Hugging the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota and Manatee counties contain some of the best beaches in the country, a bunch of great parks and nature preserves, lots of fun things to do each weekend and a vibrant arts scene. For many of us, though, the rich restaurant and bar scene is also a key reason we call this particular waterfront corner of sunny Florida home.
Our celebrity chefs include James Beard nominees Steve Phelps of Indigenous in downtown Sarasota and José Martinez of Maison Blanche on Longboat Key. Maison Blanche has also been inducted to Florida Trend magazine’s venerable Golden Spoon Hall of Fame alongside Sarasota-Manatee standouts Beach Bistro on Anna Maria Island, Euphemia Haye on Longboat Key, Michael’s On East in Sarasota, and Selva Grill in downtown Sarasota.
But that is just the beginning of great options in the area, which is why we regularly showcase our favorite local restaurants in various dining guides tied to holidays, neighborhoods, foods and trends.
We published each of the ones listed below in 2020-21. Now, they’re all in one place to peruse before enjoying breakfasts, brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner or perhaps some late-night noshing at such destination spots as Sarasota, Siesta Key, Venice, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton or Anna Maria Island.
Iconic restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and more
Restaurants come and go quicker than probably another business. For these five stories, we focused on ones that have been serving great food in Sarasota and Manatee counties for decades as well as legendary restaurants from across Florida. From fine dining to to flip-flops casual, these are definitely among our favorites.
10 famous Sarasota County restaurants everyone should visit
10 famous Manatee County restaurants everyone should visit
Waterfront restaurants in Sarasota, Bradenton, Anna Maria and more
With many Sarasota and Manatee communities located right on the Gulf of Mexico – and with Bradenton, Palmetto and Ellenton featuring the mile-wide Manatee River flowing into the Gulf – we have a whole lot of prime waterfront property with outstanding restaurants and bars peppering plenty of it. Here’s the series of guides we did about the best ones in Sarasota-Manatee offering outdoor dining right on the water.
Neighborhood restaurant guides for Siesta Key, Sarasota, Bradenton and more
In addition to featuring our favorite waterfront restaurants, we also regularly share neighborhood guides. Here are three we published this year.
Best burgers in Sarasota
Every year in May, which is national hamburger month, we share our picks for best burgers found at local restaurants (no national chains!). We had to skip 2020 due to the pandemic so we came back big this year with a two-part series with Sarasota County featured in May and then Manatee County in June.
Vegan-friendly restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee
From casual comfort food spots to more upscale dining, some of our favorite local restaurants with entirely or largely vegan menus.
Vegan-friendly favorites:15 great vegan-friendly restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee counties
Romantic restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee
Every year ahead of Valentine’s Day offer our favorites for romantic dining. Here’s our latest.
Best Irish pubs in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte
Each year ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, we update and share our list of best Irish pubs. These are restaurants and bars where you can pair a perfectly poured pint of Guinness with a serving of soul-comforting shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash or perhaps fish and chips.
Best coffee shops in Sarasota-Manatee
Each year we also offer an an updated guide to the top coffee shops in Sarasota-Manatee.
Best BBQ restaurants
For this story, we rounded up the best barbecue restaurants and food trucks from all across Florida.
Restaurant openings and closings
We spend a lot of time at the Herald-Tribune, and at Ticket in particular, writing about restaurant news in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Here are the stories about the biggest restaurant openings and closings, with a link to bookmark all of our restaurant news and reviews.
15 biggest restaurant, bar openings of 2019 in Sarasota-Bradenton
Bookmark this page for the latest restaurant news and reviews for Sarasota-Manatee
Wade Tatangelo, the Herald-Tribune’s entertainment editor, may be reached by email at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing.