Popular pit-stops for students

Dallis Mullett, Staff Reporter

Shake Pit: One of the best known after school snack spots for students and has been since the 1950’s. It has also won the Certificate of Excellence, an award given to local restaurants for their service and food for the past four years. It has a plethora of five-star reviews and has been voted to serve the best burgers in town. Its friendly staff, accessible location and menu of classics such as burgers, fries and shakes as well as their specialty sundaes, guarantees something for everyone. Each item is adequately priced and portioned. Its proximity provides easy access to students as well. It is within a 12-minute walking distance and a three-minute drive, perfect for a quick, delicious afterschool get-together with a group of friends.

Smoothie King: Smoothies are appropriate for any time of year with Florida’s warm climate. With its countless options and mix-ins, Smoothie King is sure to please, offering drinks in several categories. These include smoothies with protein powders mixed in for a post-workout treat as well as their other blends that are refreshing and full of natural fruit juices and vitamins. They also organize their drinks based on calorie count and offer several serving sizes. Adding mix-ins or other fruits to a drink does cost extra.  To see their full menu, click here. Each Friday, a large smoothie is only $5, and students can also use their school I.D. for 20% off a drink every Monday. All they have to do is show it to the registrar after they have ordered.

Dunkin Donuts: Not only does America run on Dunkin, but Manatee does as well. It is not uncommon to see students carrying around those orange and pink cups during the mornings to combat their late night exhaustion. It is popular in both the mornings and afternoons and offers a variety of breakfast items as well as drinks. They serve both iced and hot coffee, as well as frozen blended drinks topped with whipped cream and drizzles. Nothing beats a glazed donut or a few of the famous Munchkin donut holes in the morning, or maybe one of their egg and cheese sandwiches paired with crispy hashbrowns. From the school, Dunkin Donuts is a 20-minute walk and seven-minute drive. With their moderately priced menu and viable options, which are available here, Dunkin Donuts makes for a great spot to relax and refuel for a few minutes before heading to school or going home to crack down with homework.

Sweetberries: Notorious for their thick and creamy frozen custards, Sweetberries has endless combinations of toppings and custard to choose from and range from $4 to $5. They also offer specialty flavors of the day that are only available that day and other selections that are more seasonal, such as pumpkin spice. To see their complete custard menu, click here. While their custard offers a satisfyingly sweet option to their menu, they also have many savory lunch items like their Cuban sandwiches or New York Rueben, which range from $8 to $9. There are also soups that are available to pair with a sandwich with their pick-a-pair meal option. To view their entire lunch menu, click here. Sweetberries is a 20-minute walk from the school and a short five-minute drive.

Starbucks: The infamous and ever-growing coffee chain has several locations in Manatee County as well as one within a quick seven minute drive from the school. From hot to iced coffee and their frozen Frappuccino drinks, there are refreshments that anyone can enjoy. Starbucks also offers a

variety of herbal teas that can be served hot or iced with fruit. Their pastry menu consists of everything from scones, cake pops, muffins, etc. Their complete menu of food and drinks can be found here. With many students on a budget, Starbucks and many other coffee chains offer a rewards program in which the buyer receives points for each purchase and can earn in-store rewards from their buys. Along with their excellent menu, Starbucks also offers a pleasant atmosphere that is perfect for those students who prefer to study or work with white noise in the background.