I talk about this a lot, but if you’re new to Taylor Made Style, I am a born and raised Florida girl through and through. Although I live in Nashville now, Florida has a huge part of my heart, and will always and forever be my home. Between my day job and family, I’m able to travel pretty frequently to the sunshine state, which I’m very thankful for! There’s not a lot that a little sun and sand can’t fix! But really, the seasonal depression that Nashville brings out in me is REAL, so I was happy to have a getaway to Tampa this past week for some much need Vitamin D therapy.
When visiting familiar places, I always try to look for the unfamiliar, and treat my getaways as a new opportunity to explore even if I’ve been there a million times! Is adventuring considered a job? Because if so, I want to be an expert. On this trip down south, I hit up a lot of places I had never been before, despite having lived in the area for 4 months a little over a year ago when I first started my day job. I visited so many different places on this trip that I’d never gone before, so I thought I’d share them in case you have a getaway to the Tampa Bay area soon, along with some pictures from along my adventures. Enjoy!
- Bodega – This rustic Cuban spot made me feel like I was in Cuba (or at least Miami) for a hot second. This was the perfect lunch spot featuring Cuban sandwiches, Latin American platters & specialty juices & smoothies. I had a refreshing made-daily soda with hibiscus and lime, and even went back the next day for a vegan tempeh sandwich, maduros (plantains), and a Modelo with lime. It was the best spot for vegans and non-vegans to eat delicious food, and relax on the outdoor patio for a truly laid-back feel.
- Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails – This adorable coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up after walking around downtown St. Pete. With a fresh and bright aesthetic, Intermezzo was a place you can chill with friends while drinking one of their delicious lattes, enjoy an afternoon cocktail on the patio underneath their orange umbrellas while gazing at palm trees, or indulge in a romantic date day or night complete with fresh table florals and even fresher cocktails. I didn’t end up staying here to see what their night time vibe is but I’ve heard it’s one not to be missed!
- Locale Market – This curated grocery store features hand-curated food from local farmers and artisan producers. Pick up freshly made pasta, meats, specialty sodas, and local produce to enjoy at home. While you’re there, feeling like you were basically transported to a European market, pick up some amazing food at the many quick food vendors. The options range from burgers to poke (vegan options plenty!), from ice cream to BBQ. Hell, you could eat here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if ya wanted! We ate al fresco style, and soaked in the sunshine while chowing down.
- Cycle Brewing – As the future wife a craft beer aficionado, I had to stop in to one of my favorite craft breweries. This award-winning brewery has a large bar area to enjoy some world class beers on tap, or bring your pupper, and sip some brews on the outdoor patio. We had some delicious IPAs, but my favorite was their Hazelnut cream and sugar porter, which tasted like a Starbucks latte but 1000x better. This brewery is a chill way to end your afternoon, and relax after a day of walking around downtown St. Pete!
- Cider Press Cafe – This is the ultimate vegan restaurant! They offer plant-based food for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and everything I tried was phenomenal. I highly recommend the BBP burger and mac n cheese. This is an award-winning burger for a good reason – it’s SO good. Melty and satisfying. Even my would-never-be-vegan sister loved it! I sat at the bar with my friend and enjoyed a great beer on tap while waiting for our food, and basked in the upbeat atmosphere. I will for sure be going back here to try more burgers, or maybe switch it up with their enchiladas or raw lasagna!
- Walking around Downtown and Bayshore – This technically isn’t a ‘place’ to visit, but just a general area to explore for yourself! After eating at Locale Market, which is located east of downtown, we walked around the area, going down Bayshore Dr. along the water towards the adorable Vinoy Resort. There’s the Museum of Fine Arts, which I will definitely be heading back to on a future visit, and just gorgeous scenery everywhere. I’m a sucker for natural Florida flowers in bloom, and there were so many beautiful florals and awe-inspiring trees to be seen. I almost thought I was on a tropical island for a second! We then headed to downtown where most of the previous locations mentioned are, and just enjoyed the strolling through the streets, stopping where we pleased, and people watching. Maybe my favorite part of St. Pete is just getting to experience the atmosphere of it!
- The Don Caesar – I thought about not adding this because it was on the pricier side for us, but thankfully we had a hook up that was able to get us into this high-end resort free of charge, and it was one of my absolute favorite things we did on the trip. Come here for a spot on the beach with a personal waiter to order your drink of choice (Miami Vice for me always!), and sit back on a beach chair, or splurge on a queen mattress bed with canopy and que the relaxation! I absolutely love the beach, this resort made it even more fabulous.
- Foundation Coffee – I made quick half hour stop in here to meet up with a photographer before a fun downtown shoot, but I wish I could’ve stayed longer. Located in Tampa Heights, a newer area of Tampa, Foundation has exquisite coffee, and a rad space. They focus on great coffee, community, and the outdoors. Speaking of, their shaded outdoor space was to die for! I could see myself cozying up and spending hours here working away while feeling like I wasn’t at a coffee shop, but a home away from home. I loved that they offered almond and oat milk as well as fresh pastries and to-go meals for lunch, many of which were vegan friendly!
- Sunshine Thrift – I know y’all were probably wondering when I was going to have a thrift store on here, but honestly this is usually the only one I visit when I’m here. I also know I said I was trying to explore new places, but this the best thrift store in Tampa. They were voted Best of Bay in 2017, and I couldn’t agree more with that. Granted, I haven’t been to all the Tampa thrift stores yet, but why go anywhere else when I can always find one-of-a-kind vintage and on-trend items all in one? I always do some serious damage here. Not in terms of how much I spend because this thrift store has exceptional deals, but more so that I can never fit it all on my return trip. If you’re looking for really affordable vintage finds, this is the place to go! Not to mention the staff are some of the absolute sweetest humans I have ever met.
- Tampa Armature Works – Armature Works is a fully restored historic building lying on the Hillsborough River in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood. It features modern eateries, the Heights Pubic market, event spaces, and coworking spaces. This building really reminded me of those in Nashville or Atlanta. The walls breath history with their old brick, but new life flows throughout with amazing food and drinks. Perfect for a breakfast coffee, or a night cap, Armature works is a super happening place. We grabbed dinner here after a long day at the beach, and there were so many different options, but I opted for a ramen restaurant, Ichicorro. This is Ichicorro’s second location they’ve opened with their first being in Seminole Heights. Location at Armature Works has a smaller menu but different items, and the rice bowl with crumbled Impossible burger I ordered was phenomenal. I only tried one restaurant in the space, but based on the vibe, I would definitely go back!
- CW’s Gin Joint – CW’s Gin Joint (that serves more than gin, by the way) is a throwback to an older times. They serve craft cocktails, and delicious food! The atmosphere is warm and inviting, along with the drinks, and it’s my perfect kind of bar. The bartenders are dressed to the nines, and can make you anything you want. I told them what I like, and they made up a few drinks for me, which were all unique and heavenly. I love places you can sit down, and enjoy a drink while in great conversation. This place is laid back, but definitely has a swankiness to it. CW’s Gin Joint will for sure be getting added to my must-come-back-to list!
If you end up going to Tampa Bay area, and visit any of these places please let me know how you like them! I had such a great time at all of these places, and I hope this helps on any future trip you might take!