Best Of Sarasota 2020

Readers' Choice: Best Drinks and Bars

Quench your thirst at our readers' favorite bars.

April 27, 2020

Libation Station (Best Happy Hour) 

Libby's Neighborhood Brasserie

1917 Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 487-7300; 8445 Lorraine Rd., Lakewood Ranch, (941) 357-1570; libbysneighborhoodbrasserie.comFacebook

Named after family matriarch Libby, this modern American brasserie evokes style and uniqueness with a welcoming warmth. Head over to the Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch location for happy hour and see what everyone’s talking about.

Seasons 52

170 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, (941) 702-9652, seasons52.comFacebook

Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar featuring a seasonal menu and an award-winning wine list. The bar area is huge and the perfect place to meet up with friends.


19 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, (941) 256- 3565, bocasarasota.comFacebook 

Boca Kitchen, Bar, and Market is a community-driven, farm-to-table restaurant that provides a hand-crafted menu from experienced chefs. With a beautiful bar in the center of this two-story establishment, cocktails flow from happy hour on.

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse

35 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-7788, hydeparkrestaurants.comFacebook

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse specializes in aged, dry aged and Wagyu "Kobe Style" beef and fresh seafood. But did you know they’ve also got a hoppin’ bar scene? Head over after work and ask the bartender to make you a special cocktail.


Sip Happens (Best Craft Cocktail)

State Street Eating House + Cocktails - Bramble

1533 State Street, Sarasota, (941) 951-1533, statestreetsrq.comFacebook 

The Bramble remains a fave at this downtown Sarasota joint. Pull up a bar stool or grab a table on the street. A cocktail here is the perfect way to end your day.

Jack Dusty – The Siren

1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., Sarasota, (941) 309-2266,

This creative seafood restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton is a wonderful place to hang out and watch locals and tourists alike. Order The Siren; this potent potable is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Selva – Pisco Sour

1345 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 362-4427, selvagrill.comFacebookTwitter

Haven’t tried the pisco sour at Selva yet? Head downtown for a sip of this sinful cocktail. And don’t forget: Selva is opening a location near the University Town Center mall soon.

Element: Modern Mediterranean Grill – Spa Day

1413 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 724-8585, elementsrq.comFacebook

Free delivery on your order of food, beer and spirits. Check social media for specials and discounts. And don’t forget, they’ve always got this service available, no matter what’s happening in the world.


Just Brew It (Best Coffee Shop)

Project Coffee

538 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, projectcoffee.usFacebookInstagram

This new 100% vegan community café in Burns Court is open for curbside pick-up from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.
Read more about them:

Simon’s Coffee House & Eatery

5900 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, (941) 926-7151, simonstogo.comFacebook

Delicious soups, salads, sandwiches and breakfast served all day. This South Trail favorite can make many menu items vegan or vegetarian. 

The Clever Cup

6530 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, (941) 806-5909, theclevercup.comFacebookInstagram

The Clever Cup is all about providing the best coffee, tea and customer service, especially during this difficult time. Grab a cuppa or take home some fresh beans. We still need our caffeine.

Buddy Brew Coffee

1289 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, (941) 356-8940, buddybrew.comFacebook

Stop in downtown on Palm Avenue for your morning cup of joe and delicious pastry or head over for the Buddy Lunch in the afternoon. As always, order your beans online and have them delivered directly to your house.


Not So Mini Bar (Best Hotel Bar)

The Roof Bar & Eats at The Westin Sarasota

100 Marina View Dr., Sarasota, (941) 217-4777,

The Roof Bar and Eats offers panoramic views of Sarasota and a poolside menu with masterfully crafted cocktails and gourmet snacks. Plunge into the casually elegant ambiance of our rooftop bar as you sip sangria by the poolside under the Florida sun.

Jack Dusty at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., Sarasota, (941) 309-2266,

Sip on expertly crafted cocktails and enjoy fabulously prepared seafood at Jack Dusty. And don’t forget the Naval Brown Bread, which you can make yourself while you’re bored at home. 

Perspective Rooftop at Art Ovation Hotel

1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota (941) 316-0808,

An upbeat and chilled-out vibe meets the unique flavors of artistically crafted cocktails and scrumptious light bites at the rooftop pool bar. Soak up the rays and take in the views from our pool deck, and when the sun dips below the horizon, watch the atmosphere transform, as the rhythms of the musical soundscape make the night come alive. Explore new perspectives at Art Ovation's social hot spot.


Pitcher Perfect (Best Brewery)

Calusa Brewing

5701 Derek Ave., Sarasota, (941) 922-8150,

The brew goes on! Calusa has to-go hours 12-6 pm everyday Monday-Friday. They are only taking credit/debit at this time, and you can call ahead to have your order boxed and ready to go. To see current selection, click here. One to try… Contrary Motion (seems fitting), a barrel aged wheat wine with notes of vanilla, honey, toffee and toasted oak. At 13% abv, it should do the job.

Call ahead if you want: (941) 922-8150. You might even get lucky and show up when a food truck is there.

To read about their weekly Facebook Livestreams, read here.

Jdub’s Brewing Company

1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota, (941) 955-2739,

Finding yourself poolside more these days? Throw your suit on and run over to JDub’s to get your libations. There’s nothing better than their Poolside Kolsch or Passion Wheat Ale on a sunny Sarasota afternoon. For all those Passion Wheat fans out there, they also have an aged version they call Heat of Passion. Sounds enticing… get your credit card ready and order online.

Big Top Brewing Company

6111 B. Porter Way, Sarasota, (941) 371-2939, bigtopbrewing.comFacebook

Leave it to Big Top to be thinking BIG. They are selling by the case, and we’re guessing sales are good. When would you ever need craft beer more? See Facebook for updates and buy online right from your couch. They also have some fun merch for sale; do a little early Christmas shopping for the beer lover in your life. 

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