US News also recognized the Sarasota metro area as an area of the countrythe second fastest growing place, the seventh safest place and the eleventh best place to retire. While our good weather,world famous beachesand no state income tax certainly adds to our appeal, I firmly believe that the thriving restaurant scene is another compelling reason why people flock to Sarasota and Manatee counties.
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For example, seven establishments in Sarasota-Manatee made Yelp's recently released listFlorida's 100 Best Restaurants.Among them, Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key secured the 54th position and was also recently recognized as one ofThe 100 most romantic restaurants in the US according to OpenTable. It happens to be one of my personal favorites in the area, and Dry Dock appears on several of the best restaurant lists listed below.
Plus, you'll find other essential local restaurants like Indigenous, a downtown Sarasota business owned by Steve Phelps. He achieved distinction as asemi-finalist for James Beard Foundation Chef of the Year: South 2014 and 2015. Indigenous also appears on multiple lists of the best restaurants for Sarasota-Manatee shown below.
Lists include the best spots downtown and on the waterfront, as well as favorites like burgers, pizza, and Mexican cuisine. These are the lists we published in 2023. Bookmark this page and come back in the coming weeks for more lists of the region's best restaurants and what to eat and drink when you get there.
Top 10 Restaurants in Downtown Sarasota
Step out anywhere in downtown Sarasota and you'll soon be greeted by a bevy of restaurants in both directions, from fancy to fast-casual. There are dining options to consider on Upper and Lower High Street, Towles Court and Burns Court and various side streets such as Palm, State and Central. Yes, the choices can seem overwhelming. To help, here are my picks for the 10 best restaurants in downtown Sarasota.
Read the story:Top 10 Restaurants in Downtown Sarasota
Best waterfront restaurants in Sarasota
Everything is better on the water. I don't know if it's a scientific fact, but witnessing a spectacular sunset or spotting a frolicking dolphin is definitely an unforgettable meal. Fortunately, along withour famous beaches,we have many waterfront restaurants in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Recently updated, the six-part series will begin again with venues in downtown Sarasota and nearby City Island, Siesta Key, Lido Beach and the Sarasota County side of Longboat Key.
Read the story:Sarasota's Best Waterfront Restaurants With Outdoor Seating And Where To Eat, Drink!
The best burger restaurants in the Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice area
Over the past year, I've been eating burgers at local restaurants about twice a week to compile this 2023 edition of the list. It features many of the most popular restaurants inSarasotaimanatee, along with hidden gems. From upscale dining destinations to casual bait shops, this selection spans a wide range of spots, offering gourmet burgers starting at nearly $30, as well as affordable diner-style gems under $7.
Read the story:42 Best Burger Restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton from $29 Gourmet Delights to $7 Deals
Best pizza restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton
Everyone should have a favorite pizzeria. Due to the nature of my job and, well, too much appetite, I have over a dozen to recommend here in Sarasota and Bradenton alone. They range from authentic Italian restaurants serving the classic Neapolitan margherita pizza made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, salt and extra virgin olive oil — to all-American pizza pies inspired by McDonald's Big Macs.
Read the story:The best pizza restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton — from authentic Italian to fun toppings
The best restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton
Here's our freshly updated annual list of the most romantic restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee counties. We have dining destinations from Venice to Anna Maria Island, with stops in downtown Sarasota and downtown Bradenton, as well as neighborhoods like Southside Village and St. Armands. You will see that we have included some of thethe oldest, most famous restaurants in Sarasotaimanatee counties, as well as one ofthe biggest restaurant openings in 2022.
Read the story:The best restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton, from Venice to Anna Maria Island
10 Best Mexican Restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice
After visiting about two dozen Mexican restaurants in recent months, I've compiled a list of my 10 favorites. They can be found from Venice to Longboat Key to Anna Maria Island, with stops in Sarasota and Bradenton that transcend the city's busy neighborhoods.
Read the story:Tacos, margaritas and more! 10 Best Mexican Restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice
The best restaurants on the seafront in Venice
This is my annual roundup of the best waterfront restaurants in the southern Sarasota County communities of Venice, North Port, Osprey and Nokomis. Each of these restaurants has an incredible waterfront setting with views of the Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway, Little Sarasota Bay, Myakka River, South Jetty, or Roberts and Dona bays. Several of these restaurants also suffered damage last fall from Hurricane Ian, but all have recovered well.
Read the story:Best waterfront restaurants in Venice, North Port, Osprey, Nokomis area for a fantastic view
Best Snack Restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton
Forget what they say about breakfast. Snack is the most important meal of the day. And we've got some fine spots for steak, eggs, omelets, mimosas, bloody marys and more ranked among the best restaurants inSarasotaimanateecounties.
Read the story:What are the best restaurants for brunch in Sarasota and Bradenton? My top 5 favorites
The best restaurants on Anna Maria Island
It contains several regionsthe best beachesand loads of funbeach barsin addition to various othersattractions, Anna Maria Island is one of Florida'smajor tourist destinationsand, yes, it contains its fair share of tourist traps — which of course you want to avoid when dining out. To help, here's a list of the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island, which I've been frequenting for the past two decades. Restaurants are spread across the charming island towns of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, with my focus on lunch and dinner destinations.
Read the story:The best restaurants on Anna Maria Island, from waterfront favorites to hidden gems
10 Best Restaurants in Downtown Bradenton
There are plenty of reasons to visit downtown Bradenton these days. For many of us, however, the main reason for visiting downtown Bradenton is to dine. All the best restaurants are located along Old Main Street and the surrounding area, including 13th Street, Manatee Avenue and First Avenue overlooking the river. They range from waterfront landmarks to hidden gems, from upscale to casual, from brunch spots to late-night comfort food. One of those companies recently landedYelp Florida's Top 100 Restaurants, and all offer indoor and outdoor seating.
Read the story:10 of the best restaurants in downtown Bradenton, from Old Main Street to the Riverwalk
The best Irish pubs in the Sarasota, Bradenton area for food, drink and entertainment
These are local spots that serve up Irish drink and food favorites like Guinness, Jameson, shepherd's pie and fish fries in a setting that likely features lots of dark wood dotted with green, white and orange flags and other Emerald Isle memorabilia.
Read the story:The Best Irish Pubs to Visit in Sarasota, Bradenton, and the Greater Tampa Bay Area for Food, Drink, and Entertainment
Restaurant Reviews: Best Eats in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Tampa Bay
My occasional "Best Things to Eat" column features favorite foods you've recently eaten at restaurants in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties, as well as standout places in Tampa Bay. Each column usually includes two or three restaurants, with several dishes from each establishment. I've only done one this year so far — see the first link below, followed by links to a few popular ones from 2022 — but expect more in 2023.
Restaurant reviews:Best Things to Eat in the Sarasota and Bradenton Area This Week: January 27 - February 2, 2023
Restaurant reviews:Best Things to Eat in the Sarasota and Bradenton Area April 27 - May 3, 2022
Restaurant reviews:Best things to eat in Sarasota-Manatee: 5-11 January 2022
Wade TatangeloisTicket Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Florida Regional Dining and Entertainment Editor for the USA TODAY Network. Follow him atTwitter,FacebookiInstagram. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Support local journalism bysubscription.