SARASOTA: A FEW OF MY FAVORITE PLACES

Over the years I have received more and more requests for recommendations in Sarasota – especially where to eat out! While this is by no means an exhaustive list, below are a few of the Sarasota restaurants I love (and the dishes to try!) as well as a few local shops to visit. These locations range from Siesta Key, to Sarasota, to Longboat Key, but most are centrally located downtown.


CRAFTSMAN CHEESE COMPANY

Artisan cheese company is an independent cheese shop in the Rosemary District of Sarasota. They are open daily for lunch (the grilled cheese – omg!), and the store has a pantry section, natural wine section, and grab and go cooler section. I often order cheesemonger boards when friends and family are visiting and we sip wine and enjoy while in the store (but you can also order boards for party needs and hosting). The store is also a host cheese classeswhich I recently attended over the holidays!


OWEN’S FISHING CAMP

Owen’s Fishing Camp is located in the heart of Burns Court in Downtown Sarasota. This restaurant specializes in southern hospitality and is an ode to old Florida. There is a banyan tree, deck swing and backyard with live music and fried oysters every night! The restaurant specializes in bringing in the freshest fish daily – my recommendation is the scampi, grilled with a lemon-caper butter sauce. I also love the shrimp and grits bowl and the hot crab dip. It’s a wonderful place to bring guests, but beware, there are no reservations! So either go early or be prepared to wait!


CANNED HAM VINTAGE

Canned ham vintage is the best vintage store in Sarasota (I bought the above kaftan there and earrings on the right)! This is such a fun place to browse and they sell everything from womenswear to jewelry to homewares. They also have one online shop if you are not local. When NYC fashionistas visit, this is always a top request to visit.


PROJECT COFFEE CO.

Project coffee has two locations in Sarasota, the original in Burns Court and a newly opened more industrial outpost in the Rosemary District. Project Coffee’s coffee is sustainably sourced and roasted in-house, and all of the food menu items are 100% vegan. The Rosemary location feels like a little piece of Brooklyn in Sarasota, and rumor has it they will soon be open later this weekend to serve beer, wine and food!


WALT’S FISH MARKET

Walt’s Fish Market was established in 1918 and decades later is still run by the Wallin family. The restaurant, fish market and tiki bar are open daily. Walt’s claim to fame is that they sell fish that was literally caught the day you buy it! I love taking friends here as the atmosphere is always lively, the fish is super fresh and the staff are so wonderful.


BISTRO AT THE SARASOTA MUSEUM OF ART

The Bistro at the Sarasota Art Museum is one of my favorite quiet haunts for a leisurely breakfast or lunch (there is ample indoor and outdoor seating). The bistro is located in a beautiful Paul Rudolph-designed building just behind the art museum and has been thoughtfully designed with a clean aesthetic, tiled floors and bright bistro chairs. The fare is inspired by Florida’s regional fruit stands and is constantly updated with wonderful new specialty items. The weekend brunch is my favorite! Also, if you are in town on the second Thursday of the month, you check outJazz Thursday‘ put on by the museum. The music is always great and you can sit outside and sip wine while you take it all in.


BLOSSMART FLOWERS

Flower cart is a floral design studio based in Sarasota, known for carrying the most unique flowers in the area. I have had so much success working with the owner Jane on all kinds of events. I had been looking for a local florist who creates beautiful arrangements that feel modern but still feminine and Blossmcart nails it every time.


WHITNEY’S

Whitney’s is located on the northern tip of Longboat Key and is one of my favorite places to recommend! What was a vacant gas/service station had been completely transformed and transformed into a stylish indoor/outdoor roadside dining area with a large garage door, an outdoor fire pit and incredible landscaping. The look and feel of this restaurant is hard to beat – and it’s directly across the street from the beach! I love to be there with friends for cocktails on a Friday night at sunset and listen to Akiem play live jazz guitar.


COAST

Coast has two locations in the city, one in St. Armand’s and the other on LBK (right near Whitney’s). While both are lovely, I prefer the Long Boat Key location as it is located right on the water and much of the seating is outdoors. There are so many delicious dishes, but Miso Black Grouper just might be my personal favorite.


SPIKE FISH

Located near the South Bridge on Siesta Key, Spearfish is a great hangout if you’re looking for fresh, locally caught seafood in a super relaxed atmosphere. Spearfish always has interesting offers, but the grouper bites are never to be missed. This is a great place for small groups!


FLORENCE AND THE SPICE BOYS

Florence and the Spice Boys was originally a wildly popular food truck that mostly operated in downtown Sarasota. They recently traded their truck for a permanent spot in The Landings and have transformed the space and truly made it their own. The fried artichoke hearts and turmeric fried chicken sandwich are my favorite items, but honestly, everything on the menu is delicious. Don’t skip dessert!


CAMILYN BETH

Founded in 2012, Camilyn Beth’s pieces are designed here in Sarasota and made in NYC. This feminine and beautifully crafted line was created by Cami, who I am lucky to call a friend. After years of selling online, Cami and her team opened one storefront right here in Sarasota in the historic Mira Mar Plaza. The store also serves as design headquarters and is always buzzing with excitement. Stop in to see all of Cami’s latest designs.


I have so many more favorites such as Mediterranean center of italian, Naples for wood-burning pizza, Baker and Wife for a cozy artisan meal, State Street for good cocktails, and Natives for a romantic date night. I also consistently find myself at the bar at both Libby’s Brasserie and Veronica’s Fish & Oyster Bar in Southside Village. If you have some *must try* places, feel free to send me an email or DM. I’m always looking for new Sarasota places to try!

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