With an abundance of some of the most amazing restaurants on the SunCoast, choosing where to eat around here can be challenging. But we’ve made it a bit easier by identifying some of the best of the best, from casual to fine dining. You won’t be dissapointed, we promise!
Connors Steak and Seafood
3501 South Tamiami Trail
Sophisticated with modern contemporary décor, fantastic service, prime cuts of steak, and U.S.D.C inspected seafood sums up Connors Steak and Seafood. When it comes to delicious steaks, or perfectly prepared seafood, Connors is the place. Serving USDA Choice Steaks and fresh delicious salads, Connors has everything you want for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to share a Connors house made dessert specialty, German Chocolate Cake with homemade ice cream, Chocolate Mousse Cake, or the Strawberry Shortcake. These desserts are the perfect ending to your dining experience.
Local Tip: Reservations
Crowd Favorite: Prime Rib, & Fried Mushroom Appetizer
Best time to avoid crowds: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Japaneze Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge
2 Sarasota locations:
4910 S Tamiami Trail, 941-552-9465
5459 Fruitville Rd, 941-342-6600
Let’s do dinner and a show? Daruma has it all and more. Fabulous filet mignon, fresh seafood, tender chicken, prepared right in front of you, by your personal chef. Daruma isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a family of talented chef’s, management and servers that perform a beautifully choregraphed performance each and every night. These talented professionals never miss a beat, keeping the courses coming and the glasses filled. Daruma has two locations in Sarasota, both with beautiful bars to enjoy a drink before your meal.
Local Tip: Early Bird Dining – Sunset Menu,
Chicken, Shrimp, Grouper, New York Strip
Crowd Favorite: Filet and Lobster, Fried Rice
Best Time to avoid crowds: 5:00 p.m.
Keke’s Breakfast Cafe
5405 University Pkwy, University Park, 941-388-8953; Website
Note: University Park is the area around the UTC Mall. Don’t be confused, we consider this area part of Sarasota.
We love to start our mornings with a hot cup of coffee, good friends, and delicious food. KeKe’s is our place. Known for their signature plate sized Buttermilk Pancakes you are certain to leave satisfied. We love the “Florida Waffle” covered with fresh strawberries, bananas blueberries and dusted with powdered sugar! If you are into more savory fare, Keke’s Omelets will hit the spot. We love the one on University Pkwy, the staff is wonderful, and when you are finished dining you can shop the UTC Shopping Mall nearby.
Crowd Favorite -Stuffed French Toast
5405 University Pkwy, Sarasota
11633 State Road 70 East, Bradenton
3456 Clark Road, Sarasota
Fine casual dining tucked between the Longboat Key public pier and Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub sits Shore Restaurant. You can arrive by land or sea because Shore is sitting on 400 feet of waterfront with a 300-foot dock offering bayside access for boaters. They have a diverse menu of Gourmet Burgers, Fresh Caught Seafood, and Salads presented with a flair. The setting feels very private, which makes catching up with old friends next to the fire pit even more inviting. Before or after dinner be sure and check out the Shore Gift Shop. Fun feature after 4:00 p.m the roof disappears to display the night sky.
Crowd Favorite: Pan Seared Local Snapper + the 100% Lump Crab Cake Salad
Local Tip: Use the complimentary Valet Parking- parking is limited. Check out the Gift Shop in the restaurant while waiting for your table.
465 John Ringling Blvd #200 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota
800 Broadway St, Longboat Key
Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria
4045 Clark Rd, Sarasota, 941-921-9600
8203 Cooper Creek Blvd, Bradenton, 941-359-6400
Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria is famous for their huge pizzas and delicious Italian pasta dishes. For over 15 years Valentino’s has wowed their guests with favorites like a plate of garlic knots straight out of the oven, smothered in butter and fresh garlic that melt in your mouth, authentic Italian pasta dishes, and don’t forget Pizza!! Always delicious, a neighborhood favorite place Valentino’s is our #1 choice for pizza and pasta in Sarasota!
Crowd Favorite Entrée: Zuppa di Pesce Pasta
Crowd Favorite Pizza: The Valentino Pizza
Miller’s Ale House has the best “comfort food” in Sarasota. Generous portions, perfectly prepared, with indoor or patio dining areas. You will never miss a moment of sports action at Miller’s Ale House with more TV’s then any other restaurant in town. Millers is known for their popular “Chicken Zingers” with ranch dressing dipping sauce. Be sure and order some Zingers while you are waiting for dinner to arrive. The Zingers go perfect with one of the many draft beer options offered from their full bar. Miller’s Ale House is our favorite “Neighborhood Bar” in Sarasota.
Crowd Favorite: 35 Fried Shrimp Platter
Local Tip: Early dining recommended – place gets busy by 5:00 p.m.
Sophie’s Restaurant & Bar
At Saks Fifth Avenue 120 University Town Center Dr, 2nd floor, 941-444-3077; Website
Modest and understated on the outside, Sophie’s Restaurant & Bar is classy and elegant on the inside. Located on the 2nd floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, Sophie’s is a little Sarasota secret for melt in your mouth lunch. As with everything Saks does, the dining room is 1st class with a lovely roof-top dining area for the sun worshipers to enjoy a bite. Sophie’s Specialty is their “Avenue Burger”. This burger was created with the finest beef mixture, and topped with bacon jam, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, truffle aioli, and served on a brioche bun with truffle fries. This specialty burger is out of this world! Salads are magnificent at Sophie’s, and the fresh fish is prepared to create a culinary memory. Sophie’s has a full bar crafting wonderful cocktails to compliment your meal.
Crowd Favorite: Shrimp Louie Salad
Local Tip: Sophie’s closes at 3:45 p.m.
Sitting on the Intracoastal Waterway is the coolest restaurant known by all as Pop’s Sunset Grill. Everyone who comes to visit Sarasota must go to Pop’s Sunset Grill, it’s tradition!! Who would not want to go enjoy fresh seafood, pizzas, a raw bar, fantastic burgers, or the BEST Grouper Reuben we have ever eaten!! Local Grouper, fried to perfection, smothered in sauerkraut, and sauce turns this Reuben into a taste sensation. Pop’s Sunset Grill has indoor and outdoor dining with live bands nightly. Our family loves to watch the draw bridge go up to let the big boats pass through! Pop’s is the place to eat on the water and is a local favorite you will return to again and again.
Crowd Favorite: The Original Urbanek’s Steamship Pot
Local Favorite: Grouper Reuben
Popular for wedding receptions, birthday parties, or just to drop in for a meal, Daiquiri Deck is the perfect spot. Just step inside after a day on the beach and enjoy a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, or any flavor from the “Wall” of frozen deliciousness. Trust us you will not be hot for long! The full menu will tempt you with Oysters, BBQ Riblets, Fried Oyster Tacos, Gouda Bacon and Mac and Cheese Bites, to name a few. If seafood is not your thing, Daiquiri Deck delivers a delicious steak. With 5 locations you will never go thirsty!
Crowd Favorite: Grouper Fingers
Frequent Diner Tip: To avoid Brain Freeze drinking your Daiquiri do not use a straw and keep cold away from the roof of your mouth. If you feel the freeze coming on, hold your tongue up at the top of your mouth and let it warm the area until the freeze goes away. Also always stir your Frozen Daiquiri before consuming. Enjoy!
St. Armands Circle – 325 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
Siesta Key Village, 5250 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota
South Siesta Key – 1250 Stickney Point Rd, Siesta Key
Anna Maria Island – 107 Bridge St, Bradington Beach
Island of Venice – 300 West Venice Ave, Venice