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.

Best of Sarasota 2018

Best New Food and Drink

Here's what we ate, drank and loved this year.

04/26/2018 Photography by Staff

Do The Math

How Much Has the Opioid Epidemic Cost Sarasota?

Sarasota is joining more than 400 cities, counties, states and Native American tribes that are pursuing legal action against companies like Purdue Pharma, the creator of OxyContin, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Percocet.

04/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Made in Manatee

Bradenton Makes Big Red Fire Trucks

Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., which has facilities in both Bradenton and Appleton, Wisconsin, builds one out of every three fire trucks on the road.

04/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Not Going Anywhere

Main Bar Sandwich Shop Turns 60 This Year

And it still serves a mean sandwich.

04/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Stick Pick

The Hyppo Specializes in Unorthodox Popsicles

Think flavors like avocado cream, horchata and dark roast espresso.

04/26/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Sweet Farewell

Two Beloved Bakeries Are Shuttering

Gulf Gate's Jim Small Batch and Bradenton's Retrobaked are closing their doors—temporarily, the owners say.

04/25/2018 By Megan McDonald

The Fast and the Furriest

Your Last Chance to See Twiggy, the Water-Skiing Squirrel

The famous rodent is scurrying to Sarasota to participate in this weekend's Suncoast Boat Show before retiring this summer.

04/16/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Taco Crazy

The Best Tacos in Sarasota-Manatee

We admit it. We’re addicted to this humble Mexican street food.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Mezcal Mania

Forget Tequila—Mezcal is Tacos' New Best Friend

Mezcal has a smokiness that comes from roasting the agave leaves in pits and a minerality that comes from the soil in which the plant grows.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Made in SRQ

Made in SRQ: Sun Hydraulics Counterbalance Valves

Precision Sarasota engineering.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Taco Crazy

The Best Tacos in Sarasota-Manatee

We admit it. We’re addicted to this humble Mexican street food.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Taco Crazy

The 11 Best Tacos in Sarasota-Manatee

Plus a bunch of honorable mentions we couldn't leave out.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Cabbage Queen

Sharon Juraszek Runs a Thriving Sauerkraut Company

Juraszek is an evangelist for the power of cabbage.

03/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Recipe

Three Delicious Mezcal Cocktails

Whip up one of these sippers the next time you're contemplating a cocktail.

03/12/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Road Trips

Kennedy Space Center Aims to Inspire Future Astronauts

You can plan a trip to Kennedy to coincide with a SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral; videos of takeoffs and landings are breathtaking.

03/01/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Wakeup Call

Three Killer South County Breakfast Spots

Three killer South County breakfast spots.

03/01/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Caffeine Dreams

The Coffee Lover's Guide to Sarasota

A guide to the best cups around.

02/28/2018 By Megan McDonald and Cooper Levey-Baker

Caffeine Dreams

In Praise of Starbucks, Kind Of

Making peace with the great green empire.

02/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Caffeine Dreams

The Best Convenience Store and Fast Food Coffees

Cooper Levey-Baker tastes and tells.

02/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Second Chances

Should Former Felons Have the Right to Vote?

More than 6 million Americans are barred from voting because of a felony conviction—including more than 1.6 million in Florida.

02/28/2018 By Cooper Levey-Baker