From Art to Zoot: Tampa Offers an Eclectic Array of Independent Shops

In the last decade or so, the shopping malls and big box stores in Tampa just seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Today, the city features all the big retail names from Neiman Marcus to Ikea, but there are still lots of eclectic and unique independent retailers that offer visitors value and variety. This 10 Best list spotlights just a small sample of these proud small businesses that showcase Tampa's creative spirit and offer some of the best shopping in the city. 

Many of the shops on this list are not just retail outlets, they are destinations in themselves hosting special events, classes, and/or a cafe space. One of the newest of these shops is the Blind Tiger Cafe. This unique retail space features a deluxe coffee bar with snacks AND the locally designed and US manufactured clothing line from Black & Denim. 

Another unique options is Inkwood Books, the leading independent bookseller in town where famous authors consistently stop by to read from their new works and autograph copies. They also have a wonderful selection of Floridiana for visitors looking to achieve a more in-depth understanding of the culture and history of the Sunshine State. Check their website for upcoming events.

Outside the city

It's hard to think of Tampa and not think of all the fresh fruits and veggies you can find here. Located just a 20 minute drive from downtown Tampa, family-owned Parkesdale Farms has been growing and gifting fresh citrus, strawberries and...  Read More

Tampa is a gateway for all kinds of exciting adventures and features many independent outfitters. One of them is Adventure Outfitters who specialize in water sports including scuba diving, free diving, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. For...  Read More

Blind Tiger Cafe/Black & Denim
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

The Blind Tiger Cafe is one of Tampa's most unique retail spaces. Combining a cafe, clothing store and co-work space, this trendy spot promises to quickly become one of Ybor City's favorite gathering spots. The cafe features Tampa's own Buddy...  Read More

Inkwood Books

In today's current literary climate, a good independent bookstore is worth its weight in gold, and that's exactly what Inkwood is. People who are serious about books, including famous authors themselves, can be found perusing the shelves at this...  Read More

Seminole Heights

Located just north of downtown Tampa, Rustic Steel Creations is a gallery/workshop that showcases the work of local artist, Dominique Martinez. Martinez is a welding artist who takes odd bits of junk metal and transforms them into unique and...  Read More

Columbia Restaurant Gift Shop
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

Located next door to the famous Tampa dining institution, the Columbia Restaurant, is the Columbia Restaurant Shop. The Shop allows visitors to take home gifts and souvenirs to remind them of Tampa and their one-of-a-kind dining experience at...  Read More

You can't visit Tampa, the cigar capital of the US, without taking home a souvenir of the area's tobacco-rich heritage. King Corona has been in business for six generations and has the most extensive collection of cigars and cigar-related...  Read More

Singing Stone Gallery
Photo courtesy of Dan Balk/Singing Stone

The Singing Stone is a contemporary art gallery and working studio located in Tampa's historic district, Ybor City, featuring the unique jewelry designs of Dan Balk. Balk's bold and contemporary designs have won awards and been admitted to many...  Read More

Seminole Heights
Cleanse Apothecary

Cleanse Apothecary is located in Tampa's trendy, up-and-coming Seminole Heights neighborhood, just north of downtown. A beautifully curated bath and body boutique featuring quality products from around the world, this shop makes you feel...  Read More

Oxford Exchange
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

The Oxford Exchange is 25,000 square feet of mixed-use space that combines a bookstore and gift store with specialty coffee and tea vendors to create a unique shopping experience. Originally built in 1891 as stables for the nearby Plant Hotel...  Read More


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no...  More About Skye

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