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Sarasota's Best Eateries

Destination(s): Sarasota

Nothing enhances travel or a vacation away from home than the opportunity to enjoy excellent meals at interesting restaurants that offer friendly, attentive service. Visitors to Sarasota are fortunate that all of those qualities are readily available in these eateries. read more about Sarasota's Best Eateries

Millie's

Millie's

  • 3900 Clark Rd Bldg N
  • tel:941/923-4054
  • Sarasota, 34233

This gem of a restaurant, slightly hidden in a strip mall at Clark near Sawyer, can be just a bit hard to find. But it is well worth the effort if you want Sarasota's best breakfast. Truly friendly service. Happy employees, Reasonable prices. Millies is sqeaky clean and the food is superior. The decor reminds one of the best of the tea rooms found in rural England and it makes one quickly feel at home. Crisp, clean linens on antique tables. Whole grain pancakes as big as dinner plates served with REAL maple syrup. Their cottage cheese pancakes are delicious, a word that is actually an understatement. Stuffed french toast is another highlight.

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Cafe Continental Patisserie

Cafe Continental Patisserie

  • 5221 Ocean Blvd.
  • tel:941/346-3171
  • Siesta Key, 34242

Sarasota's Siesta Kay is blessed with enough hotels, rental condos and rental houses as well as a sufficient number of excellent restaurants to keep vacationers happy for weeks.  One favorite place to eat breakfast, brunch or lunch is the Patisserie Continental Cafe, which is relatively new. Run by an English couple, they offer Continental fare. Enjoy a variety of delicious dishes including a Belgian waffle, American style eggs, or an English breakfast plate that keeps one feeling happily full well into the afternoon. That meal includes crisp bacon, sausage, eggs (any style), delicious sauteed chunks of mushrooms, a perfectly buttered English Muffin, and half of a perfectly braised tomato. Salt to taste and then sit back and savor your food. Their luncheon soups are homemade. There is parking in front of the cafe and adjacent shops, and more free parking around the corner off Canal Road. Possibly a tad hard to find, the Patisserie Continental Cafe is just across from the Seven Eleven on Ocean Boulevard.

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Cafe L'Europe

Cafe L'Europe

  • 431 St. Armands Circle
  • At John Ringling Blvd
  • tel:941/388-4415
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34236

It was nearly 40 years ago when Cafe L'Europe opened in downtown, Sarasota. Over time it became a magnet for out-of-town visitors, as well as a favorite destination for Sarasotans who wanted to celebrate birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, major business promotions and other important milestones. Their menu of well prepared continental cuisine fare is quite extensive. With much hard work and after countless meals served, Cafe L'Europe has become a Sun Coast legend, not only offering memorable hospitality and historic charm, but also good food, fine service and an engaging wine list. True, it is thought of as a pricey restaurant by some who go there. But why would so many people select Cafe L'Europe over the years if they didn't think of it as both special and worthwhile?

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Marina Jack's

Marina Jack's

  • In Island Park, Bayfront at Central Ave
  • tel:941/365-4232
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34236

Although Sarasota is located on the water there are a limited number of restaurants where one can enjoy both a Gulf view and world class pan seared diver scallops, char-grilled wild salmon or New Zealand rack of lamb. Sarasotan's who hope to impress their out-of-town friends or business clients can depend on Marina Jack to do just that. Enjoy your meal in the second floor dining room with its panoramic views across the marina, towards the city skyline, Sarasota Bay, Big Pass and on out to the Gulf of Mexico. On the ground floor the Deep Six Lounge and Piano Bar is more casual, but you can count on the impressive Marina Jack menu for lunch or dinner. Then there is the Portside Patio where meals and refreshing drinks are served as you listen to lively bands play. Consider ordering black and blue tuna, quesadillas, Asian tuna salad, or a Santa Fe wrap. Better yet, board Marina Jack II, Sarasota's newest and most luxurious dinner boat. Cruise through the inter-coastal waters out to the Gulf of Mexico while dining, and watch the dolphins play. Enjoy the Florida sunshine and the pleasant Gulf breezes. Menu choices include chicken marsala, the catch of the day, and Captain Jack's prime rib. Excellent hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton are within close walking distance. Dock your boat at Marina Jack. read more about Marina Jack's

Mediterraneo

Mediterraneo

  • 1970 Main Street
  • tel:941/365-4122
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34230

For those searching for authentic contemporary Northern Italian cuisine in Sarasota, the trail leads directly to Mediterraneo. Still run by the same owners that opened the restaurant in 1996, Sarasota Magazine continues to list it as one of the best restaurants the city. This, in part, can be attributed to Mediterraneo's experienced Italian master chefs that specialize in fresh seafood, veal, and pasta dishes all served on white tablecloths.  One of the public favorites is their thin crust, wood-fired pizzas. High on that list is their Special White Pizzas, topped with Mozzarella cheese, gorgonzola cheese apples, pears, walnuts, and honey. The crispy wood fired crust is sweet and tangy. Because Mediterraneo is so popular, one hears the occasional complaint that it is a rather noisy restaurant. But, then, Italians are not known for behaving as if they were eating in a monastery. The fresh, high quality food tends to trump that issue anyway. Mediterraneo is generally praised for its always-predictable, high quality food and attentive service. Most patrons also contend Mediterraneo has reasonable prices.
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Barnacle Bill's Seafood Restaurant

Barnacle Bill's Seafood Restaurant

  • 1526 Main Street
  • tel:941/365-6800
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34230

Seeking seafood in Sarasota seems sensible. There are several excellent restaurants to choose from. There's Captain Curt's Crab and Oyster Bar on Siesta Key which won first place at the "great chowder cookoff" in Newport, Rhode Island, and with good reason. Then there's Moore's Stone Crab at 800 Broadway, Longboat Key. The Crab and Fin and Hemingway's Retreat are both found in St. Armand's Circle. The often praised Marina Jack can be found on the downtown waterfront. Or you might try Barnacle Bill's two Sarasota seafood restaurants. One is located at 126 Main Street, the second at 5050 N. Tamiami Trail (US 41). Just reading their extensive menu can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, reviews often depend on one's dinner partner, the mood of the diner, the smile and attentiveness of the server, the cleanliness of the restrooms, or even the weather. In the case of Barnacle Bill's, the reviews are somewhat mixed, ranging from "the best seafood I've ever eaten" to "I'll probably not go there again." Their crab cakes, grilled shrimp and linguini with white clam sauce, and their Alaskan king crab top their customer's lists.
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MoZaic

MoZaic

  • 1377 Main Street
  • tel:941/951-6272
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34236

Listed as a four star restaurant by most critics, MoZaic's, chef, Dylan Elhajoui, skillfully blends the cuisines of Southern France with those of his native Morocco, and he does it in a way that frequent customers consider to be remarkable. Some gourmets suggest that MoZaic now serves the city's most memorable meals -- on a par with the better restaurants in New York City.  Elhajoui obviously believes in paying attention to the smallest details. Salads and appetizers also are universally praised. The MoZaic wine list is extensive. The deserts are considered outstanding. While the restaurant is located in a rather narrow, two story space, some suggest this makes it feel quite intimate. If you travel with a laptop you can review MoZaic's menu before you make your reservation. Considering the quality and quantity of the food and service, meals are considered by most to be quite reasonably priced.  
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Selva Grill

Selva Grill

If you tend to read restaurant reviews before you select a place for dinner, and if you can afford upscale dining, then you will undoubtedly run, not walk, to the Selva Grill. The word most often used by guests for the the food and service is "amazing". Here's how the restaurant describes itself as a "marriage of exotic flavors from Latin America and the United States" with a "special emphasis on Peruvian dishes." Check the menu and reserve a table online. Consider the ceviche tower of tuna and watermelon to begin your delightful adventure. Or try the friend yucca and seas bass fritters as your appetizer. Salad? You will discover the avocado, black bean, and honey chipotle dressing truly compliment one another and the salad is large enough for two to share. You can't go wrong with the main course. If you are a vegetarian tell your server and the chef will prepare something special.

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Yoder's

Yoder's

  • 3434 Bahia Vista St
  • West of Beneva Rd
  • tel:941/955-7771
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34237
Bijou Cafe

Bijou Cafe

  • 1287 1st St
  • At Pineapple Ave
  • tel:941/366-8111
  • Visit website
  • Sarasota, 34236

The Bijou Cafe is located just two blocks from the Ritz-Carlton. The decor reminds one of European restaurants, with bouquets of freshly-picked flowers. The Bijou was winner of the Diner's Choice Award in 2010. Appetizers and salads alone are impressive. Their Bibb salad consists of tender bibb leaves, applewood smoke bacon, hard-cooked egg, avocado, tomatoes, gorgonzaola, crispy shallots and red wine vinaigrette. The appetizers are delicious. There also is an excellent wine list that has been praised by Wine Spectator magazine.

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