Coffee & Treats in South Venice

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The colorful crystals of snow cones. Cold beer and the rosy cumulus of cotton candy. The foods and drinks at Beach Bites call to mind a beachside carnival. Sandwiches there range from a Chicago-style italian beef with giardiniera to a pulled-pork construction that wouldn’t be out of place in Memphis or on a list of things it is funny to throw on a butler. Along with the eatery’s specialties, customers can build their own sandwiches, filling out a checklist of desired meats, cheese, and toppings. Fruit smoothies with a splash of wine or snow cones topped off with Yuengling lager or one of the other beers on tap add a twist to standard icy treats.

217 Avenida Madera
Siesta Key,
Florida
US

Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.

Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.

4141 S Tamiami Trl
Sarasota,
FL
US

Packaged by the ounce, The Spice & Tea Exchange hand-mixes spices from around the world to create their unique blends and rubs. Banish blandness from any meal with a wide variety of spices (starting at $0.99 per ounce), more than 60 custom blends and rubs (starting at $4.89 per ounce), and a ton of salts, peppers, and chili powders (starting at $0.49 per ounce). Office workers can wean themselves off the teats of the break room's coffee-cow with dozens of loose-leaf teas ($4.89 per ounce) sweetened with more than 12 flavor-infused sugars ($4.89 per ounce), including blueberry sugar, spicy habanero sugar, and espresso sugar. The Spice & Tea Exchange's huge variety of flavors make it easy to fulfill long-held cooking fantasies, be it a robust hickory-flavored manticore or topping a freshly grilled cheeseburger with unicorn-radish.

345 Saint Armands Cir
Sarasota,
FL
US

Brewing only blue-ribbon coffee beans, The Beanz Man also pleases palates with a menu packed with baked goods, paninis, platters, soups, desserts, and more. Lead wayward longings to the continent of contentment with a mocha latte ($3.45+) or house gourmet coffee ($1.75+) and accompany cravings to the shores of satiation with a biscotti ($1.25) or a slice of coffee cake ($2.50). With seven sandwiches—such as the honey-glazed turkey and provolone ($6.95), and four paninis, including the fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil ($6.95)—lunchers find reason to linger.

2300 Bee Ridge Rd
Sarasota,
FL
US

For those who came of age in the 1950s, the tunes of Glenn Miller and Elvis Presley might conjure memories of sock hops and soda fountains. ScoopDaddy's takes that nostalgia one step further, by complementing songs playing from a vintage Rock-Ola jukebox with vintage decor that also harkens back to the mid-20th century. Neon- and chrome-framed walls surround a retro tile floor, Coca-Cola tables, red vinyl chairs, and memorabilia displaying images of stars such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

Amidst the dining room's ‘50s glitz, the aroma of handmade, freshly baked waffle cones drifts in from the kitchen. Along with cups and regular cones, these waffle cones can hold scoops of the parlor's 32 gourmet ice creams, which include flavors such as black cherry vanilla, espresso chip, and swiss almond fudge. A toppings’ menu offers up gummy bears and raspberries that crown scoops, and mix-ins from cookie dough to marshmallows can add extra flavor to the shop's specialty shakes. The staff also whips up soda fountain classics such as ice-cream floats, banana splits, and new york egg creams to treat taste buds to a blast from the past, just like nibbling Fonzie's leather jacket.

373 Saint Armands Cir
Sarasota,
FL
US

Gillian's Pizzadelli caters to various cravings by serving hand-tossed New York-style pizzas and hot and cold deli sandwiches. Whether sitting outdoors or indoors at a brightly painted table, guests can dig into light wraps stuffed with veggies, hot sandwiches bubbling with melted cheese, or hand-tossed pizzas slathered in housemade sauce and piled high with toppings such as sweet capicola ham and bacon.

Free WiFi allows guests to browse the Internet while awaiting regular or gluten-free eats. Menus are available in multiple languages, making the restaurant a favorite among international travelers.

1410 Main Street
Sarasota,
FL
US