Sarasota, Florida, is known for its pristine beaches and warm weather, but it also boasts a variety of waterfront dining options that cater to all palates. Whether you’re seeking casual or fine dining, Sarasota has something for everyone when it comes to dining with a view.
Beaches with Waterfront Dining in Sarasota
Siesta Key, Lido Key, and Longboat Key are all popular destinations for tourists visiting Sarasota, and each has its own unique flair.
Siesta Key is known for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. When it comes to waterfront dining, The Cottage is a casual spot to enjoy a meal while gazing out at the Gulf of Mexico. The menu features fresh seafood, sandwiches, and salads. During peak season, Siesta Key can get crowded, so make sure to plan accordingly.
Lido Key, on the other hand, is more upscale, with high-end shopping and dining options. One of the most iconic restaurants in Sarasota is located here: the Columbia Restaurant. With over 115 years of experience, the restaurant serves traditional Spanish cuisine, and the outdoor patio provides stunning views of Sarasota Bay. During peak season, Lido Key can also get crowded, so make sure to plan ahead.
Longboat Key has a mix of casual and fine dining options, with Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub being a standout. Established in the 1910s, the restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and serves fresh seafood with a stunning view of Sarasota Bay. During peak season, Longboat Key can also get busy, so it’s best to make reservations in advance.
Waterfront Dining in Other Areas of Sarasota
While the beaches are a major draw for tourists, downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Circle also offer plenty of waterfront dining options.
O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill
O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill, located in downtown Sarasota, is a casual spot to grab a tropical drink and enjoy some casual dining while overlooking Sarasota Bay. Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, on the other hand, is more upscale, with a focus on seafood and cocktails. The views of Sarasota Bay are unparalleled, and it’s an ideal spot for a special occasion.
St. Armands Circle
St. Armands Circle is known for its high-end shopping and dining, and Shore is no exception. This restaurant offers a modern take on seafood, with a focus on sustainability and locally-sourced ingredients. It’s a perfect spot for an intimate dinner with a loved one.
10 Waterfront Restaurants to Visit in the Sarasota Area
When it comes to must-visit waterfront restaurants in Sarasota, there are several options that you shouldn’t miss. Here are ten restaurants to add to your list:
The Sandbar Restaurant
The Sandbar Restaurant, located on Anna Maria Island, is a laid-back beachfront spot that features fresh seafood and cocktails.
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key is a casual restaurant that’s known for its fish tacos and frozen drinks.
Chart House, also located on Longboat Key, is a fine-dining seafood restaurant that boasts stunning views of Sarasota Bay.
The Lazy Lobster
The Lazy Lobster, located on Longboat Key, is a family-owned restaurant that focuses on fresh seafood and Southern hospitality.
The Beach House Restaurant
The Beach House Restaurant, located on Bradenton Beach, is a beachfront restaurant that offers a menu featuring seafood, burgers, and salads.
The Old Salty Dog on City Island
The Old Salty Dog on City Island is a casual spot that’s known for its hot dogs and fish and chips.
The Waterfront Restaurant
The Waterfront Restaurant, located on Anna Maria Island, is a fine-dining restaurant with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced seafood.
Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar
Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar in Sarasota is a local favorite for seafood and oysters in a casual setting. The outdoor seating area overlooking the water is particularly pleasant, especially during sunset.
The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill
The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill, located in Sarasota, is a laid-back spot with live music and a menu featuring seafood and burgers. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and the views of the water are breathtaking.
Blue Marlin Seafood
Blue Marlin Seafood in Bradenton is a fine-dining restaurant that offers a modern atmosphere and a focus on fresh seafood. The outdoor seating area is particularly beautiful, especially at night.
Sarasota offers a wealth of waterfront dining options that cater to all budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a casual beachfront spot or a fine-dining experience, there’s something for everyone. Keep in mind that during peak season, the beaches and popular restaurants can get crowded, so plan accordingly and make reservations in advance to ensure a smooth dining experience.