tampa mom & pop businesses

Happy to be at Datz, but let's be real, this is my face anytime food is involved!

If you don't know your city's local gems, then you aren't living right! Check out my lists below for my favorite food, chill, and beauty spots located throughout the Tampa Bay area!

Island Cuisine

  • Dunns River Island Cafe in Tampa - Their Dunns River Island Fried Chicken is second to none; deep fried then finished with a sweet gravy, this is by far my favorite Jamaican restaurant in the Tampa Bay area.

  • Box of Cubans in Riverview - I discovered this gem when they first opened & it was Brandon's best kept secret! Their warm breakfast sandwiches, potent coffee, and well-seasoned steak bowls are amazing! It's ran by a wonderful couple who truly take the time to get to know their customers.

  • Moreno Bakery in Brandon - From breakfast, to baked goods, to empanadas, this Hispanic bakery is a gem that also serves food. Their media noche sandwich is one of my favorites!

  • La Casa Del Chimi in Riverview - This Dominican restaurant is my favorite; the owners are friendly & wonderful! Their fried pork/chicken chunks & mofongo are delicious!

  • Tropical Cuisine in Riverview - This charming restaurant has some of the best shrimp mofongo I've ever had and very genrous portions! The mashed green banana is mixed with pork cracklings and has the perfect amount of garlic. I also love their yuca mash.

Thai Cuisine

  • Thai Xpress in Brandon - I love their spicy basil fried rice & pad thai!

  • Thai Chili Pepper in Brandon - Their lemon grass honey chicken is my favorite Thai dish right now! Crispy, sweet chicken over a bed of perfectly cooked veggies! Mmm

  • Lemon Grass Thai Kitchen in Brandon and South Tampa - They also have great spicy basil fried rice & their chicken wings & ginger chicken are also to die for!


  • Networking Leads Coffee House in Tampa - Not only does this local coffee shop have delicious coffee and food (their chicken salad sandwich is next level) but they also host a ton of cool networking events, allowing for locals to connect with one another!

  • Spaddy's Coffee in Seminole Heights - I love their coffee, tea, and smoothies (when available); the owner is a great guy & delivers wonderful customer service each time!

Sweet Treats

  • Hole In One Donuts in Brandon and Plant City - Enjoy freshly made donuts and coffee from this local gem

  • Remi's Mini Donut Factory in Brandon - So many interesting choices but my favorite is the white chocolate raspberry which is topped with an actual raspberry

  • Datz or Dough in Tampa - Next door to one another, the first is a popular brunch spot, while the latter offers baked goods

  • Revolution Ice Cream in Brandon and Tampa - Euro Trash is my favorite flavor but there are many other interesting options, including vegan choices

Food Halls

This concept is the new wave and Tampa has quickly joined in - each hall houses local vendors/chefs, allowing them to offer a variety of delicious foods. If you and your significant other, family or friends can't ever agree on a place to eat, this will solve your problems & is complete with great ambiance!

  • Armature Works

  • Sparkman Wharf

  • Hall on Franklin

Beauty Services

  • BeauTeax3 servicing the Tampa Bay area - Need your makeup done for a special occasion or lessons on how to do your own face? Amanda Melendez is your girl; reach out to her via Instagram for scheduling & be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel for tutorials and tips!

  • ShellzMinxx in Tampa - Operating out of Royal'ti Hair Studios, visit her Instagram to book an appointment & see her flawless lash extension applications!

  • True Beauty Hair Salon in Brandon - I always knew this talented beauty would end up owning her own salon! Visit her Facebook page to book a range of services, including hair, hair color, hair/lash extensions, microblading, and bridal makeup; the perfect one-stop shop!

  • Project Moment Designs - This beautiful mommy daughter duo creates optimistic infused jewelry. They offer a variety of crystals and gemstones, which if you know me, you know that's right up my alley! I met these lovely women at a networking event where they spoke positive affirmations over my life, a moment I'll never forget! I purchased their crystal gold beaded bracelet and it's now part of my daily stack. I also purchased the crystal shine pendant necklace & cannot wait to wear it! I wanted to buy everything LOL but be on the lookout for some exciting collaborations that we have coming soon!

Support these amazing local business owners the next time you want to grab coffee, a bite to eat, or get some self-maintenance taken care of!

"I am my own muse.

I am the subject I know best.

The subject I want to better." 

-Frida Kahlo