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Apr 17, 2010 06:04 PM

Siesta Key/ Sarasota area in May

Greetings all. Looking for good places to eat around Siesta Key/Sarasota/Bradenton/Longboat area.

I love Jose's Real Cuban food in Bradenton. Mr. Bones in Bradenton Beach is good and fun too. Use to love the Sand Bar in AMI but it's gotten so overrun by tourists that it has lost it's charm somewhat. Ate at the Waterfront in Anna Maria recently and it was excellent! Good places in Cortez too.

We like divey places all the way to the top notch , just so the food is good. Might try Mar Vista or the Beach( Bistro? Cafe? ) this time around. We try to avoid chains, but there are always exceptions.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. I really love Cafe L'Europe on St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota. I live about 50 miles north of there, but some mornings I wake up just "needing" their lobster we drive. :) Not cheap, but worth it IMO.

    1. I have searched and found some older responses from 2007, 2008 and 2009. I am looking for some updated ideas please. Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: twodales

        The Beach Bistro is top notch. It's on Anna Maria Island, but the address may technically by Holmes Beach.

        Beach Bistro
        6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

      2. I just posted this a few minutes ago under a different thread but thought you might like to read the last section if you are in the mood to head out for breakfast:

        I'm finally looping back to this post from our visit a few months ago and wanted to highlight a few great places we found.
        For dinner, we hit Libby's in Sarasota (without the kids) for a night. The place was pretty good - - I enjoyed my steak but didn't like my wife's Chicken dish (served pretty much like Americanized Chicken Parm). We went on a Wed night around 7:30 and the place was packed. The selection of 1/2 priced wines on Wed really helped. It wasn't tremendous, but I'd give it another shot when I return.
        We went to another dinner place with the kids but it was so forgettable that I actually forget the name of the place. Some family seafood type place right on the river in Sarasota.
        We had lunch at the Salty Dog just across from the Aquarium one afternoon. Not fine dining by any means, but a decent mid-day stop to sit outside on the water with our kids and get a pitcher of beer, a burger, and something for the kids.
        The winner of the Sarasota trip? The breakfast places. We went to 4 breakfast places all with the kids. 3 of them were amazing and 1 was totally overrated. The overrated one? Not surprisingly - - - the Broken Egg in Siesta Key. A tourist trap with big lines and big expectations but no follow through. Any random roadside diner would be as good or better.
        The 3 amazing ones?
        Station 400 (Sarasota)
        Sun Garden Café (Siesta Key)
        The Breakfast House (Sarasota
        )At Station 400 I got their pumpkin pecan pancakes and they were to die for. Ditto for my wife’s Spanish omelet with chiorzo, manchego, potato, and paprika.
        At Sun Garden, I got excellent sweet potato pancakes and my wife got one of the egg sandwiches. We also tried their biscuits with white turkey sausage gravy. Not a typical Southern white gravy for biscuits, but a very interesting rendition and very good.
        At The Breakfast House I got a seafood omelet that was very fluffy and full of lobster and shrimp (of which both were well cooked and tender). We also tried the biscuits and gravy here and it was a more traditional southern white gravy with sausage; very nice.
        Of these last 3 breakfast places I can’t choose one over the other - - they were all excellent and all had options for kids to choose from too.
        I’m dying to get back to Sarasota for the beaches and the breakfasts.

        Sun Garden Cafe
        210 Avenida Madera, Sarasota, FL 34242

        Broken Egg Restaurant
        140 Avenida Messina, Sarasota, FL 34242

        3 Replies
        1. re: foleyd7

          Any updates to the Sarasota/Bradenton/Siesta Key areas?

          1. re: twodales

            for a huge beer selection in bradenton,check out the lost kangaroo ,no food but amazing beers.the same guys own a bar-restaurant "the river roo"thats out by 75 &301,was more biker,now its pretty family,but great cocoanut shrimp,grouper sandwiches, fish market on cortez has great seafood,eat there and get some crab legs for heading down tommorow to visit the folks&sarasota film fest,lets update our finds huh?

            1. re: im hungry

              Do give Jose's a try for Cuban food.


              Mr. Bones is small but has pretty good ribs. Nice selection of beers too. Grab one from the coffin and they will add it to your bill. They also do carry out.

              If you head out to Anna Maria Island try the Rod and reel Pier. Good ambiance and a fine lunch over the water. Not fancy. Kind of divey actually! Grouper sandwiches etc. Dolphins swimming by and folks fishing off of the pier.

              Jamrocks (Jamaican) was suggested but have never tried it. They move off of the island and into Bradenton.

              Good idea on the update. Will try to post when I return next month.