This holiday season we encourage everyone in Tampa to support local businesses. If you’re looking for one of a kind gifts for those special folks on your shopping lists, look no further than the plethora of makers markets set for December.
We at That’s So Tampa decided to compile an Editor’s Choice list of our favorite local shops in Tampa. These spots offer art, cards, prints, candles, books, toys, and group experiences. Treat yourself while supporting your community.
If you love local art, make sure you’re following Tampa Arts Alliance. They’ve launched a Buy Tampa Art campaign and continue to promote and spotlight creators in our community.
We also wanted to provide a shoutout to the sponsors who help make That’s So Tampa possible. Be sure to show love to the incredible Bliss Wellness Market this season. Our friends over the bridge at Zubrick Magic Theatre also put on one of the most incredible magic shows you’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect family-friendly activity here in the Tampa Bay region.
The holiday season has kicked off and the Tampa Bay Festival of Lights is officially back. Explore more than 2 miles of decorations featuring more than one million lights total. Our friends over at 13 Ugly Men also have their wild Ugly Sweater Party set for December 10.
Support your local bookstores! Mojo is the perfect spot for the bibliophile and audiophile on your list. They have an abundance of new and used books, and a huge collection of records (from classics to contemporary). I’m a bit of a book nerd so my favorite gift to get is a fresh read. Mojo has been a part of the fabric of Tampa for years, so we can’t think of a better spot to support this season.
If you’re looking for some extra cash, Mojo also buys/trades records and books, too. The shop offers gift cards in case you’re not entirely sure what to get when you visit.
2554 E Fowler Ave | website
Fancy Free Nursery
We all know someone with a green thumb. You can find a proverbial jungle inside Fancy Free Nursery, a dreamy and lovingly curated plant shop in Tampa Heights . The gifts may be hard to wrap, but that plant person on your list is totally worth it.
Fancy Free owners also know how to craft the perfect wedding atmosphere, and offer workshops in their store. This store is also just a wonder to explore on its own. 10 minutes in Fancy Free provides a full revive for me.
1502 N Florida Ave | website
Taxidermy. Books. Oddities. Pinball Machines. Curiosities. What more could you ask for. If you want some eclectic and out of this world I highly recommend you visit Tiger Dust. If for no other reason that that they have a rotating roster of pinball machines and arcade games set to free play. This locally owned shop only recently made its debut in Tampa, but I can guarantee you won’t find the treasures in Tiger Dust anywhere else.
Be sure to visit their sister shop in the heart of historic Ybor City. Dysfunctional Grace (1903 E 7th Avenue) has been serving up oddities and curiosities to SW Florida for over 15 years.
4222 N Florida Ave Suite B | website
We all need to pamper ourselves. Maison Glo is a dreamy facial bar that helps every glow. Owner Amy Drehsen has a passion for her work, and its emblematic in every square inch of their brand new space in South Tampa. They offer memberships at just $59 per month. Members enjoy 10% off retail products, 10% off enhancements, a free facial to gift to a friend, a special birthday surprise and more.
Add LED light therapy, dermaglo, blackhead extraction, replenish with a collagen stem cell under eye treatment, and more Glo-getter treatments. Gift cards are available, and it’s a perfect space to host intimate events.
1202 S Church Ave | website
If you want to bring dessert to a holiday function, or find that perfect sweet treat that lets your host know you care, then you need to visit Sucre Table. this locally owned bakery and coffee shop is home to the very best desserts and pastries in the city. Renowned pastry chef Brenda Villacorta is behind the concept, and brings her passion for pastries to our ever growing community. The brick-and-mortar originally opened in 2020, and in just a couple of years it has grown into a must visit destination for foodies in the area.
Want beautiful bouquets and orchids made of sugar? This bakery can bring the carnations to sweet life for your next cake. The artistry on display here is unparalleled — it’s the kind of dessert that’s almost a shame to stick a fork into.
4048 W Kennedy Blvd | website
Dark Door Spirits
Dark Door Spirits is a distillery in Tampa that creates gin, vodka, and pure bourbon whiskey — and the venue located at 6608 Anderson Road hosts distillery tours, bottle your own bourbon/gin classes, and local vendor markets. This is the destination to find the perfect bottle for the spirit expert on your list.
This spot might be one of the best kept secrets in the city of Tampa. For the past several years, this distillery has upped the city of Tampa’s profile as a hot spot for spirit aficionados. Visitors can enjoy tours of the distillery (just $15).
6608 Anderson Road | website
The Far Forest
The Far Forest is a new bookstore and vintage shop in the booming Seminole Heights neighborhood — and you can visit it at 6611 North Nebraska Avenue. This enchanting small business debuted in 2020, and offers handpicked vintage books, sustainable fashion, local art and home decor, and locally handcrafted self care products for you to bring home.
“Our dream is to be a place where we can gather and share ideas, listen to music and book readings,” notes The Far Forest team. In times like these when we are partitioned off from one another, it’s through the exchange of art and books that we remain connected.
6611 N Nebraska Avenue | website
Kahwa is one of the original independent coffee roasters here in the Tampa Bay region. For nearly 20 years this shop has served Tampa, St. Pete, and beyond. Kahwa has convenient locations across our most popular areas, and they have generously crafted gift boxes, gift cards, stylish art coffee tins, and holiday blends to make the caffeine lover in your life’s day.
Enjoy great roasts, baked goods, my personal favorite the Flybiscus Tea, or just post up at one of their luxurious cafes.
Various locations across Tampa | website
Seventh Avenue Apothecary
These candles are phenomenal. The Seventh Avenue Apothecary pours can enchant an entire home. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer, romantic gift, or treat for yourself.
Seventh Avenue Apothecary is a family-owned business following in the spirit of 5 generations of Tampa business owners. Phala and Jessica are a mother-daughter team with passion. The candle manufacturing site is located in a historic building that was once a family dry cleaners, on the East end of Ybor City. Seventh Avenue Apothecary artisan-made candles are created by using American grown soybeans sourced in the United States.
3810 E 7th Avenue | website
The Tampa Theatre is my local happy place. The gorgeous brick facade and towering, illuminated marquee are downtown icons. Seeing a film at The Tampa Theatre is unlike any other movie going experience around. An organist performs on the stage before and screening/event, and slowly descends down into the basement as the show begins.
It’s a space ripe with history (and haunts). So what’s better than gifting someone the experience of seeing a film here. I know I would want to see a Tampa Theatre gift card in my stocking.
711 N Franklin Street | website
Tampa Bay History Center
Tampa Bay History Center may be the most underrated spot in Tampa. This gorgeous, multi level museum is located right along the Tampa Riverwalk and is filled to the brim with local history. It’s also a highly active events space where historians provide captivating panel discussions, lectures, and historic walking tours.
The fabulous venue also has its very own Columbia Restaurant, and a gift shop filled with items that every local should have, and every out of towner will want.
801 Water Street | website