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  3. The Best Restaurants in Sarasota, According to our Tastemakers
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The Best Restaurants in Sarasota, According to our Tastemakers

Sarasota has become a popular vacation destination in the United States. Located on the west coast of Florida, about an hour south of Tampa, the city offers gorgeous white sand beaches, historic landmarks, and world-class golf courses. With attractions like the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, Historic Spanish Point and the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, people of all ages can find something to enjoy. Sarasota is also home to year-round festivals like the Water Lantern Festival and the Country Music Festival. When it comes to dining options, Sarasota has it all, from family favorites and locally-owned cafes to amazing beach treats. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Check out our Tastemaker 20 List to find out the best restaurants in Sarasota.

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The OpenTable Team
16 Restaurants
Updated 31 October 2019
Restaurants:Sophie's at Saks Fifth Avenue- Sarasota, Sardinia Sarasota, Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Italian
Neighborhoods:Sarasota
A photo of Sophie's at Saks Fifth Avenue- Sarasota restaurant

Sophie's at Saks Fifth Avenue- Sarasota

$$$$
Contemporary American
Sarasota
4.8
568 reviews
Located on the 2nd floor of Saks Fifth Avenue in The Mall at University Town Center, Sophie’s is a casual elegant spot to go for globally influenced American cuisine. Diners can enjoy the luxurious, intimate setting and open kitchen inside or sit outside on the outdoor terrace to dine al fresco. The dining experience is just as high-end as shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue. Chef Andrew Thompson changes the innovative menu seasonally using the best locally-sourced ingredients. You can also pair your meal with a cocktail or glass of wine from the unique and extensive menu.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sardinia Sarasota restaurant

Sardinia Sarasota

$$$$
Italian
Sarasota
4.7
1012 reviews
Located on Tamiami Trail near the Phillippi Estate, Sardinia is a fine dining restaurant known for the purity of fold and flavors. The restaurant ensures an authentic dining experience by using an imported wood-burning oven for the kitchen. The menu focuses on farm fresh and locally grown food and the chargrilled meats and local fish benefit from oven-cooking just like in Sardinia. Breads and pasta doughs get made fresh daily with traditional recipes and they have a great wine list with selections from Sardinia.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano restaurant

Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano

$$$$
Italian
Sarasota
4.7
2432 reviews
Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano is a modern but classic Italian restaurant with an emphasis on artisanal and contemporary Northern Italian Style. Many think of it as one of the best restaurants in Sarasota and it is still under the same ownership as in 1996 when it first opened. It’s a true neighborhood spot that has also received many awards and accolades for its food and service. It is perfect for celebrating a special occasion or grabbing a quick bite to eat. Menu standouts include the Carpaccio di manzo con rucola e parmiagiano and the Scaloppine di vitello con funghi e Marsala.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Melange restaurant

Melange

$$$$
Contemporary American
Sarasota
4.6
393 reviews
Located on Orange Avenue in Sarasota, is a classy restaurant with sidewalk tables, a classic dining room with a velvety smooth urban edge and a new food bar bordering the open kitchen. Diners can sit and enjoy a splashy cocktail like a Sir Sazerac or Blue Mule while watching the chefs prepare their meal. The menu here includes snacks, soups, salads and small plates designed for sharing so that diners can get a full sample of what is available. The kitchen prides itself on coming up with Sarasota’s most creative dishes and are always experimenting with ingredients and flavors.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Blu Kouzina restaurant

Blu Kouzina

$$$$
Mediterranean
Sarasota
4.8
868 reviews
Blue Kouzina, located on St. Armand’s Circle, opened up after the first location in Singapore became such a hit. It has a beach theme with an open kitchen and crisp blue and white decor so it fits right in with the vibes of the Sunshine State. Diners can sit in the relaxed dining room or enjoy a meal on the outdoor patio. The menu focuses on authentic dishes from the owners’ native Greece and everything uses locally-sourced fresh ingredients. Popular dishes include the lamb chops with fresh vegetables, the Baked Spinach Pie and the Kalamaki Souvlaki.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bijou Garden Cafe restaurant

Bijou Garden Cafe

$$$$
Continental
Sarasota
4.6
1916 reviews
The Bijou Cafe, located in the heart of Sarasota’s prestigious Theatre and Arts District, is one of the best restaurants in Sarasota and possibly all of Florida. Chef-owner Jean-PierreKnaggs and his wife Shay pride themselves on their genuine hospitality and unparalleled service. Knaggs also focuses on sophisticated innovative cuisine and brings a passion for cooking to his creative dishes. House favorites on the French-forward Menu include the Chicken Piri Piri, Chicken Cobb Salad and steak Frites. But make sure to save room for one of their outstanding deserts!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Flavio Downtown Sarasota restaurant

Flavio Downtown Sarasota

$$$$
Italian
Sarasota
4.7
935 reviews
Beaulah, named after the owner’s ancestors, is a truly special family-owned operation that serves some of the best Contemporary Italian food in the city. Located on Main Street, right at Main Street Merchants, it is centrally located and makes a great spot to stop after a day at the beach. The space is rich in romantic ambiance yet offers a casual dining nature. The menu changes throughout the year and house specialties include veal entrees, pompano, halibut, salmon and grilled octopus.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Michael's On East restaurant

Michael's On East

$$$$
Contemporary American
Sarasota
4.7
4034 reviews
Located on East Avenue South in Sarasota since 1987, Michael’s on East is one of the city’s top fine dining restaurants. They feature award-winning cuisine and outstanding service in a fun and luxurious 1940s supper club atmosphere. Michael’s has an intimate aura with a plush design and inspired decor. The contemporary fare, world-class wine cellar and incomparable service give diners a reason to keep coming back. Popular menu items include the Maine Lobster Bisque and Colony Snapper.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lila restaurant

Lila

$$$$
Contemporary American
Sarasota
4.8
908 reviews
Lila means creative play and that is what the kitchen aims to do here. It’s a spontaneous, playful, organic and healthy menu comprised mostly of vegetables and sustainable meats. Located in Citrus Square, the dining room is comfortable and casual with a rustic vibe. Owners Ryan Boeve nd Arthur Lopes know the restaurant industry well and set out to create a fresh new spot for healthy dining. House favorites include a moist and mild buffalo filet mignon, plate of merguez sausage and the duck-fat braised pork belly.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Jack Dusty Coastal Cuisine and Crafted Cocktails restaurant

Jack Dusty Coastal Cuisine and Crafted Cocktails

$$$$
Seafood
Sarasota
4.6
1762 reviews
Jack Dusty is the new restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton and both locals and visitors consider it one of the best restaurants in Sarasota. Jack Dusty is the short-hand term for the naval store clerk whose responsibility included doling out the daily lot of run to sailors and keeping up the ship’s food supplies. It is a charming, casual seafood and Contemporary American eatery with tons of dining and drinking options, both inside and outside on the waterfront. Popular items include the Asparagus Salad with poached egg and cured pork jowl and the Grilled Grouper with forbidden rice.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Selva Grill Downtown Sarasota restaurant

Selva Grill Downtown Sarasota

$$$$
Latin / Spanish
Sarasota
4.8
4611 reviews
Conveniently located on Main Street in Sarasota, Selva offers innovative, intricately prepared dishes that come out as works of art. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Sarasota, it features a blend of Latin, Spanish and Peruvian food. They are famous for the ceviches de la casa, each one with its own distinct character and profile. The entrees range from the finest frutas del mar to favorites like lamb, pork, beef and veal. Select a glass of wine from the long list or try one of the signature house cocktails.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cassariano Italian Eatery Lakewood Ranch restaurant

Cassariano Italian Eatery Lakewood Ranch

$$$$
Italian
Sarasota
4.7
1488 reviews
Cassariano Italian Eatery, located on Cattlemen Road, provides a casual, relaxed atmosphere for diners looking for a great meal after a day at the beach. The restaurant’s name is a combo of its partners last names: Cassani and Pariano. Driven by their strong passion for food and a deep love for hospitality and restaurant service, they prepare authentic contemporary Italian food with a flair. Popular menu items include Tagliatelle alla Rustica, Capesante con Risotta and Sea Bass Piccata.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Drunken Poet Cafe Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar restaurant

Drunken Poet Cafe Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar

$$$$
Thai
Sarasota
4.4
431 reviews
Located on Main Street near Orange, the Drunken Poet Cafe Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar is an exciting reinvention of Japanese and Thai cuisine. It has a bustling atmosphere and warm and welcoming hospitality. Diners can enjoy boutique wines and sake from around the world and it stays open until midnight, so it’s a great spot to linger over beverage after dinner. The menu features authentic Thai cuisine and inventive sushi. House favorites include the Crab Rangoon, Duck Tamarind, Pad Thai and their signature sushi rolls.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Overture Restaurant-Art Ovation Hotel restaurant

Overture Restaurant-Art Ovation Hotel

$$$$
American
Sarasota
4.2
288 reviews
Art Ovation Hotel’s signature restaurants are always impeccably decorated and Overture in Sarasota is no exception. Wood floors and chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows, electric green booths lining the walls and funky modern art on the walls make this place swanky and inviting. The menu debuts new, curated culinary experiences and artistically inspired American Classics. Every dish features the freshest and finest ingredients. Try one of the creative cocktails or carefully curated American wines with your meal.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood. restaurant

Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood.

$$$$
Seafood
Sarasota
4.6
4094 reviews
For some of the freshest seafood in the city, come to Duval’s. It’s an eclectic eatery with a passion for stunning seafood and superb service. They serve the freshest fish in town and work with local fisherman and farmers to support the local economy. Located on Main Street, they offer free shuttle service for diners to get to and from Duval’s. They also focus on creative cocktails, fine wine and impeccable service. Dinner favorites include the Ocean Scampi, Seafood Bouillabaisse and Grilled Scottish Salmon.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of element: steak. seafood. pasta. restaurant

element: steak. seafood. pasta.

$$$$
Steak
Sarasota
4.4
1539 reviews
Element is a modern Mediterranean Grill with a focus on steak. Located on Main Street, they have a swanky interior with a warm and plush ambiance that is both casual and elegant. The menu presents the classic dishes and flavors of Southern Europe and imbues them with unique gastronomic twists and flare. They also offer an extensive wine list and craft cocktail bar. Favorite menu items include the roasted salmon salad, seared pork belly and the daily chef’s catch.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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