13 Best Restaurants in Sarasota, FL 2023

Sarasota is an exquisite and picturesque city in the southwestern portion of Florida. Originally placed on a 1873 Spanish sheepskin map next to what is now Bradenton (and initially spelled Zarazote), this quintessential Floridian beach town saw an increase in Scottish residents in 1885 and became officially incorporated in 1902.

Sarasota is also a cultural hub within Sarasota County that has seen significant increase in tourism, real estate, and overall popularity

Aside from being a stunning beach city with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota is also home to some fabulous restaurants. The following is a compilation of the best restaurants in Sarasota, Florida.

The decision to place each restaurant on the list was made after careful consideration of the types of cuisine offered at each individual restaurant, as well as the ambiance, the wine and beer selection, and more. Let’s take a look at one of the aspects that makes Sarasota such a desirable city.

1. Ama La Vita

$$ | (941) 960-1551 | WEBSITE


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We begin the list with a fabulous Italian eatery. Ama La Vita serves traditional, authentic Italian cuisine. Begin your meal with an artichoke oreganata; then, if you are in the mood for pasta, try the puttanesca (linguine with olives, capers, and anchovies) or the penne vodka made with parmesan and marinara.

The friendly and highly accommodating staff will make you feel well taken care of, and the entrees are sure to amaze and satisfy you.



2. Circo

$ | (941) 253-0978 | WEBSITE


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Circo is its own contemporary fusion restaurant inspired by TexMex cuisine, and the tastes are definitely popular with tourists and Sarasota residents alike.

Boasting the unofficial title of “Best Taco Ever,” this establishment combines fun foods with standard dishes like the Mongolian beef, the Cubano, and the Walking Taco. Guests love the original takes on tacos and other entrees, and the servers are happy to assist every guest and make the experience a memorable one.



3. Siegfried’s Restaurant

$$ | (941) 330-9330 | WEBSITE


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Siegfried’s is a kitchen and bar serving nothing but the finest German cuisine in the area. Start with the giant bretzel and senf – a humongous Bavarian pretzel.

Then experience the juicy German Schnitzel or Siegfried’s currywurst mit pommes – bratwurst with German curry sauce. The beer selection lists Siegfried’s amber ale, Hofbrau Dunkel, and much more. Customers enjoy the ambiance as well as the size of the portion that they receive for a great low price.




$$ | (941) 536-9717 | WEBSITE


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KOJO is Japanese dining that is sure to be special and unique. Sample the spicy tuna nori taco – Thai chili, sesame, and shiso mint leaves.

Or try one of their many thick and tender steaks, like the 30-ounce dry-aged prime tomahawk ribeye. Guests continue to flock to KOJO because of the great entrees and excellent service that they are sure to experience during every visit.



5. Mediterraneo

$$ | (941) 365-4122 | WEBSITE


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Mediterraneo knows how to make Mediterranean food original and eye-catching. For an amazing pasta entree, sample the rigatoni salsiccia – pine nuts, sausage, and ricotta in oil and garlic. Or try the tomato mozzarella basil pasta.

If you would prefer a juicy steak, order the New York strip steak with onions, provolone, mustard, and mushrooms. Customers praise the service, the modern entrees, the restaurant’s take on classic Mediterranean dishes, and the comfortable ambiance.



6. Sahara Cafe & Mediterranean Foods

$ | (941) 954-1423 | WEBSITE


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Sahara is traditional Mediterranean with Floridian flare. Sample a cold appetizer like the tabouleh salad, or a hot appetizer like the Mediterranean meatballs or spanakopita.

The restaurant offers gyros and falafels that are filled to the brim with veggies and a meat of your choice. If you’re craving some classic hummus, Sahara has fresh hummus for you to enjoy. Guests love the traditional cuisine, specifically the gyros and the freshly-baked pita bread.



7. Lila

$$ | (941) 296-1042 | WEBSITE


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The staff at Lila will serve you some of the most intriguing entrees. For example, this is the only place I know of where you can get vegan sushi rolls along with a whole host of other vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Every dish is made with simple and fresh ingredients, the epitome of clean eating. Guests are delighted to see just how many healthy items are served at Lila, and they love the atmosphere at this unique eatery.



8. Indigenous Restaurant

$$$ | (941) 706-4740 | WEBSITE


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This restaurant will get you back to basics: indigenous foods are defined as any food that comes from the earth or from an animal. For a delicious vegetarian dish, sample the pappardelle – roasted mushrooms, kale, pesto, and parmesan.

If you would like to try one of their signature seafood dishes, the Everglades baked shrimp and scallops is a wonderful option. Guests rave about the hospitable service and the original entrees. It also comes in handy that there are vegan and gluten-free options, making this restaurant perfect for any diet.



9. Bijou Garden Cafe

$$$ | (941) 366-8111 | WEBSITE


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Bijou is a French cafe with an exciting menu that changes with the seasons, so customers happily anticipate the return of their favorite dishes when the appropriate season comes around.

The menu currently lists filet mignon, duck, lamb rack, and pan-seared scallops as some of the main courses for fall. Customers enjoy the gourmet entrees with an elegant and classy ambiance. They also appreciate the fresh ingredients in each bite.



10. Melange

$$ | (941) 953-7111 | WEBSITE

Sarasota, FL Best Restaurant

Get ready for a unique gastropub experience evident from the moment you open the menu. Start out with the bay scallop ceviche; the crispy, crunchy duck spring rolls; or the mushroom strudel with large heirloom tomatoes.

For your entree, try the tender beef short ribs, stuffed quail, or duck brie crepes. The cocktail menu is detailed and divine, mixing delicious fruit juices with the alcohol of your choice. Visitors to Melange love the decor of the establishment and the flawless service provided by the staff.



11. Brick’s Smoked Meats

$$ | (941) 993-1435 | WEBSITE


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Brick’s brings Texas-style barbecue to Florida! After a long day of working up an appetite while sailing on the water, fill your belly with pulled pork, brisket, ribs, smoked turkey breasts, and so much more. All of the meats are tender after being slow-cooked, so you are in for a treat.

The fried pickles and peppers are a great option for an appetizer, as is the Pitmaster’s Nacho Deluxe – mouthwatering brisket nachos. Guests love the specialty drinks, the great customer service, and the Texas barbecue with a touch of Floridian flavor.



12. Mattison’s City Grille

$$ | (941) 330-0440 | WEBSITE


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Mattison’s City Grille draws culinary styles from around the world and weaves it all into an impressive eating experience. Mattison’s is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner and has plenty of menu options for patrons to choose from, like the farmhouse flat – peppers mixed with spinach, marinated tomatoes, and topped with mozarella.

If you are craving red meat, the Mainstreet Burger is a juicy and delicious meal. For a satisfying dinner, try Mattison’s take on savory homemade meatloaf. The specialty cocktails are sweet and spicy, and the wine is plentiful. Patrons enjoy the outdoor seating and the endless options.



13. Drunken Poet Cafe

$$-$$$ | (941) 955-8404 | WEBSITE


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The Thai cuisine at Drunken Poet Cafe is almost as original as its memorable name. Start with the crab rangoon, fried squid, or Pinky-in-a-Blanket (a spring roll wrap placed around fresh shrimp).

Enjoy the spicy basil pad gra pow stir-fry, which comes with garlic, chili, and white rice sauteed with basil leaves. Vegan and vegetarian options are readily available, as are gluten-free choices. The attentiveness of the staff, the delicious food, and the quality of the dishes served.




As diverse as the city is, it is no surprise that the best restaurants in Sarasota are about as diversified as they are. The community is soaring in popularity and will likely continue to accelerate in the coming years. This means that there will soon be even more to do, see, and eat in Sarasota, Florida.

Best Restaurants in Sarasota

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.