|In Sarasota it's easy to find a waterfront restaurant.|
You won't go hungry, that's for sure, but fair warning, you may find a new favorite restaurant.
Here are a few I enjoyed.
|Dessert sampling at Michael's on East.|
Owen's Fish Camp is proof of Sarasota's wide-ranging culinary scene: It's a fish camp in the middle of downtown. Ultra casual, they're known for fresh seafood and unique sides. Entrees come with two sides but you'll want to try more so don't dine alone.
Gecko's Grill and Pub is where to head if you want a local, family-oriented sports bar with a full selection of good food from pub grub to pasta or yellow fin tuna. There are three in Sarasota, two in Bradenton. Warning: the sweet potato fries and onion slivers are addictive.
|When eating Amish, save yourself for dessert.|
Dutch Heritage Restaurant is now owned by an Ohio-based company and is known as Der Dutchman. One of two eateries in this Mennonite/Amish community, the popular buffet is long on comfort foods, but save yourself for the bakery.
|And especially at Euphemia Haye.|
Tip: Levelers, you'll encounter stairs here. The restaurant has grown by additions, each with a slightly different level and you don't want to miss checking out the desserts upstairs.
Blue Dolphin Cafe is the Cheers of local breakfast restaurants: everyone knows your name or soon will if you return as locals do again and again. Huge portions, friendly service. Since I was there they've added another on St. Armands Circle.
Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub is genuine old Florida, having been here since 1912. Very casual and laid back. If you go at night get them to take a light to the dock and watch the fish swarm. Big buggers, too. Sister restaurants, Beachhouse and Sandbar, are on the Gulf.
|Nothing like a German Apple Pancake for breakfast at Harry's Continental Kitchen.|
Anna Marie Island
|Sandbar is a dig your toes in the sand kind of place.|
|Seafood is fresh at The Crow's Nest.|
Tip: There are stairs but also an elevator. It's a bit hidden so ask for it.
|Roessler's is known for its cuisine and setting.|
Cafe Evergreen at Warm Mineral Springs Resort serves excellent vegan and otherwise healthy fare as well as burgers and french fries for lunch.
Like any thriving culinary scene, Sarasota's is always changing. Check with the folks at www.freshoriginals.com for a list of the independent, locally owned restaurants.