This cozy St. Armands bistro offers Italian specialties and wines. The upstairs nightclub swings with live jazz and Latin music.
Serving made-from-scratch pasta and perfectly prepared meats and seafood, all reflecting chef Andrea Bozzolo’s hometown of Piedmont, Italy.
A cozy, casual new dining experience featuring modern European cuisine by Chef Christian Zebier, formerly of Brasserie Belge. Dinner from 4 p.m.
Casual, modern European cuisine featuring handmade pastas and sophisticated seafood specials.
This handsome addition to the University Parkway dining scene presents a modern twist on Greek dishes. Think light and flaky spanakopita and creative ahi tuna and watermelon salad.
A comfortable American bistro-gastro pub with a likable full bar that's garnered a loyal following since opening last spring. 2157 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, (941) 960-1765, bakerwife.com
Fresh off-the-boat seafood, outstanding crab cakes and more; Barnacle Bill’s proves you don’t have to have a water view to enjoy the best the sea has to offer.
A fine dining destination set right on the Gulf of Mexico, this intimate, award-winning restaurant is known for showstoppers like Bistro Bouillabaisse and Death by Foie Gras.
Panoramic Gulf views, grouper sandwiches and a bustling bar scene. Choose the newly renovated dining room, or the spacious outdoor beachfront patio.
A lively new Italian restaurant from the owners of popular Flavio's Brick Oven & Bar on Siesta Key. 1766 Main St. Sarasota. (941) 960-2305
A fine-dining tradition in the heart of downtown Sarasota’s arts district since 1986. Chef/owner Jean-Pierre Knaggs’ French and South African heritage is reflected in his innovative lunch and dinner menus.
The Culinary Institute of America trained chef at work here gives a gourmet twist to omelets and other breakfast fare, plus specialty burgers and daily brunch specials. Open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner, too. 625 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, (941) 485-8200; bluislandbistro.com
Casually elegant waterfront dining with panoramic views. This palate-pleasing restaurant offers a focus on fresh seafood, including a sushi bar and raw bar. 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto, (941) 479-7827, blumangrove.com
Hardwood grilled favorites cooked slowly over hickory and apple wood. Just a short walk from the beach, with live music every day.
Southern comfort food with a twist, like fried green tomatoes, catfish, meatloaf and chicken and waffles. Stick around to have a drink and listen to live music, and check out the Sunday gospel brunch.
Enjoy spectacular gulf views while dining al fresco on the third-floor terrace. 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach, (941) 782-1122, bridgestreetbistroonline.com
Enjoy spectacular Gulf views while dining al fresco on the third-floor terrace.
A local favorite since 1925, Broadway Bar serves popular thin-crust pizza, as well as hearty appetizers, sandwiches, pasta dishes and daily specials.
Fresh and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Try the special two for twenty menu: two salads, two entrees, and two desserts for $20. 227 W. Miami Ave., Venice, (941) 451-8261.
A real Parisian café and bakery in the heart of historic Burns Square. Homemade quiches, pastries, desserts, salads and sandwiches, plus an array of coffee drinks and wine. The twice monthly jazz night is always SRO. burnscourtcafe.com
Fine Japanese dining on the island of Venice presented by Ho, Venice's own premier sushi chef. 125 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-1757, bushidisushi.com.
A contemporary Sarasota restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with menus that are Pan-Mediterranean and also feature American favorites enhanced by international wines. Dine inside or under shade on the streetside patio and savor the lively ambiance of Sarasota's historic Five Points and the city's arts district.
This intimate Main Street ristorante offers fine Italian dining with family recipes handed down for generations.
With a culinary history that started in Rome, the Mei family serves authentic pasta, chicken and veal dishes in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
An authentic Italian trattoria on the corner of bustling Main Street and Palm Avenue. Check out the adjacent martini bar, a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.
Private dining in its wine rooms, outdoor seating on the climate-controlled patio, or order a sunset basket to go for your Siesta Beach picnic. 5104 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-1423; cafegabbiano.com
Continental fine dining on St. Armands for 42 years. The lunch and dinner menus include such specialties as potato-crusted grouper and dilled Atlantic salmon. Save time to peruse the expansive wine list.
The Caragiulo family brought its pizza, pasta and panini recipes all the way from Brooklyn—Italian-American comfort food just like Mama used to make.
That Caragiulo family brought it's pizza, pasta, and panini recipes all the way from Brooklyn-Italian-American comfort food just like Mama used to make. 69 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 951-0866; caragiulos.com.
Modern Mediterranean cuisine with a relaxed Florida vibe. Bring your friends and share a mezze platter or one of several inventive flatbreads.
This Casey Key landmark offers diners an Old Florida waterfront atmosphere and seafood-centric fare, plus a lively tiki bar. You can even arrive by boat.
The owners of this popular restaurant hail from Northern Italy and share a passion for contemporary Italian cuisine. 313 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 786-1000., cassariano.com
A carefree island atmosphere fills this colorful tropical café. Try a Hava Havana Mojito or Rumrunner while you dine on Yucatan fish tacos and coconut shrimp.
A care-free island atmosphere fills this colorful tropical café. Try a Hava Havana Mojito or Rumrunner while you dine on Yucatan fish tacos and coconut shrimp. 417 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3300;chacha-coconuts.com
Bask in a million-dollar view of New Pass at the Chart House, where you’ll find fresh seafood, juicy steaks, decadent desserts and a nice selection of wines.
Authentic Italian food served in a warm atmosphere, with calamari steak, veal saltimbocca and linguine and clam sauce among the highlights.
An Indian and Middle Eastern culinary adventure is yours at this intimate family-run eatery. Try the chicken masala, peanut chicken and Tandoori chicken tikka.
A Florida dining tradition that started in Tampa’s Ybor City way back in 1905, this classic Spanish restaurant presents outstanding paellas, a famous “1905 salad,” and seafood fare like snapper Alicante.
Brick-oven pizzas, salads and homemade signature pasta dishes are the mainstays at this longtime Italian eatery.
Set on a bustling corner of St. Armands Circle and featuring a cool, modern look, this landmark restaurant changes its lunch and dinner menus daily in order to present to you the freshest seafood available.
Venice's waterfront landmark since 1976, with casual fine dining in a beautiful marina setting. Its collection of more than 1,000 wines received Wine Spectator's "Best of" award of excellence. 1986 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice, (941) 484-9551' crowsnest-venice.com
Enjoy waterfront views, bright décor and a lively bar scene at this chic hotel restaurant.
After the beach, there’s nothing better than a handcrafted daiquiri, something from the raw oyster bar or one of the Daiquiri Deck’s famed “snacketizers.”
Authentic Peruvian street food meets international dining at chef Darwin Santa Maria's restaurant, which has earned an avid following for its sublime Latin fare. Try a handcrafted beer from its in-house brewery.
Devotees of Chef Derek Barnes' former Sarasota restaurant have followed him north to Bradenton, where he's created a casual restaurant with an emphasis on fresh seafood.
Devotees of Chef Derek Barnes’ late Sarasota restaurant have followed him to Bradenton, where he’s created a casual restaurant with an emphasis on fresh seafood.
Italian cuisine is the hallmark of this popular Main Street restaurant. If you have an appetite for live music, visit the courtyard dining area, La Vanda, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Enjoy casual waterfront dining on the dockside patio or in the recently expanded indoor dining room overlooking Sarasota Bay. You can even arrive by boat.
An eclectic eatery with a passion for the freshest seafood, the finest local ingredients and superb service. Winner of the 2014 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
From the creative minds behind the award-winning Beach Bistro, this casual gem serves inventive small plates made for sharing.
The flavors of the Mediterranean are yours to enjoy at this family-owned eatery. Fresh specialties like spanakopita, moussaka and gyros will transport you to the islands of Greece.
Enjoy hearty breakfast and lunch fare, and healthy options, too, such as freshly made fruit crepes and power wraps. Open until 2:30 p.m. daily.
Authentic homemade Italian specialties in the heart of Siesta Village, including mouthwatering brick oven pizzas.
Chef Flavio Cristofoli brought his authentic, homemade Italian recipes with him from Italy 25 years ago, and now also features made-from-scratch brick oven pizza.
Classic steakhouse fare, inventive small plates, an award-winning wine list and one of the best happy hours in town.
American pub food with a gourmet twist. Enjoy nightly chef’s specials and full bar, plus our Ultimate Happy Hour all day. Six locations, including 1900 Hillview St., Sarasota, (941) 953-2929; 351 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, (941) 378-0077; and 5585 Palmer Crossing Circle, Sarasota, (941) 923-6061.
Set directly on the sugar-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, this tropical family-friendly eatery has been a Bradenton Beach institution since 1981.
Enjoy char-broiled oysters, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, po’ boys, gumbo and much more at this bright, jazzy eatery
Chef Steve Phelps locally sources his seasonal ingredients to produce sophisticated dishes with beautifully balanced flavors. Located in a charming cottage in the Towles Court art district, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Serving sushi standards, original rolls and creative fusion dishes, this local favorite is renowned for its artistic presentations and friendly neighborhood hospitality.
This coastal-chic restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is renowned for its craft cocktails and seafood-focused entrées—oysters, shrimp and grits, Maine lobster, blackened grouper etouffée, seafood gumbo and more. The outdoor terrace is sublime.
Modern Peruvian specializing in ceviches and paella, as well as Spanish tapas and sangria.
A half block from beautiful Cresent Beach, this Siesta Key mainstay offers Peruvian cuisine like ceviche, roast duck with cilantro risotto and chicken stuffed with shrimp, spinach, scallions and feta.
Made-from-scratch artisan breads, pastries and desserts—sourdough bread, almond croissants and sticky toffee pudding to name a few. Sandwiches, soups and quiches available for lunch, too.
A former hot dog joint, Kacey's still offers a varied selection of hot dogs, but now the focus is on seafood-lobster rolls, fish tacos and crab cakes, as well as burgers and chicken options.
Known for its creative sushi rolls and extensive variety of appetizers and entreés, from tempura to teriyaki, Kumo Japanese Steakhouse offers up fresh food in both a traditional and hibachi-style setting.
1657 U.S. Highway 41 Bypass, Venice
17945 Tamiami Trail, North Port
Tantalize your taste buds with the rich flavors of authentic Italian dining, dishes like ravioli di ricotta and spinaci and cotoletta alla Milanese. Buon appetito!
Founded by NFL Hall of Famer and famed Tampa Bay Buccaneer the late Lee Roy Selmon, this sports-themed restaurant is the perfect place to cheer on your favorite team over plates of pulled pork, meatloaf and flatbreads.
Libby’s Café + Bar’s menu is always evolving, focusing on inventive new flavors and the freshest local, seasonal ingredients. Stop in for cocktails and bar bites at happy hour in the new Lbar.
Panoramic Gulf and city skyline views are yours at this modern American restaurant on the eighth floor of the Lido Beach Resort. A great place to savor Sunday brunch, too.
The good folks at C’est La Vie have ventured into the Rosemary District with their French-accented café. Serving breakfast (think chocolate croissants and café au lait), lunch (open-faced sandwiches called tartines) and dinner.
This handsome downtown restaurant from the family behind Libby’s Café + Bar focuses on farm-fresh, sophisticated American cuisine as well as craft beer and handcrafted cocktails.
Authentic Irish food and drink served up in a lively atmosphere.
This golf-themed restaurant serves casual American cuisine with a Scottish twist, plus 60 malt whiskies and traditional Scottish beers on draught.
The acronym stands for “Modern American Delicious Eats,” and that’s what you’ll find at Made, opposite Hollywood 20 on Upper Main Street. This is jazzed-up comfort food: grilled corn dogs, steak and eggs, a towering burger and to-die-for double-dipped fried chicken.
A favorite with locals and tourists alike for its pizza by the yard that comes fresh from the wood-burning oven. 117 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 488-8282; madeinitaly-venice.com
Located just west of I-75, this casual seafood restaurant offers a hint of the Caribbean in its brunch, lunch, early bird and dinner menus.
Haute cuisine with many a twist from Paris-trained chef Jose Martinez. The stylish interior perfectly reflects the sophisticated menu—think caviar, foie gras and French classics.
Haute cuisine with many a twist from Paris-trained chef Jose Martinez. The stylish interior perfectly reflects the sophisticated menu- think caviar, foie gras, and French classics. 2605 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-8088; maisonblancherestaurants.com
Our food critic raves about this "sterling, chef-driven" family-run restaurant, where Italian fare like homemade pastas, knockout pizzas, and authentic chicken and veal dishes take center stage.
Located in a 100-year-old cottage in picturesque Longboat Village, Mar Vista provides the quintessential Florida experience. Sit outside and enjoy a magnificent view of Sarasota Bay while indulging in classic seafood dishes served fresh daily.
Upstairs, feast on fresh seafood while gazing out over Sarasota Bay and downtown Sarasota in the lovely dining room. Downstairs, the newly renovated, dockside Blue Sunshine Patio is perfect for casual fare and cocktails, and has live music nightly.
This newly renovated waterfront restaurant is the scenic Fisherman's Wharf Marina near the Island of Venice. 509 Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, (941) 786-3291; marker4.com
Savor classic Italian cuisine with an emphasis on artisanal ingredients. Specialties include fresh seafood, veal, pasta dishes and wood-fired pizza. The wine list is celebrated for its depth and uniqueness.
Chef Lan Bradeen showcases innovative New American cuisine and inventive seasonal cocktails in this downtown mainstay.
This family-run restaurant offers specialties that reflect the cuisine of Northern Mexico.
Sarasota’s only AAA Four-Diamond Award restaurant, this fine dining destination boasts American-Continental cuisine, an adventurous wine list and a comfortable, clubby piano lounge.
American-Continental fine dining presented by award-winning chef Fredy Mayer, who trained in some of the world’s best-known kitchens. Open Wednesdays-Saturdays.
This popular brewery partners with area restaurants and food trucks; come enjoy the front patio and beer garden. 1014 Ninth St. West, Bradenton, (941) 567-6218; motorworksbrewing.com
Chef Dylan Elhajoui draws on his French and Morocco background to create dishes filled with the bold and sunny flavors of the Mediterranean.
Crowds line up for Mrs. Chen's affordable Chinese buffet, with its dozens of delicious options.
Artful dining at lunch and dinner overlooking the beautiful grounds of the Ringling Museum. The former Treviso restaurant has been reimagined by the same family that owns Libby’s Café and Bar and Louies Modern. Museum admission is not required to dine here.
An Old-Florida dining destination. Grab a beer and feast on traditional fish and chips or try something different like the Firecracker Wrap, made of blackened grouper and tortilla strips.
Fine dining in a stunning setting overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. The Sunday brunch buffet is hugely popular.
Located in a historic Burns Court cottage, Owen’s presents Southern-style cuisine with an emphasis on seafood, including shrimp and grits and a Low Country boil. The fried black cherry pie with vanilla ice cream is semi-legendary.
This chic, contemporary branch of the national dining chain features everything from P.F. Chang’s famous chicken lettuce wraps and spare ribs to Singapore street noodles, traditional chicken, beef and pork dishes, and vegetarian options.
A casually elegant restaurant open to the public daily for lunch and Sunday brunch at University Park CC. 7671 The Park Boulevard, University Park, (941) 369-2995, universitypark-fl.com
A wide-ranging menu of casual comfort foods and a friendly atmosphere make Patrick’s 1481 a favorite of locals. Home of the “best burger” for 29 years.
Pattigeorge's serves up a bounty of fresh seafood, including the best miso-glazed Chilean sea bass around, along with beautiful Sarasota Bay views in its charming dining room.
Come by land or sea to this casual waterfront eatery and enjoy fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches. The fish tacos are a delight.
This outpost of the small Bonita Springs-based chain offers fresh seafood in a fun atmosphere. 10707 Rodeo Drive, Lakewood Ranch, (941) 922-1515, pichersusa.com/Lakewood-ranch-Sarasota.php
A beautiful view of the Manatee River is yours at this casually elegant restaurant/ballroom near the Bradenton Riverwalk. Dine in the newly renovated indoor dining room, or on the Waterfront Terrace.
Classic Italian fare prepared with innovative flair by master European chef Pino Luongo. Our restaurant critic says, "Even if you think you know everything Italian, let Pino surprise you."
Casual American cuisine with global soul, a hopping lounge area, and live entertainment.
You’ll find creative, well-executed seasonal cuisine in a sophisticated setting at this chic Citrus Square restaurant.
Join your friends on the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue for contemporary American cuisine and a creative specialty drink menu.
Classic French comfort food (duck cassoulet, snapper sauce Meuniere) served in this pocket-sized restaurant.
Located in South Sarasota, this cozy bistro is known for their homemade French cuisine, including, of course, escargot.
Chef Andrew Thompson uses locally sourced seasonal and organic ingredients in his intimate restaurant in a historic building adjacent to the Sarasota Opera House.
Set on a picturesque lake surrounded by gardens, this family-owned restaurant offers classic dishes like Colorado lamb rack and bouillabaisse. Its award-winning wine list received Wine Spectator’s “Best of” Award of Excellence.
Hawaiian fusion cuisine from James Beard-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi. Start your meal with the famous Hawaiian martini, and then continue on to any of the seafood, hand-cut meat or sushi selections. Boasts an excellent wine list, too.
This renowned restaurant offers steaks seared to perfection and sizzling when they hit your table, as well as seafood, lamb chops, chicken and seasonal vegetables.
With more than 300 items on its extensive menu, Saltwater Café offers patrons seafood, pizza, steaks and much, much more.
Enjoy made-from-scratch pastas and other authentic Italian cuisine at this casually elegant eatery. On balmy nights, the outdoor dining terrace bustles. Live music Friday and Saturday nights.
A breakfast and lunch café by day transforms into an upscale restaurant Thursday through Sunday nights. Savory Street also offers fresh breads, cakes and pastries in its international bakery.
Seasonally inspired ingredients at their peak of freshness combine with rustic cooking techniques to bring you light, sophisticated fare. Nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories.
Nuevo Latino cuisine with an emphasis on Peruvian dishes and a wonderful assortment of ceviches a la casa. Custom cocktails, a late-night menu and DJ spinning music weekends, too, at Selva Lounge.
A Venice landmark set smack dab on the beach at the city pier, Sharky’s serves casual dishes like spiced shrimp nachos and crab cake sandwiches. Or try the new, upscale Fins at Sharky’s, right next door.
This St. Armands eatery has a cool vibe and an open-air feeling that match its fresh, often organic dishes. Creative cocktails, too.
With a lively, beachy atmosphere and a location minutes from Siesta Beach, SKOB offers cold beer, live music and a menu featuring oysters, pizza, burgers, wings and more.
Fun, eclectic decor and Florida-inspired European cuisine. Try the duck breast or rack of lamb, and save room for Key lime pie.
A historic getaway on the picturesque Myakka River, serving sandwiches, spare ribs, shrimps, and chips and exotic Florida fare like fried gator bites. 5000 East Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-7221; snookhaven.com
This stylish restaurant/bar does artisanal twists on Italian faves—pizza, meatballs, pastries and more. Now offering Saturday brunch.
Chef David Shiplett’s eclectic, foodie-destination restaurant located on the first floor of the downtown Bradenton Financial Center.
The grouper sandwich here can’t be beat, but you’ll also love the fried shrimp, conch fritters, chowder and other fresh seafood served dockside. Travel + Leisure named it one of America’s top seafood restaurants.
Set in a charmingly restored 1852 railroad depot, Station 400 is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch. Try the ricotta pancakes with blackberries and Meyer lemon curd or the fried green tomato BLT with Parmesan fries.
Set smack-dab on the Manatee River, this casual waterfront eatery boasts island energy, thanks in part to its popular tiki bar. The menu spans wings and burgers to seafood entrées like crab-stuffed flounder.
This family-run restaurant has vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian menus, but carnivores will be pleased with its lamb, beef and pork specialties, too. Great Laotian beers to sample.
Enjoy hand-cut, dry aged steaks and exceptional seafood entrées accompanied by more than 350 world-class wines.
Treat yourself to lobster any way you want it, or check out the myriad other seafood options at this casual neighborhood eatery.
Flip-flops and bathing suits are welcome on the Gulf-front outdoor deck; the inside dining room offers more formal service. The menu offers unfussy Florida fare with an emphasis on fresh seafood.
This sleek, chic restaurant with big picture windows overlooking Phillippi Creek presents imaginative global cuisine. Don’t miss the infused vodkas and craft cocktails.
Exquisite views of Tampa Bay, inspired wine and beer selection and a menu with emphasis on fresh, natural flavors.
A fresh fish sandwich and a cold beer at a picnic table overlooking Sarasota Bay—it doesn’t get much better, whether you’re a tourist or a local.
This popular breakfast and lunch spot serves eggs, waffles, pancakes and breakfast wraps, as well as hearty sandwiches and salads. Open seven days a week.
Tommy Bahama welcomes you to paradise with a menu that boasts eclectic tropical fare and colorful cocktails. For dessert, try the pina colada cake or pineapple crème brulee.
A colorful, family-friendly restaurant with Mexican and Southwestern influences. Enjoy classic Mexican dishes such as quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and made-fresh-to-order guacamole for lunch or dinner.
This Gulf Gate vegetarian and seafood eatery presents seasonal, creative, colorful dishes for lunch and dinner, with extensive raw and gluten-free menus, too.
Vizen offers a world of tempting options in sashimi, sushi and tempura, fused with French influences.
Offering simply prepared, creative food in a sophisticated riverfront atmosphere. Lunch and dinner menus offer a variety of seafood, salad, soup and meat options.
Famous for its homemade pies (more than two dozen flavors like Dutch apple crumb and chocolate peanut butter), Yoder’s also offers comfort food like Mom’s meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and country fried steak. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Yummy House is a big draw thanks to its authentic Chinese food—salt and pepper calamari, shrimp and scallops in XO sauce and Hong Kong roasted duck. Delicious and varied dim sum is a highlight of lunch.
On the creative Italian-American-Asian fusion menu you'll find Shanghai shrimp with wasabi aioli, a bevy of flatbreads and pasta options like Gorgonzola cream sauce and toasted hazelnuts. Gluten-free options available, too.