Best Lunches

5 Great Spots for a Midday Meal in Mid-Sarasota

From seafood to salads, there are plenty of options for a delicious and filling lunch in this neck of the woods.

By Cooper Levey-Baker October 26, 2018 Published in the November 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

You'll find fresh Florida seafood at Walt's Fish Market.

Image: Shutterstock

Where everybody knows your name

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

After your first visit to a Gecko’s, you’ll feel like a regular, thanks to one of the friendliest and longest-tenured staffs in the area. The fresh potato chips topped with blue cheese, bacon, onions and balsamic are the stuff of local legend, while the huge salads and the bison burger are classics in their own right.

When you want to impress

Michael’s On East

Odds are good that if you stop by Michael’s in the middle of the day, you’ll recognize someone—whether it’s a real estate tycoon, a crusading attorney or a county commissioner. People come here to be seen, and they also come for the excellent fare, everything from healthful grilled fish dishes with calorie counts listed on the menu to decadent burgers and artisanal sandwiches. 

For a salad session

Bravo Coastal Bar & Kitchen

We enjoy the light bites at Bravo, which has played a big role in Westfield Siesta Key’s transition from mall to dining destination in recent years. The restaurant excels at the art of the vegetable. Its chopped salad—the greens accented with tomatoes, grilled corn, cucumber, gouda, almonds, avocado and more—is rave-worthy, and its bibb lettuce wedge salad is a delicious nod to a classic iceberg salad, thanks to its thick hunks of bacon. 

When you’re going full Florida

Walt’s Fish Market Restaurant & Tiki Bar

The grouper sandwich is a Florida icon, and few in our area do it better than Walt’s, which has been selling and cooking fresh-caught seafood for a century. Walt’s grouper sandwich is meaty and flaky at the same time—perfect. Don’t like grouper? You can also get flounder, snapper, mullet or pretty much anything else that lives in the water. 

Dim sum at Yummy House

Image: Chad Spencer

Anything but dim

Yummy House

Yummy House relocated from the North Trail to a spot across from Sarasota Memorial Hospital earlier this year, and it brought with it its popular dim sum menu. Carts prowl the premises during the lunch rush, dispensing dumplings, salt and pepper squid and eggplant, noodles in XO sauce, barbecue pork buns and a whole mess more. Just park the cart by our table, please. 

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