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.
Welcoming diners with a dessert counter filled with dainty, colorful pastries, The Cake Factory also dishes out a menu of traditional breakfast plates, from waffles to french toast, as well as café-style sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Early risers can rouse sleepy appetites with a Kahwa Coffee latte ($2.75) and Floridian french toast ($8.95), decorated with powdered sugar, bananas, berries, and a comically oversized beret. Dine on classic sandwiches from roast beef ($6.75) to tuna salad ($5.95), served on your choice of bread with lettuce, tomato, and a pickle. Hot n' ready comestibles include a cuban sandwich ($6.75), stocked with ham, pork, swiss cheese, and spicy mustard, or a gobble-worthy gourmet 8-ounce turkey burger ($5.95). With a casual café environment and free WiFi, diners can enjoy meals in comfort, lounge, and surf the Internet for tips on how to control one's Internet addiction.
Emilio's is one of St. Petersburg's newest additions, offering denizens a sampling of fine coffee, pastries, paninis, burgers, and more. Light the flare on flavor landing strips with Emilio's bottomless cup of blend roasted coffee ($1.50) and the morning-making berry parfait similar to earth's interior of layered crunchy granola and berries atop Greek yogurt and honey ($4.99). The baguette blanche treats midday diners to a medley of savories masked in the makeup of stacked turkey, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, cream cheese, and pesto ($7.99), and the roasted red-pepper and goat-cheese panini adds a dash of zest with fresh basil, red onions, and a zigzag of balsamic vinegar ($9.99). Unlike stuffed animals, stuffed burgers won't fight back when bit and can be filled with a variety of tasties such as applewood smoked bacon, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and brie ($10.99). Pair meals with one of the restaurant's many wines or craft beers.
After Sweet! By The Cake Factory’s bakers pull the day’s cupcakes out of the oven, they stop short of slathering them with swirls of buttercream frosting or sprinkling on M&M's or nuts. Instead, they invite guests to decorate their own confections at a cupcake bar stocked with cookie and candy toppings. This hands-on approach lends itself to lively birthday parties, wherein a photographer snaps children in aprons, chef’s hats, and rubber Julia Child masks as they decorate six cupcakes each. The bakery’s Sweet to Others campaign proffers a predesigned cupcake each month whose proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.
At KeysCake, apple pie à la mode, strawberry shortcake, and banana splits are all transformed into bite-sized morsels. But the bakers don't have a shrink ray—rather, they use fresh ingredients to translate the flavors of classic desserts into cupcake form. Each small batch of cupcakes is made from scratch, then topped with swirls of frosting and colorful garnishes such as fruit, cookies, or petite candies.