Coffee/Bakeries in S. Florida?
We're coming to visit from the Pacific Northwest and good coffee is something we've grown very accustomed to. There is a barista, or two, on every corner in Seattle and Portland. We are not looking for chains (e.g. Starbucks) but for local experiences; excuse my naivete about the region but I assume some Cuban coffee drinks are available? Do you have any coffee -- little stands or good baristas -- and any bakeries you might recommend in the places we are staying? (Tampa, Englewood/Port Charlotte/Venice area, Miami, the Keys, Fort Pierce) Many, many thanks for your help, we need to be adequately awakened in the morning in order to enjoy your famous Florida hospitality. John
In Miami, Cuban coffee is everywhere. But the nicest Cuban coffee shop, in Brickell, Tinta y Cafe, is American influenced, and comfortable compared to the others (usually in restaurants or bakeries). It gives off a good vibe.
Also, for American style coffee shop in Miami, there's Out of the Blue Cafe close by Midtown which is spacious, in a house, and is also comfortable. There's free wi-fi and good coffeeshop food (made by the Jewish Argentinian owner).
Others in Miami are Joffrey's (not sure if they fully converted into a restaurant though), Luna Star Cafe (in North Miami Beach), Cafetto (Miami Beach), Segafredo on Lincoln Rd. (although I'm not sure how true of a coffee shop Segafredo is), and the South Florida gelato chain Dolce Vita also serves up a good cuppa joe.
Oh and for bakeries (sorry, forgot to mention that), South Florida is not well regarded for its bakeries unless if you simply don't compare them with what's out West since it's in a category of its own. They're Latin (which means you can also get coffee there too).
The following is for the Miami area although I'm not sure where you'll be staying at.
Little Buenos Aires Bakery by 69 St and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach serves good Argentinian pastries such as facturas (try it with cream cheese - they have 3 or 4 other flavors as well). There's Karlo Bakery on Coral Way in Miami - good quiche and mousse. For Venezuelan, there's Biscotti in Doral (NW 107th Avenue and 58th St).
There's probably a lot of other options since there's a bakery on every corner, but again, as I stressed before, just not the type you'll find out West.
After I posted I realized I should have pointed out we are staying in/on the edge of Little Havana/Downtown Miami. We are also staying downtown St. Pete, not in Tampa. Although our bakeries in the NW are European in general, I love trying different things (e.g. your Little Buenos Aires Bakery) ... oh, and the wifi suggestion is helpful.
Then you definitely must get a cafe con leche from Tinta y Cafe (268 SW Eighth Street, just east of the I95 exit). Also, if you are indeed driving down to the Keys from Miami, there's a french bakery in the Kings Bay shopping center at US1 and SW 144 Street that has coffee like in Paris and very delicious sweets and french baguettes.
The traditional thing to do would be to get a cafecito from the window of one of the Cuban places along Calle Ocho (8th Street - Little Havana). Here's a reasonably accurate guide to the different variants of Cuban coffee ->
Note that they are all sweetened - heavily so - unless you ask otherwise ("sin azucar").