Perched in wrought-iron chairs at a gleaming marble bar, students and artists sip coffee, sharing inspiration and plans for upcoming projects. Nearby, Tampa Bead Cafe's instructors preside over a range of jewelry-crafting materials, which provide the necessary hardware to follow up on the grand artistic plans under discussion. Beneath the terra cotta–hued walls, shelves brim with beads, metal chains, and wire, as well as less conventional media such as metal clay and polymers.
The staff guides visitors along racks of bracelet and necklace supplies, and exclamations of happiness drift from a classroom, where teachers introduce specific styles, such as kumihimo. Students to use real tools such as pliers, cutters, and magnifiers to intimidate their jewelry into making itself, and most courses end with the creation of piece for pupils to treasure. A roster of guest artists, who have included polymer-clay artist Christi Friesen and Maria Rypan, lead style and material-specific workshops.
Britans Yogurt Mill tempts sweet teeth with troves of trans-Atlantic treats and healthy, probiotic substitutes with a regularly-rotating cast of flavors. Britans' stash of Only 8 frozen yogurt, free of fats, sugars, cholesterol, and lava, packs 48 calories per small serving ($2.50) and 64 calories per medium cup ($3.25), letting sweet-seekers indulge without sabotaging waistlines. Churn spoons over gobs of Working Cow Ice Cream ($2.65–$3.95), Florida's own boutique dairy blend brimming with fruit, chocolate, and nuts; or expand horizons with Britans' import selection of candy ($1.25–$5.25) and biscuits from England and South Africa.
With a history that dates back to early-20th-century Chicago, Landers Steakhouse now introduces Tampa townies to dinner and lunch fare hearty enough to withstand the Windy City. Dinner centerpieces include the 20-ounce T-bone ($19), the aged 7-ounce filet mignon ($17), and the twin coldwater lobster tails ($22), which finish each others’ sentences and have an identical taste in overalls. During lunch, steaks coexist with lighter fare, such as fried grouper sandwiches ($9) and vegetarian wraps ($6). Landers’ efficient staff can also deliver cocktails, such as caramel appletinis ($9) or vodka-infused french-vanilla lattes ($8), both of which loosen tongues in time for yodeling contests that determine who gets the check.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
The spirited wine bar fetes grown-up grape-juice lovers of all varietals with a plethora of deliciously fermented beverages and savory eats alongside a cozy smoking room ideal for enjoying top-brand cigars. Settle in at one of the hardwood high-top tables or along the timber-culled bar with the mediterranean flatbread teeming with feta cheese, chicken, creamy hummus, and a smattering of kalamata olives ($8), or grab hold of the bumble-bee banini buzzing with a white-albacore-tuna medley in a warm, bready embrace ($7). Like Derrida's interpretation of Dr. Seuss, the deconstructed salad breaks down a list of ingredients for creative herbivores to choose from, including monterey cheese, sundried tomatoes, black olives, and a choice of drizzled dressing ($6). Myriad wine tapas such as the smoked salmon ($9), artisan cheese ($8), and toast-point trio ($6) complement the varied vineyard delights available in the fermentation emporium.
Gelateria del Duomo siphons authentic Italian culinary culture directly into its artisan gelato and handcrafted espresso drinks. As pairs or quartets stroll into the store, alluring espresso aroma piques noses' interest, and 20 flavors of creamy treats—one for each second science has proven it takes to order gelato with gelato already in the mouth—lie in wait within a gleaming glass case. Each made fresh daily with a combination of natural and imported Italian aliments, the gelato varieties reflect both authentic Italian and innovative modern flavors. Crumbled cookies star in the biscottino, and the salted-caramel flavor delights palates with its complexity. Dive into chocolaty possibility with flavors that add spicy heat, ginger, and orange to the classic favorite. Commiserate on shared favorites, or coerce friends to order something different for adventurous gelato swapping and more flavorful food fights.
Veering away from the mainstream molds of personality-devoid coffee shacks, Tre Amici aims to establish itself as a local, independent hub for cappuccinos and creativity. Camp out on the squishy, orange sofas and admire local artwork while sipping on fair-trade and organic products. The full menu of hot and cold beverages includes the slushy latte frappamici with frozen espresso, milk, and a flavor shot ($4.75), chai latte ($4.20), and Italian soda ($3). Counter caffeine with a selection of good-for-you grub, such as Kashi oatmeal with either raisin spice and sliced apples, or brown maple and apple cinnamon ($2.95); organic low-fat yogurt parfaits layered with berries and maple-nut granola ($3.95); and hummus plates served with toasted pita ($5.75). Heartier fare includes crisp salads and gourmet sandwiches.