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Restaurants in Sarasota

If you live in Sarasota, FL, you know what it’s most known for: a beautiful setting along the Gulf Coast, picture-perfect beaches at Siesta Key, and a history attached to the Ringling Brothers circus. But what about Sarasota restaurants? While the city’s dining scene may not bring in tourists, perhaps it should. Sarasota restaurants run the gamut from seaside cafes to German beer halls, from Italian fine dining to festive Mexican joints. Scroll down and we’ll reveal some of our favorites.

The 5 Best Restaurants in Sarasota

 

Why mess around? If you want a great meal, try one of these five eateries—the best restaurants in Sarasota.

 

 

  • Schnitzel Kitchen: A Berlin-based chef brings tasty German classics (including apple strudel!) in a warm, festive space that seems straight outta Oktoberfest. See our Schnitzel Kitchen deal.

 

  • Lolita Tartine: French spot known for tartines, open-faced sandwiches topped with anything from pears and blue cheese to curry chicken and pineapple.

 

  • Ophelia’s on the Bay: Grab a seat on the patio along Little Sarasota Bay and indulge in a seafood dinner—it’s the ideal spot to celebrate a special occasion. See our Ophelia’s on the Bay deal.

 

  • Dolce Italia: One of Sarasota’s top Italian spots is this trattoria, helmed by a native of the tiny island of Ischia. We recommend the burrata—it’s to die for.
  • Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant: If you’ve never tried Peruvian food, this is the place to do it—Inkawasi (aka “Inka House”) will introduce you to lomo saltado, a savory beef dish, and ceviche, a fish salad that’s the most-beloved dish on the Peruvian coast. See our Inkawasi deal.

Spotlight on: Schnitzel Kitchen

See our Schnitzel Kitchen deal here.

 

One of Florida’s premiere German restaurants, Sarasota’s Schnitzel Kitchen offers a jovial, authentic experience, complete with lederhosen, beer-themed decor, and apfelstrudel. The menu, crafted by a chef from Berlin, features potato pancakes, bratwurst, chicken paprika, and, of course, schnitzel.

 

See what actual customers have to say about Schnitzel Kitchen:

 

The menu makes your mouth water. Making up your mind what to order is difficult when you want almost everything. . . . The service was friendly and efficient. The owner/chef visited our table to see how we liked our food. All in all a delightful experience. – Edmund R.

 

Phenomenal German food. The staff are always great and attentive. Have tried a variety of side dishes and version of schnitzel, always consistently good. Highly recommend this place! – Christian M.


From the moment you walk in you will feel welcomed and at home! The food is phenomenal—totally authentic German food! One of my favorite places . . . You'll definitely feel like you've been transported to Germany with the authentic decor! – Sheryl M.

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Best Asian Food in Sarasota

 

In the mood for pad thai? Or maybe some colorful maki rolls? Below, we pick our favorites for Asian cuisine in Sarasota:

 

Japanese: Kumo’s Japanese Steakhouse offers both freshly crafted sushi and freshly grilled dishes by chefs at teppanyaki stations. See our deal here.

 

Chinese: Yummy House Sarasota is the place to try dim sum, a kind of Chinese small plates where the staff comes to your table with food carts.


Thai: Isan Thai specializes in the cuisine of northeast Thailand, which means you can’t miss the sai grog, a spicy Thai sausage.

Spotlight on: Ophelia’s on the Bay

See our Ophelia’s on the Bay deal here.

 

Perhaps Sarasota’s greatest asset is its Gulf Coast setting, and few eateries take advantage of it like Ophelia’s on the Bay. Located along Little Sarasota Bay, the restaurant’s waterside patio makes for the perfect spot for a special occasion and a romantic seafood dinner. No wonder Zagat rated it “Extraordinary” 10 years in a row.

 

See what actual customers say about Ophelia’s on the Bay:

 

Absolutely wonderful! Everything we ordered was fabulous: the crab cakes, lobster bisque, tuna entree, and monkfish. . . . We will definitely be back! – Leslie H.

 

I had an amazing 60th birthday celebration at Ophelia’s. Each person in our party of six ordered a different seafood entree, and each one of us raved about our dinner. What a special surprise when our server brought us each a glass of champagne to toast my birthday! We will definitely be back! – Penny K.


Ophelia’s is a cut above the rest. The service is always extraordinary and the food is beyond compare. This last visit I enjoyed the surf and turf, which was made even more special by the use of veal tenderloin for the “turf.” . . . Prepared to perfection, it practically melted in my mouth.” – Maureen B.

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Best Downtown Sarasota Restaurants

If you’re in downtown Sarasota to catch a concert, a play, or to meet friends, you’ll probably want an excellent dinner. Start your search with these downtown Sarasota restaurants, which should provide a tasty meal at a reasonable price.

 

  • Selva Grill: We’ll let the Sarasota Herald-Tribune explain why you might want to eat here—its food critic described it as “something special” and “Peruvian cooking brought to a new level—fresh, lively and imaginative.” See our Selva Grill deal.

 

  • Marina Jack: This second-floor restaurant puts diners above Sarasota’s harbor, a scenic setting for tasty steak, seafood, and more.
  • Cafe Amici: This homey Italian joint is the kind where you’re likely to meet the owners—a charming husband-and-wife team—and then fall in love with the grilled octopus. See our Cafe Amici deal.

Spotlight on: Big Top Brewing Company

See our Big Top Brewing Company deal here.

Big Top Brewing is more than just one of Sarasota’s top breweries; it’s a reflection of Sarasota’s history. Inspired by the region, Big Top’s beers reference Sarasota’s circus-friendly past in its name and decor, not to mention beer names such as “Trapeze Monk Belgian Wit” and “Circus City IPA.” The flavors here are also inspired by Florida’s tropical climate—see what we mean by ordering a pint of the Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat or the Big Life Tropical Lager.

See what actual customers say about Big Top Brewing Company:

As always, excellent. Beer is great and the staff fun and helpful. Great brewery. Ask for a tour sometime. I did and learned more about beer making than I had from all the other breweries I've visited. – Anthony B.

Great selection of tap beers. Very imaginative brewers, they have flavors that will make your mouth water. My favorite was the Hawaiian Lion porter. Bartender was also great. Worth the trip. – Henry H.


I always love going to Big Top. Service is always fast and friendly. The atmosphere is low-key and relaxed. The beer selection is unique and delicious. – Michele R.

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