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.

A View to a Chill

The Star of the New Westin Rooftop Bar? That View

Over the course of a couple hours, I must have uttered some variation of 'Holy moly,' 'Wow' and 'Golly' 12 dozen times.

08/09/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Shark Tank

Real Life Controversy Dogs MTV's Siesta Key

Just days before the show premiered, social media sleuths connected star Alex Kompothecras to a viral video that showed four young men, two from prominent Manatee County families, gleefully dragging a shark behind their boat at high speed until it died.

08/02/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Nitrogen Fixation

10 Bucks or Less: Krave n Joy

Tacos and ice cream? Deal me in.

08/02/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Team Sarasota

Meet the New Starting Five on the City Commission

The five power players who make up Team Sarasota.

07/26/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Oodles of Noodles

State Street's Newest Offering: Monday Night Ramen

And it's good enough to make you wish the restaurant served it every night.

07/25/2017 Photography by Cooper Levey-Baker

Super Smoker

10 Bucks or Less: Sea Smoke

A newish Cortez shop smokes its own fish and bacon, makes head cheese from scratch and serves up dope lunch grub.

07/24/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Diner Leagues

New Diner Opens at Westfield Siesta Key Mall

Metro Diner, a burgeoning chain born in Jacksonville in 1992, recently opened its first Sarasota location in a revamped space inside the Westfield Siesta Key mall.

07/06/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

SUP?

Everything You Need to Know About Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Explore Sarasota’s beautiful backwaters while torching calories.

06/30/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Burgers

The Best Burgers in Sarasota-Manatee

This list is a tribute to an American icon.

06/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Burgers

We Put a Much-Hyped New Veggie Burger to the Test

Beyond Meat claims its Beyond Burger looks and tastes like fresh ground beef. Does it?

06/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Burgers

Here's the Secret to Council's Bradenton Recreation's Famous Burgers

Owners and cooks come and go. The grill at Council’s Bradenton Recreation remains.

06/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

There Must Be El Toro in the Atmosphere

10 Bucks or Less: El Toro Bravo

A Sarasota restaurant moves down the road into bigger digs, but its fresh twist on Tex-Mex remains the same.

06/26/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Party City

Sarasota's Catering Business Booms

As Sarasota tourism surges, the catering business booms.

06/07/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Claws Out

A New TV Show Set in Manatee County Tackles Sex, Drugs and Beauty Products

Show creator Eliot Laurence chose to set the Claws in the Sarasota-Manatee area after falling in love with the region during trips here with his mother.

06/05/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Bakeries

These are Sarasota's Most Beautiful Pastries

They're too pretty to eat. Almost.

06/01/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Beach Eats

The Best Local Beach Eats

The best concessions stands, from north to south.

06/01/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Heat Wave

Think Sarasota Summers Are Unbearable? Just Wait.

Here's what rising temperatures will mean for our region.

06/01/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Icelandia

Cold Brew Coffee Makes Sarasota Summers Survivable

Cooper Levey-Baker pens an ode to the cold stuff.

05/30/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Bakeries

Sarasota's Best Bakeries

Your guide to the region’s best bakeries, plus pastry perfection, loaves we love—and more.

05/25/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Breadwinners

Our Five Favorite Loaves of Bread

From everyone's favorite sourdough to a German classic, here are our picks for the best loaves of bread in town.

05/25/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker