of business. Downtown locations can be found in the bottom of the Element apartment building and inside the Rivergate Tower.

DI Coffee Bar
A new comer to the Tampa brew scene, DI Coffee Bar serves the residents of Davis Island and employees of the nearby Tampa General Hospital. Set apart from the buzz of Downtown and West Kennedy, DI Coffee Bar is the one of the best places to escape the office or to simply escape with beer and wine served all day.

Blind Tiger Cafe
Blind Tiger Cafe

Blind Tiger Café
With locations to the north in the Seminole Heights neighborhood and to the east in Ybor City, Blind Tiger has the Downtown area surrounded. Branded as a prohibition era speakeasy, Blind Tiger locations double as retail storefronts for Tampa based textile-manufacturing company, Black & Denim. Both locations are conveniently located close to nightlife, making the transition from work to play a few easy steps.

Commune + Co.
Rejecting the coffee house business model is Joel Davis, founder of Commune + Co. and the brewer of his unique ‘pressure brewed’ iced coffee. He sells his wares from specialty a caffeine-dispensing tricycle that can often be found on North Franklin Street.

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