Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Oxford Exchange: My New Favorite Spot in Tampa

The Oxford Exchange is my new favorite place in Tampa.

First, there are books. Not just any books, but a well curated selection of books on interesting subjects well displayed with helpful hints from bookstore staff. The room is light filled and comfy chairs give you a spot to peruse your selections. I couldn't leave without at least a couple new books to add to the pile on my bedside table.

Then, a walk down a richly, wood paneled hallway leads to a coffee/tea bar featuring local favorites Buddy Brew Coffee and Tebella Tea. There are large sofas, comfy chairs, high top tables, and bar seating. There was a nice vibe in the air as friends and associates chatted over a cup of brew. Jerry and I sat at a high-table and enjoyed an espresso and iced coffee before heading to ...

...the restaurant. Chef Erin Guggino creates fresh, simple, flavorful meals served in a high-ceilinged, high-windowed room or the adjacent atrium. The menu emphasizes seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. Currently, it is open for breakfast and lunch (I bet regulars secretly hope they start opening for dinner).  Jerry had the chicken chili. I had a delicious, light fish soup. And, we shared the spicy fried chick peas. Yum.

And last, but not least, are the treasures waiting to be found at the Shop at Oxford Exchange. The shop has a smart collection of home d├ęcor pieces, vintage finds, and gifts.  

The Oxford exchange is located in a lovingly restored old building across the street from the University of Tampa at 420 West Kennedy.  Parking is available on the Grand Central Avenue side of the building.  The Oxford is open until 5:30 PM, Monday - Saturday and 5:00 PM on Sunday, so no date nights for us there...yet. 

For more information as to hours, menu, and offerings: Visit them on twitter at @oxfordexchange. 

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