Looking for the best restaurants in Sarasota? Great you have come to the right place.
There are tonnes of fun things to do in Sarasota and one of the highlights of all these activities is dining in some of Sarasota’s best restaurants! The great thing about this area of Florida is the food is so diverse and varied – there is something here for the pickiest of eaters here with tonnes of amazing Sarasota restaurants including Chinese, French, Italian and seafood.
If you are wondering where to eat in Sarasota this weekend – keep reading for 30 of the Sarasota’s finest dining experiences.
30 Best Restaurants in Sarasota You Must Try!
1. Duval’s Fresh Local Seafood
This is a favorite and popular choice of visitors and locals. It really doesn’t get much fresher than this place. They offer daily market prices on all the fresh catch of the day seafood.
You can’t go wrong with anything offered on their menu. It’s always busy and they have great lunch specials such as their famous Po’boy sandwiches which are served with a small chowder or salad for only $12.50. They have a full bar and creatively made drink specials every day of the week. Located right in the heart of downtown Sarasota, this is a must for all seafood lovers out there.
One of the best downtown Sarasota restaurants for sure.
2. Gentile’s Authentic Cheesesteaks
Line up like you would in downtown Philadelphia for the most authentic style Philly cheesesteak in town. If you’re looking to fill a footlong sized hole in your stomach with something more exciting than a sandwich then this is the joint for you.
These authentic Cheesesteaks are made on fresh Amorosa rolls, come with thin cut ribeye steak, and are topped with the whiz, cheese whiz that is. The steak melts in your mouth and then having it topped with your favorite items, satisfies any hunger instantly.
Oh, and the owners even have the accent. It’s a very fun atmosphere and there is plenty of seating for those dine in customers, or just waiting for your take out order.
3. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Indoor and outdoor dining on their deck overlooking Sarasota Bay is available at this tasty establishment. The restaurant has a great character as it was transformed from a boat storage barn.
Their selection of fresh seafood, meats, and soups are all delicious options there. Along with great service, they also feature an outdoor fire pit on those cooler evenings to enjoy a drink while you wait for a table. This place is terrific for a family dinner out, or a romantic evening with your partner.
4. Anna Marie Oyster House
With 3 locations in the area, this is another great choice for dining in Sarasota. The all you can eat fish and chips on Mondays only are one of their most popular specials during the week, and after 25 years in business, they have perfected the batter on their fish as I’ve never tasted.
They offer fresh oysters, gulf shrimp, grouper, and other tasty seafood options too. It has 2 bars and is a family fun restaurant. The service is top notch and is a great affordable place with good size portions to enjoy.
5. Selva Grill
Here is another great place located in downtown. The skirt steak and lamb chops are the most popular meals and it does not disappoint! The presentation of the plates is really unique, and the spices and flavors from the chef are just as creative. It features a full bar, outdoor sidewalk tables, and a late night menu.
The portion sizes are extremely generous, and the service is also top notch. It has been praised by many visiting food critics and it was featured in an article in the New York Times.
6. Lazy Lobster
A family owned business, Lazy Lobster has been serving Sarasota for many years. The dining area is very casual and it is an upbeat place offering curbside pickup as well.
As it is in the name, this family has the experience to cook those lobsters to absolute perfection. Not to mention one of the best Lobster bisque soups I’ve personally ever tasted. Chicken, steak, burgers, and ribs are available on the menu for those who do not prefer seafood. The location is in a less busy part of town which makes visiting a stress free drive and plenty of ample parking.
A great, authentic Italian restaurant situated in downtown, Mediterraneo offers a more comfort food style. Locals have been eating there for well over 20 years and the well maintained dining room adds to the comfort of your experience. The most popular item is their Margarita pizza.
A close second to that is their homemade meatballs. There are many different pasta courses and fish entrees to choose from as well. It is a very busy place, but everybody says it is always worth the wait.
8. Brick’s Smoked Meats
Craving some amazing barbeque? Brick’s is one of the best around. They feature an 18 hour smoked brisket that is hands down some of the best I have ever tried. Their low and slow cooking method is always a great choice when your belly is running on empty. It has a full bar and comfortable seating for family, friends, and partners.
Sausage, pulled pork, turkey, and ribs are also on the menu and they also do not disappoint. They even offer tacos and meats that are not smoked if you prefer. Another cool feature is live music on Friday and Saturday nights to add to the fun and delicious meats.
9. Walt’s Fish Market
Looking for some real Florida character? Then a visit to Walt’s should be on your list. It is one a few remaining fish markets and restaurant combination left in the area.
The family has been here for over 100 years and has been serving up some of the best seafood in town. It features a large outdoor tiki bar and is a great place to enjoy drinks with friends and family in a fun atmosphere. It has a large local following and it is consistently busy with customers. It is fun to experience the service and the décor at Walt’s.
An outstanding Mexican themed place, Circo is a highly rated restaurant by the locals. It features unique taco choices and daily specials such as buy one get one free tacos on Tuesdays.
Other tasty choices are the nachos and the Tijuana salad. It’s a great place to grab a quick lunch, or hang out and try some of the bourbon or margaritas. Everything is made fresh and it shows in their menu offerings. They also offer a really delicious Sunday brunch with unlimited Mimosas, so make sure to check it out.
11. Figaro Bistro
A quaint and comfortable place to dine with French cuisine, Figaro Bistro is a unique mix of old traditional meals and the more modern French favorites.
Enjoy a nice glass of wine of your choice, or have one of the owners recommend one for you to help compliment the flavors of the dish you ordered. It is a unique dining experience and the service here is fantastic. It is by far an excellent choice for a nice romantic meal with a loved one.
12. Blu Kouzina
Located in St. Armand’s Circle, Blu Kouzina is an authentic Greek style restaurant featuring fresh and high quality products from the locally sourced farmers here in the Sarasota area. The lamb chops are a popular item along with beef skewers, fresh made Hummus, and even grilled octopus.
It’s a truly unique place with outdoor sidewalk tables as well. They offer delicious appetizers and drinks and have daily specials too. Another nice feature to their menu is it informs the customers of what dishes are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free to help simplify the ordering process. The chef was also raised and trained in traditional Greek culinary so if you like Greek food, make it a point to try this place out.
13. Bob’s Train
That’s right, Bob’s train!! Enjoy an American style meal in one of the four train cars that serve as the dining rooms. This is an extremely unique experience and the food is just as good as the atmosphere inside. It features a simple menu of salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, and Angus beef burgers.
The interior of the train cars are all restored to their former glory and they are kept crystal clear. They offer a Sunday brunch as well from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every week.
14. O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill
A popular destination for visitors and locals, Oleary’s is located right on Sarasota Bay, and it is pretty much like eating on a tropical island. It features a large outdoor bar and also plenty of seating with tables and umbrellas. It lies next to the marina and the whole setting is outdoors to help enjoy the cool breezes from the bay.
Along with enjoying the drinks, the menu offers up fried alligator bites, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and fish tacos. The atmosphere is very island like relaxed and the employees are extremely friendly and great at their jobs. They do have large fans running when it is very warm and humid to help keep you comfortable too. Another thing I like about this place as well is there is a lot of live music shows.
15. The Blue Rooster
This is the place for fried chicken. Cooked in 100% peanut oil, the chicken here is nothing short of mouthwatering excitement. It has a southern cooking feel to its menu to go along with the live music they feature.
Some unique items on the menu are the duck wings served with a crafted honey sauce and the crazy Cajun shrimp. The most unique however is the Applewood smoked, bacon wrapped meatloaf. Add some mashed potatoes and gravy and enjoy the tastes of the south with your favorite drink.
16. Hob Nob Drive In Restaurant
This is the oldest diner in the city of Sarasota. It opened its outdoor diner in 1957 and it is still owned and operated by the family that started it. This is the real deal when it comes to American diner food. It still retains that retro diner style that is fun just to see, let alone getting a meal.
They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner and are open all week long. They offer omelets, burgers, hot dogs, and French fries. They still make their shakes the old fashioned way and they are a tasty treat on a warm day. The portions are quite large for the money, and they also offer a variety of cold beers. A fun place to eat for sure.
17. Jamaican American Soul Food Restaurant
This place never has a low amount of flavor on its menu. This is a great option for those who have not experienced this type of food style. The jerk chicken is one of the staples of this place and they grill it to perfection with the right amount of spices.
They have turkey wings, different fish plate choices, and even have curry goat too. If you are looking for something different in food choices, this is a great one to consider visiting.
18. Joey D’s Chicago Style Eatery and Pizzeria
No need to fly or drive to Chicago, Joey D’s is here in Sarasota offering up real authentic made Chicago style pizzas. It was founded in 1994 and has expanded to more places over the years.
Besides pizza, Joey D’s menu offers fresh made calzones, pasta dishes, and really good appetizers. It boasts freshly sourced ingredients and fresh homemade dough, making it an extremely popular pizza place here. It is located downtown and is always busy.
19. Siegfried’s Restaurant
This establishment is an authentic German food restaurant that features a beer garden in back. Try a taste of German beer or wine with a friend or family member in a very fun atmosphere.
The beer garden is a great place to socialize and enjoying the beautiful weather. Enjoy the flavors of the schnitzel, bratwurst sausage, and sauerkraut. You can tell they make their menu items with love here. Add a dessert from the always changing cake of the day special too.
20. The Columbian Point Restaurant
If you are already a fan, or if you have not tried an empanada yet, this place will do nothing but impress your taste buds. Their empanadas are scratch made, only increasing the unique flavors they provide.
They only use fresh ingredients, high quality frying oil, and it is a great place to try some imported Columbian beer to wash it down with. Another interesting menu item is the grilled liver. A great choice for something a little different than just the normal options.
21. Humay Sushi Restaurant and Japanese Cuisine
A wonderful sushi restaurant and grill, Humay offers some really great food options and a clean, high quality selection of sushi. The selection of rolls seems almost endless here and the choices all look and sound delicious.
Some interesting items on the menu to note are the eel and octopus. Traditional Chinese entrees and noodles are a great choice to consider as well.
22. Marina Jack
Offering two different dining options to consider, Marina Jack is great because of its bay front dining option, or booking a dinner cruise onboard a two story yacht. Enjoy views of Sarasota bay either on a private dining patio or from a newer yacht. The chefs are definitely world class and everything on their menu has been well designed and created.
The restaurant on the bay also features a piano bar to relax and have a drink before you enjoy an incredibly delightful meal. Dinner cruises are available every day and is a choice I can highly recommend. The dining cabins are air conditioned so you can enjoy your meal in comfort. Also, be sure to step out on the viewing deck on front of the yacht to enjoy the views as well.
23. Cha Cha Coconuts
Another gem of a restaurant located in St. Armand’s Circle, this establishment offers a fun, relaxing vibe with outdoor and indoor dining options.
The tropical décor and colors are bright and fun and feels like a day in the Caribbean. A great selection of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, and fresh made fruit smoothies. Cha cha offers mixed cocktails, imported and domestic beers, and wine.
24. Eleni’s Pizza Works
One of the highest rated pizza places in Sarasota, Eleni’s is a great place to eat. It has a sports bar feel to it, but the menu is quite expansive for a pizza joint.
Their menu offers pizzas, Stromboli, gourmet burgers, wraps, gyros, subs and salads. It also has a large list of delicious appetizers and desserts. It also features a very large full service bar to enjoy with friends or just a place to watch the game.
25. Owen’s Fish Camp
Add this to the list of amazing fresh seafood available here in Sarasota. This restaurant has a great family atmosphere and features craft beers and wine. Kick back and get your seafood either fried or grilled and enjoy a taste of some southern spices in a lot of their menu.
They feature live music and a large outdoor patio to enjoy the beautiful evening weather and cooling bay breezes. The restaurant has a really great vibe to it and the service is always on point. There are always daily specials to choose from as well from fresh caught fish to dessert.
26. Breakfast House
Offering service for breakfast and lunch, this is a great spot to grab a great breakfast to start your day. It’s a house that has been transformed into a nice cozy and relaxing dining room. It has the character of being a bit older home, and is a very popular choice amongst the locals here.
From eggs, pancakes, waffles, and fresh fruit, there is an option for all diets to choose from. Experience some of Sarasota’s charm and hospitality at this location for sure.
27. Yoder’s Restaurant and Amish Village
Here is a great opportunity to experience cooking the old fashioned Amish way. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The most popular dish on the menu is the deep pressure fried chicken and it is nothing short of juicy and delicious. Other great choices include chicken, turkey, steak, and seafood.
The mashed potatoes and gravy are highly recommended and don’t forget the pies. All pies are handmade and done with authentic Amish recipes. Another feature I like about this place is the market. It has so many great choices from meats, cheeses, butter, and of course pies. It is a fun place to bring the family and enjoy some of the Amish culture here in Florida.
Formerly called the Taste of Asia, Stiks is a family run Thai restaurant serving up many delicious options for vegans and meat lovers alike. The noodle soups are bursting with flavors and spices from Thai inspired cooking. There are many options to choose from as far as vegetables, meats, and the fresh produce enhances the taste even more.
It is a fun place to work on your chopstick skills and enjoy a nice drink. The service is extremely friendly and the servers are helpful in answering any questions you may have about the menu.
29. Mirna’s Cuban Cuisine
A family owned restaurant, Mirna’s has proudly been serving the Sarasota area for years. They take pride in making all of their food items from scratch and it does provide a truly authentic Cuban taste.
Their recipes have been passed down through many generations, and they offer a lot more meat options than just pork. If you have never had the opportunity to try real Cuban made food, then this is the place to go. From the classic Cuban made sandwich to real Cuban cuisine, Mirna’s is a must try when in the Sarasota area. One of the best restaurants in Sarasota for sure.
30. Food trucks
Not a brick and motor place, the food trucks in Sarasota offer up delicious options all over the area. From barbeque, burgers, wraps, tacos, the choices are endless here. I must share, I have had a lot of meals from these trucks, and most are the ones I want to visit again.
A great feature here is they offer food truck gatherings in certain areas and there is a lot of information online about their whereabouts and hours.
One of the highest rated food trucks in Sarasota is G’s Southern Mobile Kitchen. They have been voted many times as the best chicken wings in town and as one of the best restaurants on wheels. The prices are very modest and the portions are quite generous. So make sure if you like barbeque and southern cooking, consider stopping by and supporting this local business.