At the end of the day — or any time, really — it’s tough to beat relaxing with a good book and delicious coffee. The Tampa Bay area has a number of wonderful places to choose from where you can get away from it all and lose yourself in your favorite book and get your caffeine fix at the same time.
Mojo Books & Music
2540 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
Mojo may be small, but appearances can be deceiving. This shop takes tea and coffee very seriously and has even won an award for its Rishi Tea. Tea lovers will find a full two pages of loose-leaf and organic teas. Coffee addicts will be pleased to see the usual favorites like espresso and lattes, but Mojo takes it to the next level with sophisticated drip coffees brewed with the French press and Chemex methods, which produce a purer, sweeter cup without bitterness or sediment. Mojo also specializes in “read-cycling,” that is to say, selling used books. Plenty of great titles in science, history, philosophy and fiction line the shelves waiting for their new homes.
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
4819 E. Busch Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33617
Sacred Grounds is like an Indie paradise and attracts a diverse group of artists, poets, musicians and University of South Florida professors and students. Plushy seats and brightly colored wall art gives the impression that customers are more like guests in someone’s home than coffee shop patrons. Sacred Grounds offers an extensive coffee menu, including espresso, cafe au lait, lattes, cappuccinos, cafe con leche, Americano and hot chocolate. Once you choose your coffee, you can also choose a flavor shot, such as peppermint, pomegranate or white chocolate. Teas, shakes, smoothies and snacks are also on the menu. When you’ve picked out your food, you can check out a book from the Sacred Grounds library and enjoy an afternoon of reading and gourmet coffee.
4500 4th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
It’s been said that reading gives wings to the imagination, and Wings aims to do just that. While Wings is technically considered a bookstore, it also offers group activities like yoga and fitness classes, instructional classes on topics such as meditation and astrology and movie nights. In addition to books, you can also buy music and gifts. If a pleasant afternoon reading is what you seek, you can find all sorts of books, especially those on metaphysical subjects. You can pair your book with something from the coffee bar, such as fair trade espresso, organic tea or a smoothie. Wings’ signature drink is called the Chiacoffski: a blend of chai and espresso that has a spicy-sweet flavor and aroma.
Small Adventures Bookshop
3107 Beach Blvd. S.
Gulfport, FL 33707
Small Adventures doesn’t have an in-store coffee shop, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your caffeine fix while you catch up with your favorite author. This book store is a BYOC — “bring your own coffee” — establishment, so book lovers are welcome to bring their own and sit on the shady deck while they read and sip. Since 1993, Small Adventures has offered books in just about every genre, including mystery, romance, science fiction, thrillers, humor and more.
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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.