Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Oct 22, 2008 08:23 AM

Sarasota or Siesta Keys?

Coming from L.A to visit a friend in Siesta Keys. Would love recs for good seafood- Italian - breakfast etc.... Anything except Chinese or Indian is good. Nothing insanely expensive please.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There's a barbecue restaurant in Ellenton called Hickory Hollow. We used to drive 45 minutes to go there. It was delicious, though I haven't been in quite a may be time to take a trip. The sides and veggies were always amazing.

    1. There are plenty of great places on Siesta, you do not need to leave the Key. The Broken Egg is the best breakfast place in Sarasota. Dick Vitale eats there. For seafood, the Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) offers good food. Captain Curt's Crab and Oyster Bar is less refined, but still good. Cafe Gardens/ the Daiquiri Deck has good food; it is more of a bar at night. Napoli's has decent Italian. Ophelia's on the Bay is the best place on Siesta Key. It is a little expensive, but the food is awesome. I have known the sous chef since he was 10. The menu will satisfy anyone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kscott

        I just got back from a week on the key and I have to second Ophelia's. Do yourself a big favor and don't miss it. Beautiful setting overlooking the water and a bird sancuary. Exceptional service and the food's first rate. Entree's start in the low $20s and top out at $40 so it's not cheap, but not insanely expensive by any means. To me, it's a must do every time I'm in the area.

      2. Divino on Main Street is the best Italian restaurant in the Sarasota area......
        Good luck and have a great time...

        3 Replies
        1. re: irwin

          I know that you keep recommending it, but there were four of us, and all four meals were horrible. Maybe we picked a bad night, but you just won't get any of us back there again!

          1. re: Mother of four

            Sorry to hear about your experience at Divino....
            Another italian restaurant just moved from Stickney Point Road to Burns Court and took over Ova Rara, its now Galillio, and also very good.

            1. re: irwin

              Was that the one that used to be in the blue building near Coasters? I really miss the one that was around the corner from Borders book store. I guess the chef quit and the owner just closed the place. I know that it was a few years ago, but I still miss it. I'm not saying that the food was great, but it was good,not expensive and just a very comfortable place to dine. We keep loosing those kind of places. By the way, we went to Libby's last week. The food was very good, but the waiter had no idea what he was serving and the lighting was so low that you couldn't see the menu or the food. I hate that. They have a few kinks to iron out, but we will go back.

        2. We have vacationed on Anna Maria Island for the past two years on spring breaks - and we do a lot of planning around culinary destinations - mostly with eating dinners out. We've enjoyed Phillipi Creek - It's not far from the bridge to Siesta Key. It's not a real fancy place but the seafood is very good. Now, if you don't mind driving further and want to be down on the water in a cash only, no frills place, Star Fish Market off the Cortez Bridge is a local place in Bradenton Beach. You put in your order at the window & grab a picnic table & wait for your number/order to be called. Their grouper sandwiches are great as well as other local fish. The do have a website with their menu online. St. Armand's Circle is great - upscale & fun for a shopping/lunch destination. We've enjoyed Columbia Restaurant which is Spanish inspired. The atmosphere is great. Hope this helps.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CurryLover

            I will second Star Fish. Real Florida location

          2. Casey Key Fish house on Blackburn Point Rd., south of Stickney Point. Wonderful fish, reasonable prices, very far from fancy, but chef Willie does a great job!! On the water too!