Pies at Yoder's. Photos by Eddie Kirsch
Pies at Yoder's. Photo by Eddie Kirsch

Coastal cuisine in Sarasota, Nokomis and Venice

Sarasota County is known for it’s beaches, but off the shoreline are a plethora of dining options to enjoy after a long day at the beach

Gourmands in Sarasota County know that, just because the area is coastal and the waterfront options abound, it doesn’t take a beachside setting to create a fabulous food-and-wine experience.

Down-Home Comfort Cuisine

One of the most comforting inland eateries is in the Pinecraft Amish community of Sarasota. Craving down-home, Southwest Florida country cooking with a family-friendly vibe? Since 1975, Yoder’s Amish Restaurant has been beloved for its award-winning, from-scratch butterscotch and strawberry rhubarb pies, as well as its Southern-style, deep-fried chicken. The adjacent Amish Village is stocked with homemade baked goods and fresh produce for a little post-dining grocery shopping.

Pie at Yoder's Amish Restaurant
Pie at Yoder's Amish Restaurant

Asian Cuisine

Global flavors are ubiquitous in downtown Sarasota and there is an exotic taste for every preference. Hotspots like Drunken Poet Café on Main Street serve everything from seafood curry in young Thai coconuts to lobster sushi rolls inside of hollowed-out lobster tails. Speaking of specialty sushi, Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill is just around the corner and known for its own King Lobster Roll, Lobster Yakisoba and Salmon Hibachi.

Downtown Sarasota's Seafood

Take the downtown Sarasota seafood quest from the sushi realm to the fresh-caught seafood sphere, and try the sustainable entrées at Duval’s. The menu is stocked with hognose snapper for dinner, and N’awlins Style Po’ Boys with flash-fried seafood and Cajun remoulade sauce for lunch. Indulge in a whole Mediterranean Branzino or Dover sole at Salute—an authentic Italian destination with fish filleted tableside and handmade pastas like butternut squash gnocchi.

Duval's
Duval's

British Bites

Heading east toward Interstate-75 from downtown are locales like The White Horse Pub on Lockwood Ridge Road in the Parkway Collection Plaza, which boasts British specialty dishes, Sunday roasts, award-winning wings and a slew of imported ales. The ambiance, with its live musicians and rugby games on the TV, is as close to the United Kingdom as Sarasota gets.

UTC and Lakewood Ranch

The saganaki and grilled octopus at Apollonia Grill are as delectable as the Meze Platter with gyro meat and spanakopita.

St. Armands and Longboat Key

Not quite to the water but close enough to Lido Key on St. Armands Circle is Café L’Europe, which, for more than 40 years, has been a coveted fine dining haven. Famed are dishes such as the brandied duckling, potato-crusted grouper, lobster bisque and flambéed desserts. Amore Restaurant on Longboat Key has snapper piccata and veal chops on the menu and crooning musicians at the piano bar. Sip a classic Manhattan cocktail while soaking up some jazz.

Venice and Nokomis

Saltwater Café is a prime seafood and steak hub in Nokomis with a killer raw bar. And, of course, Venice is packed with its own plethora of restaurants, Café Venice Restaurant and Wine Bar has garnered regulars for years with its crab cake sandwiches and roasted New Zealand rack of lamb.

In every stretch of Sarasota County, there is an eatery that does not need a waterfront view to make a splash.

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Apr 18, 2017
Photo credit: Nicole Coudal
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