That's a Wrap

Sarasota's Best New Restaurants

Last year was a big one for new restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Here are the ones that stood out.

By Lauren Jackson

Raw scallops at Meliora.

Raw scallops at Meliora.

Every year, Sarasota's culinary scene grows with new and exciting offerings—but this year, it soared to new heights with fancy food, epic sandwiches and overall good vibes. Check out our top best new restaurants of 2022.

Meliora

1920 Hillview St., Sarasota, (941) 444-7692, meliorarestarant.com

The much-anticipated Meliora opened in March of this year on Hillview Street in Southside Village, and all year adventurous foodies have crowded the restaurant to sample Chef Drew Adams’ inventive cuisine. For an immersive experience, snag a seat at the chef’s table in the back and watch the team churn out beautiful dishes for hungry diners.

Chicken shawarma at Florence and the Spice Boys.

Chicken shawarma at Florence and the Spice Boys.

Florence and the Spice Boys

4990 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 405-3890

Modern Middle Eastern fare finds a seat at the table at Florence and the Spice Boys, which opened in December in The Landings shopping plaza. The décor matches the food—bright and colorful—and we recommend tucking into the chicken shawarma for a flavorful bite that ticks all the boxes.

Mac and cheese at Fork & Hen.

Fork & Hen

2801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 960-1212, forkandhensrq.com

”Southern eclectic with our own special spin” is how Fork & Hen co-owner Mark Traugutt describes his North Trail restaurant. Fried chicken served in a myriad of preparations dominates the menu and leaves diners feeling satisfied every time. For a creative twist on a familiar Southern dish, order the birria and grits and thank us later.

Dolsot bibimbap at Korê.

Dolsot bibimbap at Korê.

Korê Steakhouse

1561 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota, (941) 928-5673, koresteakhouse.com

Play chef for the night at Korean steakhouse Korê, which opened in Waterside Place earlier this year. Giggle with your guests as you prepare your meat selections tableside (with the happy guidance of your server, if needed). Whatever you do, don’t sleep on the dolsot bibimbap, a classic Korean dish overflowing with beef, vegetables, rice and a fried egg. Oh-so good.

Hero sandwiches at Faicco's.

Hero sandwiches at Faicco's.

Faicco's

3590 Webber St., Sarasota, (941) 960-1395

A 122-year-old New York institution, Faicco’s set its sights on expansion with Sarasota as its chosen location. Gargantuan sandwiches, called “heroes,” are the star of the show here, with mountains of meat and cheese piled between bread. The only difficulty is finishing the whole thing.

Pastrami sandwich at Meshugana Deli.

Pastrami sandwich at Meshugana Deli.

Meshugana Deli

6609 Superior Ave., Sarasota, (917) 336-7574, meshuganafla.com

Jewish food fans rejoiced at the opening of Meshugana Deli in Gulf Gate. Black-and-white cookies, potato knish and even noodle kugel are available at this takeout-only establishment, but it’s the pastrami sandwich that steals the show. 

Fish and chips at Kiwi Style Fish and Chips.

Fish and chips at Kiwi Style Fish and Chips.

Kiwi Style Fish and Chips

3608 E. Bay Dr., Holmes Beach, Bradenton, (941) 704-5040, kiwistylefishandchips.com

Sometimes simplicity is best— and at Kiwi Style Fish and Chips on Anna Maria Island, the team has perfected the art of, simple, unadorned, delicious fish and chips. With close proximity to Holmes Beach, it’s an ideal stop after playing in the Gulf.

 

Linger Lodge

7116 85th Street Court E., Bradenton, (941) 739-9313, lingerlodge.com

OK, so it's not exactly a new restaurant, but after two years, we're counting it. We all celebrated when wacky, weird Bradenton icon, Linger Lodge announced its reopening. After a two-year hiatus, we rushed back for frog legs, alligator bites and, of course, and an eclectic assortment of taxidermy.

Octopus at Fiorella Italian Bistro.

Octopus at Fiorella Italian Bistro.

Fiorella Italian Bistro

3809 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, (941) 210-3607, fiorellabistrosrq.com

We all know that Sarasota is teeming with Italian restaurants. (Some may even say it’s the unofficial cuisine of our town.) So when Fiorella Italian Bistro opened on Tuttle in August, we ran to check out its offerings. We were not disappointed: at this Italian joint, seafood takes center stage and black truffles rain from above.

Sopes at Reyna's Taqueria.

Sopes at Reyna's Taqueria.

Reyna's South

8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 271-4624, reynastaqueriasouth.com

A fan favorite, Reyna’s Taqueria opened a second location this year the quiet South Sarasota shopping mall. Since then, Costco shoppers have forfeited the standard Costco hot dog for something more robust from Reyna’s. The extensive menu, quick service and delicious food make it the perfect stop after an afternoon of big-box shopping.

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