5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 923-2462, banyantreechocolate.com
In addition to selling addictive chocolate truffles and bonbons, Banyan Tree is also a daytime meal destination, with a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches, plus a variety of teas and coffee drinks. On your way out, pick up some of Banyan's single-origin chocolate bars, which are made from scratch with cacao beans from all over the world.
5501 Palmer Crossing Circle, Sarasota, (941) 922-7999, cafebarbosso.com
This popular Italian-American hangout serves a range of entrées, pasta dishes and pizzas that range from the traditional to the creative. For an example of the latter, try the lamb kofta pizza, which comes flavored with a coconut curry sauce, cardamom, yogurt, a mint oil and mozzarella. The "Ultimate Eggplant," a 10-layer torte made with paper-thin slices of eggplant, béchamel sauce, cheese and tomato sauce, is a winner.
5585 Palmer Crossing Circle, Sarasota, (941) 923-6061, geckosgrill.com
A Sarasota institution, Gecko's has a Palmer Ranch outpost that is a great spot for lunch or dinner or to catch a game. The blue cheese chips are a justly famous way to start a hang session, and the burgers, sandwiches and salads are perennial hits.
5191 Clark Road, Sarasota, (941) 922-1888, pho99sarasota.com
As its name indicates, Phở 99 specializes in phở, the iconic Vietnamese soup, but the restaurant also serves quality bún platters and broken rice dishes. You'll also find a creative mix of boba teas and smoothies, plus ultra-strong, ultra-sweet Vietnamese coffee served with condensed milk.
5336 Clark Road, Sarasota, (941) 924-1234, rendezvoussarasota.com
An excellent stop for traditional French breads and pastries, Rendez-Vous is also a great breakfast and lunch destination, with omelets, salads and sandwiches. The sandwiches made with Rendez-Vous' spectacular baguettes are exceptional. Don't leave without at least one of the shop's croissants.