Oct. 14 is National Dessert Day.
Ready to celebrate? Let us offer some sweet suggestions.
Here’s a throwback to when we asked locals where to get the best ice cream, doughnuts and key lime pie around Bradenton and Manatee County.
Shake Pit has arguably been Bradenton’s favorite ice cream stop since 1959. Offering up soft serve, ice cream, shakes, malts and ice cream sodas, Shake Pit is a good place to hang out after the game or a long day at the beach. Pair your frozen heaven with a cheeseburger, hot dog or some chili cheese fries.
Try this: When you’re going to a classic spot, stick with a classic. We recommend the plain old vanilla shake. Or, go crazy and get a pineapple shake. We won’t judge.
Shake Pit is at 3801 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. 941-748-4016.
SweetBerries Frozen Custard and Eatery
SweetBerries technically serves custard, which is just ice cream made even more decadent with the help of egg yolk.
One of the more unique offerings at SweetBerries is the concrete, which is a serving of custard with fruits, nuts, candies or flavorings blended in. You can also go the traditional route and get your custard in a cup, cone, float, shake or sundae. For the hungry, there’s a full menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soup and gourmet hot dogs.
Try this: Razz-Ma-Tazz, a concrete made with chocolate custard, raspberries and almonds.
Sweetberries Frozen Custard and Eatery is at 4500 Manatee Ave. W. Bradenton. 941-750-6771. sweetberries.com.
Tyler’s Homemade Ice Cream
Tyler’s has three locations, but our readers specifically recommend the original Cortez shop. Tyler’s gourmet old fashioned ice cream is made on site in five gallon batches to ensure freshness and flavor.
Tyler’s Homemade Ice Cream is at 11904 Cortez Road, Cortez. 941-243-3841. tylersicecream.com.
Try this: A banana split is the perfect way to enjoy Tyler’s ice cream.
▪ Gulf Drive Cafe, 900 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach.
▪ Two Scoops, 101 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.
▪ Shake Station, 4219 U.S. 301, Ellenton.
▪ Cold Stone Creamery, 7476 Cortez Road, Bradenton.
▪ Corwin’s Ice Cream and Smoothies, 1000 Barcarrota Ave., Bradenton.
▪ Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, 7376 52nd Place E., Bradenton.
▪ Joe’s Eats and Sweets, 219 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach.
Not a member of Manatee Eats? Join the group today to get in on the local food and drink discussion.
Doughnuts are the quintessential American confection.
Yes, not only can we make halos of sugar dough, but we can fry them, too!
And if that isn’t enough, we bathe them in more sugar just for good measure.
Doughnuts are a classic, and you can’t go wrong with traditional styles such as glazed and cream-filled.
On the other hand, the recent success of artisanal and mini-doughnut shops is taking the dessert food in interesting new directions.
Luckily, Manatee County has a little bit of the old school and the new.
We asked the Bradenton Herald Facebook Group “Manatee Eats” where to find the best ones.
Here’s where they recommend:
Turner Donut Shop
Turner’s is one of those nostalgic spots for a classic doughnut. The walk-up counter servers all of your favorites, fried to perfection.
They also serve potato flour doughnuts, the retro treat also known as the spudnut.
Turner Donut Shop is at 902 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton. Info: 941-746-7909.
Bradenton Donut Shop
Bradenton Donut Shop is another good stop for traditional doughnuts (including spudnuts).
The sour cream and vanilla cream doughnuts get particularly rave reviews.
Bradenton Donut Shop is at 4616 14th St. W., Bradenton. Info: 941-758-9808.
Bradenton boasts the only Florida location of this nationally franchised doughnut haven.
Shipley Do-Nuts offers 60 types of doughnuts, including glazed, iced, sugar-coated, yeast and cake varieties.
The brand is known for its time-tested recipes and quality ingredients.
Shipley Do-Nuts is at 6571 State Road 70 E., Bradenton. Info: shipleydonuts.com.
The Farm House
The Farm House is a home decor and custom furniture store that also happens to sell doughnuts, and they know how to build them right.
The doughnuts are mini, but don’t let the size fool you; they pack a decadent punch.
Try flavors such as “Cow Pattie” (chocolate, peanut butter drizzle and Reese’s), “Hay Stack” (chocolate, toasted coconut and caramel drizzle) or “The Hoedown” (vanilla and sprinkles).
Or, better yet, build your own.
The Farm House is at 902 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton. Info: thefarmhousedonutsanddecor.com.
▪ The Donut Experiment, 210C Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
▪ Peachey’s Baking Co. is a food truck serving at multiple locations in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The business goes on break summer through early fall — look for the truck’s return in November.
Key lime pie
A grocery store chain makes the best key lime pie, you ask? Why yes. Yes, it does.
And the proof is in the pie recipe that won Publix a first-place ribbon in the American Pie Council’s 2019 National Pie Championships.
Aside from Publix’s masterpiece, the “Original Key Lime Pie,” locals also love the grocer’s mango take on the confection. It’s a tropical twist on an old favorite (and also an award-winner).
Find them both at a Publix Bakery near you.
Detwiler’s is a home-grown farmer’s market favorite that offers fresh Florida produce, groceries, meats and seafood, and a full-service bakery that happens to whip up a killer key lime pie.
Locals say that Detwiler’s pie packs a key lime kick that makes it stand out. Look out, Publix.
Detwiler’s is at 1800 U.S. 301 in Palmetto, and has three locations in Sarasota County.
Sugar Cubed is a pastry laboratory in downtown Bradenton with a focus on “modern and innovative cakes, pastries and baked goods.”
The bakery’s creations put a fresh and delicious spin on classic desserts, and the key lime pie is no exception.
Sugar Cubed is at 531 13th St. W. in Bradenton.
Other Manatee recommendations:
▪ Anna Maria Oyster Bar, 6906 14th St. W., Bradenton; 6696 Cortez Road, Cortez; 1525 51st Ave, E., Ellenton; 200 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach
▪ Mermaid Pies and Produce, 10115 Cortez Road W., Bradenton
▪ Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina, 12507 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.
▪ Euphemia Haye, 5540 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key
▪ Star Fish Company, 12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez
▪ Linger Lodge, 7205 85th St. Ct. E., Bradenton
▪ Scott’s Deli, 5350 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach
▪ Edwards (in the grocery store frozen dessert section)
▪ Lucky Pelican, 6239 Lake Osprey Dr., Sarasota
▪ The Caribbean Pie Company, 2245 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota