Kid-Friendly Cuisine

Eight Great Restaurants to Take Your Kids

Want a great dining experience that won't bore your kids? They can be themselves at any of these eight restaurants.

By Rick Morgan July 26, 2017

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Family-friendly eateries abound in Sarasota. 

Image: Shutterstock

Sharky’s on the Pier 

Sharky’s on the Pier offers waterfront dining in Venice at a reasonable price. Menu favorites include the grouper wrap and a wide variety of fish tacos, such as grilled mahi-mahi and blackened swordfish. Kids can play beach volleyball or fish from the public pier (you don’t need a license). With a tiki bar and frequent live entertainment, Sharky’s serves fun for visitors of all ages. 

Mandeville Beer Garden

This Sarasota spot prides itself on its wide international beer selection, but Mandeville Beer Garden also serves up the grub. Everything from baked pretzels to bratwurst to vegetable couscous graces the menu. The picky eaters in your party can even build their own grilled cheese. The outdoor garden area allows kids to burn off some energy before you eat. Got a furry friend in need of exercise? Dogs are allowed in the outdoor area too.

Beach House Restaurant

The newly renovated Beach House, located on Anna Maria Island just south of the Cortez Bridge, provides panoramic Gulf views and casual dining. The menu features dishes like gumbo and crab cakes, as well as burgers for anyone who doesn’t eat seafood. Beach House, like its name implies, sits right on the water. Kids can run around on the beach or play volleyball in the sand while you enjoy the views and food.

Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse

Stottlemyer’s brings classic barbecue taste to the heart of Florida. Located just east of Interstate 75, Stottlemyer’s doesn’t offer the Gulf views or beaches of some other restaurants. But it does offer slow-cooked meats and signature sides. Brisket, fried chicken, po’boys and sweet collard greens are menu highlights. The entire restaurant is open-air, allowing kids plenty of room to run around and get those wiggles out.

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q

Nancy's restaurant hosts a wild outdoor garden, and a large red tractor sits right outside the front. Kids will have no problem staying entertained exploring the outside of Nancy’s. Inside the restaurant, Nancy’s serves pork shoulder with a 14-ingredient dry rub, pulled chicken and beef brisket sliders. The restaurant offers a kids’ menu and sides ranging from baked beans to mac 'n' cheese to edamame succotash.

O'leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill

Oleary’s boasts a prime location. Situated right on the water in downtown Sarasota, it’s hard to imagine a better spot to eat. The menu offers up seafood, like the mahi-mahi Reuben, and land dishes like the grilled turkey melt. There's live music nightly, and be sure to check out next-door neighbor Bayfront Excursions water sport rentals if you want to add some adventure to your dining experience. It’s not every day you can knock out dinner and paddle boarding in one trip.

New Pass Bait Shop

New Pass Bait Shop allows you to get some food in your stomach before going out to catch that big fish. Located on Lido Key right next to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, New Pass serves up everything from breakfast sandwiches to burgers. After you and the fam have filled up on sandwiches, pick up some bait and toss a line in the water. New Pass even offers rental equipment and can suggest charter services.

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza offers great pizza regardless of your dietary habits. Whether you're gluten-free, vegan, or just a kid who wants to eat some normal pizza, you can find the pizza for you at this Sarasota-University Town Center location. Kids can build their own creations, and adults can choose from signature pies like the Green Stripe (pesto, chicken, arugula, red peppers, garlic and mozzarella) or the Art Lover (artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, garlic). Best of all: each pizza is ready in 180 seconds, meaning you can quickly fill those little bellies.

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