Pop’s Sunset Grill offers views of Sarasota Bay and Casey Key (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Pop’s Sunset Grill offers views of Sarasota Bay and Casey Key (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Caption: Evie’s Spanish Point location is a hidden gem on Sarasota Bay opposite Siesta Key (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Evie’s Spanish Point location is a hidden gem on Sarasota Bay opposite Siesta Key (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Crow’s Nest is right on the sparkling Venice Jetty (Photo: Lauren Jackson)
Crow’s Nest is right on the sparkling Venice Jetty (Photo: Lauren Jackson)
Dry Dock is a bit hidden from cars on Longboat Key, but should not be missed by boaters (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Dry Dock is a bit hidden from cars on Longboat Key, but should not be missed by boaters (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
New Pass Grill
New Pass Grill & Bait Shop boasts one of the best burgers around (Photo: Christina Astore)

Anchor and Eat: Best Boat-Up Restaurants

Take a food break at some favorite local dining spots on the water with plenty of room to dock your vessel and chow down

November 8, 2019

The greatest draw to enjoying a sunny vacation in beautiful Sarasota County is our endless coastline and proximity to the water. The best way to maximize your exposure to “Vitamin Sea” is exploring the area via the intracoastal waterway - think of it as our inland boat highway. In between speeding through the waves, and swimming on the sandbars, you’re sure to work up an appetite. No need to lug around a big cooler when you can conveniently pull right up to a boat-friendly restaurants outfitted with accessible docks for you and your family to make landfall. Keep scrolling for our top spots to come ashore for concessions.

Pop’s Sunset Grill

If you’re near Casey Key and Nokomis Beach, head over to marker 10 and dock at Pop’s Sunset Grill for Floridian fare and Tiki charm. This historic property has been host to some form of fish camp or restaurant since the 1940’s.

Evie’s Spanish Point

Evie’s Spanish Point location is a hidden gem on Sarasota Bay opposite Siesta Key (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)

Head south to Osprey for a relaxing day at Evie’s Spanish Point. With two separate docks, there is plenty of room for you and all of your friends to meet on the water for cold drinks and tasty treats. Head down after 4 p.m. for a chance to watch next-door neighbors, Sarasota Scullers Rowing Club load their boats into the water and glide across the channel. Or, spend a day exploring one of Florida’s most archeologically-significant ancient properties, Historic Spanish Point.

Dockside Waterfront Grill

This Venice staple has been a local favorite since workers broke ground on the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina property in 1950. Voted a top local seafood joint over the last two years by newspapers and online publications like Yelp, it’s safe to say the food at Dockside Waterfront Grill is as impressive as the views of the Intracoastal Waterway from the Tiki hut covering.

Marina Jack

Marina Jack is the perfect downtown Sarasota stop for the weary boater to fill up their tummy tanks AND their gas tanks. One of the most popular spots to grab gas during a boating excursion, Marina Jack is a great place to grab some food for all occasions. Get fancy in the Marina Jack Dining Room, switch to a Tommy Bahama shirt for the Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill, or keep the flip-flops on for the Deep Six Lounge & Piano Bar before heading back out into the Gulf.

Crow’s Nest

Crow’s Nest is right on the sparkling Venice Jetty (Photo: Lauren Jackson)
Crow’s Nest is right on the sparkling Venice Jetty (Photo: Lauren Jackson)

Pull up to the Crow’s Nest for gorgeous views of the Venice Inlet and its bordering jetties. The upstairs restaurant features a more sophisticated vibe if you’re cruising in style. If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, pop into the tavern, for arguably one of the best burgers on the water.

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

Dry Dock is a bit hidden from cars on Longboat Key, but should not be missed by boaters (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)
Dry Dock is a bit hidden from cars on Longboat Key, but should not be missed by boaters (Photo: Visit Sarasota County)

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill is an awesome spot to pull up and relax near Longboat Key. Their expansive menu items are paralleled only by their incredible views of Sarasota Bay. You can even see the Ca’ D’Zan at The Ringling, where John and Mable Ringling - of Ringling Brother’s Circus fame - lived in the 1920s.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

Nestled away on a quiet canal along Phillippi Creek, is the iconic Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar. Getting to the restaurant is an adventure itself as you quietly idle down the pristine creek through some of Sarasota’s most beautiful waterfront properties. Or, switch to a self-powered vessel like a kayak or paddleboard for a little exercise before and after. The adventure is only half the fun because their food is absolutely fantastic.

New Pass Grill & Bait Shop

New Pass Grill & Bait Shop boasts one of the best burgers around (Photo: Christina Astore)
New Pass Grill & Bait Shop boasts one of the best burgers around (Photo: Christina Astore)

This local landmark since 1929 has never lost it’s Old Florida charm, and is a favorite stop for anglers looking to stock up on supplies before heading offshore. The bait shop is serving up plenty on its menu (frozen bait, tackle, rental equipment, charter services and lessons), but the grill is best known for one thing: burgers. Their award-winning, made-to-order New Pass Burger is what keeps local lunchgoers and visitors coming back daily.

O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill

O’Leary’s is an especially fun and unique stop for boaters looking to dock for lunch, dinner or casual drinks in the type of waterfront haunt almost everyone expects in Florida. Glistening bay views, barstools and benches scattered across sand, and, of course, a Tiki bar. Get your grouper fix from this menu.

No Boat? No Problem!

While you can get to any of these spots by land, the best way to live like a local is to get there by sea. In case you didn’t bring your vessel with you during on vacation, here’s some trustworthy places around the county to rent a ride for a fun-filled, food-filled day on the water!

Bluwave Boat Rental

Freedom Boat Club

Siesta Key Watersports

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters