Did you know there’s a place in the continental United States where the sun shines almost every day of the year? Yes, it’s true! And that place is Siesta Key, Florida.
This beautiful barrier island is located just south of Tampa and offers everything from gorgeous beaches to excellent restaurants.
When it comes to a vacation destination spot like Siesta Key, there’s something about waterfront restaurants that just makes the food taste better.
Maybe it’s the fresh air or the view of the water, but whatever it is, waterfront restaurants are always a hit. And, there’s no better place for them than in Siesta Key.
- Ophelia’s on the Bay
- Turtles Restaurant
- The Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill
- Marina Jacks
- The Seafood Joint – Market & Grill
- Summer House Steak & Seafood
- The Cottage
- SPEARFISH GRILLE
- Cafe Gabbiano
- Siesta Key Oyster Bar
- Clayton’s Siesta Grille
Luckily, I’m a frequent visitor of the area and have made my way through a host of eateries there to give you the ultimate list of waterfront restaurants in Siesta Key.
9105 Midnight Pass Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242
Step into paradise at Ophelia’s on the Bay. The intimate waterfront dining rooms and open-air patio offer exquisite views of Little Sarasota Bay.
From here, you can watch tropical birds fly among preserved mangrove islands, see dolphins leap in the water, and feel the gentle breeze on your face.
The casual tropical atmosphere is perfect for kicking back and relaxing with friends or family. You’ll find Ophelia’s on the Bay just down the street from Turtle Beach Resort and Inn.
After you’ve taken in the view, you can peruse the extensive wine list and delicious menu items to choose what you’d like to eat.
Personally, I enjoy sharing the Ahi Tuna nachos as an appetizer with friends before digging into the exquisite Chilean sea bass entree.
Located in South Siesta Key by little Sarasota Bay, you’ll find Turtles Restaurant. The establishment has been around since 1986 and is only more popular now, so you know they must be doing something right.
Whether you’re enjoying a meal outside with a view of Little Sarasota Bay or inside where the water is just as visible, you’re sure to have a great time at Turtles.
With its casual atmosphere, Turtles Restaurant offers a casual American dining menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Whenever I go for lunch, I like to stick to the lighter side and get the classic Turtles Salad. But, when I go for dinner, I like to indulge in the sea scallops or the fried gulf shrimp platter.
1500 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231
The Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill offers a casual seafood dining experience like no other. The indoor and outdoor waterfront dining areas provide the perfect atmosphere to enjoy fresh seafood while taking in the beautiful views of Old Florida.
Whether you’re looking for a private banquet room for a special event or want to relax at the reef bar, The Boatyard Grill is the perfect place for you.
The restaurant has a delicious selection of fresh seafood dishes and handcrafted cocktails to complete your meal.
I highly recommend the fish and chips for a casual meal or the Mahi Mahi piccata for a scrumptious dinner.
2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236
Looking for a place to enjoy an award-winning wine list and delicious steak or seafood? Look no further than The Dining Room at Marina Jacks. With views of the Inter-Coastal waterway, it’s the perfect spot to relax and savor your meal.
While the dining room looks and feels luxurious, the restaurant doesn’t require a formal dress code. But, if you still want to feel more relaxed, you can try your hand at the marina’s patio or lounge and bar areas.
When it comes to seafood and fresh food, Marina Jacks knows what they’re doing since they source their ingredients locally.
You can’t go wrong with the filet mignon or the jumbo prawn cocktail, but I also enjoy the stuffed Maine lobster tail.
217 Avenida Madera, Sarasota, FL 34242
The Seafood Joint is the perfect place to enjoy fresh, delicious seafood with friends and family. With a wide variety of items on the menu, everyone is sure to find something they love.
Plus, with stunning waterfront views, it’s easy to relax and savor your meal. You’ll find this restaurant in Siesta Key Village, next door to Solorzano’s Pizza and Sub Zero Ice Cream.
The restaurant specializes in seafood like grouper and Gulf of Mexico shrimp but also flies in some other fresh catches if need be.
If I want something casual and delicious from The Seafood Joint, I like to share the mussels with some friends and grab a couple of drinks. But, if I go for something heavier, I can’t resist the fish n’ chips.
149 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, FL 34242
Located near the point of Big Sarasota Pass, you can go to Siesta Key Summer House for the finest hand-selected steaks and seafood in town.
The casual steakhouse and beautiful contemporary interior design offer a relaxed, transitional atmosphere that is perfect for any occasion.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out or a family-friendly meal, Summer House has got you covered.
The concept is a bit newer than some in Siesta Key, so I’ve only been a handful of times. But, when I went, I got hooked on the colossal lobster tail and the diver scallops.
Plus, you can’t go wrong with splitting the charcuterie board as an appetizer with some friends or significant other.
153 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, FL 34242
The Cottage, located in the heart of Siesta Key Village, offers a truly unique dining experience.
With two outdoor dining patios and an eclectic mix of old Florida charm and modern twists, it’s the perfect place to celebrate any occasion.
Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a special event venue, The Cottage is sure to please.
As a restaurant that celebrates Florida charm, you can expect to find tons of locally sourced seafood on the menu.
Plus, a heft portion of the menu is dedicated to tapas, so you can order a bunch of things to share. I love getting a few things from the tapas menu, including the tuna poke tostados, edamame hummus, and tuna tacoshimi.
1265 Old Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242
If you’re looking for a casual seafood spot with a hip vibe, Spearfish Grille is the perfect place to go.
Situated on the picturesque Siesta Key Marina, this restaurant offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and an inviting atmosphere inspired by the local fishing community and marina that will make you feel right at home.
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood or some juicy steaks, Spearfish Grille has something for everyone.
If you pop in for lunch, I suggest getting the sushi nachos or the ahi tuna sandwich. But, if you join the restaurant for dinner, you can’t go wrong with the cheesy gulf shrimp and grits.
5104 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key, FL 34242
Café Gabbiano is the perfect place to relax and escape the everyday. With its intimate, private dining and comfortable outdoor seating, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Italy. You’ll find this quaint Italian spot just north of Siesta Key Summer House near Big Sarasota Pass.
The chefs at Café Gabbiano are passionate about sourcing the freshest seasonal ingredients and preparing them with care to create dishes that will transport you on a culinary journey. I highly recommend the Branzino as your main dish with the truffle parmesan fries on the side.
5238 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242
Looking for live music, great drinks, and local vibes? Then you’ve come to the right place at Siesta Key Oyster Bar.
This casual bar and restaurant will make you feel like you’re a Siesta Key local, but the views of the water will make you feel like you’re at a five-star resort.
You’ll find this spot a short walk from the Big Sarasota Pass beaches and next door to Daiquiri Deck.
When you visit an Oyster Bar, especially one so close to the ocean, you can’t help but grab some oysters.
You can get a classic half-shell dozen, but I also recommend the delicious specialty baked oysters too. However, if you’re not big into oysters, I suggest trying the chipotle lobster tacos.
1256 Old Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242
Clayton’s Siesta Grille is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
The art-filled space and shady patio make for a perfect setting to relax and recharge. You’ll find this local favorite just steps from the water and route 72.
The creative seafood dishes at Clayton’s Siesta Grille are sure to tempt your taste buds, while the other fare will leave you feeling satisfied.
I can’t recommend the macadamia-crusted grouper enough. Plus, the restaurant has plenty of vegetarian-friendly options too. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love the cauliflower steaks here.
This list of the best waterfront restaurants in Siesta Key has everything from fancy seafood to casual bites.
If you want a great meal with an amazing view and don’t know where to go for lunch or dinner tonight, I’ve got it all taken care of.
You can even plan your whole vacation around this list by visiting each restaurant on different days so that you have plenty of options for tasty cuisine on the water’s edge.
Did we leave any of your favorite waterfront restaurants off of our list? Be sure to drop them in the comments below!