Beach Concession Stands and Pavilions
Beach Concession Stands and Pavilions
Beach Concession Stands and Pavilions

Treat Yourself to a Beach Concession Snack

While visiting Sarasota County beaches, save room for a tasty treat at one of the available concession stands.

In my book, snacks at the beach are an absolute must. I have fond memories from childhood, helping my mom pack our family cooler before heading to one of our favorite New England beaches. We always had olive loaf sandwiches (which inevitably got a healthy dose of sand in them), potato chips, bananas, lemonade, beer (for the adults, of course), cookies and frozen candy bars. It was an effort to lift that huge red Coleman cooler into the car, but we didn’t mind because we knew what was in store for us when we arrived at our sunny spot. 

My desire to pack well for beach-going fun hasn’t changed much as I’ve gotten older. Luckily, Sarasota County offers a number of beautiful public beaches, including one that regularly wins awards for its beauty (have you heard of Siesta Key Beach?). When I go, I still bring my favorite treats, but sometimes, just sometimes, I like to pick up something at the concession stand. Many offer cold and hot food options, and some even offer beer and wine! So when I’m looking for a snack that satisfies a craving created by sun, saltwater and sand, I happily stand in line, cash in hand. Hotdogs, chips, grilled cheese, candy or extra-cold beverages, all there for the asking. So, the next time you’re at a beach, satisfy your craving by heading to the concession stand!

South Lido Park/Lido Beach Restaurant

In 1940 the place to be was the Lido Casino, flanked by large seahorses that stood guard over a huge pool. The Casino was demolished many years ago, but the (remodeled) pool is still there, along with a building that houses the concession at South Lido Park. Stepping onto the property is like stepping into history, so why not celebrate with a tasty treat at the concession, like their famous New England style lobster roll, served in that split top, buttered and grilled bun? Or maybe a cheeseburger, or fries, or fish & chips, or grilled cheese & tomato sandwich, or a tasty salad? If you’re an early riser, be sure to check out the 2-egg breakfast sandwich served on toasted bread/roll for only five bucks. Wash it down with one of their beer or wine options, or a refreshing soft drink or some coffee. Tip: stop by on Friday and order the fish tacos - a delicious and filling meal at a great value.

Siesta Key Beach Pavilion

At this new, upper deck Siesta Key Beach Pavilion facility, you can see beautiful views of the beach and volleyball courts, but you can also pick up a hamburger, a hot dog, a healthy salad, a panini, some nachos or any number of snacks. Most items are prepared to order, and they even offer specials. They also have beer and wine, along with a selection of soft drinks, so you’ll surely find something to satisfy. 

Venice Beach Pavilion

101 The Esplanade South, Venice

The iconic building that houses the beach concession was built in 1964. The concession is open for breakfast and lunch, offering things like breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks.

Nokomis Beach/Shark Tooth Concession

208 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis

This Key West-looking building is at the south end of the public beach, just steps from the sand, or a shaded walk on the boardwalk connecting to the Nokomis Beach Plaza. They serve breakfast and lunch, and have several beer and wine options. Grilled sandwiches, fruit smoothies, snacks, candy, soft drinks, are all there, ready for your order. 

North Jetty Fish Camp/Beach Park Concession

1000 S. Casey Key Rd Nokomis

If you’re at the North Jetty - fishing, walking out to the water, surfing or heading to the beach - you simply must experience a piece of history at the east end: the North Jetty Fish Camp. Locals know that this repurposed 1946 Tampa trolley car is a cool place to get a cold can of beer, a bag of chips, an ice cream sandwich, a cup of coffee, or a microwaved hotdog (“Jetty Dogs” are actually pretty good, especially when you’re starving!). Marilyn Sawyer ran it for more than 30 years, developing quite a following before retiring at the end of 2013 — it’s rich with dust, memorabilia, and old-Florida charm. It’s now run by owners Gary and Joyce Durbin, who also run the brand new concession just across the way, but the history and uniqueness of this spot at the head of the inlet is palpable. At the new Beach Park Concession (North Jetty Tap & Grill), you have breakfast and lunch options including grilled items, soft serve ice cream, salads, beer/wine, soft drinks and snacks. Order at the counter and enjoy it at the umbrella-covered picnic tables, or head back to your beach chair. Sure, you won’t get a healthy dose of dust, nor a salty fisherman telling tall tales, but you’ll get a darn good Cuban sandwich (which can easily feed two)!

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Nicole Coudal is a home chef and food writer based in southwest Florida, where she fishes and cooks using local ingredients. When not on the water, she visits farms, farmer’s markets, and other food-related venues to highlight what’s in-season and to create tasty recipes. Read more at www.MyDeliciousBlog.com.

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Tranquility on the beach in Sarasota County is a free amenity for any visitor.
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