The Lucky Pelican Bistro, 6239 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch, close to Main Street. The vibe is equal parts family seafood restaurant, colorful sandwich shop and beachy neighborhood pub. Sit out on the porch or inside, surrounded by fish- and pelican-themed mementos and chalkboards bearing daily specials.
Laid-back Lakewood Ranch professionals in collared shirts with jeans and sandals; salty regulars enjoying a pint at the bar.
You won’t have a problem getting in and out in under an hour—though there may be competition for indoor tables during the warmer months.
Fish house fare like calamari ($7.95), mussels ($10.95) and fish and chips ($11.95) is joined by sandwich standards like the BLT ($7.95), California club and a beer-warmed “drunken” pastrami sandwich (both $8.95). Don’t ignore the more inventive creations like “Dixie’s Ocean Burrito,” with shrimp, salsa, jack cheese and jambalaya rice ($10.95); the “Señor Oscar” fried fish tacos with pumpkin seeds, Baja sauce and cabbage; and “Maggie’s” blackened chicken sandwich, topped with country ham, mozzarella, basil and a fried green tomato ($8.95). Try to nab the lobster roll special and a to-die-for Key lime pie before they sell out.