There aren’t many places around town where you can grab a drip coffee, Cuban bread and a fresh-baked pastry every day at 6:30AM. In fact, La Segunda Bakery and Café may be one of the only places making those kinds of dreams come true, in general. The St. Pete bakery, which opened in March, is La Segunda’s third location in the Tampa Bay area. The original spot is stationed in Ybor City and opened its doors back in 1915. Four generations later, and the coveted bakery is still family owned and operated to this day.
The bakery’s newest location in St. Pete planted roots along busy 4th St. N. in the vicinity of Crescent Heights. Indoor and outdoor seating is available with about 40 seats in each area. They’re open daily for breakfast and lunch with the option of ordering either anytime. There is a focus on carryout at this location which was quite evident as dozens of early birds arrived to claim their orders while we were there at 7:30AM on a Sunday.
The walls of the bakery are adorned with photos and rich history of the establishment’s 100 plus year past. The staff at La Segunda are the utmost nice and hospitable. For example, my husband forgot to order coffee when we originally ordered and when he went up to the counter again to order, he was given a drip coffee for free. It’s the little things.
There is no larger producer of Cuban bread in the world than La Segunda Bakery. They’re baking up 18,000 loaves per day and not only do they distribute throughout Tampa Bay, but also throughout the country. In fact, you can order their bread here on their website for nationwide shipping.
With the wide array of baked goods so beautifully lined up to greet you as you approach the counter to order, good luck making a decision. We were overwhelmed, in a good way, and therefore sought recommendations from the experts. We were told that they’re known for their Guava pastries and we were pointed specifically in the direction of the Guava Cheese Turnover. The Cinnamon Roll was also excitedly pointed out so we asked for one of each.
The Guava Cheese Turnover is exactly how it sounds – guava and cream cheese filled flakey puff pastry. It’s delicate and vibrant all at the same time with profound notes of guava. Ultra luscious and a must-order. The Cinnamon Roll didn’t disappoint at all either. Pillowy-soft dough wrapped in ribbons of cinnamon and a heavy drizzle of sticky and delicious icing. Good luck choosing a favorite between those two delicacies because I sure can’t.
Other breakfast favorites at La Segunda St. Petersburg are the Avocado Toast and the Breakfast sandwich which can conveniently be customized to your liking. I opted for the Avocado toast which is comprised of toasted cuban bread, sundried tomato paste, avocados and crushed red pepper. This might be my new favorite way to enjoy avocado toast. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like my avocado toast to be loaded with an ice cream scoop of avocado on now-soggy toast and a myriad of other ingredients. I want my toast the way La Segunda does it ten times out of ten. The bread is toasted, thin and quite lite with a very thin layer of the sundried tomato paste and avocado slices evenly applied on top. It’s simple, yet satisfying.
As I mentioned earlier, the breakfast sandwich can be customized, which makes this a user friendly experience for all. Choose your protein, toppings and cheese and then enjoy your creation prepared between toasted cuban bread slices. We enjoy a breakfast sandwich in its purist form, for the most part, with sausage, scrambled egg and cheddar cheese. Best enjoyed with the occasional drizzle of Texas Pete’s hot sauce.
On a different occasion we enjoyed a take-home meal from La Segunda. This time we danced around with the lunch menu. I wanted a salad and my husband, a sandwich. My initial thought was that I was craving the Cuban Cobb salad which has shredded lettuce, ham, pork, salami, swiss, cuban bread, croutons and choice of dressing. We were informed that it was a very meat-heavy salad so I shifted gears. Instead, I order the Spanish Salad with romaine, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, green olive, onion, tomatoes, croutons, cuban bread and choice of dressing. It satisfied my cravings and was enough to share between two of us with some salad leftover for lunch the next day.
During our first visit to La Segunda, it was shared with us that the Tampa Steak Sandwich is quite note worthy and popular with patrons. With marinated steak, provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and peppers with fire sauce and Cuban bread, we couldn’t not give it a try. By the time we arrived home to enjoy it, it was still piping hot and bursting with gooey melted cheese. The sandwich is plentiful – enough to share in my opinion. It’s easy to understand why this sandwich is a favorite of many.
Not only can you enjoy all three of La Segunda’s locations throughout Tampa Bay, but you can also bring a part of their bakery to you via catering. Enjoy sandwich trays, breakfast pastries, appetizers, salads and more including sides, desserts, boxed lunches and beverages.
If you plan to check them out, my words of advice are: the earlier, the better. They often sell out of items like their pastries and desserts and lunchtime draws a very large crowd naturally. Start your day at La Segunda and get the worm before the other birds. Perhaps enjoy a Cafe con leche and some Cuban toast before the bustling day unfolds – perhaps around 7:00AM or so. Bask in some history in their cafe and slowly wind into your day. You’ll quickly realize why this place has the famed reputation that it does.
La Segunda Bakery is baking history daily in Ybor, South Tampa and St. Petersburg. Explore authentic, freshly-made Cuban bread, pastries and foods.