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Any restaurants you can recommend for Venice,FL area?

Some relatives who've recently moved to Venice, FL are asking for restaurant recs.
Any/all suggestions appreciated.
Don't see much on the boards about Venice...(except the Crow's Nest. Still any good?)
They like all types of food -- sushi to deli;casual to gourmet.
Willing to drive a bit, if necessary...Thanks in advance.

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  1. The Ivy Steakhouse recently opened in a small shopping center on the 41 Bypass in Venice. Nicely decorated, and the steaks we had on our one visit were definitely far superior in quality to say, an Outback, not that that takes a lot. I would try it again as prices are reasonable for the food and drinks, and the complete meal comes with the entree selection; soup/salad, starch and vegetable. The steaks we had were cooked to perfection.
    My main gripe was the continual use of the term "you guys" by some of the waitstaff to customers. Though I should have called our server on it, I didn't want to spoil what was a very pleasant dining experience, so I didn't. Minor gripe was the tiny salt and pepper shakers and the huge square plates the meal comes on. The food looks lost on them.

    1. Unfortunately, not a whole lot to recommend in Venice. Tell them to either go North or South for good restaurants!

      1. The closest restaurant south worth a drive is Perfect Caper in Punta Gorda, about 15 minutes away. I'm sure Sarasota has some good eating but I can't help you there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          Thanks...familiar with Sarasota places (there's a lot) but trying not to have them drive so far if possible...

        2. There are many fine restaurants in Venice. On the main street, W. Venice Avenue, is "Cafe Venice" with nice salads and entrees, across the street is "Dream Cafe" with an Eastern European flair and great food/service. Down the street is "Upper Crust" with fantastic scones and wonderful breakfast and lunch menus. Further west is "Cassariano's" with Italian dishes....all very good.

          One block south on Miami Avenue is "Back Eddy" and "Cafe Magnifico" which are both excellent, and "Althea's" a long-time favorite with residents and visitors with an American menu.

          One block north of Venice Avenue is "Le Petit Jardin" which is excellent for fresh, tasty and light lunches....on the corner of Nokomis and Tampa Avenues.

          Farther to the east on Venice Avenue is "Valenti's" Italian restaurant, a favorite of mine.

          On the US 41 Bypass, you can find "Ivy Steakhouse", "Mi Puebla" for Mexican, and the "Lazy Greek Cafe".

          There are many fine restaurants in Venice, these are but a few.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sidley

            Sidley---you are right and there are many many more....

            1. re: irwin

              I think the problem is there are few chowhounds in the Venice area. Thanks for bringing them to everyone's attention. LMF

            2. re: sidley

              I find the food at Valenti's very plastic. They also have a habit of changing the tip amount. I would stay far, far away from this place.

              Valenti's Restaurant
              1200 E Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285

            3. I need a seafood restaurant tonight. I was at Crow's Nest last year and didn't love it. I've found Pop's Sunset Grill, near Nokomis, and Johnny Leverocks in Placida, further away. Any thoughts or other recommendations?

              1. We ended up at Johnny Leverocks in Placida. Nice setting on the water. Dinner was hit and miss. Fried calamari were crispy, not greasy but more breading and less calamari. They have an interesting take on escargots called Lobster Cargots which are pieces of lobster served in a snail casserole dish with garlic butter and melted cheese. It was very good. I had a mahi mahi special with artichokes, tomatoes, olives, and hollandaise. It sounded good. I asked for it undercooked, medium rare. It was cooked thru and dry. I should've sent it back. I think even if undercooked I wouldn't have loved it. MsRev had a good grilled grouper sandwich with great fries. It's not worth the drive for me.

                1. I've recently moved to Venice from Midcoast Maine....i've found Crow's Nest and
                  Sharkey's to be only good for a drink.......Back Eddy Bistro is lovely......Cassariano's is very good......tried Bogey's for a hamburger...only okay.......
                  El Moloajete's in Pametto is worth the drive for excellent Mexican.
                  The Clock Restaurant is passable for breakfast.
                  The Italian Market on Venice Avenue is a standout.......
                  Love Chowhound........

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: prairieprincess

                    It's not fancy, but Captain Eddie's, a few miles north of Venice on hwy 41, is a great place for fresh fish. We always have to go there when we're in town. We also enjoy Ntino's, which is a few blocks south of downtown Venice on 41. These are both inexpensive but have good food.

                    1. re: prairieprincess

                      what part of Maine? I just moved from Boothbay Harbor!!

                      1. re: lakota422

                        we moved from Thomaston and rockland. have you found any good restaurants? our favorites are........The Grasshopper on north 41 Sarasota, isan thai on north 41 in Sarasota across from the cemetery and café evergreen north 41 in nocomis ........five guys in north port and cessarios downtown venice.......( I think I misspelled that)

                        1. re: prairieprincess

                          I really liked Joe Cracker's by the Port Charlotte Mall, but they have closed. I like Gators in Port Charlotte, The Salty Dog on Longboat, and there is an AWESOME bbq place on the corner of Bahia Vista and 41 in Sarasota! If you haven't made the trip to Bahia Vista in Sarasota, there is an excellent Amish place called Yoder's with a restaurant, produce store AND Bakery...to die for!!

                        2. re: lakota422

                          Hi we're visiting booth bay for a week in September. Any favorite restaurants! Thx

                          1. re: Kate55

                            darrells in the brickyard plaza. casey key fish house for seafood and view. made in italy is very popular, they have a brick oven. mama marias has great pizza too. blu bistro for lunch.

                            1. re: Kate55

                              For good food at great prices, try Ebb Tide. Their fish chowder is a favorite.

                              1. re: Kate55

                                We really enjoyed the trip to Snook Haven. It's very close to Venice, has a great, local, Old Florida feel, and the food was very good as well.

                          2. Snook Haven is VERY casual and has an excellent grouper sandwich and key lime pie.

                            1. Luna's in downtown Venice has a great seafood pasta (very large portion - my husband and I split it). Briandi's (on 41) has excellent pizza and lasgna, don't be put off my the outside of the building. Scamotz in downtown Venice also has great pizza. Sharkey's has good nacho's, that's all we eat there. In south Sarasota there is Phillip Creek (on 41) for seafood. Didn't like Marker 4. Pop's Sunset Grille is just okay.

                              Briandi's Restaurant
                              202 Tamiami Trl S, Venice, FL 34285

                              113 Tampa Ave W, Venice, FL 34285

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: tweedle

                                Scamotz is the best pizza in Florida. Sharkey's and Pop's Sunset Grille are there for the view. The food is secondary and Pop's punch's alone is worth the trip. Phillipi Creek is a tourist trap with an attitude and I agree on Marker 4.

                                113 Tampa Ave W, Venice, FL 34285

                                1. re: Scargoe

                                  I don't know about Pop's punch, but your right on mark with the rest!

                                  1. re: Mother of four

                                    Thanks everyone...will pass along all your recommendations. MOST appreciated!

                              2. Casey Key Fish House, up on Blackburn Road is an excellent place, and it has a view to boot. Fresh seafood and the biggest grouper sandwich in the area.

                                Casey Key Fish House
                                801 Blackburn Point Rd, Osprey, FL 34229

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: watsurf

                                  Ditto recommendations of Scamotz and Casey Key Fish House. Scamotz has fantastic thin crust pizza and fresh salads with home made dressings. Wait staff is always pleasant and there is outside seating. Casey Key Fish House serves imaginative fresh fish dishes. My husband won't touch fish but swears by their burgers. A great place to be on a pleasant afternoon or evening. Be sure to take Casey Key Road back to Rt 41 so you can gawk at the homes of the rich and maybe famous.

                                  My current favorite is Robbie's Reef, located in a strip mall on Rt 41 Bypass. Robbie's is a local favorite and for good reason. They serve the freshest fish anywhere, prepared simply and served piping hot. Fish tacos are worth a try and their gumbo is terrific.

                                  For really casual try the Lucky Dog Diner (near Venice Hospital). Great sandwiches , fresh salads, very reasonable prices, friendly owners and lots of charm. Open for breakfast and lunch only.

                                  Casey Key Fish House
                                  801 Blackburn Point Rd, Osprey, FL 34229

                                  Mi Pueblo
                                  530 US Highway 41 Byp S, Venice, FL 34285

                                  113 Tampa Ave W, Venice, FL 34285

                                  1. re: redowney

                                    i'll try robbies but will not recomment lucky dog diner....the hot dog i had there in feb was bland and the service dismissive......

                                2. Try Pergola a casual local Greek family restaurant at 759 Shamrock Blvd. Quality food at reasonable prices. There is plenty of food and I usually can't finish the meal. I especially liked the Athenian Grouper.

                                  1. Bentley's Resort Hotel in Osprey has a wonderful TIKI Bar in the square in the middle of the hotel. It is a little hard to find if you don't know where to look, but it is worth the search. Pleasant atmosphere right next to their heated pool, good menu and good service. On Sunday afternoons, they have a live band and bar guests are encouraged to use the pool and pool deck if they are eating and drinking at the bar.

                                    Scrambles, a little further north on 41 serves a great breakfast.

                                    Right before Pop's Sunset Grill, on Albee Road is Pelican Alley, nice atmosphere, good drinks and a deck right on the intracoastal waterway.

                                    Pop's Sunset Grill
                                    112 Circuit Rd, Nokomis, FL 34275

                                    Pelican Alley the Restaurant
                                    1009 Albee Rd W, Nokomis, FL 34275

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: joethebartender

                                      I like Pelican Alley, live within walking distance, and go there all the time. The only area they're weak in is the quality of their rolls and their house salads. Their fried grouper finger sandwich, with bacon and cheese is world class. They pour a nice drink at their bar and those who wish to save money can find many happy hour specials.

                                      Pelican Alley the Restaurant
                                      1009 Albee Rd W, Nokomis, FL 34275

                                    2. I agree that Venice has many good places to eat. My personal favorite is Ophelia's Pasta House in the Nokomis (just north of Venice) Shopping Center. Saltwater Cafe is in the same parking lot and they are also good, especially for Sunday Brunch. Pop's is fun watching the boats go by and I think the food is excellent.

                                      1. I happen to really enjoy the following:
                                        Casey Key Fish House
                                        Saltwater Cafe

                                        1. You don't see much because there is very little worth commenting on that is worthwhile in Venice. I have lived here for 10 years and can't count the disappointments. Restaurants here pander to the tastes of the geriatric generation and the food is bland and unadventurous. Service is spotty but leans toward apathetic but can be good sometimes. Byproduct of being a tourist destination that doesn't need to worry about quality or customer retention. Franchises abound. Be prepared for significant waits if you are going out between December and April. Driving to Sarasota may be the best bet.

                                          1. Also in Osprey, a little bit North of Venice is the exceptional Bologna Cafe, a truly authentic example of the cooking of the Emilia Romagna. Expensive and reservastions are necessary: this is one of the gems of S.W Florida!

                                            1. i have been coming to venice for 20 yrs to visit family ...one of the crappiest places to eat ....not only overpriced but its all garbage ...if your a veggie or health inspired person good luck ...i tend to starve when coming to area also most places are pigstyes here be watchful

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jimnor28

                                                We like the new Evergreen Café across the town line in Nokomis. Lovely fresh food and good prices. Crowded but worth the wait.

                                              2. Cormick's cafe is unbelievable! Unpretentious, small, inexpensive, and run single-handed by a man who knows his food! He bakes everything fresh ever day - makes everything by hand fresh - you cant go wrong. And he is one of the nicest people I know - I live in Georgia and eat there every time I come down to visit my mother in the nursing home. He just volunteered to take a lunch to her for her birthday, since I can't get down there!

                                                1. San Marco restaurant is a fairly new Italian restaurant on Venice Ave. It is run by an Italian family. Very good food, great lunch specials, great house wine and excellent/professional service.

                                                  As much as I dislike Sharky's (I can no longer even eat chicken fingers there), I must say that their new high end restaurant, Fin's, is quite good. Very good sushi and appetizers. The view is beautiful and helps elevate the food.