14 Sarasota Beachfront Restaurants with Outdoor Dining [2022]

15 mins read

This is a list of Sarasota restaurants on the beach.

All these places are casual, flip-flop friendly and have tables on the sand.

Sarasota Restaurants on the beach

If you have kids that love playing in the sand and you love drinking margaritas…

Then you’ll really love this list.

  1. Lido Key Tiki Bar
  2. O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill
  3. Beach House Restaurant
  4. Beach Bistro
  5. The Sandbar Restaurant
  6. Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant
  7. Coquina Beach Cafe
  8. Gulf Drive Cafe
  9. The Kokonut Hut
  10. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe
  11. Casey Key Fish House
  12. Nokomo’s Sunset Hut
  13. Sharky’s On the Pier
  14. Sand Dollar Restaurant
Lido Key Tiki Bar

Lido Key Tiki Bar

1234 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL

Looks exactly as you would imagine a tiki bar to look like. Seats around the bar, bartender in the middle and a palm thatch roof. If you’re not feeling social, there are wooden picnic tables with tiki umbrellas. This Lido Key beach restaurant is only 10 minutes from downtown Sarasota.

If you have young kids…

You can order a margarita, turn your chair around and watch them make sand castles. The beach is clean, safe and so close that you’ll finally get a few minutes to breathe. It’s definitely one of our favorite waterfront restaurants in Sarasota.

Even though it’s open to the public, parking is exclusively reserved for guests staying at the Ritz. Park on Benjamin Franklin Dr. and look for a path that leads to the beach. Or park in the public parking lot and walk 10-15 minutes along the beach.

O'Leary's Tiki Bar

O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill

5 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL

If you’re into live music, there’s always a band playing in the tiki hut. The tiki hut has about a dozen picnic tables under a thatched roof. There are fans. If you’re looking for beachfront bars in Sarasota, they also have a tiki bar that’s separate from the tiki hut. They also offer indoor seating in case of rain or if you prefer air conditioning.

Since it is the closest Sarasota restaurant on the beach, locals come here for the drinks and the waterfront view. Start off by ordering a margarita, kick back and relax. If you plan on eating, people love their burger, curly fries and quesadillas.

Beach House Restaurant

Beach House Restaurant

200 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL

Beach House is known for its service, toes-in-the-sand seating and beautiful sunsets. It’s located on Bradenton Beach, about 40 minutes from downtown Sarasota. Accessible by I-75 highway or the Gulf of Mexico Dr. It’s considered one of the best seafood restaurants on the water.

Their most popular menu items are the stuffed grouper, seafood platters, crab cakes and their famous key lime pie. They offer beachfront dining with umbrellas or a wooden deck that has a louvered style roof for shade. There is also inside seating with air conditioning and a modern contemporary style bar.

If you have kids, they can build sand castles while you wait for the food to come. But, there are giant rocks that separate the restaurant from the normal beach area. So while it’s relaxing to watch them play, it’s not as easy to run after them. If you love a great view, stay to watch the sunset with the kids.

Beach Bistro

Beach Bistro

6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

Beach Bistro offers a fine dining experience on Anna Maria Island. It’s the perfect place to have a romantic dinner and watch the sunset at the same. It’s also an excellent place for an engagement or a special evening.

Their popular menu items are lamb, foie gras, bouillabaisse, grouper and the Caesar salad. Don’t forget to try the chocolate truffle terrine and key lime pie.

The Sandbar Restaurant

The Sandbar Restaurant

100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL

Considered the best outdoor restaurant on the beach. It’s located in Anna Maria Island, about 50 minutes from downtown Sarasota.

Why is it the best?

Because they offer is beachfront dining, the food is excellent and the view is breathtaking. You can dine with your feet in the sand, on a wooden deck or inside with air conditioning.

Since they don’t take reservations, they usually have a 30-60 minute wait. For tables directly on the sand, the wait is 1-2 hours. Here’s why it’s not a big deal…

They have an air conditioned bar. Beachfront bar tables and a bar window to order drinks from. The restaurant is also on a perfect white sandy beach, so you can make beach day out of it.

Sandbar is one of the best Sarasota seafood restaurants on the water. Therefore, you have to try their stuffed shrimp, hush puppies, stone crab, calamari, Grouper tacos or shrimp gnocchi.

If you have kids, they can safely play in the sand while you drink mojito’s. Once your table is ready, your kids can continue playing while you wait for the food to come.

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant

760 Broadway St, Longboat Key, FL

Known for its casual atmosphere and waterfront dining on Sarasota Bay. Yet at the same time an elegant dining experience. Located in the old Florida area on Longboat Key. About 30 minutes from downtown Sarasota.

If you love appetizers, you have to try the brussel sprouts, tater tots and crab cakes. Some of their most popular dishes are the grouper tacos, grouper risotto, stone crabs and burger. End a good meal with their signature key lime pie.

Since it is a dockside restaurant, you may see boats pulling up on the beach or the restaurant’s dock. There are dozens of tables right on the sand with beautiful twinkle light covered Buttonwood trees. This is a perfect restaurant for a romantic date night.

Coquina Beach Cafe

Coquina Beach Cafe

2650 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL

While the beachfront location is amazing, the food and service is not so much. It tends to get busy, disorganized and many people complain that the bartenders look like they don’t want to be there. If you can get past that, this cafe has great water views.

You’ll find many tables on the beach with their own tiki hut umbrellas. This means your kids can safely play on the beach without you worrying. It’s a beautiful white sandy beach and there’s lots of parking.

Draft beers, beach food, ice cream and an endless sandbox for the kids… what else do you really need?

Gulf Drive Cafe

Gulf Drive Cafe

900 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL

Imagine wooden tables and chairs on the beach with umbrellas. They also have indoor seating with air conditioning. This hidden gem is about 40 minutes from downtown Sarasota. Since it is on Bradenton Beach, there’s a large parking lot across the street.

Your kids can safely play in the sand while you have a few drinks. However, compared to other Sarasota restaurants on the beach, this one is closer to the water. So if your kids want to cool off, it’s not too far.

While you’re there, try the grouper bites, calamari, eggs benedict and french toast. If you’re going to have drinks, get their frozen margaritas or mojitos. Come for breakfast on the beach or 1-2 hours before sunset.

Kokonut Hut

The Kokonut Hut

900 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL

The Kokonut Hut is actually a beachfront tiki bar that’s connected to the Gulf Drive Cafe. Since it’s in the same area, it’s also close to the water. The only difference is that there’s a deck, so your feet won’t be in the sand.

Make sure to get a margarita, mojito and some crab cakes. Come for the sunset and you may get to watch dolphins swim by.

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

4000 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

Known as one of the best breakfast restaurants on the beach. Where you can dine with your toes in the sand at the same time. Located about 45-50 minutes from downtown Sarasota on Anna Maria Island.

You’ll find the most popular menu items are the all-you-can-eat pancakes, french toast, sweet potato fries and eggs benedict. Finding a table is not hard. As there are dozens of them with umbrellas all over the beach and deck area.

If you have kids that can’t sit still, this is the perfect breakfast cafe for you. They can play in the sand while you enjoy an omelette in peace. There’s no need to run after them.

Casey Key Fish House

Casey Key Fish House

801 Blackburn Point Rd, Osprey, FL

This waterfront tiki bar is a great spot to experience a taste of “old Florida”. Since it’s right on the water, there’s always a constant sea breeze that flows wherever you sit. There are also fans to help cool you off on hot days. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Sarasota.

You can dine inside, on the docks or in the bar section of the tiki hut. No matter where you sit, you’ll have excellent water views. Since it is a dockside restaurant, you may see boats pulling up occasionally. There’s always something going on.

Everyone raves about their mussels in garlic wine sauce and yellow tail snapper with rice. They also have a small beach area with colorful chairs. Unlike the other beachfront bars, it’s close to the water. So it’s not as safe for young kids.

Nokomos Sunset Hut

Nokomo’s Sunset Hut

690 S Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, FL

This waterfront restaurant in Nokomis is known as a fun place with live music and a great view. It’s less than 25 minutes from downtown Sarasota. If you plan on coming, expect a 30-60 minute wait. While they do have a beach area, it’s more of a giant sandbox.

If your kids are dedicated to building sand castles, this is definitely an option but not an ideal one. While it’s safe, the beach area is just small.

However, they are well known for their mahi mahi tacos, pulled pork nachos, pulled pork luau, lobster roll and flat breads. For dessert, everyone loves their key lime pie.

Sharkys on the Venice Pier

Sharky’s On the Pier

1600 Harbor Dr S, Venice, FL

Sharky’s is a beachfront restaurant in front of a 700 foot pier that stretches into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s about 40 minutes away from downtown Sarasota. Well known for its blackened grouper, grouper sandwich, nachos and fresh fish of the day.

The view is unbeatable. Imagine sitting with your feet in the sand. Looking at a 700 foot pier, the Gulf of Mexico and the sunset at the same time. They also have live music and occasionally a lobster boil on the deck.

If you want your feet in the sand, request the wooden tables next to the tiki hut. There is also outdoor seating on the deck and indoor seating with air conditioning. They also have a second floor.

We consider it one the best Sarasota restaurants on the beach to have seafood. However, there is a barrier between the restaurant and the beach. So depending on where you sit, your kids may not be able to play in the sand.

Sand Dollar Restaurant

Sand Dollar Restaurant

233 Benjamin Franklin Dr 7th floor, Sarasota, FL

Sand Dollar is among the only Lido Key beach restaurants that is open to the public. While it offers the best waterfront views from the 7th floor of the Holiday Inn, the tables are unfortunately not on the sand. It’s one of the only restaurants in the area overlooking the beach and Gulf of Mexico.

Waterfront Restaurants Near Sarasota, FL

Related: List of waterfront restaurants in Sarasota

Related: List of the best Bradenton restaurants on the water

Related: List of Anna Maria Island waterfront restaurants

Related: List of waterfront restaurants in Venice, Florida