Imagine dining in paradise, where the salty sea breeze kisses your skin, and the scent of freshly caught seafood tantalizes your senses. In the picturesque city of Sarasota, Florida, seafood lovers are in for a treat as they embark on a culinary adventure through its best seafood restaurants. From oceanfront establishments offering panoramic views to cozy hidden gems tucked away in charming neighborhoods, Sarasota’s dining scene promises an unforgettable feast of flavors. Get ready to indulge in succulent crab cakes, buttery lobster tails, and perfectly seared scallops as you discover the hidden gems that make Sarasota a seafood lover’s haven.
Casual seafood restaurants in Sarasota
1.1 The Crab Shack
When it comes to casual seafood dining in Sarasota, The Crab Shack is definitely a local favorite. Located in a charming spot by the water, this restaurant offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere that perfectly complements its delicious seafood menu. From mouthwatering crab legs to succulent shrimp boils, you can indulge in a variety of seafood delights here. The casual setting makes it a great place to enjoy a casual lunch or dinner with friends and family. So, if you’re looking for a no-frills seafood experience with a welcoming ambiance, The Crab Shack is a must-visit.
1.2 The Fisherman’s Wharf
Another fantastic casual seafood restaurant in Sarasota is The Fisherman’s Wharf. Situated in a picturesque location, right by the bay, this eatery offers stunning waterfront views to accompany your meal. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, ranging from classic fish and chips to delectable crab cakes. Whether you opt to sit indoors or enjoy the fresh sea breeze on their outdoor patio, The Fisherman’s Wharf provides a delightful dining experience. With its friendly staff and warm ambiance, it’s no wonder why locals and tourists alike flock to this establishment.
1.3 O’Leary’s Tiki Bar
If you’re in search of a casual seafood dining spot with a fun and vibrant atmosphere, look no further than O’Leary’s Tiki Bar. Located on the waterfront, this restaurant offers a unique tiki-bar experience combined with fantastic seafood options. From coconut shrimp to mouthwatering lobster rolls, their menu is sure to satisfy any seafood lover’s cravings. With live music and a lively crowd, O’Leary’s Tiki Bar is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some delicious seafood dishes in a laid-back setting.
1.4 Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar
Nestled along the scenic Phillippi Creek, the Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar offers a casual and rustic seafood dining experience. This hidden gem is known for its fantastic oysters, served raw or prepared in various mouthwatering dishes. Their seafood menu extends beyond oysters and includes favorites such as crab legs, shrimp scampi, and fresh fish. With its waterfront seating and relaxed atmosphere, Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar provides a charming and enjoyable place to indulge in some of the best casual seafood in Sarasota.
Fine dining seafood restaurants in Sarasota
2.1 Michael’s On East
For a more upscale experience, Sarasota offers several fine dining seafood restaurants, starting with Michael’s On East. This renowned establishment is celebrated for its elegant ambiance and exceptional culinary creations. Their seafood menu showcases a fusion of flavors, featuring dishes such as pan-seared sea bass and lobster bisque. With an extensive wine list to complement your meal and impeccable service, Michael’s On East is the perfect destination for a special occasion or a memorable fine dining experience.
2.2 Jack Dusty
Situated in the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Jack Dusty offers an exquisite fine dining experience with a coastal flair. This upscale seafood restaurant boasts a menu inspired by locally sourced ingredients and the flavors of the Gulf Coast. From their famous seafood tower to their delectable seared scallops, every dish at Jack Dusty is crafted with precision and artistry. With its sophisticated décor and breathtaking views of the marina, this restaurant provides a truly indulgent ambiance that perfectly complements its exquisite seafood offerings.
Indigenous is a must-visit for those seeking a fine dining experience centered around sustainability and locally-sourced ingredients. This farm-to-table seafood restaurant takes pride in its commitment to showcasing the flavors of Sarasota through innovative and seasonal dishes. The menu changes frequently to reflect the freshest ingredients available, ensuring a unique dining experience with each visit. With its intimate setting and focus on sustainability, Indigenous is an ideal choice for those looking to savor exceptional seafood while supporting local businesses.
2.4 Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Sarasota, Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood. is a fine dining establishment that highlights the flavors of the Gulf Coast. With a menu that showcases a combination of seafood classics and inventive culinary creations, Duval’s offers a memorable dining experience. Indulge in their signature dishes, such as their blackened grouper or decadent lobster mac and cheese. The elegant yet relaxed ambiance, combined with attentive service, creates the perfect setting for a sophisticated seafood feast.
Seafood market with dining options
3.1 Walt’s Fish Market
If you’re looking for a unique seafood dining experience, Walt’s Fish Market is a must-visit. This seafood market provides not only the freshest seafood to take home but also a dining area where you can enjoy your meal right on the premises. From their famous fish and chips to their succulent seafood platters, Walt’s Fish Market offers a wide selection of delicious options. The casual dining area provides a lively atmosphere where you can savor your meal while observing the hustle and bustle of the market.
3.2 Big Water Fish Market
Big Water Fish Market blends the experience of a seafood market with a casual dining setting. This family-owned establishment offers a wide array of fresh seafood options to take home or enjoy in their cozy dining area. The menu features classics like fish tacos and fish sandwiches, as well as mouthwatering seafood chowder. With its friendly staff and welcoming ambiance, Big Water Fish Market is perfect for those looking to combine a seafood market adventure with a tasty meal.
3.3 Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant
Nestled on the shores of Cortez Village, Star Fish Company Market & Restaurant offers a unique combination of a seafood market and a waterfront restaurant. With a rustic and charming setting, this establishment allows you to choose between purchasing fresh seafood to take home or indulging in their scrumptious seafood dishes right on-site. From their famous grouper sandwiches to their perfectly grilled shrimp, every bite at Star Fish Company is a seafood lover’s delight. The picturesque waterfront scenery provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and satisfying dining experience.
Waterfront seafood restaurants in Sarasota
4.1 Marina Jack
If you’re searching for a memorable waterfront dining experience, Marina Jack is an iconic choice in Sarasota. Located on Sarasota Bay, this restaurant offers breathtaking panoramic views of the water and the bayfront park. Whether you choose to dine indoors or on their outdoor patio, you’ll be treated to a spectacular backdrop while enjoying their delectable seafood menu. From their fresh catch of the day to their mouthwatering lobster tail, Marina Jack provides both exquisite cuisine and an unforgettable waterfront atmosphere.
4.2 Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Situated on Sarasota Bay, Dry Dock Waterfront Grill is a popular waterfront seafood restaurant that combines stunning views with exceptional cuisine. This establishment offers an extensive menu featuring a wide variety of seafood dishes. From their famous fish tacos to their flavorful coconut shrimp, Dry Dock Waterfront Grill has something to satisfy every seafood lover’s palate. The relaxed waterfront setting, with outdoor seating options and live entertainment, creates a lively and enjoyable atmosphere that enhances your dining experience.
4.3 The Old Salty Dog
For a more casual waterfront seafood dining experience, The Old Salty Dog is a beloved Sarasota institution. With its charming location on City Island, this restaurant offers a laid-back atmosphere and stunning views of the water. The menu features an array of seafood options, including their renowned Salty Dog fish sandwich and their flavorful fish and chips. Whether you choose to sit indoors or in their outdoor patio area, you can relax and savor your meal while enjoying the picturesque waterfront scenery.
Seafood chain restaurants in Sarasota
5.1 Bonefish Grill
Known for its commitment to serving fresh, high-quality seafood, Bonefish Grill is a popular seafood chain restaurant in Sarasota. With a focus on flavor and presentation, their menu offers a range of dishes that showcase the best of both local and international flavors. From their flavorful Bang Bang Shrimp to their wood-grilled fish selections, Bonefish Grill offers a consistent and satisfying seafood dining experience. The warm and inviting atmosphere, combined with their friendly service, makes it an ideal spot for a casual seafood meal with family or friends.
5.2 Red Lobster
As a staple in the seafood chain restaurant industry, Red Lobster needs no introduction. With its extensive menu and dedication to quality seafood, this establishment has been satisfying seafood lovers for decades. From their iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuits to their famous Admiral’s Feast, Red Lobster offers a variety of seafood options to suit every taste. The family-friendly atmosphere and welcoming staff make it a popular choice for those seeking a familiar and reliable seafood dining experience.
5.3 Carrabba’s Italian Grill
While Carrabba’s Italian Grill may not solely focus on seafood, its menu features a variety of seafood dishes that are worth mentioning. This Italian-inspired chain restaurant offers tempting seafood options such as their Shrimp Scampi and their Seafood Cioppino. The combination of Italian flavors and fresh seafood creates a unique culinary experience that sets Carrabba’s apart. With its cozy ambiance and attentive service, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is an excellent choice for those looking for a seafood twist on classic Italian cuisine in Sarasota.
In conclusion, Sarasota offers a diverse range of seafood restaurants catering to every preference and occasion. Whether you’re in the mood for casual waterfront dining, fine dining culinary masterpieces, or a blend of seafood market experience with dining options, you can find a restaurant that suits your needs. From local favorites like The Crab Shack and Walt’s Fish Market to upscale establishments like Michael’s On East and Jack Dusty, Sarasota’s seafood scene is both vibrant and satisfying. So, dive into the flavors of the sea and embark on a culinary journey through Sarasota’s best seafood restaurants.