Best Restaurants, Foods in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Lakewood Ranch

Squeezing the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota and Manatee counties contain some of the best beaches in the country, a bunch of large parks and nature reserves, lots of fun things to do every weekend and a vibrant art scene. For many of us, however, the rich restaurant and bar scene is also one of the main reasons we call this particular beachfront corner of sunny Florida.

Our Celebrity Chefs include James Beard nominees Steve phelps Aboriginal people from downtown Sarasota and Jose martinez from White House on Longboat Key. White House was also inducted into Florida Trend magazine’s venerable Golden Spoon Hall of Fame alongside the stars of Sarasota-Manatee Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island, Euphemia Haye on Longboat Key, Michael’s On East in Sarasota and Selva Grill in downtown of Sarasota.

But that’s just the start of great options in the area, which is why we regularly feature our favorite local restaurants in various food guides related to vacations, neighborhoods, foods, and trends.

We released each of those listed below in 2020-21. Now they are all gathered in one place before enjoying breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner or maybe a late night breakfast in destinations such as Sarasota, Siesta Key, Venice, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton or Anna Maria Island. .

Columbia Restaurant, opened in 1959, is located at 411 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota.

Iconic restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and more

Restaurants come and go faster than probably another business. For these four stories, we focused on the ones that have served great food in Sarasota and Manatee counties for decades. From fine dining to casual flip flops, these are certainly among our favorites.

10 historic restaurants in Sarasota County

10 historic restaurants in Manatee County

10 Famous Sarasota County Restaurants Everyone Should Visit

10 Famous Manatee County Restaurants Everyone Should Visit

Beach House is at 200 Gulf Drive N. in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island.

Waterfront restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton, Anna Maria and more

With many Sarasota and manatee communities located directly on the Gulf of Mexico – and with Bradenton, Palmetto, and Ellenton with the mile-wide Manatee River flowing into the Gulf – we have plenty of properties right on the Gulf of Mexico. ‘water with many exceptional restaurants and bars dotted around it. Here is the series of guides we have written on the best in Sarasota-Manatee offering alfresco dining by the water.

10 Best Waterfront Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in Sarasota

10 Best Waterfront Restaurants for Al fresco dining around Anna Maria Island

10 Best Waterfront Restaurants for Al fresco dining in Venice, Osprey & Nokomis

Best Waterfront Restaurants for Al fresco dining in Historic Cortez Village

10 Best Waterfront Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in the Bradenton Area

7 best waterfront restaurants in Englewood

10 of our favorite beachfront restaurants in all of Florida

Bradenton's downtown restaurants and bars are buzzing.

Neighborhood restaurant guides for Siesta Key, Sarasota, Bradenton and more

In addition to showcasing our favorite waterfront restaurants, we also regularly share neighborhood guides. Here are three that we released this year.

Visiting Siesta Beach? Here are 15 of our favorite restaurants and bars in Siesta Key Village.

The best restaurants in downtown Bradenton and what to eat and drink when you get there!

7 Best Restaurants, Bars, and Hotels in Downtown Sarasota near Van Wezel, Mangrove Walkway, and The Bay

My uncle's burger from the menu at Indigenous in Sarasota.

Best burgers in Sarasota

Every year in May, which is National Burger Month, we share our selections of the best burgers found at local restaurants (no national chains!). We had to skip 2020 due to the pandemic, so we came back big this year with a two-part series with Sarasota County in May and then Manatee County in June.

Here are 20 of our favorite burgers in Sarasota County.

Vegan Restaurants in Sarasota-Lamantin

From casual dining spots to more upscale eateries, some of our favorite local eateries offer all or mostly vegan menus.

Vegan favorites:15 great vegan restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee counties

Crow's Nest Restaurant & Marina offers an outdoor dining area with views of Venice Inlet.

Romantic Restaurants in Sarasota-Lamantin

Every year, before Valentine’s Day, suggest our favorites for a romantic dinner. Here is our latest.

Here are 21 of our favorite romantic restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee.

Bangers and mash is a popular dish at McGrath's Irish Ale House in Lakewood Ranch.

Best Irish pubs in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte

Every year before St. Patrick’s Day we update and share our list of the best Irish pubs. These are restaurants and bars where you can pair a perfectly poured pint of Guinness with a serving of comforting shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash or maybe fish and chips.

Here are 10 of our favorite Irish pubs in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

The best cafes in Sarasota-Manatee

Each year, we also provide an updated guide to the best coffee shops in Sarasota-Manatee.

Here is our guide to the best cafes in Sarasota-Manatee.

Kojak's House of Ribs is at 2808 W. Gandy Blvd.  in South Tampa.  The barbecue restaurant has been owned and operated by the same family since 1978.

Best barbecue restaurants

For this story, we’ve rounded up the best barbecue restaurants and food trucks in all of Florida.

10 of our favorite barbecue restaurants and food trucks to enjoy a barbecue across Florida

Three-story waterfront restaurant and bar, The Point, right, located on Evie's at Spanish Point property, which also houses a separate tiki bar and restaurant, left, opened earlier this year.

Restaurant openings and closings

We spend a lot of time at the Herald-Tribune, and Ticket in particular, writing about restaurant news in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Here are the stories of the biggest restaurant openings and closures, with a link to bookmark all of our restaurant news and reviews.

2020: opening of the 10 largest restaurants and bars in Sarasota-Manatee

15 largest restaurant, bar openings of 2019 in Sarasota-Bradenton

Sorry We’re Closed: 21 Sarasota-Manatee Restaurants Lost During Coronavirus Pandemic

Bookmark this page for the latest news and reviews on Sarasota-Manatee restaurants

Wade Tatangelo, Entertainment Editor of The Herald-Tribune, can be contacted by email at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing.

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