Best Lunches

Hungry on University Parkway? Here's Where to Fill Your Belly

Fast-casual deals abound, from 99-cent raw oysters to mix-and-match grain bowls.

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

Mix and match your grain bowls at Fresh Kitchen. 

Image: Chad Spencer

Guilt-free fast food

Fresh Kitchen

Bowls packed with mix-and-match healthful items are all the rage right now. Fresh Kitchen, part of a small Florida chain, has been doing them for years. Start with a base of rice, veggies or quinoa, then customize away with roasted vegetables, tasty sauces and simple proteins. Fast, fresh and guilt-free. 

For Japanese on a budget

JPan Sushi & Grill

We love almost everything at JPan, but come lunchtime, we usually go for a Bento box, a generous package that includes a main seafood, meat or vegetable item, plus a spring roll, a California roll, dumplings and a salad. Or build your own three-roll maki combo for just $12. You won’t find a better lunchtime sushi deal.

A Bento box at JPan.

Image: Fred Lopez

If you like it raw

Lucky Pelican Bistro

Seafood is the calling card at this popular eatery, thanks to its 99-cent raw oysters and a menu stocked with fish tacos, fish and chips, a platter of mussels, shrimp and grits and the like. It’s all served up in an open, communal space, where nearby office workers belly up next to longtime Ranch residents. 

For a sudsy hang session

Oak & Stone

More bar than restaurant, Oak & Stone is an ideal meeting spot on weekend afternoons, when you’re too lazy to cook, but you also don’t want to miss the big game. With a big, forever-rotating list of beers on tap, killer pizzas and grub that runs from pork cracklings to poke bowls, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. 

When you’re craving curry

Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine

Tandoor offers one of the area’s best Indian lunch buffets, with a sprawling geography of simmering pots full of saag paneer, biryanis, butter chicken, masala dishes, tandoori chicken and plenty more, plus fluffy rice, toasty naan and all the condiments you need to spice things up. Plan on making several trips to the buffet. 

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