Sarasota, Florida is one of the lesser-known gems along Florida’s Gulf Coast that people seek out for its pristine beaches, clear waterways, and endless attractions, but the fun really only begins there. The real special experience comes when you go out to eat in Sarasota, if you know where to go, that is.
Having spent lots of time up in Sarasota, I put myself up for the task of locating all the greatest restaurants in the city, and I came back with quite the list. If that sounds like something that interests you, then you’ll want to keep on reading.
Down below, I’ve compiled that list into a guide ranking all the best restaurants Sarasota has to offer to help out anyone unfamiliar with the area, or even just other foodies out there like myself. The next time you’re wondering where to eat in Sarasota, be sure to pull up this article and you’ll know exactly where to go, no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Best Restaurants in Sarasota
- Owen’s Fish Camp
- Indigenous Restaurant
- Selva Downtown Sarasota
- State Street Eating House & Cocktails
- First Watch
- Boca Sarasota
- Columbia Restaurant
- Siegfried’s Restaurant and German Biergarten
- Marcello Ristorante
- Veronica Fish and Oyster
- Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood.
Shore is the restaurant I want to talk about first and in a moment, you’ll see why. This place is an American restaurant with multiple convenient locations around Sarasota, so you’re never too far away from a delicious meal at Shore.
If you happen to be dining at Shore St. Armands location at St. Armands Circle, then you’re in for a real treat because you’re close by to the absolutely gorgeous Lido Key Beach, perfect for a sunset walk before dinner.
When you get to Shore, I recommend trying the pan-seared local snapper for something fresh out of the Gulf, but if you’re here for brunch, definitely get the steak and eggs.
Owen’s Fish Camp
516 Burns Ct #7030, Sarasota, FL 34236
This next place is called Owen’s Fish Camp and you can find them on Burns Court next to the Burns Court Cinema in the Downtown Sarasota Historic District.
What’s great about Owen’s Fish Camp, besides all of the fresh fish and shellfish, is that it’s conveniently located near the Laurel Park neighborhood, not far from Bayfront Park. This makes it a wonderful place to come eat after a day soaking up the sun nearby.
What I usually order from Owen’s Fish Camp is the fresh shrimp or some grilled oysters. Of course, there are tons of other tasty choices they offer on their menu.
239 S Links Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Indigenous Restaurant is up next and I really admire how they put such care and effort into making sure that everything they serve is fresh and carefully-sourced. Sustainability is always important.
What I love to eat at Indigenous Restaurant is the redfish entree, but the cobia is also fresh and delicious as well.
If you’re thinking about catching a movie or a comedy show, then Indigenous Restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite before or after the show nearby at the Regal Hollywood Sarasota movie theater or McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre. The central location of the restaurant is unbeatable.
Selva Downtown Sarasota
1345 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236
Another great restaurant that everyone should check out during their time in Downtown Sarasota is called Selva. This is one of my absolute favorite places to eat in the area, by far.
Selva is a Peruvian restaurant with a gorgeous atmosphere and a spectacular menu. My absolute favorite dish to order from Selva is the whole fried snapper. The whole menu is full of incredible seafood dishes, so if you’re a shellfish or a fish lover, this is the place for you.
Be sure to check out Selva off of Main Street near the Florida Studio Theater and the Sarasota Opera House. It’s the perfect destination for dinner before a show at the nearby theaters.
1917 S Osprey Ave, Sarasota, FL 34239
Right off of South Osprey Avenue near the Southside Village is a place called Libby’s that you’ll find right across the street from Morton’s Gourmet Market.
Libby’s is a delightful New American bistro that has a wonderful, seasonal menu full of delicious food I think you’re going to thoroughly enjoy. I started my meal off with an appetizer of the crispy brussel sprouts. After that, I went for an order of the rotisserie chicken carbonara and that really filled me up.
You’re definitely going to want to stop by Libby’s the next time you’re in the area, even if you’re only in the mood for a couple cocktails.
State Street Eating House & Cocktails
1533 State St, Sarasota, FL 34236
Next up is State Street Eating House & Cocktails. When it comes to finding places to eat in Sarasota, this one can be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention, but you seriously don’t want to skip this one, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re on State Street!
When you get here, I recommend trying one of their unique, craft cocktails to get you started because they have such a variety of delicious drinks that you’re bound to find something you like.
When it comes to the food, I always come here for brunch because I think they do that the best.
There are a few restaurants that you can go to in any city that has one and get a delicious meal no matter where you are, and First Watch is one of those places. First Watch rarely disappoints, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve been there.
Everything on First Watch’s menu is made fresh and they pride themselves on sourcing many of their ingredients from local farms. You can really taste the difference.
I always get a tall glass of their orange juice to go with my breakfast. My go-to order from here is always the Trifecta. It’s got everything you need.
19 S Lemon Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Up next, we have Boca Sarasota. This place is located on South Lemon Avenue near Main Street and the Laurel Park neighborhood. Boca is a wonderful place to come when you’re in the mood for some classic feel-good cuisine.
My favorite things to order from this restaurant are the flatbreads and the seafood dishes. Whenever I order a flatbread, I usually go for the Heritage & Swine, and when it comes to seafood, the greatest option is an order of bronzed sea scallops. Regardless, they have plenty of other options to suit pretty much everyone’s taste.
411 St Armands Cir, Sarasota, FL 34236
This next Sarasota restaurant, Columbia Restaurant, is a favorite of mine because you can find them all over the country and they will never let you down. You’ll find this location on St. Armands island, right off of the big roundabout.
This Spanish restaurant has something for everyone on their enormous menu, so don’t be afraid to bring the whole family. I highly recommend trying the Roast Pork “a la Cubana”. With this dish, you get massive slices of roasted pork loin in a delectable garlic marinade with a side of black beans and rice as well as yuca and plantains.
1216 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236
Sage is another one of the top places to eat in Sarasota, especially if you’re staying nearby at The Ritz-Carlton hotel. There are also lots of theaters and event venues within walking distance to Sage, so it’s really right in the heart of the action.
When you get to Sage, I highly recommend you try one of their expertly-crafted seasonal cocktails to get you started. For dinner, the menu is seasonal, so it’s going to be different depending on the time of year, but when I went, I had the roasted half duck and it was divine.
Siegfried’s Restaurant and German Biergarten
1869 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, FL 34236
Up next, Siegfried’s Restaurant and German Biergarten is another great place to check out in Sarasota when you’re feeling hungry, or even if you’re just in the mood for a few beers in a charming little outdoor garden.
If you’re a fan of authentic German beer and cuisine, then this is going to be like heaven for you. Siegfried’s has tons of draft beers for you to try, but they also offer wine if that’s more your taste.
The food here is fantastic as well. I always go for some schnitzel or a good, old-fashioned bratwurst. You really can’t go wrong with either of those.
4157 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
Now, for some Italian flair, we arrive at Marcello Ristorante. This place will make all of your dreams come true when it comes to delicious Italian food here in Sarasota. You can find this place over off of South Tamiami Trail near the Oyster Bay neighborhood and just south of CMX CinéBistro Siesta Key.
My all-time favorite dish that Marcello Ristorante serves is the Braised Pork Shank Osso Buco. It’s so tender and delectable that it simply melts in your mouth. Of course, don’t forget to peruse their enormous wine selection and find something to pair with your meal.
1568 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236
Next up is a very unique restaurant you’ll find right in the heart of Sarasota called meLange. This restaurant calls themselves an “Exploration of Food, Art, and Drink”, and I can’t think of a more apropo way to describe this establishment.
I highly recommend starting with a cheese board when you get to meLange, but that’s just an appetizer to go with your wine while you wait for the food. When it comes to entrees, you can’t beat the beef short ribs. They’re so mind-blowingly delicious that my mouth begins to water just thinking about them.
Veronica Fish and Oyster
1830 S Osprey Ave, Sarasota, FL 34239
Up next is a wonderful Sarasota restaurant called Veronica Fish and Oyster. I absolutely love this place and I really think you will too once you pay them a visit.
You can find this restaurant off of South Osprey Avenue near the McClellan Park neighborhood, right around the corner from Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
What I love about this place is the sheer variety of fresh fish and shellfish that’s available to order from Veronica Fish and Oyster. I usually come here for some oysters on the half-shell, but there are so many other tasty options that it’s hard to choose sometimes.
Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood.
1435 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236
Last, but not least, is a place called Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. and this place is unlike any other when it comes to fresh-caught fish. Every day brings a new selection of fresh-caught fish straight off of the fishing boats, so you never know what’s on the menu until you stop by. No matter what it is, though, it’s sure to be delicious.
Regardless of what you order for dinner, you simply must try something from their dessert menu. Of course, since we’re in Florida, the only logical choice is Floribbean Flo’s Key Lime Pie. It’s simply to-die-for.
It’s really easy to see why people flock from all over to Sarasota instead of some of the more well-known Florida vacation destinations. The restaurants here are truly something special, and when you pair that with all the other fun attractions, you’ll want to move here permanently!
Looking for other great places to eat in the area? Check out our favorite restaurants with waterfront views, right here.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!
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