The Godfather sandwich from Piccolo Italian Market and Deli. 

Image: Chad Spencer 

the perfect meat-up

Alpine Steakhouse

A landmark butcher shop, Alpine Steakhouse also serves some of the best sandwiches around. The French dip is a delight, as are the Reuben and a sandwich version of the shop’s Food Network-famous turducken—made from a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. (Don’t miss Alpine at the downtown Sarasota Farmers Market every Saturday, too.) 

Passage to India 

Curry Station

Chef Narendra Singh Saud grew up in Mumbai, India, but the flavors that dominate the lunch buffet at Curry Station come from Uttarakhand, the northern Indian state where his family comes from. The flavors there are more direct and less complex than in other parts of South Asia, and you can taste it in Saud’s vegetable curries and soups. The chutneys, raita and other condiments improve everything they touch. 

A taste of the old country

Napulè Restaurant

Alessandro Di Ferdinando and Giuseppe Del Sole opened Napulè on the South Trail after cutting their teeth with the popular Venice restaurant Made in Italy. They brought with them their incredible pizzas, plus lunchtime sandwiches built around the finest charcuterie and cheeses the boot has to offer. Try a panuozzo, a sandwich made out of pizza dough, close your eyes and picture yourself on a terrace amid the foothills of Vesuvius.

When you want a tank-size sandwich

Piccolo Italian Market & Deli

“Piccolo” is Italian for “small,” but there’s nothing small about the subs at this Gulf Gate shop. “The Godfather” is heavier than a medicine ball and comes loaded with four types of pork, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, oil, vinegar and house-made giardiniera. Substantial enough to cover lunch and dinner. 

The three-taco special at Screaming Goat Taqueria.

Image: Chad Spencer

A south-of-the-border adventure

Screaming Goat Taqueria

This Gulf Gate shop has one of the best lunch deals around: three tacos, plus an order of chips and salsa, for $10. It helps that the tacos are great, in large part thanks to the collision of global flavors you’ll find at the restaurant’s colorful condiment bar, where Latin American salsas sit side by side with kimchi. Great vegetarian options, too. 

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