Siesta Key is Florida’s west coast barrier island getaway, situated in the Gulf of Mexico to the west of Sarasota. Known for white sand beaches, luxury accommodations and delectable dining, Siesta Key is a lovely stop for the discerning traveler. Here are 10 restaurants you should try while visiting Siesta Key.
Voted on nearly all of Sarasota’s ‘Best Of’ lists for several years, Sun Garden Café does not disappoint the palate. This casual, family friendly restaurant, chooses locally grown produce and locally sourced fresh catch, as well as farm fresh eggs and artisan foods from around the world to create an original cuisine. While there go for the John’s fried chicken po-boy wrap fried chicken, boiled eggs, cheddar, wickles, lettuce & remoulade; or the SG fish sandwich spice rubbed mahi w/ key lime & garlic aioli, arugula, tomato & guacamole on a brioche roll.
The Cottage Restaurant on Siesta Key is a Peruvian fusion restaurant in a lavishly tropical setting that caters to all-American tastes and world traveler expectations. In the heart of Siesta Village, the abode offers indoor and outdoor seating. From the menu, say yes to the cottage’s wild ceviche, which includes the fresh catch of the day from The Cottage’s fresh fish market, raw red onion, corn kernels and sweet potato.
Javier’s Restaurant and Wine Bar is located on Crescent Beach. Customers will notice the cozy wine bar showcases a dining room with an impressive mural at first glance. Classic Peruvian fare, as well as vegetarian meals and seafood are on the menu. Don’t leave without having the arroz con pato, which is a traditional presentation from Chiclaya in northern Peru, consisting of roasted duck with a cilantro risotto and green peas, red peppers and aji amarillo. The meal is also served with fried yucca.
Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar is famous for its fresh oysters, clam chowder, seafood and sandwiches, all of which can be enjoyed indoors or al fresco at the Tiki Hut. Live music happens on the weekends and so does people watching. From the menu, order the clam chowder, boom boom shrimp and the Gulf grouper filets.
The Old Salty Dog is a pet-friendly British pub that serves beer-battered hot dogs and pub food. The restaurant opened in 1986 and has been happily serving the community of Siesta Key ever since. Their original concept was to take a beer and hot dog stand and turn it into a casual restaurant and pub. With a mix of the Florida Keys and their family’s British heritage, a fun family environment was created. Say yes to the Caribbean jerk fish tacos and the mahi mahi wrap.
Miguel’s Restaurant specializes in French and continental cuisine. The restaurant is owned and operated by Miguel Garcia and his sons, who deliver culinary traditions from Europe, alongside a fantastic wine selection and full bar. From the menu say yes to the la sole d’ouvre sauté meunière, which is an entire Dover Sole sautéed in lemon butter and deboned tableside; or the le veau paprikash, which consists of scaloppini of veal, lightly breaded with roasted red peppers, sweet paprika, hot and sour cream sauce.
Flavio’s Brick Oven Pizza is an authentic Italian restaurant featuring made-from-scratch brick oven pizza and other Italian cuisine. The restaurant has been around for more than 20 years and owner/chef Flavio Cristofoli, hails straight from Italy. Pair any dish here with the perfect glass of wine from the extensive wine selection. Must try menu items include the gnocchi di patate alla vodka and prosciutto or white pizza.
Bonjour Frech Café & Crepes offers sandwiches, crepes and other French fare in a quaint cafe. Inside, the place is lined with French memorabilia, and offers patrons a selection of croissant, a variety of crepes, omelettes, quiches, fruits, panini and sandwiches on baguettes. Try the crepe gourmande, which is a spongy crepe filled with strawberries, bananas, and chocolate.
Senor Siesta Restaurant offers big flavors and a unique, mostly gluten-free menu. Unlike any other spot on Siesta Key, Senor Siesta has authentic dishes from Spain and Portugal as well as the Americas and Caribbean. From the menu, try the paella, ropa vieja, slow-roasted lechon, plato tipico carne asada, pastelones, and chorizo cream sauce pasta with shrimp and bay scallops.
The Hub Baja Restaurant offers Pan-Latin fare and margaritas. Well known for grouper fish tacos and hand-made lobster bisque, guests can enjoy cuisine indoors or on a covered sidewalk patio. Live music can be heard day and night. The Hub’s ‘Fiesta Hour’ runs Monday to Friday 11:00am until 6:00pm and features margaritas alongside beer and wine. Say yes to the Baja fish tacos.