This downtown mainstay serves a full breakfast, but the star attraction is the glittering pastry case up front. The restaurant excels at France’s top treats, stuff like tarts, eclairs, croissants, and torsades. We’re partisans for the almond croissant, perhaps the greatest example of the pastry in the region, but we’ll also scarf an apple croissant in two minutes, tops. Grab a crusty baguette, too, for later.
323 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 480-1700, croissantandcovenice.com
North Jetty Fish Camp
The view is the star at this tranquil shack, plunked down on the north side of the Venice Inlet and set amid a swarm of shaded picnic tables. It’s a perfect spot to spend a morning zoning out. Fishermen along the jetty toss out lines, while pelicans swoop down hunting for breakfast and speedboats putter back and forth. A pair of silver dollar-sized sausage and biscuit sandwiches will cost you $3. And that’s with a very generous tip.
1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, (941) 525-8376
You can find a whole spectrum of flavors here, from sticky-sweet apple fritters to smoky pulled pork, but the doughnuts, approximately the size of a Honda, are the must-grab. They’re sugary enough to give you the shakes, and, when paired with a bubbly cup of hot coffee, powerful enough to keep you awake at your desk all morning.
2001 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, (941) 493-7170, yummiesdonuts.com