Centrally located and full of charm, Seminole Heights is quickly becoming one of Tampa’s most popular neighborhoods.
In 1911, a trolley line connected Seminole Heights to Downtown and Tampa’s first suburb was born. Located only three miles north of Downtown, the many historic buildings create a quirky and welcoming atmosphere. There’s housing available for every budget, from hip studio lofts to lavishly refurbished Craftsman bungalows. Seminole Heights also has the longest stretch of riverfront parkland in the city along the stately Hillsborough River. Popular real estate website Zillow has dozens of listings - be sure to look southeast of the river and west of I-275 for the best selection. There are some absolutely stunning properties available now near River Boulevard and Ola Avenue, which is close to the immensely popular Henry and Ola Park, where the hip Heights crowd plays softball and gets seen with their adorable canine companions.
If you like to eat, drink, and be merry, there’s plenty of options in the Heights. Enjoy local craft beers at Brew Bus Brewing, cocktails at Mandarin Heights, mead and wickedly powerful homemade sangria at the Mermaid Tavern, the artisanal cuisine at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, and traditional Florida recipes meet Cuban street fare at Bodega.
Perfect for either families or active singles, Seminole Heights is an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s still unique and affordable. They even have their own seal - inspired by the legendary two-headed alligator of Tampa Bay!
Ella’s has been a long time staple of Seminole Heights, opened in 2009, this independent eatery, music venue and art gallery is dedicated to nourishing your stomach and your soul. Their menu is filled with comfort food with a unique twist! Check out their Soul Food Sunday menu to indulge in all of your favorite southern staples and as they put it at Ella’s, Praise the lard! They also invite local, regional and nationally beloved musicians to play on their small stage on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights all year long.
When this place opened last July, I rushed there on opening day to get my first taste of a real Tampa Cuban. I was excited to see this brand expand from Downtown St. Pete over to our side of the bridge in Seminole Heights. In my opinion, this is the BEST Cuban sandwich in all of Tampa with authentic flavors and the freshest crisp pickles you will ever taste. Their location in Seminole Heights also offers maduros or candied plantains with a side of spicy mayo that might just change your life. When it comes to refreshments, they have local beers and a full bar but my favorite drink is the Hibby Libby which consists of Hibiscus and Lime frescas.
Don’t hate me but in my opinion, King of the Coop has better-fried chicken than Publix. This new southern-style fried chicken spot has the foodies of Tampa Bay going crazy. With food that looks as good as it tastes, this relatively new hidden gem had to be on my list for Seminole Heights' best restaurants. The Nashville Hot Sandwich is my favorite thing on the menu, with crunchy coleslaw and flavorful spice on the bird, I can understand how they got their name, King of the Coop. I also tried a Florida classic, the Jalapeno Cheddar hush puppies and I was just blown away. These crispy little fried dough balls are absolutely to die for. Head to Seminole Heights to understand why Publix has been knocked down a notch on my list of the best-fried chicken in Tampa.
In the mood for noodles? Tampa’s most authentic ramen restaurant began its reign over the cities, Asian food lovers, back in 2015. With the unique flavors and slow-cooked broth that they fill your bowl with being so delicious, they have expanded into Downtown St. Pete in the last year. However, it all started in Seminole Heights. In my opinion, the best things on the menu are the Karaage, Pork Steamed Buns and Tonkotsu. The Karaage is marinated and fried-to-perfection chicken with a spicy garlic mayo for dipping. The Pork Steamed Bun is a bao bun that will satisfy your every craving for pork belly. My favorite ramen on the menu is the Tonkotsu which consists of pork broth, chasyu asado, menma, scallion, ajitama, mayu, beni shoga. Once you try Ichicoro, you will be headed back for more in no time!
If you’re in the mood for a classy and fun night out in Seminole Heights head to their best craft cocktail bar, Mandarin Heights. This mid-century modern lounge embraces guests with its delectable cocktails, upbeat music, and unique vibe, giving them the best experience possible. Take silly photos in the bathtub and allow their delicious cocktails to take you to new heights on your next night out in Seminole Heights.
The Mermaid Tavern might just be Seminole Heights best-kept secret when it comes to great neighborhood bars. Head in for a vast selection of craft beers, wines, and a laid back environment that's truly one of a kind. If you’re looking for a casual night out, where you can wear leggings and a t-shirt with no makeup on, head to this judgment-free zone and local watering hole for a laidback night out.
Located on Florida Ave in Seminole Heights, The Independent Bar and Cafe provides for a great cafe in the morning and a place to chill in the evening. The food is cafe style and served all day from breakfast through dinner. The bar has everything from draught to bottles and they are always rotating their selection to have some of the best beers from around the world. So if you’re a beer connoisseur head to The Independent to try their vast selection of beers.
Unlike the Independent, which serves mostly as a chill hangout spot for a night out with friends, Medusa Lounge is the newest and hottest nightclub in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. If you like dancing to top DJ's playing the best Latin and Hip-Hop Music in the Bay, you will love spending time at Medusa Lounge! Open Wednesday-Saturday they have themed nights planned for each week.
Wednesday - WiLD OUT WEDNESDAYS - Open format music
Thursday - THROWBACK THURSDAYS - 90's-00's RnB & Hip Hop
Friday - Hype Society's Spanglish FRIYAY's - Hip-Hop VS Latin
Saturday - Seductive Latin Saturdays - Latin
At Brew Bus Brewing, they brew their beer with the same attitude that they approach life with: Take chances and learn from them. When they first obtained their license to give brewery tours with beers on board, they had a hard time deciding which local brand to feature on their tours. That’s when they started their own. Their beers are unique and flavorful, but still approachable! For your next corporate outing, birthday party, anniversary or bachelor/bachelorette party call brew Bus and hop on a tour of Tampa’s finest breweries. They have turned macro beer loyalists into craft beer crusaders so get educated on one of Tampa’s biggest industries.
What do you get when you combine fun games, local beer and tasty eats in Seminole Heights? Nebraska Mini Mart! They offer both bocce ball and shuffleboard for those of you looking to hangout in the summer sun on a Saturday afternoon in Seminole Heights for $5-$12 per person per game. When it comes to beer, they are big supporters of local beers, kegs and frozen drinks that help their customers stay cool in the hot summer months. When it comes to good eats, Nebraska Mini Mart knows all about it! With social snacks, sandwiches to have and hold, the goods and the sugas, they have something to satisfy your every craving. Head to Nebraska Mini Mart this weekend to have a cookout, without having to do any of the work yourself!
If you’re looking for locally made goods, there’s only one place in Seminole Heights to get them and that is The Seminole Heights General Store. When I was a kid I can remember going to general stores in New Hampshire and being fascinated by all of the goods and chachkes. At the one in Seminole Heights, there are locally made jams, wines and goods for you to choose from. It’s a nostalgic place that if your childhood was anything like mine, will bring you back to the good ol days.
At the Vintage Post Marketplace, their passion is for all things vintage. As the old adage says, one person’s trash is another’s treasure and the Vintage Post Marketplace is here to make great designs that last forever. It is a plethora of all that is vintage, repurposed, painted, stained and one of a kind for those who want unique pieces in their homes. If you have an old piece of furniture that has a sentimental meaning but doesn’t exactly fit the new look of your renovated home, bring it to the Vintage Post Marketplace’s consignment area to have it repurposed to fit your home’s new style.
If you’re a shopaholic and you don’t know about Valhalla Resale, you’re doing it all wrong. Never let your closet go stale, enjoy an overabundance of clothing with their “limitless closet” plan. They offer a clothing membership where you pay $39/month and are allowed to borrow three items of clothing at a time for as long as you like. When you're ready for new offerings, bring them back and exchange them for three new ones. Not ready to give up one item yet? Keep it for now and only exchange two items, or buy it and get 20% off the purchase price. And if you’re closet is looking more full than usual, you can also bring the clothing you haven't worn in months to Valhalla and they will purchase it in exchange for store credit.
If you consider yourself artistic, why not learn how to blow glass and make some interesting glass pieces of your own? Phoenix Glass Studio & Gallery offers classes of all different skill levels from beginners who have never worked with glass to experts who are looking for new skill sets to build unique glass pieces for their homes. They also have a beautiful gallery of glass art that is bound to catch your eye. So bring your wallet, because there are gorgeous glass pieces for every style of home.