I’ve lived in the Sarasota/Bradenton area my entire life. While we have the #1 beach in the U.S.A., we also have some killer places to eat. My boyfriend, Andrew, and I love trying local restaurants. We cook a majority of the time, but we really like to go out for breakfast on a day off or try a new sushi place on date night.
If I had a friend visit from out of town, I wouldn’t take them to a chain restaurant. I would want them to experience a restaurant or type of food that they can’t get back home! Some of my all-time favorite places to eat in Sarasota are locally owned.
If you are planning a trip to Sarasota, be sure to stop by at least a few of these local treasures. Whether you are looking for a breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee or dessert, I’ve got something for you here!
Where to go for Breakfast & Lunch:
Built in an old railroad depot and the perfect place for breakfast or lunch. I love eating outside on a crisp Fall day. What to get: Balsamic Marinated Chicken Sandwich.
The Breakfast House:
If you are looking for a homestyle breakfast or lunch, this is the place to go. What to get: Uncle Harry’s Hearty Breakfast
Where to go for Coffee & Tea:
Easily my favorite coffee shop. The atmosphere at Perq can’t be beat. They feature four different single origin coffees that rotate periodically. What to get: Mocca or Gibraltar.
The Tea House:
The perfect place to meet up for a chat with a friend. The Tea House is in an old house, and each room has a different theme with comfy couches, eclectic decor and antique furniture. They have over 140 loose leaf teas to choose from. What to get: Pomegranate Vanilla Tea.
Where to go for Dinner:
This is the most authentic chinese food I’ve found in Sarasota. They are always packed, but trust me, it’s worth the wait! They have a wide variety of options on their menu and huge portions. What to get: Salt and Pepper Eggplant (appetizer), Spicy Yummy Chicken or Beef Udon with Black Pepper Sauce.
Crab and Fin:
This upscale seafood restaurant is one of my favorite date night spots! Their menu is printed every day to reflect the freshest seafood available. They are located in St. Armands, so after dinner you can visit the shops and walk down to Lido Beach. What to get: any of the seafood and pasta dishes.
Authentic Indian food that tastes homemade. I prefer going to the lunch buffet so that I can try a variety of dishes; but for a more formal dining experience, you can also go for dinner. What to get: Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken).
Andrew and I love trying new sushi places, but we keep coming back here! They have delicious curries, pad thai and stir fries, but I almost always get sushi. Many of their specialty rolls are so big and loaded up with toppings that you only need one roll for a meal. What to get: Crab Rangoon (appetizer), U-lala (sushi).
Casa Di Pizza:
This is one of my favorite New York style pizza places, and Andrew loves their wings. It’s a great low-key place to meet up with friends. What to get: Chicken Finger Pizza.
We love to go after 10 for their happy hour $4 and $5 sushi rolls and drinks. Their sushi rolls taste so fresh and they have a huge selection of craft beers, sakes, and more. What to get: Crab Lagoon roll and raspberry sake.
Where to go for dessert:
Sweetberries Eatery & Frozen Custard:
I grew up going to SweetBerries for dessert with my cousins. They have lots of sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch or dinner, but my favorite is their custard! They have so many choices of toppings! You can customize your own dessert or get one of their specials. What to get: Utterly Reese’s Sundae.
Big Olaf Creamery:
After a day at Siesta Key Beach, be sure to stop by the Big Olaf for dessert! Big Olaf is homemade ice cream company in Sarasota. They have several locations throughout Sarasota, and their ice cream is served at many other restaurants. What to get: Brownie Fudge ice cream.