Since 1987, St. Pete Bagel Co.'s bakers have crafted New York–style bagels and both old-fashioned and yeast-raised donuts every morning. Rabbi Uriel Rivkin presides over each day's batch of certified-kosher dough rings bedecked with salt, onions, and poppy seeds, which share space with sandwiches and assorted spreads on the café menu. Fluffy and sweet specialty donuts such as PB&J, red velvet, and strawberry-glazed bike tire join coffee and espresso drinks for maximum donut slam-dunks. Around the shop, wood and leather stools seat diners, who can pass the time by admiring colorful flora and photos of bagels snapped at the food pyramid’s class reunion.
Il Ponte Cafe’s chefs bake a bridge between Italian classics and the flavors of the greater Mediterranean. Herb-crusted salmon basks in rich lobster sauce, seared atop a grill until patterned with perfect lines or a cross-hatched portrait of the chef. The spears of kebabs thrust through both land and sea meats, accompanied to the table by freshly made hummus, and a lively fattoush salad casts off parsley, tomatoes, onions, pickles, olives, pita crisps, and feta cheese into a leafy lagoon of romaine and iceberg lettuce.
Part bar and part bistro, 2 Palms Bar & Bistro is fully committed to fun. The Clearwater hangout keeps the party going all week, with an extended happy hour on weekdays and an evening schedule that features everything from karaoke and live comedy to trivia. But the food alone is worth the trip, thanks to a menu of modern pub grub that includes burgers, flatbreads, wraps, and cuban sandwiches. Any of the above pairs nicely with a draft beer or specialty cocktail.