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Sarasota County, Florida: 20 Spots to Eat in Sarasota County

I have visited the Sarasota area just about every year (if not twice a year) for my entire life, and for good reason. The best white sand beaches in the country, warm water on the Gulf, and good weather just about all year round -- it's definitely the ideal getaway.

Here are some of my top restaurants to visit while vacationing in the area...

Breakfast & Coffee

Croissant & Co.

Located in Venice, Florida

I cannot hype this spot up enough. Located right on the main drag of the gorgeous historic district of Venice, Croissant & Co. is the perfect breakfast spot. I was so impressed by their fresh breads and pastries!

I grabbed a “French Brie,” which was warmed brie cheese, prosciutto, and tomato, all on a fresh flaky croissant roll. It tasted so good and I thought about it so much that I actually stopped by the next weekend to grab another. Honestly, this might be my favorite spot in all of Venice! It is a must-visit and dear god you have to grab yourself a croissant sandwich.

Pictured: French Brie Sandwich, Chocolate Croissant, Apricot Croissant, Cherry Croissant, Iced Coffee

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Various Locations Around Florida

I first visited Maple Street Biscuit Co. while visiting Jacksonville, Florida, but you can find them scattered all over the state. They have a great variety of biscuit sandwiches to satisfy that southern craving. You can even build your own!

ABBY's on Miami

Located in Venice, Florida

Located on Miami Avenue (hence, the name) near the main historic street, this is definitely a staple breakfast spot for locals. There is a lot of outdoor seating, and plenty of space to sit out and enjoy the morning sea breeze. Not only that, it is crazy cheap. Like, shockingly cheap for this DC resident. Classic diner with a classic vibe.

Pictured: Coconut Banana French Toast, Bacon, Country Boy Benedict, Lobster Omelette

Venice Island Coffee Cafe

Located in Venice, Florida

This is a cute little shop off the historic main street with a full menu and a lot of delicious breakfast options. There are a few outdoor seats, but I might expect to sit indoors if you sit down for food. I stopped by for a coffee to-go, and got a coconut latte (hello Florida).

Pictured: Coconut Latte

Lunch & Dinner

Sharky’s on the Pier

Located in Venice, Florida

This might be the best spot for a sunset dinner on the beach. Listen, you know I don’t typically recommend touristy spots, but I believe one thing truly: sometimes there’s a reason it’s touristy, and sometimes it’s fun to be the tourist. The beach in Florida is a perfect example of this. If grabbing tropical drinks and big, tasty dishes right on the beach while watching the sunset is what you want to spend a night doing in southern Florida, I HIGHLY recommend Sharky’s. There is a huge, open, outdoor space right on the beach!

It’s very well priced for the huge portions, and actually so delicious! We grabbed piña coladas, nachos, and other seafood dishes while we watched the sun go down.

Pictured: Sharky’s Spiced Seafood Nachos (with bay shrimp and lump crab meat), Piña Coladas, Firework Shrimp Wrap with Fries, Blackened Ahi Tuna

Trattoria da Mino

Located in Venice, Florida

This is our go-to pizza spot. Although they have some great service and outdoor space at their restaurant, sometimes you just want a huge, delicious pizza to-go. We got it every weekend on our recent trip to Venice, and I highly recommend you do the same if you want some amazing pizza to refuel after a long day in the sun.

Pictured: Margherita & Pepperoni Pizza

Nokomo's Sunset Hut

Located in Nokomis, Florida

We were able to grab a delicious app and drinks and sit outside away from everyone at a picnic table---the perfect spot to hear the great live music and watch the sunset safely! The Mahi bites have delicious slaw and dressing with a lil spicy kick, and were perfectly evened out by the mango addition. Grab all three in one bite and YUM.

PS. make a reservation for this spot. They have a parking lot AND an overflow parking lot, and we never passed once (at all times of day) without being shocked at how full each lot was. That was our main reason for grabbing things to-go!

Pictured: Mahi Island Bites, Piña Colada, Mai-Tai, Corona

Turtles Restaurant

Located in Siesta Key, Florida

When my grandmother officially received BOTH of her vaccine shots, we celebrated with some delicious food and drinks at Turtles. We sat outside on the open deck with a beautiful view of the inner harbor!

She has lived on and around the Key for just about my whole life, and this remains one of her favorite spots to grab lunch. When we asked her where she wanted to grab food for her first lunch of freedom, she immediately suggested Turtles. And I mean look at the food, they clearly delivered! The coconut shrimp is our go-to. Another spot loved by locals, and definitely a place worth visiting.

Pictured: Avocado Fries, Lobster Tails, Coconut Shrimp, Fries, Siesta Sunset Cocktails

The Crow's Nest

Venice, Florida and Various Locations Nationwide

I was told that The Crow’s Nest was the best place to grab some high-end seafood in the area, and one of the nicest spots as well. We got a great outdoor seat away from people for Valentines Day, and it was a delicious, romantic dinner.

Definitely expect it to be pricey---but also expect it to deliver. We started with some fried calamari and drinks, and I got some delicious local crab legs that were so full of meat. I was extremely impressed! We also tried the grouper, which is the classic fish of the area. If you are in Sarasota County, definitely make it a point to try the grouper, local crab, and local shrimp!

What we ate: Local Crab, Local Grouper, Calamari, Sweet Potato Fries, Pom Cosmo Drink, Wine

The Waverly

Located in Manasota Key, Florida

The perfect spot to catch the last few rays during happy hour. Manasota Key is such a pretty area of Sarasota County. We actually entered Manasota Key on the northern end, and drove all the way down the key (highly recommend). You can see the water on either side of the road, and all the gorgeous mansion homes that line it.

On the south end, we stopped for happy hour at The Waverly, a great open outdoor area with apps, drinks, and a wide selection of food. There was even some live music!

Pictured: Key West Smoked Fish Dip with Mahi-Mahi, Mai Tai with Local Siesta Key Rum

The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill

Located in Sarasota, Florida

Located right on the bridge over to Siesta Key, this is one of my favorite spots in the area. My family has visited the Boatyard almost every year since I was a child, because it has so much nice outdoor space on the water plus a great variety of classic Sarasota foods. Shrimp, fish, and all fried goodies you could want. They also have a great bar of drinks to enjoy while the sun goes down. Definitely a good vacation destination, but also notoriously loved by locals. This might be my top suggestion if you want a casual and classic “end of beach day” drink and meal with the view.

Pictured: Sriracha Shrimp, Sweet Chili Chicken, Sweet Fries

Star Thai and Sushi

Located in Siesta Key & Venice, Florida

If you are in the mood for some fresh sushi, this is your spot in Venice. I haven’t tried their Thai (we love Thai Bistro for that), but everything we have tried here has been amazing. We ordered a full spread to-go, and they still dressed the sushi rolls up in each box with beautiful flowers and fresh flavors! They care about their sushi, which is exactly the kind of sushi place you should order from.

Pictured: Beneva Sushi Roll, The Star Sushi Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Vegetable Tempura, Egg Rolls, Side of White Rice


Located in Venice, Florida

All I can say is yum. This is a delicious spot if you want to grab some burgers, hotdogs, wings, and beers. It really is the spot for some bar food and drinks. We decided to grab some food here for lunch and it was the perfect (unhealthy, but delicious) treat.

And those sauces! So many options for my wings and I went with half spicy chili and half dry rub, tangy key lime ‘n spice.

PS. if you love crispy fries like me, this is the spot to grab them.

Pictured: 2/3 lb. of Hand Breaded Boneless Wings (Flavors: Half Sriracha Chili & Half Key Lime n' Spice), Hot Dog with Jalapeños & Fries

Thai Bistro

Located in Venice, Florida

Now this is the spot I would go to for Thai. Extremely authentically made, delicious, and tons of options. Their seafood dishes were incredibly fresh, and their beef pad Thai (pad Thai is my go-to, so I’ve tried a lot of it) was exactly what I was looking for. And it was all at a very reasonable price! We called in and ordered out, and they were on top of things, ready, and quick in their service process. Highly recommend if you want a good takeout dish to enjoy at home after a long beach day!

P.S. the servings were generous considering that I was able to save half my pad Thai for lunch the next day! I love some leftover Thai food.

Pictured: Crispy Rolls, Crab Rangoons, Beef pad Thai, Volcano Shrimp, Chicken Pad See Ew

Urban Taco

Located in Venice, Florida

Okay---do NOT sleep on this spot. Funnily enough, we were actually stopping by the Comcast store to get a new router and, of course, there was a half hour wait. Instead of staying inside, we decided to hop next door for lunch at a spot that wasn’t even on my radar. And oh my god, yes. No lie, the Kickin Shrimp taco here is maybe one of the best fried shrimp tacos I’ve ever had! And I’ve had a lot of tacos. We were so shocked, and ended up returning multiple times throughout our stay because of our craving!

Pictured: Urban Taco, Kickin Shrimp Taco

Captain Eddy’s

Located in Nokomis, Florida

We were told multiple times that this was the best place to grab seafood in the area without an egregious price. We opted to grab food to-go, but the restaurant was packed because of the wonderful atmosphere. Although it’s on a busy street with no view of the water, don’t let that fool you. The outdoor seating looked like an excellent and fun spot to grab food and drinks post-COVID.

We ordered the lobster rolls and calamari to-go, and I was so impressed by how loaded the lobster roll was. They do not skimp you at all here. I actually had to stop eating the roll to make sure I had room to eat all the lobster first. Plus, they give some great sauces to accompany the dishes. Definitely get why this is the local favorite!

Pictured: Calamari, Lobster Roll with Fries

Ice Cream & Bites

Big Olaf Creamery

Various Sarasota Locations

Growing up, when we drove to see my grandparents every Thanksgiving and Spring Break, we would frequent Big Olaf’s and enjoy some yummy flavors on their porch. I have so many memories of this place---and it is still one of my favorite ice cream spots! They have tons of delicious ice cream and fudge options, and you can even watch them make their homemade cones at a separate counter!

Definitely a nostalgic treat every visit.

Pictured: Coffee Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone

Venice Farmers Market

Located in Venice, Florida

If you’re sticking around for a while, I highly recommend visiting the Venice Farmers Market every Saturday!

If you’ve been following Meat on Her Bones for a while, you’ll notice that anywhere I go, I try to find a local market.

Truly, I am such a lover of local markets. Why?

1. They often have the most local, authentic foods

2. You are supporting local businesses (food and otherwise) that can’t afford a brick & mortar location

3. You can find the best fresh noms for snacks (and perfect if you’re staying at an Airbnb or place with a kitchen!)

Soda Fountain of Venice

Located in Venice, Florida

SUCH a cute spot. The whole restaurant is designed like an old soda fountain shop, with wood interior and soda streams. It’s such an adorable aesthetic, I went inside to check it out (although I took my delicious soda ice cream drink to-go). I went for the tan & tan, coffee soda with coffee ice cream (which, as mentioned in multiple posts of mine, is my ice cream flavor). It was such a fun treat. We also got some root beer floats and ice cream.

I put this place in the treats section, but it also has a huge menu of different delicious food. It would be a great lunch stop for the family, especially if you were looking for a kid-friendly spot.

Pictured: Tan & Tan

Venice Avenue Creamery

Located in Venice, Florida

Decided to make an afternoon stop at Venice Avenue Creamery, which has been thriving since 1957!

I get why it’s been around for so long---they had so many delicious options. My coffee Oreo scoops in a waffle bowl were an absolute dream. If you’re an ice cream lover like me, this is a must visit in Venice. I’d say it’s the best ice cream in and around Venice. Plus, so much history!

Pictured: Coffee Oreo flavor in a Waffle Bowl

Taking a trip over to Orlando, Florida?

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Written by Emi Lungmus

Photographed by Emi Lungmus

Edited by Anna McCarthy


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