Many of our patients suggested that I post a listing of my favorite Sarasota restaurants as, through the course of our visits, we inevitably end up talking about food!  I list here my favorite choices for relaxing, casual and uniquely Sarasota meals (in no particular order).


I should mention that Kathy and I prefer cooking and entertaining at home.  Thus, we visit the Downtown Farmers' Market and Jessica’s Stand (4180 47th Street, Sarasota, FL 34235 ~ 941-351-4121 ~ Click here for a direct link to Map Quest for this location) every Saturday morning. I highly recommend both of these venues. When we do venture out, we tend to choose small, locally owned restaurants where “Everybody knows your name.”  One of the best meals we have ever had was in a tiny enotecca in Italy, which had only one employee:  Salvatore, the owner (an enotecca is a wine shop where a limited menu is offered so patrons can sample the wine with food).  The night was so magical that I actually bussed tables so that Salvatore could spend more time with us. That’s the kind of experience we are always searching for.




PHO CALI is a Vietnamese Restaurant located on Main Street.  This restaurant might just be the best value in town.  I love Pho or Vietnamese soup.  Actually, because I do not eat meat, I do not really get Pho which implies beef broth – I order it with vegetable stock. I also routinely order the spring rolls with tofu.  This is a family run restaurant with prompt service and appreciative staff.  This is a great place to go for the war on cholesterol: their vegetarian dishes are creative and special.


1578 Main Street, Sarasota, FL ~ 941-955-2683

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BENTLEY’S ICE CREAM is on Albee Road which leads to the south bridge of Casey Key.  We will often take a leisurely ride on Casey Key and have dessert at Bentley’s.  The ice cream is home made and is fantastic.  You choose from ice cream (made with milk or cream), gelato or sorbet.  All are terrific.  Kathy’s family had a favorite Italian restaurant in the Philadelphia area which specialized in spumoni and she occasionally craves it.  Alas – Bentley’s makes spumoni ice cream both for a cone or packaged!  I routinely stop here on my way home from our Venice office. 


720 Albee Road W., Nokomis, FL ~ 941-486-1816

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THE CASEY KEY FISH HOUSE is a laid back establishment.  I just feel relaxed there.  It is over the Blackburn Road Bridge (the north bridge) on Casey Key.  You can sit under cover or outside (new zoning just allowed this).  It has an old time “shore” feeling and it’s fun to watch the boats and listen to the clang as the swing bridge opens and closes.  We go there for the mussels in white wine sauce which we sop up with very good French fries.  Going to Bentley’s afterward is an added plus……


801 Blackburn Point Rd., Osprey, FL ~ 941-966-1901

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THE OASIS is located in the plaza at the corner of Siesta Drive and Osprey Avenue. Both breakfast and lunch are awesome with numerous daily specials.  The pasta and fish specials are never disappointing.  Anything baked is outstanding.  This is a family run restaurant and one in which I am always trying something different which isn’t usually the case with me. The Oasis has the charm and bustle of a neighborhood gathering.  


3542 Osprey Avenue S., Sarasota, FL ~ 941-957-1214

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SIAM ORCHID is located in the back of Chili’s plaza just south of Bee Ridge Road.  This Thai food is fabulous and the staff superb. It offers many perfect suppers for the night before a big holiday feast.  Sam, the chef, has amazing control of spices.  The flavors blend magically, with the exact amount of “heat” that you request.  The salads are truly special. Kathy loves (and shares) the vegetarian dumplings.  In every selection, the texture, the taste and the sauce all combine to create quite an experience.  Try one of the clay pot dishes.  If anyone in the family feels under the weather, we always get the lemon grass soup which seems to cure everything. 


4141 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL ~ 941-923-7447

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SIMON’S COFFEE HOUSE is my favorite restaurant for lunch after I operate.  You’ll find it on US 41 across form Sarasota Memorial Gardens.  I always try one of the daily and unusual soup specials.  The tomato basil soup and black bean soup are incredibly flavorful.  There are many organic, vegetarian and vegan selections.  I enjoy sitting outside, even if the view is US 41.  Simon will greet you with a big smile and thank you for coming.  Simon’s is now open for dinner and we keep finding ourselves there at least once a week. Wonderful and varied offerings are offered at night with an interesting wine and beer selection. The staff and Simon always seem genuinely interested in whether you enjoyed your meal.


5900 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL ~ 941-926-7151

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THE VILLAGE CAFE in Siesta Key village is a great spot for plentiful breakfasts and lunches.  Everyone is spirited at this family run business – even the owners’ young daughters get involved in the action when needed.  Go hungry because the portions are extremely generous.  Bring the paper, sit outside and enjoy traditional fare or one of the many Greek-oriented dishes.  At least one of the owners will stop by your table to make sure everything is going well for you.  They’ll even pull up a chair if the conversation warrants.  If they are excited about a particular dish, they’ll let you know.  On more than one occasion, if they didn’t feel we ordered enough, they provided us with more.  Just like a favorite Greek grandmother would. 


5133 Ocean Boulevard, Sarasota, FL ~ 941-349-2822  

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VIZEN is my favorite Japanese restaurant.  Located in the Gulf Gate area, it is a small, classicly appointed restaurant with a husband and wife team of sushi chefs.  The numerous daily specials (on the large blackboard) are truly inspired and terrific tasting.  I always feel rushed at other Japanese restaurants but at Vizen the ambiance is quiet with efficient, non-intrusive attention by the staff. You will be greeted in a warm, traditional Japanese manner.  Ask for one of the top shelf saki choices if you enjoy saki.  There is such great attention paid to presentation here that we sometimes hesitate to dig in!


6559 Gateway Ave, Sarasota, FL ~ 941-926-0830

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