These Restaurants Are Actually Open on Mondays (2024)

These Restaurants Are Actually Open on Mondays (1)

The number one question asked of a food writer in Sarasota is, "Are there any restaurants open on Mondays?" While much of downtown Sarasota may seem like a ghost town on Mondays, we have a plethora of available dining spots, all listed as Sarasota's best restaurants. Here are our favorites.

Florence and the Spice Boys

4990 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota,

Long beforeFlorence and the Spice Boysopened its brick-and-mortar location in The Landings, its team was pumping out modern Middle Eastern cuisine from a colorful food truck that we’d follow from stop to stop. The restaurant’s recent success hinges on its mass of fans from those roadside days and its thoughtful, punchy flavors. A chicken shawarma pita is topped with pickled slaw, egg, tahini and the Middle Eastern condiments zhug and amba, which together build a matrix of salty, sweet, sour and bitter. And while the food is wonderful, the quirky décor gives an added kick to the experience.

Veronica Fish & Oyster

1830 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-1342,

The most unforgettable item atis the seafood tower, or as it’s called on the menu, the “plateau de fruits de mer”: 18 raw oysters, shrimp co*cktail, crab and avocado, lobster salad, smoked fish dip and a chilled half lobster. The platter can feed a crowd, so bring your buddies and pair it with warm potato rolls and crispy Thai snapper to share.

Faicco’s Sandwich Shop

2590 Webber St., Sarasota, (941) 960-1396,

A Greenwich Village institution, Faicco’s tossed on its board shortsand some zinc oxide to open its second location in its 120-year history, right here in Sarasota. The regional “hero” sandwich is aptly named, as it requires a gargantuan appetite to finish just one. Miles of deli meat are stacked high on pillowy soft bread, and you may need to unhinge your jaw before taking a successful bite. Need a recommendation? Keep it classic with mortadella, provolone and arugula, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Big Apple.

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Pho Cali

1578 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 955-2683

Pho Cali doesn’t have regulars. It doesn’t have fans.It has devotees, some of whom visit multiple times a week and evangelize the pho to all who will listen. And while the pho is warm and comforting, the rest of the menu will delight you, too. Crisp bánh xèo (Vietnamese crêpes) are stuffed with roasted pork, shrimp and bean sprouts, or can be served vegetarian with tofu instead. And the spring rolls, made with saturated rice paper, come in so many combinations you’ll struggle to pick just one.

Dim Sum King

8194 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton, (941) 306-5848

The only thing to complain about atDim Sum Kingis that it gets so busy sometimes that it can be hard to get through on the phone line to place your takeout order. But the jammed phones are just proof that everyone else knows what we do: The food here is outstanding. The dim sum menu overflows with small plates, and it’s difficult to go wrong. We love the steamed barbecue pork buns, all of the dumplings (but particularly the Shanghai-style ones) and shrimp and scallops tossed in spicy XO sauce. Even simpler standards like fried rice are a cut above.


5770 S. Tamiani Trail, Sarasota, (941) 702-8582,

The Italian island of Sardinia prides itself on its autonomy from the mainland. With a unique rocky topography and distinctive language, the island’s one-of-a-kind identity also comes through in its cuisine. Bottarga (dried fish roe) is a staple ingredient, shaved over many dishes for an added briny kick. AtSardinia the restaurant, chef Dino Carta makes it himself. Octopus carpaccio, linguine alle vongole and paella de fregola all receive a generous helping of this complex ingredient, as vital to the dish as it is to its homeland.

Columbia Restaurant

411 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, (941) 388-3987,

A must-visit for any Florida first-timer,Columbiahas captured the hearts of Sarasotans by serving quality Cuban food in an unforgettable setting on St. Armands Circle, accented by open archways and Spanish tile. The 1905 salad, which is named for the year the first Columbia opened in Ybor City, is made tableside with heaps of julienned ham, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, olives and grated Romano cheese, then finished with a Worcestershire-forward vinaigrette. The only thing better is the crusty Cuban bread served with it.

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JPan Sushi & Grill

3800 S. Tamiami Trail, #3, Sarasota, (941) 954-5726; 229 N. Cattlemen Road, #61, Sarasota, (941) 960-3997;

JPan’s chef and owner, Daniel Dokko, has established himself as one of Sarasota’s premier restaurateurs. His flagshipJPan, located in mid-Sarasota, established a steady following not only through its distinctive spin on sushi, ramen and fabulous drinks, but also through Dokko’s effervescent personality, which spills over into JPan’s second location, near the University Town Center mall. You can find Dokko and his wife Clarice at any one of their restaurants, depending on the night, walking the dining room, hugging friends and greeting the newbies who are sure to become fans, too.

Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie

1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 236-5826; 8445 Lorraine Road, Sarasota, (941) 357-1570;

Libby’smakes our list for its approachable menu, perfect for even the pickiest diners. On a night when everyone in your party wants something different, Libby’s has you covered, with a broad New American-style menu. Crowd favorites include a kale Caesar salad and meatballs the size of your fist. But you can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose. Beyond the menu, the service is consistently excellent, especially for the restaurant’s casual vibe.

Star Thai & Sushi Siesta Key

240 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key, Sarasota, (941) 217-6758,

Siesta Key is famed for its white-sand beaches, heavy influx of tourists and laid-back, beachy bars that all have similar menus. The exception is. Wander off the main Siesta Key Village drag, down Avenida Madera, where Star is tucked away in a quiet corner—until you walk through the door, that is. Order a customizable sushi boat and expect to be dazzled, not only by the quality of the fish but by the sparkler that arrives with it. (There’s another Star Thai & Sushi in Venice, but it’s the Siesta location we prefer.)

Michael’s on East

1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-0007,

Every city has its most famous fine-dining restaurant. In Sarasota, that restaurant isMichael’s on East. Named for founder and co-proprietor Michael Klauber, the restaurant has seen our culinary landscape evolve around it while remaining true to itself amid the ebb and flow. Traditional fine-dining options like filet mignon tartare, lobster bisque and sea bass with lemon risotto are ever-present, and all are prepared with a deft, confident hand.

These Restaurants Are Actually Open on Mondays (4)

Summer House

149 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, Sarasota, (941) 260-2675,

No self-respecting list of restaurants would be complete without a steakhouse. At Summer House, prime steaks are aged for 40 days and can be crowned with blue cheese, lump crab Oscar or even a bone marrow gremolata. While you’ve seen a menu like this before, you haven’t had it the Summer House way. Even the roasted chicken sings, with its crisp skin and accompanying mushroom bread pudding. It might be a sin to order chicken at a steak joint, but when it’s this good, resistance is futile.


7129 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 556-9639,

Sarasota loves food, to be sure, but it’s clear that Italian cuisine is our favorite. With dozens of restaurants serving regional dishes from around Italy, you may find yourself suffering from choice paralysis. AtNapulè, in south Sarasota, the food is as restorative as a Mediterranean breeze. An assortment of salumi starts the meal on a high note before you move on to the pasta and meat courses. Or you can keep it simple with a traditional wood-fired pizza and a glass of prosecco.

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 925-4444,

Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar honors the Florida traditions of fried gator and seared grouper. The “combo pots” are a variation on a seafood boil, with steamed oysters and shrimp. Add king crab to the mix for a messy and filling meal large enough for two (or more). Each time you visit, pay attention to the specials—they’re where chef Pedro Flores’ considerable talent shines brightest.

C’est La Vie!

1553 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 906-9574,

C’est La Vie!’s food is as French as it sounds. The café features simple salads and sandwiches, like prosciutto with brie and Swiss cheese, plus an indulgent smear of butter on the underside of the bread. Equally beloved are the restaurant’s crêpes, which can be made with white flour or buckwheat flour (buckwheat is the traditional French way). We love the forestiére crêpes, filled with bacon, mushrooms and onions in a creamy sauce. This is the kind of place where every regular has a favorite dish—and they’ll argue for its supremacy with anyone who says the restaurant’s name.

These Restaurants Are Actually Open on Mondays (5)

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub

760 Broadway St., Longboat Key, (941) 383-2391,

One of three restaurants owned by Chiles Hospitality,Mar Vistaperforms in a different tier than its sisters. With bayfront views, a sandy beach and secret nooks shaded by overgrown sea grapes, the food doesn’t have to be all that good. But it is. Seafood is a specialty here, and the fresh catch risotto is a perennial hit. And while a tater tot appetizer may initially seem out of place, once you pop one of these scratch-made beauties in your mouth, you’ll marvel at the deliciousness.


1289 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 536-9717,

From Palm Avenue’s ubiquitous Hi Hospitality Group comesKojo, which serves upscale Asian fusion cuisine. The sleek dining room gives way to an open kitchen, where cooks remain as cool as the cucumbers they include in the sushi rolls. The tender bao selections are a unique interpretation of the Chinese street food, with options like crispy rock shrimp and barbecue mushrooms. An udon noodle carbonara, meanwhile, riffs on the Italian classic with east Asian ingredients. Save room for dessert—specifically the passion fruit panna cotta.

Korê Steakhouse

1561 Lakefront Drive, #111, Sarasota, (941) 928-5673,

Choose your own adventure atKorê, a newish Korean barbecue restaurant from JPan’s Daniel Dokko. Each table has its own grill, where guests can sear an assortment of meats. Beef bulgogi (marinated ribeye) and galbi (boneless short ribs) are the best selections. But don’t stop at the do-it-yourself portion of the menu, because the rest of the offerings are bangin’, too. Dolsot bibimbap, made with rice, bulgogi and vegetables, sizzles the entire time you eat it, developing a crispy crust on the rice kernels that’s a textural revelation.

Owen’s Fish Camp

516 Burns Court, Sarasota, (941) 951-6936; 6516 University Parkway, Lakewood Ranch, (941) 951-5052;

With two locations, one inLakewood Ranchand the other inBurns Courtin downtown Sarasota, there is now finally enough of Owen’s Southern-inspired cuisine to go around. The downtown restaurant lives in a historic cottage, with an outdoor courtyard that features live music to entertain you while you wait for your table. In Lakewood Ranch, the menu is slightly different than downtown, with more meat options. Sink your teeth into dreamy pimento cheese biscuits topped with pickle butter that are rich enough to call a meal. You won’t want to share them.

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Star Fish Co.

12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez, (941) 794-1243,

In Florida, the fight for our “state food” title wavers between a fish sandwich and a Cuban sandwich (shhh...don’t tell Key lime pie). But if all fish sandwiches were like the ones atStar Fish Co., there would be no competition. Located in the historic Cortez fishing village, this dockside restaurant hearkens back to simpler times, when the skyline was smaller and the roads were clear. Still, despite Southwest Florida’s many changes, Star Fish remains the same, serving Florida seafood to Florida lovers from both near and far. Just be sure to stop by the ATM before you go—the restaurant only takes cash.

Beach Bistro

6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, (941) 778-6444,

For those in the know,Beach Bistrois well worth the time-consuming drive up the length of Anna Maria Island, where breathtaking beach views mark the beginning of a memorable five-course tasting menu. Mainstays include “lobstercargots” (think escargots, but with lobster) and duckling confit. For dessert, order the mini praline Alexandra, made with vanilla bean ice cream, pecan praline and Frangelico. Pro tip: Make your reservation near sunset to be engulfed in the honey-colored rays of the sinking sun.

Walt’s Fish Market

4144 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-4605,

The Wallin family, owners of Walt’s Fish Market, has roots in Sarasota dating back to the early 1900s, when their ancestor, Claus Wallin, found the area by way of the circus train. Since then, the family has been fishing and selling their catch to everyone in town. In an effort to appease their many customers, the Wallins began selling fried fish sandwiches. The rest is history. Today, Walt’s continues to serve an exceptional fish sandwich, like the grouper Rueben—but it’s thecomplimentary fish dipthat keeps us loyal.


1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 413-7425,

As far as hotel restaurants go, most fall squarely into the “meh” camp. But atTzeva, located inside the Art Ovation Hotel, the food is anything but ordinary. The menu is primarily comprised of small plates inspired by the Mediterranean, like a selection of hummus and shashlik, or kebabs. Lamb shashlik is made with tender, bite-sized chunks of meat and served over a bed of biryani rice that is so fragrant and complex, you’ll wonder how it’s made long after you finish your meal.

These Restaurants Are Actually Open on Mondays (2024)
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