Café Kiln offers a variety of ways to cultivate creativity. Paint and glaze a blank piece of pottery, fuse glass, tile your own mosaic, or nurse a tender hunk of clay into form. The all-inclusive art emporium doesn't charge a studio fee, and all supplies (glaze, tools, instruction, paints) are included. Start by selecting your piece of pottery or mosaic shape. Consult stencils and stamps for design direction if you're stumped on the design—with more than 100 colors to choose from, Café Kiln rivals the Crayola Big Box with its wardrobe of hues. Mosaic creations will be ready for you to take home that day. Allow a week for pottery pieces to be fired and glazed.
Stroll through an Oldsmar farmers market early in the morning and you might run into Andrew Koumi rifling through baskets of tomatoes in search of the ripest ones. The mastermind behind Green Market Cafe, Andrew was still in college when he hatched the plan to open an eatery that served healthy takes on sandwiches and soups. When discussing the inspiration behind the restaurant with reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, Andrew explained, "I wanted to create a place where I'd like to go and eat everyday."
Arms laden with bags of produce, Andrew returns to his café, where his chefs fold the fresh vegetables into crisp salads and toasty grilled flatbreads. Because everything is made to order, chefs are able to accommodate special requests, adding extra tomatoes or picking out any raisins that look too much like a California Raisin. Diners chitchat over cups of organic tea inside the colorful dining room, an open space tinted with greens, purples, and pinks to please the eye. The building is also home to Frozen Yogurt, the cafe's sister shop, which serves the wholesome yogurt that is included with all Green Market Cafe entrees.
The coffee is locally roasted. The ice cream is locally made. The weekend entertainment comes from local musicians. The Witch's Brew keeps everything close to home so patrons can support their community while enjoying the atmosphere of a classic coffeehouse and all the treats that come with it. Mugs and glasses brim with espresso made from organic, fair-trade coffee beans, cool refreshments such as the raspberry iced tea of the Ruby Slipper, and even a selection of specialty cocktails, local wines, and craft beers. Meanwhile, frozen desserts made by Old Meeting House Ice Cream come in more than 10 flavors and bedeck a number of creative sundaes, splits, and shakes. The unique eatery is equipped with outdoor seating and free WiFi, which helps busy diners work on a laptop while savoring a freshly crafted sandwich or let their freshly crafted sandwich check its email.
After greasing the Slip 'n Slide with vegetable oil and shedding winter's fluffy bathrobe and insulated socks, the best way to celebrate summer's approach is with a handful of velvety-soft frozen custard. The Ritter's menu features a cast of five to seven rotating daily flavors, including everything from fruit-based favorites such as cherry cordial and fresh banana to candy-inspired creations like caramel Snickers swirl. Order a cone of the flavor du jour ($1.99 and up), or opt for a signature Glacier ($3.29 and up), Ritter's frozen custard mixed with your topping of choice and served upside down to confuse your already delicate perception of reality and emphasize the delicacy's extreme thickness. If a list of 25+ toppings dizzies your decision-making noodle, submit your fate to the friendly ice-cream slingers and opt for a pre-designed signature sundae ($4.29) such as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup–filled, whipped-cream-topped peanut-butter mountain. Celebrate your newfound superpowers and exploit your nemeses' weaknesses for chocolate and caramel with a frozen Snickers pie ($25.99).
Voted Best Cookies in Tampa three years in a row by Tampa Bay Magazine, Kookie Krums specializes in decorative cookie bouquets to commemorate special occasions or to give as unique gifts. The bakery crafts seven flavors of cookies fresh daily, including chocolate chip, double chocolate, sugar, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin, and can substitute Divvies nut-, egg-, dairy-free cookies with any order for an additional charge. Reward a baked-good fiend for keeping his paws out of unattended jars with a hand-painted big brown daisy flower pot filled with a half-dozen individually-wrapped cookies ($30.95), or buy Cookie Monster's vote for your Sesame Street mayoral bid with a dozen artfully arranged cookies ($35.95). Bouquets come in many themes, such as birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, and canine connoisseurs, ensuring that mouths will meet cookies and sweaters will need vacuuming regardless of the occasion. Along with flower-pot bouquets, Kookie Krums also sells smaller cookie-mug arrangements ($21.95) and cookies customized with personal photographs or corporate logos ($24 for a dozen).
A quaint teashop with a Scottish flare, Moffat's Cup of Tea at first seems as if it would be more at home in the Highlands than basking under Florida?s perennial sunshine. With its bright-green walls and purple trim, however, the shop has adapted well to its tropical surroundings. The vibrant decor lifts guests? spirits as they sit down for afternoon tea, which is often accompanied by freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries, and fruit. Steam rises over tables draped in lace as the staff pours selections from more than 35 varieties of tea into cups of English china, each delicately painted with a stamp to verify its dual-citizenship. After taking tea, guests can peruse the gift room's selection of teas, pots, and other fine wares.