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    Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Fun Food on Anna Maria Island

    Even though I am a huge advocate for eating well, I follow a really good diet, I exercise intensely on a pretty much daily basis, I do love a bit of naughtiness sometimes, and the child in me is drawn to the bright colours, the sugary smells and the sticky sauces, of candy, ice cream and delicious desserts!

    There are a number of delicious sweet shops on Anna Maria Island

    So on Anna Maria Island, one of my little treats are visiting, what I call the Fun Food stores…the one’s you go into and gasp (even perhaps do a little excited, childish handclap); when you feast your eyes on the array of colourful candy at the aptly named Candy & Flip Flop Stop, the lashings of creamy ice cream offerings at Two Scoops and Dips, and the newest addition to Anna Maria, the Donut Experiment with that mouth-watering smell of freshly baked donuts! Come to think of it, I also need to give a shout out to the French Toast Crème Brulee served up at Ginny & Jane’s too! Now, that deserves a blog post all of it’s own!

    The Candy and Flip Flop Stop, is exactly that! A wall of Jelly Beans, a fountain of assorted sherbets and stacks of novelty candy and sweets, a true homage to sugar mixed between great beach wear, beach chic jewelry and of course an enormous selection of flip flops in every style and every size! It’s like being in Willy Wonka’s vacation home! Even it you haven’t got a particularly sweet tooth it’s a great place to pick up gifts for home.

    The Candy and Flip Flop Stop on Anna Maria Island is a mixture of sugar & gifts

    The Donut Experiment is just fantastic and really captures the essence of fun! It’s a ‘create-your-own’ experience, which if your children are anything like mine can cause a little bit of brain meltdown! So, after in our case approximately 3 light years of making a decision about not only which icing to have, but then which of about 20 or so toppings (including bacon..?!) to add to it, the kids watched their freshly made (and I have to add, incredibly light and delicious) donut move along the trays and get dunked, dipped, and delivered still warm into their excitable little hands. Their own unique creation, which I think means everything-on-it!

    We ventured here a few times during our vacation, with a least one of those trips taking away a box of a dozen all individual creations which we then fought over when we got back to our rental (‘mine was the caramel sea salt, with Oreo cookies!’, yours was the peanut butter drizzle with fruity pebbles!’…MUM! She ate my donut!’. You know how it goes!).

    Two Scoops was another of our little over indulgent treat stores. It was in a great location for us as we liked to go to the Tampa Bay Beach rather than on the Gulf side, and this store is on the parade of shops across the road directly facing the beach. I personally love this side of the island for the beach, not only for having the backdrop of the City Pier but because I find it more accessible to a few different restaurants giving us a bit more choice for lunch or dinner when we finish our beach day. The City Pier Restaurant, as well as one of my favourites The Waterfront and then Two Scoops, who not only sell ice cream but also have great hot dogs, sandwiches and even a really good breakfast menu!

    Two Scoops on Anna Maria Island is in a great location right by the beach 

    But, of course no trip to the beach can be had without a mid afternoon ice cream. As you should expect from an ice-cream store Two Scoops has lots of choices of flavors such as peanut butter fudge, salted caramel pretzel, and even blueberry pie. There are a selection of different types of cones, including those dipped in chocolate and sprinkles! They have other specialty offers on their menu including waffles and sundaes. The store itself also has some really lovely little gift items to take home (obviously not ice-cream), but non-food and food items including cookies and candy treats.

    Dips is the ice-cream store on the Gulf side of the island, located on Palm Avenue. It’s not as big a store as Two Scoops but it has a really great atmosphere, a lovely family-run team behind the counter and there is nothing small about their selection of ice creams and sorbets. Some of the flavours include captain butterscotch, coconut, cotton candy and raspberry truffle to name a few. They also have some great gifts to take home too, including candy from many generations on the shelves as well as baseball memorabilia…. nothing you wouldn’t normally expect to find in an ice-cream store…?!

    Dips Ice Cream Store on Anna Maria Island has fabulous flavors and a fun atmosphere

    Whatever your food guilty pleasure, there are a few great places here to go and indulge. I’m a real believer in everything in moderation and everyone deserves a little treat now and again, so even if you are as health and food conscious as I am do stop by these really fun places and enjoy a little something!

    And, if you walk to the store or ride your bike, there is even more reason to feel less guilty!

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