House of Vegano has a new spot in St. Pete, Tampa gets Michelin stars, and more local foodie news

And the City of Tampa hosts its first Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Festival this weekend.

click to enlarge Koya, which earned one of Tampa's three Michelin stars Thursday night. - Photo via Koya
Photo via Koya
Koya, which earned one of Tampa's three Michelin stars Thursday night.


Honeycomb Cafe Weekday mornings in downtown Tampa’s West River neighborhood just got a little bit sweeter. Since its soft opening on April 19, Honeycomb Cafe has become a welcome place for those looking to grab a handcrafted espresso before heading into the office. It’s also an excellent place to work remotely, with free wifi and outlets for your laptop to boot. For now, the cafe has a well curated selection of pastries from Romano’s Bakery out of Boca Raton, but the goal for the near future is to offer a selection of breakfast sandwiches made on premise. Honeycomb Cafe is the brainchild and passion project of beloved Tampa resident Krystal Ralph, who got her start as a barista in the late-’90s when she was an apprentice at a tattoo parlor and worked at a coffee shop in the mornings to make ends meet. 1001 W Cass St., Tampa. @hoochandhive on Instagram.—Jourdan Ducat

Zipperz Bar St. Pete's annual Pride celebration is right around the corner, and a new spot to pre-game the parade just opened its doors in the waterfront town of Gulfport. Zipperz—formerly known as "Pepperz" before it shut down in 2020—recently opened right around the corner from popular music venue The Blueberry Patch. General Manager Tom Grant tells CL that while his bar is LGBTQ-operated and covered in Pride colors, folks from all walks of life are invited to share drinks and take up space on Zipperz' massive dance floor. Gulfport's newest hotspot offers all of the expected beers, wines and cocktails, in addition to weekly specials that pay homage to now-closed gay bars in St. Pete. Zipperz offers massive Long Island iced teas on Thursdays in honor of Georgie's Alibi and 32-ounce margaritas on Tuesdays, just like St. Pete's Flamingo's Resort used to feature. 4918 22nd Ave. S, Gulfport. Zipperz Bar on Facebook

House of Vegano St. Pete’s beloved vegan sushi purveyor made its highly-anticipated debut at its new space last week. House of Vegano soft opened at its new Central Avenue restaurant on Friday, May 5, to the delight of plant-based foodies across the Bay. Owner and head chef Thalia Tatham traded her Frida Kahlo mural for a massive painting of her own face, which decorates one wall of the new restaurant’s dining room. House of Vegano's new Central Avenue space boasts a much higher capacity than its now-closed flagship location, plus a few bar seats so guests can watch their sushi being rolled. House of Vegano describes itself as "a fresh, creative and sustainable interpretation of Japanese-inspired cuisine." 1990 Central Ave.,St. Petersburg. @houseofvegano on Instagram

Coming soon

St. Pete’s Duckweed Urban Grocery According to St. Pete Rising, Duckweed Urban Grocery will debut its new 2,200 square-foot Pinellas location inside of the Tru by Hilton hotel, adjacent to Lolita’s Wine Market and Zaytoon Grill. St. Pete's Duckweed grocery is slated to open by the end of this year. Duckweed carries a wide variety of dry goods, from-scratch vegan food from The Farmacy, keto-friendly dishes, pet supplies, fresh produce, and a wide range of beverages. Its recently-opened Davis Islands storefront also sells beer and wine, in addition to housing a counter for local butcher The Boozy Pig. The ‘Burg’s debut Duckweed will be its sixth location throughout the Bay area, with outposts in downtown Tampa, Channelside, Westshore and Davis Islands. 1650 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.


30 Mother’s Day brunches, parties and events happening throughout Tampa Bay From decadent waterfront brunches and pre-fixe fine dining menus, to laid-back yoga sessions and vendor markets, there’s events happening this weekend for every type of mom. Here are a few Mother’s Day festivities that are happening at restaurants, hotels and other beautiful venues throughout Tampa Bay. And if brunches bore you, there’s tons of other activities to partake in, like discounted admission to The James Museum, Florida Aquarium and Fairgrounds St. Pete, plus free rides on the Pirate Water Taxi (with the purchase of a child or adult ticket.)

Cipriano Zonin’s grand opening pizza giveaway New mobile pizzeria Cipriano Zonin celebrates its grand opening on Friday, May 19 at Tiny Tap Tavern—located at 2105 W Morrison Ave. Guests are encouraged to RSVP for its debut night on The new concept is celebrating its grand opening in tandem with National Pizza Party Day by giving away 500 free slices of its beloved ‘za next weekend. 300 slices will be given away at Tiny Tap on Friday between 5 p.m.-8 p.m., while another 200 will be dished out at Water Street Tampa’s “Pawty in the Plaza” event on Saturday, May 20 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Besides its 22-inch cheese and pepperoni pies, the mobile pizzeria is also known for its Sicilian cream sauce and a wine and cheese sausage native to Northern Italy called Luganega. Its Sicilian cream sauce pizza is also topped with EVOO, spinach, fresh mozzarella, and pecorino romano cheese.

Black Radish’s 3rd birthday party We just lost the St. Petersburg storefront of Tampa Bay’s beloved plant-based deli-grocer Black Radish. Luckily, the N 12th Street location is still going strong in Tampa’s V.M. Ybor. It celebrates a third year in business with mocktails, plant-based treats from Tume, and Emo Night Tampa DJs playing select tunes. The event is free, but proceeds from food and drinks benefit Shelter Farm Sanctuary, a vegan, Arcadia-based nonprofit that provides a home for farm animals. There's no cover to attend the Black Radish 3rd Birthday in Tampa on Saturday, May 13. 2923 N 12th St., Tampa.—Josh Bradley

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Festival This massive celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander culture, tradition and history happens at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. This event is family-friendly and free to attend, but you might want to bring cash for its multitude of local food and merchandise vendors. The City of Tampa hosts this cultural celebration to honor this year’s installment of Asian American Pacific Islander (stylized as "AAPI") Heritage month. Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy dances, traditional music, martial arts demonstrations and other performances on the big stage, while partaking in other cultural workshops and activities. According to the event's organizers, there will be dozens of food trucks and vendors dishing out delectable eats from countries like Japan, Korea, China, and the Philippines. 600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa.


The Tampa Bay Lightning’s beer festival, Bolts Brew Fest, returns to Amalie Arena this summer The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t hoist the Stanley Cup this year (someone else needs a turn), but the three-time champs will give fans a chance to drown their sorrows this summer when they host the 6th Annual Bolts Brew Fest in downtown Tampa. The full brewery lineup for Bolts Brew Fest—set for Friday, Aug. 11 and hosted together with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay—has yet to be announced, but more than 50 breweries are expected to sample their wares. Oversized games, stein hoisting, giveaways plus Lightning in-game host Greg Wolf and Thunderbug are also in the lineup for the event which takes place on the arena floor and concourse. Tickets for Bolts Brew Fest at Amalie Arena go on sale Friday, May 12 at 10 a.m. and start at $50 for general admission (GA, 8 p.m. entry).—Ray Roa

Tampa restaurants Koya, Lilac and Rocca earn city's first ever Michelin stars
Tampa’s Koya, Lilac and Rocca all earned stars during the Florida Michelin Guide 2023 unveiling at LoanDepot Park last night. The trio was among four Florida restaurants that earned their first stars, along with Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt in Miami Beach. The ceremony kicked off with Bib Gourmands and special Michelin awards—where two Tampa folks took home red Michelin trophies and black chef jackets. Matthew Braden, general manager of Tampa Edition’s signature restaurant Lilac, received the “Best Service Award,” while Christina Theofilos—head chef and owner of South Tampa’s Psomi—received the “Best Young Chef” award. The Greek restaurant that’s “influenced by the world,” was awarded a Bib Gourmand earlier this month alongside New Tampa Nepali restaurant Gorkhali Kitchen. Two Tampa restaurants maintained their Bib Gourmand status from 2022: Proper House Group’s Rooster & the Till kept their bibs alongside recently-closed ramen hotspot Ichicoro.

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About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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