Downtown Sarasota, Florida
Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia

If you've decided to plan a romantic weekend trip to Sarasota after reading our list of best things to do, be sure to leave plenty of time for sampling the city's culinary delights. From fresh seafood and organic dishes to excellent pizza, Indian, Peruvian and other unique flavors, there is plenty to choose from in Sarasota, FL.

»Big Water Fish Market

Big Water Fish Market

Located on Siesta Key in the Crescent Beach Shopping Center, Big Water Fish Market specializes in fresh, Florida-caught seafood. Offering fresh fish, seafood and produce in a clean boutique style market, Big Water Fish also serves a simple but delicious casual dining menu that features products found in the market. Owner Scott Dolan prides himself on serving and selling only the freshest available sourced from local fishermen in support of the local community.

Big Water Fish Market also carries a range of specialty spices, sauces and products to complement seafood dishes and prepares fresh fish lunches and dinners for takeout or casual dining. Picnic tables can be booked in advance for a delicious seafood steam pot dinner with family and friends. Big Water Fish Market has a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) policy.

6641 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, FL 34242, 941-554-8101 Photo: Big Water Fish Market

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»Antoine's Restaurant

Antoine's Restaurant

Antoine’s serves an elegant continental menu in a cozy and stylish environment. The artisanal menu features an elaborate seafood selection of PEI mussels served and presented in no less than seven different ways, and lobster croquettes served with a fresh salad. Other delectable dishes on the menu include starters of homemade creamed bisque and light waffles served with blue cheese and arugula and sautéed mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce.

Entrées include seared salmon served with a steamed vegetable bouquetière, pan-fried scallops on a bed of risotto and black grouper with a light pesto crust and sautéed green beans. Beers, wine and soft drinks can be ordered to complement the cuisine, which is served by friendly, welcoming staff.

1100 N Tuttle Ave, Sarasota, Florida 34237, 941-331-1400 Photo: Antoine’s Restaurant

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»Beauty of Sprouts

Beauty of Sprouts

Beauty of Sprouts serves an entirely vegan menu of organic, raw, vegan, soy-free and gluten-free food and drink. The ever-evolving menu features delicious and healthy dishes made from scratch by owner and professional chef Rano, and includes a variety of vegan and raw appetizers and entrées, as well as several chef specials that cater for gluten-free and other allergies.

Favorites on the menu include freshly prepare salads, sandwiches, soups, lasagna and desserts. Beauty of Sprouts is open for lunch and dinner every day.

1474 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-350-8449

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»Curry Station

Curry Station

Offering two locations in Sarasota, Curry Station is a popular Indian Restaurant that serves authentic and traditional Indian cuisine. Prepared in a variety of styles ranging from traditional, southern and Indo-Chinese to Goan, the cuisine at Curry Station is created from fresh ingredients and cooked in Indian utensils such as a Kadai pan and Tandoori oven.

Owner and chef Narendra Singh Saud prepares each dish from scratch using conventional Indian spices and menus feature an array of new and favorite dishes, as well as specialty plates. Both venues offer diners a refined atmosphere in which to enjoy long-established Indian cuisine accompanied by beer, wine and soft drinks. Cooking demonstrations and classes for the public are held every Sunday at the Clark Road Curry Station, known as Curry Station B.

1303 North Washington Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-312-6264

3550 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34231, 941-924-7222

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»Inkanto Peru

Inkanto Peru

Taking its name from a play on the words ‘Inca’ and ‘Encanto,’ the Spanish word for charm, Inkanto, loosely meaning ‘charm of the Inkas,’ is a Peruvian restaurant in the heart of Sarasota that serves traditional and authentic South American cuisine. Tucked away in a small shopping center on the Tamiami Trail, just south of Bee Ridge Road, Inkanto features unique and characterful décor and a menu to match.

Owner Fernando Palomino’s menu features a refreshing combination of Peruvian staples with a modern twist, such as the Rocoto Relleno – a hot pepper stuffed with roasted beef; Ceviche de Conchas Negras – mouthwatering black clam ceviche; and the Peruvian grain-based Tabule de Quinua. The cuisine is paired with easy-drinking wines from Spain, Chile, Argentina and Peru and pale yellow and brick red walls adorned with paintings create an attractive and inviting setting.

4141 Tamiami Trail - Ste 16 , Sarasota FL 34231, 941-924-6410

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»Selva Grill

Selva Grill

Selva Grill combines the exotic flavors of Latin American and North American fare to create mouthwatering Nuevo Latino cuisine with an emphasis on Peruvian dishes. Boasting a vibrant, casual atmosphere, Selva’s takes diners on a culinary journey through Latin America with authentic and traditional local cuisine in the form of innovative and intricately prepared dishes.

Plated, presented and served by friendly staff as loving works of art, each dish is something to be savored, such as the uniquely flavored ceviches de la Casa, delicious appetizer Entradas and freshly prepared salads. Signature entrées include fresh seafood and various meats done on the grill accompanied by exotic salsas, herbs and vegetables. An extensive wine list includes wines from around the world, including hard-to-find vintages and signature cocktails like the renowned Mojito.

1345 Main Street, Sarasota FL 34236, 941-362-4427 Photo: Selva Grill

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Duval's is an elegant restaurant that enjoys a reputation for serving some of the freshest seafood and fish in town. Duval’s supports local fishermen and farmers by only using locally sourced ingredients, produce and locally caught fish, receiving fish on a daily basis and filleting everything in-house. An eclectic seafood menu with a range of different tastes offers a wealth of seafood flavors, showcasing what the ocean has to offer.

Signature dishes include blackened shrimp, carrot ribbons and shaved jicama, Duval’s Seafood Sampler and black pepper-encrusted salmon over spring greens. Duval's has an extensive wine list that is continuously updated, as well as a range of spirits, beers and cocktails. The seafood restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch seven days a week.

1435 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-312-4001 Photo: Duval's

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»Cafe L'Europe

Cafe L'Europe

Established in 1973 by European-born Titus Letschert, Café L’Europe has been serving authentic continental cuisine for more than 43 years. Inspired by the European ambiance of the famous L’Europe Hotel in Amsterdam, the café took the same name and aimed to recreate the elegant ambiance for diners in Sarasota.

Located on St. Armand’s Circle, this handsome fine dining restaurant combines superb cuisine, award-winning wines, hand-crafted cocktails and impeccable service to present an unforgettable dining experience. Signature dishes on the outstanding menu include Lobster Bisque, Dover Sole Meunière, Brandied Duckling and Chateaubriand – flame-grilled at the table.

431 St. Armand's Circle, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-388-4415 Photo: Cafe L'Europe

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MoZaic is a vibrant Mediterranean-style restaurant that serves an array of Southern French- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine made from seasonal and market-driven ingredients. Using only the freshest produce from local farmers and the surrounding ocean, Chef Dylan Elhajoui creates a ‘mosaic-like menu’ that is reminiscent of the coastal regions of the South of France or Italy with an amalgamation of southern European, western Mediterranean and American taste and flavors.

Chef Elhajoui’s cuisine includes an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish accompanied by traditional herbs and spices, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and lemon. MoZaic features a bright and airy interior with vibrant tones and hues, reflecting the culture of the Mediterranean and creating a welcoming gathering place for people to come and enjoy great food.

1377 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-951-6272

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»Columbia Restaurant Sarasota

Columbia Restaurant Sarasota

Founded by Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. in 1905, the Columbia Restaurant Group enjoys several locations across America and is one of Florida’s most visited restaurants. Owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation members of the founding family, Columbia Restaurant Sarasota serves a delectable menu of authentic Spanish cuisine.

Starters include soups such as Cuban Black Bean Soup and Gazpacho Andalucia, fresh salads and tapas of Sliced chorizo and onions, tender baby pork ribs slowly roasted and tossed with marinated sweet onions and jumbo shrimp sautéed in extra-virgin Spanish olive oil. Entrées include fresh seafood like red snapper, ahi ahi tuna and octopus, as well as meat dishes of steaks, ribs, chops and chicken. An extensive wine list accompanies the food, with wines from South America and Spain making their mark.

411 St Armands Cir, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-388-3987 Photo: Columbia Restaurant Sarasota

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Solorzano’s is a family-run pizzeria that serves authentic wood-fired pizzas and an array of freshly prepared salads and sides. Savory starters include garlic bread, garlic knots and parmesan sliders and salads range from the famous Caprese to the traditional house salads. But it’s the pizza that diners come for and there is a wide variety to choose from.

Regulars include the usual toppings of ham, mushroom, pineapple, onion and tomato while gourmet pizzas include prosciutto, ricotta, meatballs and bacon. Solorzano’s also serves calzone and Foot Long Hero subs, with fillings such as chicken, bacon, cheese and meatballs, to name but a few. Craft beer and ales are served with pizza and the restaurant is open until very late.

6670 Superior Ave, Sarasota, FL 34231, 941-924-5800 Photo: Solorzano's

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»The Marina Jack Dining Room

The Marina Jack Dining Room

Overlooking the inter-coastal waterway of Sarasota from the second floor of Marina Jack, The Dining Room serves an exceptional menu of juicy steaks, fresh seafood and homemade pasta alongside an award-winning wine list. Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, The Dining Room features an elegant, yet casual ambiance with superb views in which to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience. An outdoor raw bar patio, a cozy upstairs dining room and an elegant piano bar offer diners a choice of places to enjoy the delectable menu, which features fresh locally sourced produce, dairy and seafood, as well as other inspired culinary creations.

Signature dishes include a hearty Bouillabaisse packed with jumbo prawns, lobster, scallops, mussels and white fish, as well as grilled Maine lobster and broiled North Carolina Mountain Trout. Steaks are cooked to perfection and served with a choice of five different toppings and all entrees come with a selection of mouthwatering sides such as steamed asparagus, mashed truffle potatoes and sautéed spinach and garlic. The experience is completed with a selection of cocktails, spirits and fine wines by the glass or bottle.

2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-955-9488 Photo: The Marina Jack Dining Room

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»Sofrito Mama’s

Sofrito Mama’s

Sofrito Mama’s is a casual restaurant that serves authentic, home-style Puerto Rican cuisine. Located in the heart of Sarasota on Beneva Road, the cozy eatery offers a menu of traditional comfort cuisine from mouthwatering appetizers like fried plantains, staple rice and bean dishes, hearty roast pork and stews, freshly prepared salads and delicious desserts.

Signature Specialty dishes include Arroz con Pollo (Spanish rice with chicken), Mofongo (fried mashed plantain) and Bacalao Guisado (Salted Codfish stewed with onion and bell peppers). Sofrito Mama’s offers a special catering menu for events and functions and is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.

935 N. Beneva Rd #617, Sarasota, FL 34237, 941-554-8786 Photo: Sofrito Mama’s

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»Dolce Italia

Dolce Italia

Dolce Italia is a warm and welcoming family-run restaurant that specializes in traditional Italian cuisine. Celebrating their fourth year of delighting diners with their delicious homemade cuisine, Dolce Italia boasts a cozy, comfortable setting in which to enjoy a culinary journey through Italy. Featuring bright blue and white décor, the restaurant exudes a vibrant, homely ambiance with a menu that follows suit.

Expect typical Italian starters including Antipasto All’Italiana, which consists of various cured meats and cheese; cured Bresaola beef with arugula and shaved parmesan; and mussels tossed in white wine sauce, along with fresh salads and homemade soups. Fresh seafood, homemade pasta with various sauces, and meats off the grill feature in the entrées list, while desserts are to die for, with tiramisu, limoncello cake and gelato Nutella topping the list. An ample wine cellar is home to a variety of excellent wines from around the world which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle.

6551 Gateway Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34231, 941-921-7007 Photo: Dolce Italia

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»Shore Diner

Shore Diner

Shore Diner is a stylish open-air eatery that reflects the ambiance and vibe of a mid-century Florida beach café. Simple, contemporary décor abounds with wooden tables, retractable awnings and touches of white for a refreshing feel while the farm-to-table menu features local coastal favorites and specialty items.

Utilizing ingredients sourced from local farms, artisans and producers to create a fabulous abundance of fresh choices, the culinary team at Shore Diner produce a selection of classic and contemporary dishes such as smoked fish mousse, blue lump crab cakes, sliced steak Caprese and mouthwatering fish tacos. Handcrafted cocktails, fine wines and craft beers accompany the cuisine, all served under bright blue cloudless skies.

465 John Ringling Boulevard #200, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-296-0301 Photo: Shore Diner

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»El Toro Bravo

El Toro Bravo

El Toro Bravo is a family-owned restaurant that brings guests one of the finest Mexican dining experiences in Sarasota. Boasting an inviting warmth and charm, complemented by outstanding authentic Southwest Mexican cuisine and friendly, professional service, El Toro Bravo is simply not to be missed.

Owner Ruben Caban uses only the freshest local ingredients combined with regional spices and flavors to create his dishes, which contain no lard or vinegar. Start with signature cocktails, sangria or a wine margarita before tucking into fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and tacos, or specialty dishes such as Tampiqueno Steak or Chile Colorado. Diners can choose from Ruben’s own special sauce creations, red or green or a delightful combination of both fondly known as ‘Christmas.'

2720 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231, 941-924-0006 Photo: El Toro Bravo

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16 Best Restaurants in Sarasota, Florida