Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for 15 years. His work has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists, as well as an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @LeveyBaker.

Rise and Dine

The 45 Best Breakfast Spots in Sarasota-Manatee

Our comprehensive guide to the region's finest breakfast destinations. (And yes, the Waffle House is included.)

08/12/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker and Lauren Jackson

Nice Slice, Baby!

The Best Pizza in Sarasota

We tasted pizzas for weeks to bring you our 22 favorite pizza pie spots, from hole-in-the-wall strip-mall joints to fine-dining restaurants.

08/10/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Food safety

Update: 16 Big Olaf Ice Cream Flavors Test Positive for Listeria

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is issuing formal stop sales on the 16 products where listeria was found.

07/14/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Believe the Hype

Meliora Is One of Sarasota's Best New Restaurants

The restaurant is led by a chef who worked at Michelin-starred Washington, D.C., restaurants like The Dabney, Plume and Rose's Luxury.

07/13/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Cheers!

Sarasota's Best Bars

Whether you’re looking for a toes-in-the-sand tiki hut, a secretive speakeasy or a big boisterous beer garden, Sarasota has the bar for you.

07/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker, Lauren Jackson, Allison Forsyth, and Kim Doleatto

Best Restaurants

The Best Restaurants in Sarasota

Where to eat right now—and what to order when you're there.

06/29/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker and Lauren Jackson

Local Favorites

The Best Restaurants in Gulf Gate

Our top picks for where the locals hang in this distinct Sarasota neighborhood.

06/07/2022 By Lauren Jackson

Neighborhood Guide

The Best Restaurants Near University Town Center

Our top picks to whet your appetite during a day of shopping.

05/23/2022 By Lauren Jackson

By George

Georgie's Garden Café and Bar George Brighten Up the Daytime Dining Scene

Georgie's and Bar George are located near the University Town Center mall. They’re both owned by George Wood, a Naples restaurateur.

05/05/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Path Forward

Photographer Carlton Ward Jr. Is Using His Lens to Help Save Wild Florida

The story of the Florida panther is one of near extinction, followed by a dramatic rebound and a shaky status quo.

05/05/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Stuff We Like

Ron del Barrilito Is Now Easy to Find in Sarasota, and I'm Very Grateful

The Puerto Rican rum has been a cult favorite for decades.

03/28/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

War in Ukraine

A Bradenton Photographer Traveled to Poland to Document the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

Mestel's images were captured near the Poland-Ukraine border, where millions of refugees have crossed since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

03/21/2022 Photography by Allan Mestel By Cooper Levey-Baker

Halfway there

Filmmaker Launches Kickstarter to Complete Marcella Hazan Documentary

The filmmaker hopes to raise $40,000 to complete his film about the legendary cookbook author.

03/18/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Neighborhood Guide

The Best Restaurants on Siesta Key

Siesta Key is home to one of the world's most famous beaches—plus plenty of great restaurants and places to party.

03/17/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

🚨🚨 🚨🚨🚨 🚨🚨🚨 🚨

Spice Boys Restaurant Will Open Later This Year

The team behind the beloved food truck is opening a restaurant in The Landings.

03/11/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Restaurant Review

At Stiks, Familiar Asian Flavors Are Reinvented in a Grab-and-Go Format

Fast, approachable and tasty, Stiks is the exciting restaurant reinvention we didn’t know we needed.

03/03/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Catch of the Day

Eleven Types of Fish You'll Find in Local Waters

What to catch and how to cook it.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Consider the Moose

The Bradenton Beach Moose Lodge Is the Largest in the World

It boasts 14,500 dues-paying members. The next largest claims 8,000.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Bound Together

The Hidden Treasures of Community Cookbooks

Dig into the archives of a nearby library, and you’ll find dozens of examples in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

In the Mood for Love

Make Your Valentine's Day Reservations at One of These Romantic Restaurants

Book a date night at one of these spots, pronto.

02/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker