Try These Restaurants Near the Airport

You won't have to wait long for a memorable meal next trip thanks to these local spots near the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota is loaded with local history and several cultural and educational sites. From The Ringling to the historic New College of Florida campus, the North Sarasota span of Highway 41 (a.k.a. Tamiami Trail) can keep you busy for a while. Here’s the scoop on four great restaurants to enjoy on Sarasota’s North Tamiami Trail when you’re ready to grab a bite (or drink).

Captain Brian’s Seafood

You just arrived to the Sarasota airport from some landlocked destination, and you’re starving for some of that famous local seafood. Captain Brian has got your back. Located right in front of the runway, Captain Brian’s Seafood keeps customers happy with its fresh fish and salad bar. “My mom loves it,” says Jim Atkins, who ends up there several times a year. He particularly enjoys the pompano and grouper. The wait staff are friendly and respectful of any time obligations you have, says Reba Rogers, who makes it to Captain Brian’s regularly for a quick lunch. This seafood stop also has a market with live lobsters, fish, marinades, and locally made sea salt. Plus—“The fish tank at the restaurant is always a hit with the kids,” says Judy Vobroucek.

Address: 8421 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

Mirna’s Cuban Cuisine

Take a trip due south of Sarasota—figuratively speaking—to Mirna’s Cuban Cuisine with its cheery yellow walls and paintings depicting Havana. Bring your appetite because the Cuban sandwiches are massive and rival the footlongs at popular sandwich chains. (FYI, their Cuban sandwiches – a.k.a. Cubanos – have ham, shredded roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, served inside Cuban bread.) Ropa vieja is another classic Cuban dish at Mirna’s, with shredded beef and diced bell peppers, cilantro, and onions. For your sweet tooth, offerings include authentic arroz con leche (a rice pudding), guava pastry, and flan. The prices at Mirna’s are affordable, especially considering the hearty portions. Enjoy bachata and merengue music and practice your Spanish, and you’ll leave Mirna’s full and felíz.

Address: 7980 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

Bahi Hut

It’s all about the tiki bars and strong Mai Tais at the Bahi Hut, a local legend in Florida since the 1950s. “You can’t live around here without going to Bahi Hut. It’s an experience,” says Sharon Barhorst, who had friends take her there for a birthday celebration. “It’s great for people watching, and the Mai Tai is a must,” says Heather Crawford. Be forewarned—the drinks can be strong, so you may be dancing with a lampshade on your head before the day is over. (There’s a two-drink limit for the famous Mai Tais.) Bahi Hut, which uses locally made Siesta Key rum in its drinks, went through renovations before becoming smoke free recently.

Address: 4675 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234

Captain Brian's Seafood (Photo: Vanessa Caceres)
Cuban sandwich at Mirna's Cuban Cuisine (Photo: Vanessa Caceres)
Captain Brian's Seafood (Photo: Vanessa Caceres)
Cuban sandwich at Mirna's Cuban Cuisine (Photo: Vanessa Caceres)