Rather than cook a big meal, if you want go out for a delicious Christmas dinner, here are some of our favorite local options:
5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 383-3633, euphemiahaye.com
This charming Longboat Key restaurant will be a perfect spot for Christmas Eve or Day dinner. Enjoy gourmet pasta, prime peppered steak or veal, sides, desserts and more. Call or make a reservation online.
Jack Dusty at The Ritz Carlton
1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, (941) 309-2266, ritzcarlton.com
A dining experience in the beautifully decorated Ritz Carlton will feel like holiday magic. Enjoy cocktails on the outdoor deck and watch the sunset or twinkling decorative lights. The menu includes a variety of coastal cuisine, wine, beer and spirits. View the menu and make a reservation here.
Libby's Neighborhood Brasserie
1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 487-7300; 8445 Lorraine Road, Sarasota, (941) 357-1570; libbysneighborhoodbrasserie.com
Both Libby's locations will be open on Christmas Day from 2 to 10 p.m. Enjoy holiday-themed cocktails and a special holiday menu, including surf and turf fondue platters, a New York strip steak with cabernet shallot butter or shrimp scampi. Call to reserve or book a table online.
Michael's on East
1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-0007, bestfood.com
This Sarasota favorite will be open for Christmas Eve and Day dinner. You'll need a reservation. The dinner menu consists of traditional turkey or favorites à la carte. Live music and outdoor dining will also be available. Or order a meal to go by Sunday, Dec. 19. Order online here.
Ophelia's on the Bay
9105 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, Sarasota, (941) 349-2212, opheliasonthebay.net
Enjoy a meal on the water at Ophelia's on Siesta Key. Open on both Christmas Eve and Day, the restaurant will have a special holiday cocktail menu and options from their regular food menu. Reserve a table online or call ahead.
Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar
5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 925-4444, creekseafood.com
Celebrate Christmas Eve and Day with fresh seafood. Phillippi Creek will be open beginning at 11 a.m. both days, with fresh jumbo crab legs, seafood boats, daily specials and specialty cocktails. You can also order catering to go for your holiday gatherings. Call or reserve online for dine-in and pickup.
149 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, Sarasota, (941) 260-2675, summerhousesiestakey.com
Located just a few blocks from the beach, this Siesta Key restaurant is open on Christmas Eve and Day for dinner as early as 4 p.m. Enjoy seafood appetizers, certified Angus steaks and chops and other gourmet entrées, sides and desserts. The extensive wine menu will also be available by the glass.
The Capital Grille
180 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, (941) 256-3647, thecapitalgrille.com
The Capital Grille will be open for Christmas Eve dinner. Indoor and outdoor seating will be available. Call to make a reservation or make one online. Takeout options will also be available.
The Rosemary & Thyme
411 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, (941) 955-7600, therosemarysarasota.com
Enjoy a special holiday menu on Christmas Eve or Day here. Meals include soup and salad appetizers, seafood entrées, beef short ribs, pork osso bucco, beef tenderloin and decadent desserts. Special cocktails and wine by the glass will also be available. Call to reserve a table or make a reservation online.
1737 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 351-1688, yummyhouseflorida.com
A Chinese feast is an essential holiday experience. Yummy House has an extensive dim sum menu, along with soups; chicken, beef and pork stir fry dishes; noodles and more. Dine-in or takeout options available. Call ahead to reserve a table.