The last time I went to Florida was when I was seven years old and my parents took me to Disney World. So, when I found out I'd be spending a week in Clearwater Beach with my parents and closest friends, I was more than ecstatic.

I was not only excited for relaxing (and drinking) on the beach, but  also for escaping dining hall food. As much as I "love" eating huge batches of scrambled eggs for breakfast and fried food for dinner, I knew a week full of (somewhat) healthy and REAL food would do my body some good.

So for all of you Floridians, or even those of you who are planning your next vacay, here are some of the best spots I found on my Florida food tour.

Ice & Cream Creamery - Clearwater 

Juliette Firla

Let's start with desserts. This place was almost a nightly stop on our week long vacation. This ice cream shop is known for their amazing homemade milkshakes and 35 crazy flavors. Their creamsycle ice cream and mint chocolate chip milkshakes were to die for (if you're willing to pay around five bucks). Although the lines were out the door, the wooden tables and painted walls made it worth the wait for the authentic beachy vibes. 

Price: Somewhat pricey

Overall Rating: A

Caddy's on the Beach - Treasure Island

This hot spot was all about the experience. Caddy's has live music every night, seating where you can stick your toes in the sand, and an amazing view of the west coast sunset on their second-floor deck. However, as I have said before, your visit here will be mostly for the experience. Their food was average and was mostly a selection of fried chicken and beer battered seafood. The grilled shrimp and mahi-mahi ruben were the two meals that stood out among the rest. 

Price: Affordable

Overall Grade: B-

Banyan Cafe and Catering - St. Petersburg

Juliette Firla

Our last minute decision to wander into this brunch spot turned out to be an amazing one. The menu was limited but the few items on it were all amazing and unique. Instead of hash browns or home fries, the restaurant offered fruit or spinach as a side to eggs. The salmon poached egg bowl and brie & spinach filled scrambled eggs were a few of our favorite things on the menu. Not only was the food amazing, but the vintage vibes of the little restaurant made for a great photo shoot and experience. The spot also shared a building with an art museum and offered free tours for costumers!

Price: Great for what you get

Overall Grade: A

Surf Side Tap House - Clearwater

If you're looking for a girls night out at the bar, this might be the right place for you. However, if you're looking for a late lunch after a long day at the beach...there are probably some better options. It may be a hot spot at night but after our morning of tanning, the service and food were both unimpressive for the price. I do have to admit though, the buffalo cauliflower was a serious game changer. 

Price: Somewhere between "eh" and way too much, depending on your order

Overall Rating: C+

Island Way Grill - Clearwater  

This was one of our favorite stops on our trip most definitely. Not only is the food here unreal, but the ambiance is just as great. The patio looks over the Tampa skyline and the sunset, with an outdoor bar and tables underneath strings of lights. The restaurant not only sells fish they caught the morning of but also offers steak, shell fish, and many sushi dishes. There are too many amazing choices to tell details about, but a few of our favorites were the fresh red grouper, the grilled salmon, and the filet minion. The strawberry cheesecake was also surprisingly "better than any New York slice" in the words of my dad (who is definitely a dessert expert). 

Price: Definitely choose somewhere else if you're on a budget

Overall Grade: A+

Paciugo Gelato & Cafe

Juliette Firla

This cafe truly was a taste of Italy. The three scoops of gelato somehow impressed me more than any of the lunches or dinners I had on my trip, and I never wanted my dessert to end. The shop had unique flavors that we found insanely enjoyable like Violet, Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet, and Strawberry Rose

Price: I would have payed anything for this gelato

Overall Rating: A++++

Bella Brava - St. Petersburg 

I am definitely saving the best for last here food wise. This Italian spot was recommended to us by a family friend and was some of the best food I have ever indulged in. The penne with crostata, margarita pizza, and caprese salad were a few of our favorites.  The outdoor seating, amazing service, and delicious food made this a place that we just couldn't top.

If you're a broke college student (like me) check out these cheap food joints in the St. Pete's area

Price: A solid three dollar signs

Overall Rating: A