Foodies Rejoice! Culinary Newcomers to Sarasota

Sarasota is known for having a diverse range of ethnic restaurants, making it the best place for foodies and those with distinct food tastes.  Post-Covid, new restaurants are opening every month, including a round-up of some newcomers.  And why is this?

Cultural diversity: Sarasota is a melting pot of different cultures, and this diversity is reflected in its food scene. The city has a large population of immigrants from various countries, including Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Peru, and India, among others. As a result, there are many restaurants that serve authentic ethnic cuisine from these countries.

Tourist destination: Sarasota is a popular tourist destination, and many visitors come to the city to experience its unique culture and cuisine. To cater to this demand, many restaurants in Sarasota offer a variety of ethnic cuisines to provide visitors with a diverse culinary experience

Foodie culture: Sarasota has a thriving foodie culture, and many residents are passionate about trying new and exciting foods. This has led to the emergence of many new and innovative restaurants that specialize in ethnic cuisine.

Here are some new restaurants in Sarasota that opened in 2023:

Osteria 500

Opened just five weeks, Osteria 500 is an authentic, Italian cozy restaurant that serves classic dishes with a modern twist. Here you will find “fried zucchini flowers,” a delicacy that stems from my vast Italian background that had everyone in my family salivating when Nona made them. Beautiful bright yellow Zucchini blossoms, will surprise your palate with their sweet and refined taste. This flowers are edible and INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! They are a staple ingredient in many local dishes whose origins come from “Cucina Povera” – the no-waste “poor cooking” tradition.

Carmine, Giuseppe, Salvatore and Andrea are the owners of this Lakefront drive eatery, in Lakewood Ranch, and Carmine said they eyed the restaurant spot in Sarasota “because of the potential I knew it had. Waterside itself was going to be an up and coming neighborhood that would attract people from all over but the surrounding area of Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch are very family based.”

The “boyz” say they can’t give Sarasota Events Calendar their signature dish, since there are “so many!”  “From our fresh pastas to our Neapolitan style pizzas – to our meats and fish cooked on our charcoal custom built grill, everything is authentic and fresh Italian.”

Fried zucchini flowers for those who savor “peasant dishes” at their best!
If you go:
1580 Lakefront drive unit 101
Sarasota, Fl 34240
Phone: 9418668962

Faicco’s is a New York-style deli that serves gigantic sandwiches, which most of us New YAWKERS call “heroes.” The owner of Faicco’s Italian Heros Grill is Eddie Faicco, who relocated to Sarasota fulltime from Brooklyn, NY a little over a year ago. Eddie took over his 100 year old family business in Manhattan and it still remains open to this day in the Big Apple.

Faicco’s offer a variety of specialty sandwiches, generously sized with the freshest ingredients available. Eddie takes immense pride in upholding traditions taught to him by his parents, especially their homemade sausage recipe. They make many of their items in house such as sauces, rice balls (arancini), meatballs, mozzarella sticks, sausage and more. They butcher all of their meat in house to ensure that customers are receiving the best quality. A perk for Italian cooks is that they sell their homemade sausage raw by the pound,  jarred sauces, and take out dinner trays such as eggplant, chicken and meatball parmesan. And their fresh mozzarella balls available every Friday and Saturday are a must try.

Eddie says their most popular sandwich “is the Italian sandwich—piled high with Prosciutto, Ham capocollo, Sweet Soppressata, Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers, Lettuce, Tomato, Oil and Vinegar, and salt & pepper. Another standout offering is their hot sandwich featuring Homemade Fried Chicken Cutlets, Fresh Mozzarella, and Pesto Sauce.”  Each of Faicco’s sandwiches is thoughtfully served on Italian bread, sourced and shipped from Melone Brothers bakery in New Jersey. Another good reason to go to Faicco’s….Italian bread from New Jersey! 

Eddie tells me he chose to make Sarasota his permanent home after enjoying it as his vacation destination for over a decade. Like everyone else who sees- and falls in love with Sarasota – he recognized Sarasota’s beauty and saw an opportunity to introduce a touch of New York to the local community. He decided it would be a great place for his family to be and they are grateful to have made the move.

If you go:

Faicco’s is at 3590 Webber Street, Sarasota, FL 34239,  (941)-960-1395. We invite you to connect with them on Instagram @faiccos_sarasota and Facebook at Faicco’s Sarasota for some updates and to get a glimpse of many of their delicious offerings, including the mouth-watering photo below of grilled sausage hero with broccoli rabe:

Faicco grilled broccoli rabe hero

Drift Kitchen and Bar at Lido Beach Resort: A new restaurant at the Lido Beach resort that has a dining room featuring elevated decor and soaring 180-degree floor-ceiling views of the Gulf of Mexico. Situated on the 8th floor of the resort’s Palm Building, it is truly one of Sarasota’s buzziest new eateries. . Taking inspiration from their exquisite view, their cuisine features local ingredients with an emphasis on fresh seafood and contemporary American fare. Open for breakfast and dinner only.

Drift Kitchen & Bar at Lido Beach Resort

If you go:
Lido Beach Resort, 700 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236 941.388.2161

Paramo Café & Restaurant: A hip new gourmet Venezuelan restaurant
Paramo Café & Restaurant is a Venezuelan restaurant located in Sarasota off Lockwood Rd. that offers Venezuelan and Latin gourmet food, including frozen preparations, burgers, and a variety of drinks. The restaurant also hosts live music events every Saturday and karaoke on Fridays. They also provide catering services for private celebrations such as birthdays and weddings
If you go:
The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 9 PM, and on Sundays from 8:30 AM to 5 PM
The address is 3700 N Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234

Namo Izakaya Sarasota

The Japanese word izakaya is made up of three kanji with the meaning, in order, “stay-drink-place.” A spot to grab a drink, settle in, and get comfortable. Welcome Namo Izakaya Sarasota – a new restaurant specializing in ramen and yakitori. Housed in the former home of South Philly Cheesesteaks and Famous Philly Cheesesteaks, the new restaurant has ramen options and yakitori, which is a Japanese style of skewered chicken. Namo Izakaya has a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

If you go:

1439 Main St.
Sarasota FL, 34236

Tzeva Sarasota

Located in Art Ovation Hotel, Tzeva features features modern Mediterranean cuisine with Israeli influences. Tzeva opened early in 2023 and the restaurant offers a Mediterranean menu that features dishes with bright colors and global spices inspired by local art and culture. The restaurant has an elegant setting that elevates every delectable experience and offers amazing views from the rooftop pool bar overlooking the stunning Sarasota skyline.

An Israeli menu, Tzeva opens at Art Ovation hotel downtown, Sarasota

If you go:
Tzeva is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

1255 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

Toastique Sarasota

Sarasota welcomed a new breakfast spot in the historical downtown district in late July. Toastique is located on the ground floor of the Mark Sarasota, the condominium building located on Pineapple Avenue across from State Street. Toastique is a breakfast and brunch restaurant that serves creative and delicious dishes. It is known for its avocado toast and its pancakes.

Briana Keefe is the founder of this healthy toast and juice bar. Ms. Keefe was named on the Forbes list of 30 under 30 in 2022. Briana’s success as a college athlete led to her passion of healthy eating and her desire to share it with others.

The success of the Toastique brand centers around the ingredients. The brand offers fresh, in-season and locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs and toppings. There are gluten-free bread options, breakfast fruit bowls, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and coffee selections. Selections include anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and activated charcoal which is known to alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and remove toxins.

Toastique also offers catering, and subscription home delivery options with its be well services.

If you go:

10 S. Lemon Ave. Suite C in The Mark (where tapas restaurant Beso also recently opened)

Hamlet’s Eatery

Big shout out to the “off the beaten path” Hamlet’s Eatery – where the culinary world of vegan and non-vegan cuisine collide, offering a unique dining experience for all food lovers. Their creative tagline reads, “To Meat or Not to Meat,” reflects their commitment to providing delicious options for every palate.

At Hamlet’s Eatery, they believe in the power of choice as their menu boasts an array of mouthwatering dishes that cater to both vegans and non-vegans alike. Whether you’re a devout vegan, a flexitarian, curious about the plant-based lifestyle, or a meat eater, they guarantee a fun experience that caters to your individual preferences.

Hamlet’s Eatery

While Hamlet’s Eatery is a food truck, we do not travel. They are permanently located in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. There is a covered patio with fans and plenty of seating. For three years, they have become a gathering place for friends, families, and strangers to come together and celebrate the joy of food.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a house-made veggie burger that satisfies your cravings or a burger topped with smoked gouda and bacon, Hamlet’s Eatery is the place to be.

If you go:

Hamlet’s Eatery is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11-3pm, and Wednesday 5-8pm for Trivia. Plus, most Fridays 5-8pm with Music Bingo, Karaoke, Hound Happy Hour or live music.

821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visitor call 941-445-1938.

Bar Hana

Bar Hana is a new tiki bar and restaurant located in downtown Sarasota. The restaurant is owned by the same folks that operate KoJo, which is located next door
Bar Hana aims to become a destination for world-class craft cocktails, craveable food, and gracious hospitality, set in a tropical atmosphere. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, cocktails, and weekend brunch. Bar Hana has an imaginative handcrafted cocktail menu and a craveable food menu

If you go:

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are located at 1289 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, and you can make a reservation by calling 941-536-9717.

~ Enjoy! Andrea Mastrocinque- Martone, Chief Editor, Sarasota Events Calendar

Andrea Martone

Andrea Martone is a former Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Sarasota Observer Newspaper Group, as well as a former Editor-in-Chief of a Long Island (New York) newspaper chain. She moved to Sarasota 14 years ago after working as an executive in NYC in public relations and marketing. She currently is a Public relations & marketing consultant and President of Insightful PR. She lives and breathes all things art, culture, music food and wine and is proud to be the Executive Editor of Sarasota Events Calendar.

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