7 Places In The Tampa Bay Area To Expand Your Foodie Experience

7 Places In The Tampa Bay Area To Expand Your Foodie Experience

Need help picking out where to go for dinner?
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Picking out a cool spot to dine out is always tricky, especially when there are hundreds of places to dine out in the Tampa Bay Area. In the past year I have been on the hunt to find unique and local restaurants that serve delicious food and provide a great atmosphere to get together with friends, family or your significant other. Here’s a list of some great food places in the Tampa Bay area.

1. Datz- Tampa, Florida

Datz is probably one of my favorite finds in Tampa. With an eccentric menu with things like burgers with mac 'n' cheese buns, or a doughnut burger. The atmosphere is unique and gives off an urban and hip feeling.

2. Dough- Tampa, Florida

After an amazing meal at Datz you can stroll on over next door to Dough and end the night with a delicious treat. Dough is owned by Datz. Dough has a bright and colorful interior. You can make a choice of a variety of unique and delicious treats such as Lucky Charms Cheesecake, S’more’s Doughnuts and Fruity Pebble ice cream. If you do stop by what all the hype is about on the ice cream doughnut cones. If you really want to expand your taste buds, Dough is the perfect place to go with friends, family or your significant other.


3. Chocolate Pi- Tampa, Florida

If you are a chocolate aficionado like me, then Chocolate Pi is the place for you. This small and dainty restaurant located in South Tampa. Here they make homemade sodas on the spot, and with a menu that changes constantly you have to opportunity to try something new each visit- or stick with your favorite treat. Here I highly suggest trying one of their Mason Jar desserts where they layer different ingredients like brownie, salted caramel, vanilla bean custard or toasted meringue.

4. Ciccio Cali- Brandon, Florida

If you are looking for a lighter, healthier meal Ciccio’s is known for their variety of different bowls that are bursting with flavor from the "Gigante" with avocado-glazed buffalo chicken, to the Vegan bowl containing a medley of fresh veggies topped with a lemon agave vinaigrette. In addition to their bowl culture they offer other options like stir-fry, wraps, salads and pizza. On the weekends they offer a brunch menu with options like an amazing French toast waffle pretzel or their new gluten free pancakes.

5. Ichicoro- Seminole Heights, Florida

Instead of your ordinary ramen packets from the grocery store head on over to Ichicoro where you can try a big and flavorful bowl of freshly made ramen. The ambiance is very urban and upbeat, however they have a six person per party limit, making it a good date spot or place to catch up with a close friend.

6. Eddie & Sam's NY Pizza- Tampa, Florida

Now if you are a New Yorker like me, you would truly appreciate Eddie & Sam’s. They are located a block from the Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon waterfront park in downtown Tampa. What makes Eddie & Sam’s one of the most authentic and unique place in Tampa is the fact that they have water shipped from New York City to make their pizza dough — if that isn’t authentic then what is?


7. Oxford Exchange- Tampa, Florida

Oxford Exchange, or OE, is located across the street from the University of Tampa. Oxford Exchange is popular for their wide variety of coffee and tea. The atmosphere of Oxford Exchange is very light and modern, with a conservatory with live plants and natural sunlight. Oxford Exchange is a great spot to have brunch with the girls or celebrate a birthday.

If you are not in the mood for eating you can study in their lounge or browse their store located in the front of the building.

Cover Image Credit: Don Sullivan

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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