Savouring Sarasota – What to eat, What to do and Where to go

It’s been four years now that we have been “early snow-birding” as we like to call it down to Sarasota, Florida. It started with a trip down to visit Jesse’s parents for a week and every year thereafter we keep extending the trip just a bit longer. We also started with flying down, and now we pack up the car with our dog Goji and head down for our extended six week stay.

Now that we have both transitioned out of our day jobs (teaching cooking classes and chiropractic services) into podcasting full time, this has become much easier to do over the years.

We practically consider Sarasota, Florida (and St Pete’s to some extent) our second home. When you spend six weeks in one location, you get to know it pretty well.

Not only that, but we like to do things. We like to explore new places to eat, new things to do and keep ourselves pretty busy. So I figured it was due time to have a one stop resources of all the things that we have done here over the years. This will be a growing list as we keep coming down here and discovering new things; but here is my guide up to this point. Don’t miss the bonus section at the bottom on what to do and eat in St Petersburg (about 40 mins north of Sarasota).

What to eat:

State Street Eatery: We only discovered this place this year and wish we knew about it before. It is an amazing restaurant on State Street. It has a menu that focuses on it’s plant sides but they have a variety of high quality animal protein options to pair them with. This has very quickly become our favourite place to eat! Be sure to order the sweet potato fries with goat cheese and local honey and lavender! Also be sure to check out Monday Ramen night and request the gluten-free noodles!

Lila: We have been coming to Lila pretty much every year that we come down here. It is always a good meal. Lots of variety, with a focus on freshly sourced produce and local meats. We tend to order a few items off the menu and share them or we go for the loaded Buddha Bowl complete with greens, sweet potatoes, almond falafel and tahini sauce.

Crop: So happy to have a place for cold pressed fresh juices. Crop has so many different juice options from your all in greens to fruity blends. We are big fans of the micro greens. Let’s not forget that they also make incredible smoothies that are thick and delicious with a variety of different options from chocolaty to fruity. A new addition to this juice shop is their baked gluten-free donuts that can be brought into the downtown location on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Poppo’s: We discovered this cute little Mexican inspired cafe in Anna Maria Island. Although I am not keen on Mexican food, this place totally hit the spot for what it was. You can build your own burrito’s and tacos or even build a bowl if you want to skip the tortilla all together. They have vegan, veg and meat options and they claim to source good quality meat. If you like Mexican food, you will love it here! They also have kombucha on tap. There is a new location open in downtown Sarasota as well!

Paleo Connection: We discovered this spot last year. A well rounded heart paleo meal is always available on the menu. In fact there are about three option on rotation and you are going to be full! They source quality meats and load the plate with good veggies and healthy fats.

Ionies: If you are looking for a raw vegan meal, treat or smoothie this is a cute little cafe in an old house. They also offer a variety of wellness services including reiki, rolfing, acupuncture and massage.

Cheese Louise: It has become a bit of a tradition to grab a cheese platter at this cute cheese shop that sources local artisan cheeses. We usually just opt for goat and sheep cheese and bring our own grain-free crackers from simple mills. We have a glass of wine and it a great appetizer before dinner. If you are just looking to source some good cheese you can grab that too along with provisions.

Indigenous: Right in the heart of the Towls Court this quaint restaurant is a great place for a date night. The menu is limited, but they do source high quality ingredients. The salads were delicious, but my biggest complaint is that you can’t make any modifications. Never a good thing for me.

Evergreen: This restaurant is located about 30 minutes from downtown Sarasota (we went on the way to the hot springs). This is the kind of place that you can go to anytime and bring anyone with you. They have it all. They also source amazing ingredients and you can pretty get anything from a wrap, to a burger and “oven baked” fries. They definitely are health minded and you are in good hands!

FARMERS MARKETS:

Sarasota Farmer Market (Downtown): This market is every Saturday right downtown near Whole Foods. It is loaded with amazing vendors and there’s always live music and a good vibe. Get there early! (Vendors to check out: Fermentlicious, Jubilee Organics, Homestead Hydro Farm, Flex Bar, Worden’s Farm)

Phillippi Farmhouse Market: This market is located along 41 Tamiami south. We love riding our bikes there as it’s a good distance away. It’s quite small, so down’t count on it for your full grocery shop but you will likely come away with some local honey and other fun crafts.

Lakewood Ranch: This is a beautiful market on Wednesday afternoons. Not a whole lot of vendors, which is sometimes better and makes it easier to shop. It’s got a great vibe and a nice sense of community.

Also look into:

Englewood

Rosemary District Market

Jessica’s Organic Farm

Celery Fields

GROCERY STORES:

Whole Foods We basically live and work here!

Earth Origins An awesome earthy health food store that has it all!

Lucky’s

Where to go:

NATURE:

Myakka State Forest: Get your gator fix plus see some interesting vegetation!

Warm Mineral Springs: Spend a few hours here and soothe your soul and your body in the fountain of youth!

Kayaking and Mangrove Tour

Mote Marine Boat Tour

Walk the Bay at Marina Jacks and see the sunset!

Marie Selby Gardens

Venice Bike Trail

BEACHES:

Lido Beach

Siesta Key Beach

Bird Key (Dog Friendly) Make sure to walk under the bridge to get to the dog beach!

Anna Maria Island

What to do:

ENTERTAINMENT:

McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre

Forgartyville Live Music and Concerts

Artful Giraffe (arts and craft workshops)

Art Walks on Every Friday

Ringling Art Gallery

Live Music at Cafe in the Park

Sunday Siesta Key Drum Circle

Concert at The Van Wezel

The Big Picture Radio 96.5 WSLR – We happened to be on this show!! Pick the date Feb 23rd and we come on at about 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Burns Court Movie Theatre

Hollywood 11 Movie Theatre

YOGA:

Iyengar Yoga Sarasota

CircuSoul Check out Wednesday night Yin (only $5)

More yoga

QUICK GUIDE TO ST PETE’S!

Love Food Central

Craft Kafe

Plant Love Ice Cream

The Dali Musuem

The Chihuly Gallery

Grab Kava at Grassroots

Walk the Waterfront

Walking Central Ave

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