Sarasota's Waterfront Dining

Sarasota, Florida is full of waterfront dining. The best part? Most of the dining is made up of local restaurants and owners; and as for the chains? Well, they’re delicious too. Many of these Sarasota waterfront restaurants feature fresh seafood, tropical vibes, sunset views, salty air seating, and offer one of a kind environments. Because, can anyone really compete with the Sarasota Bay? Enjoy a casual bite at Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice, dine upscale at Ophelia’s on the Bay on Siesta Key, or enjoy a date night at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key.

You’ll find that my guide to Sarasota’s Best Waterfront Restaurants takes you beyond Sarasota and into the surrounding areas… because fresh seafood and salty breezes are always worth a little drive. And to be honest, all of these locations are worth exploring if you’re among the Sarasota area anyways. From Longboat Key, Lido Key, Casey KeyDowntown Sarasota, Philippi Creek, Siesta Key, Nokomis, Osprey, and Venice, I’ve got you covered when it comes to seafood and palm trees. To personally being a customer, to simply being a photographer of these spectacular dining hotspots, I look forward to eventually checking them all off the list when it comes to enjoying the food…as I hope you will be inspired to do, too.  

 Casey Key View

Longboat Key

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill 

Located on Longboat Key, this seafood restaurant overlooks the Sarasota Bay. With indoor and covered outdoor seating, you find yourself seated right along the water with bay views and a breeze. There are also boat slips available to dock and dine. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill offers fresh seafood entrees, sandwiches, and more. Dry Dock is a local favorite!

Personally, I love this place! I took my wife here to dine in the evening for a more romantic feel. It’s classy enough to enjoy a special occasion, but also casual enough to come in your shorts. We sat outside under the patio lighting; the tables are spread apart, which gives off a relaxed and private setting, making it the perfect date night.

Dry Dock Longboat Key

Dry Dock Longboat Key

Dry Dock Longboat Key

Chart House 

Located on Longboat Key, immediately after the bridge. Chart House is a high-end seafood chain restaurant with beautiful waterfront views. Because it is located on the gulf side of Longboat Key, you can enjoy the sunset as you dine. Though this restaurant is a chain, each location remains slightly different as fresh seafood selections are served. Sit in the dining room or on the terrace overlooking the Sarasota Bay.

Chart House Longboat Key

Chart House Longboat Key

Lido Key

The Old Salty Dog 

This family friendly British pub is located on Lido Key off Ken Thompson Parkway and overlooks the Sarasota Bay and Longboat Key. Find yourself enjoying the casual comfort food of sandwiches, baskets, entrees, hot dogs, burgers and more among the covered patio waterfront seating. The Old Salty Dog has two locations beyond Lido Key. One is located within the Siesta Key Village while the other is on Venice Island and has Marina views. The Old Salty Dog is a favorite, especially for those who want to bring their pups along for the fun. 

Old Salty Dog

Old Salty Dog

New Pass Grill and Bait Shop 

New Pass Grill and Bait Shop is located on Lido Key overlooking the Sarasota Bay. This restaurant is known as a landmark as it roots date back to 1929, and it highlights its name as ‘World Famous New Pass Grill’. Carrying an old Florida charm, this super casual eatery serves as a great place for a quick bite among outdoor waterfront seating. Many boaters enjoy this one stop shop; utilizing it as their bait shop, fish filet station, and best post fishing burger around. On the menu, you’ll find breakfast, casual seafood, burgers, and subs; but they are best known for their award winning ‘New Pass Burgers’. New Pass Grill is a boater’s favorite.

New Pass Grill Lido Key

New Pass Grill Lido Key

Downtown Sarasota

Marina Jack 

Located within Bayfront Park and Marina, just outside of downtown, you’ll find both the fine and casual dining of Marina Jack. Marina Jack has a variety of dining options starting with the Marina Jack dining room, which features a fine dining experience of steaks, seafoods, and more. Others prefer to dine in the open air on the Blue Sunshine Patio Bar and Grill where you can find appetizers, salads, soups, and sandwiches paired with live music. Both dining options overlooking the Marina and furthermore into the Sarasota Bay. If you’re looking for the ultimate waterfront dining experience, climb aboard The Marina Jack II where you can dine among a sightseeing lunch tour or sunset dinner cruise.

Marina Jack

Oleary’s Tiki Bar and Grill 

Oleary’s Tiki Bar and Grill is located within Bayfront Park and Marina. This restaurant offers casual outdoor dining serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner at an affordable rate. This family friendly and dog friendly restaurant has both covered and uncovered outdoor seating, a bar, and a sandy low-key atmosphere. Live music is paired with views of the Sarasota Bay.

I think people hit up O’Leary’s because they’ve got an incredible atmosphere and location. Right within Bayfront Park and Marina, you can take a walk around the park before or after dining! You order inside and then take a seat outside either under the open-air covered patio picnic tables or kick off your shoes and enjoy the sand in your toes as you dine at the umbrella covered picnic tables. There’s a bar too, if that’s your preference!  You’ll always find a dog and feel like you’re relaxing in your own backyard. 

O'Learys Tiki Bar and Grill

O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill

Siesta Key

The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill 

The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill is located off Stickney Point just before crossing the bridge onto Siesta Key. This seafood restaurant is seated close by the marina right among the water and offers indoor seating with open air windows. There is also a small section of outdoor seating available as well. This family friendly restaurant has live music and fresh local food in a casual Florida style environment.

Boatyard Siesta Key

Boatyard Seista Key

Spearfish Grille 

Spearfish Grille is located off Stickney Point on Siesta Key right after crossing over the bridge. Spearfish Grille is a waterfront restaurant overlooking the canal next to the Siesta Key Marina. This seafood restaurant is known for its fresh local caught seafood with unique interpretations, along with their craft beers. Enjoy the casual setting with simple indoor dining as well as patio dining. Spearfish Grille opened in 2018.

Turtles Restaurant 

Turtles Restaurant is located on the South end of Siesta Key across the street from Turtle Beach. This seafood focused restaurant has a large menu featuring lunch, early bird dinners, dinner, and their famous Sunday Brunch. With indoor and outdoor seating, enjoy delicious food with views of the Little Sarasota Bay. Come visit the restaurant by land, trolley or sea to enjoy a local dining experience founded by Siesta Key locals themselves back in 1986!

Ophelia’s on the Bay 

Located on the South end of Siesta Key and placed among the Little Sarasota Bay, you’ll find elegant and upscale dining at this seafood restaurant. With indoor dining featuring floor to ceiling windows or open-air patio dining, you’re guaranteed amazing views of the Little Sarasota Bay. Find a romantic atmosphere among a delicious and elegant menu.

Philippi Creek

Philippi Creek Oyster Bar 

Philippi Creek Oyster Bar is located off of 41 along the Philippi Creek. This family friendly seafood restaurant has indoor and outdoor waterfront dining along with an outdoor tiki bar. It is best known for its fresh local seafood, oysters, and fun atmosphere which features a casual tropical vibe. Boat slips are also available for those looking to dock and dine. Philippi Creek Oyster Bar is a local favorite.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar


Pop’s Sunset Grill 

Pop’s Sunset Grill is located in Nokomis overlooking the intracoastal waterways. This waterfront restaurant has outdoor tiki bar dining, indoor dining, courtyard dining for large groups with fire pits and live music, and dockside dining options. Many love to pull up the boat, dock, and dine with a rum runner. This laid-back seafood restaurant is known for its casual family friendly atmosphere and old Florida vibe.

Pops Sunset Grill

Pops Sunset Grill


Casey Key Fish House 

Casey Key Fish House is located along the intracoastal waterways in Osprey. Next to the Blackburn Point Swing Bridge, which is a U.S. historical landmark. This laid-back seafood restaurant even offers on site rentals for paddleboards, jet skis, and more. With casual seating and a tiki bar along the water, this is a shorts and sandals kind of place! Every seat has a view of the water and boaters love to dock here as they arrive by sea.

Casey Key Fish House

Casey Key Fish House

Evie’s at Spanish Point 

Many are familiar with the popular Evie’s locations around the Sarasota area. Evie’s at Spanish Point is a well-liked located in Osprey off of 41 on Bayview Dr… overlooking the little Sarasota bay. Boat docking, paddleboards, and kayaks are all also available, providing a fun and unique atmosphere. Evie’s at Spanish point is known for their low-key setting, happy hour, party vibe, late night dining, tiki hut, and live music.


Sharky’s on the Pier 

Sharky’s on the Pier is located in Venice right along the Venice Fishing Pier. This beach bar restaurant is known for its seafood, sunshine, and live music. You can literally walk in from your day at the beach and enjoy sunset dining and sandy toes. Sharky’s stays busy, but is always worth the wait.

The Crow’s Nest Restaurant & Marina 

The Crow’s Nest Restaurant & Marina is a marina restaurant located near the Venice Inlet and next to the South Jetty Beach. With waterfront views of the Bay and Snake Island, you’ll also be able to enjoy watching the boats in and out of the inlet. You can dine in the upstairs dining room or enjoy the casual experience of the downstairs Tavern or pub. Paddleboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles are available for rent. Boat docks are available for those coming to dine off the water.

Dockside Waterfront Grill

Dockside Waterfront Grill is located off of N. Tamiami Trail in Venice.  Located close to downtown Venice and within the harbor, you’ll see harbor views along with the sunset. Dockside Waterfront Grill serves up fresh fish and cocktails in their giant tiki hut and open-air dining, paired with live music. This family friendly restaurant was voted the best boat up restaurant by the Sarasota Magazine and the Best Restaurant in Venice by Yelp in 2019.

Contact Matt 

Matt Leicht, Realtor®
Cell - 941.256.3321
Email -

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