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If you’re on the hunt for the best restaurants in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, let me be your guide. Today, I’m diving fork-first into the amazing food scene of the community.
Lakewood Ranch is a sprawling master-planned community intricately designed with multiple distinct neighborhoods, each possessing its own unique character. So when it comes to local restaurants, you’ll find just as much variety!
From hidden gems that will make you feel like you’ve traveled across the world to local eateries serving up your favorite comfort meals, Lakewood Ranch has it all. I hope you’re hungry because you’re not going to want to miss these restaurants the next time you visit the small suburb of Sarasota.
I’m a Tampa Bay resident who frequently visits this charming master-planned community since it’s right off 1-75. Whether you’re coming from Bradenton, Tampa, or St. Petersburg, it’s close enough for a short day trip. To help you make the choice of where to find delicious food, here are my top picks for the best food in Lakewood Ranch!
Brunch and Breakfast Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch
When it comes to breakfast, I have several personal favorites for best restaurants in Lakewood Ranch. While some I prefer their outdoor dining, others I prefer for their great selection of breakfast or lunch options. Here are my favorites in no particular order.
Because there are so many breakfast restaurants out there, finding one that stands out is challenging. But Another Broken Egg may be a chain, but it offers one of the best brunches in Lakewood Ranch. I also love their two other locations nearby, Siesta Key Village and Clearwater Beach.
With a Southern-inspired breakfast and lunch menu, spiked cold brews, and handcrafted cocktails, they’ve done an incredible job of shining amongst their competition.
With seasonal dishes like lobster hash benedict and tiramisu french toast, one glance at this menu will have you grabbing your car keys and making your way to curb your hunger. And those don’t even begin to describe the dishes that they have year-round (think cinnamon roll french toast and cookie dough waffles). I’ll take two of everything, please.
You can never have too many favorite breakfast restaurants, so add Granary to your list. Named after an old mill that would store grain, the restaurant is about as homey as they come. Known for its breakfast food, here you can dine on all the classics–omelets, benedicts, pancakes, waffles, etc. I also find they make an excellent monte cristo with french fries.
The food, although delicious, has a formidable competitor–the service. I have found servers sprinkle kindness with every meal. And while I can overlook an okay meal from time to time at restaurants, I find the service is the deciding factor if they’re worth another try.
That’s why Granary is packed to the brim every single weekend, so it’s wise to get there early or bring some entertainment while you wait for a table. I promise it’s worth it.
Inspired by the railroad depot of the downtown location (which dates back to 1852), Station 400 is an adorably themed breakfast and lunch spot, complete with a locomotive circling above guests while they eat. With pancakes and specialty mimosas being some of their top sellers, Station 400 has earned its title as the platinum winner of brunch in SRQ Magazine’s of Lakewood Ranch.
One of the most beautiful locations for brunch in Lakewood Ranch is Forked at Waterside. While I found the prices to be above average, the portion sizes and quality seemed worth it. Besides, it’s in a gorgeous location, ideal for strolling after a meal through Waterside Park or visiting the Sunday Market (10 am to 2 pm).
Forked at Waterside serves breakfast and lunch with traditional favorites from pancakes to chicken and waffles. For those that are a bit more adventurous, they also serve breakfast Tamales (Siesta Fiesta). If you plan to eat here on the weekend, come early or plan to wait.
🌴 Pro Tip: When it’s excellent weather, make sure to ask for outdoor seating. You’ll get great views of Downtown Waterside at Lakewood Ranch.
Seafood Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch
Located on the end of a strip mall in Lakewood Ranch, the Lucky Pelican invites you to savor the flavors of the coast.
This Lakewood Ranch restaurant has everything a seafood lover would appreciate, from buffalo-fried calamari that melts in your mouth to perfectly grilled mahi-mahi sake glazed seabass paired with veggie pancakes. Not a seafood fan? That’s okay. They also serve burgers and steak.
For a lighter meal, I like to order the Pelican salad and add grilled shrimp. While my husband prefers their grouper tacos with french fries on their lunch menu. The entrees come with fresh bread and butter.
Whether you’re seeking a casual date night for two or a laidback lunch on the outdoor patio with friends and family, the Lucky Pelican provides a homey atmosphere that you’re sure to love.
🍻 Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a deal, you’re in luck. The Lucky Pelican has happy hour daily from 4 to 6 PM, offering $1.50 off draft beer, house wine, and well liquor.
Have a hankering for Southern cuisine? Then you’re sure to love Owen’s Fish Camp. It not only serves up some of your favorite Southern favorites, such as buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and jambalaya. Owen’s also brings in the Bay’s local fish daily, so you’ll appreciate some of the freshest seafood around.
The food isn’t the only star of the show, either. The expansive dining room (significantly larger than the downtown Sarasota location) features canoes hanging from the ceiling, and vintage photographs covering the walls. Thanks to the ambiance (and the live music the restaurant boasts), you won’t want to leave. However, because this one’s a favorite of the locals, I highly recommend getting there earlier because they do not take reservations. It can get pretty busy–which makes sense when the owner, Paul Caragiulo, was quoted saying, “We don’t want to do any places that we don’t want to hang out in.”
🦷 Pro Tip: If you have a sweet tooth like me, I recommend getting the pecan pie!
When you need something quick for lunch, head over to Pacific Counter. The quick-service spot offers ridiculously fresh cuisine in the form of sushi bowls and burritos, ideal for all seafood lovers. You can choose from the pre-made bowls and burritos they offer or create your own with the abundance of ingredients they have. And if you’re not in the mood for seafood, you can still stop by to grab their unique hotdogs, topped with things like kimchi, Hawaiian salsa, and avocado.
This local chain restaurant in Lakewood Ranch has other locations in Tampa Bay and offers full-service on-site catering for groups.
With staff from Long Island, New England, you can bet that the Lobster Pound & Seafood has some of the best seafood in Lakewood Ranch.
For those who dream about lobster rolls, clam chowder, or hushpuppies regularly, you will love this one! If you’re looking to grab a bite for lunch or dinner, just be mindful of the seating, as there’s only seating outside because it is a market.
If you’re in a hurry, Lobster Pound offers delivery and curbside pickup as well as online ordering.
American Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch
Larry and Barb Remington were restaurant owners in Michigan for nearly 40 years when the pandemic hit, and they unfortunately had to shut down their eateries. But that didn’t stop them from continuing their dream. They packed up their family and headed down to Florida to follow their dreams, and Remy’s on Main was born.
Remy’s on Main was ranked the best new restaurant by the Bradenton Herald in 2022. Specializing in twists on comfort food, the menu is modern and, quite frankly, delicious. Choose from favorites like burgers, fish and chips, and chicken sliders, or one of their family delicacies, like the bulgogi benedict (that’s right, they also have a tasty brunch menu).
Are you a sucker for a good happy hour? They’ve got that covered there, too. Every Tuesday through Friday, they offer $5 off vodka, $1 off draft beers, $2 off certain wines, and $2 off cocktails. Did I mention they also offer $15 bottomless mimosas and bloody marys on the weekend?
Established in 2008 off of Siesta Key, Libby’s Cafe & Bar started as a small establishment focused on American comfort dishes, modern wines, whiskeys, and handcrafted cocktails. They’ve since grown to this second location in Lakewood Ranch.
With fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch execution, it’s not hard to see why Libby’s has become so popular. There are very few places where you can get steaks aged for 40 days and fish caught fresh from the Gulf and Atlantic. Some of my favorites include their signature seafood a la vodka and port wine filet mignon.
On top of the happy hour they offer every Monday through Friday, they also offer two different clubs that you can become a member of–wine club and VIP club. When you join the wine club, you can earn your way to a complimentary bottle off their reserve list after you purchase four bottles, and you get half off select bottles on Wednesdays. As a VIP member (which is completely free), you’ll receive a birthday gift, deals and discounts only available to members.
🍾 Pro Tip: Come for a weekend brunch, and Libby’s offers bottomless mimosas for $10!
Breweries & Bars in Lakewood Ranch
When a restaurant’s branding is as good as Good Liquid Brewing Company’s, then you know it’s going to be a hot spot.
With a rotating selection of finely brewed ales and lagers–from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts–this is a beer lover’s paradise. It’s not just drinks, though. Unique appetizers, like tempura cauliflower and fried mac and cheese, are the perfect snack to go with your drinks. If you’re hungry for something bigger, try one of their burgers, chicken sandwiches, pasta dishes, or pizzas.
It also just added brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Plus, it also has incredible outdoor seating with lake views.
Pro Tip: If you head to their website, you’ll also notice that they always have events going on. Get 35% off online ordering on Mondays and Tuesdays, dine on some brunch on the weekends, or explore the Sunday farmer’s market and head there afterward for some grub.
Sometimes you just want a bite to eat while you watch the latest sports game. That’s where The Peculiar Pub comes in. With simple bites that you would expect to find at a pub–hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches–this laidback eatery is a great place to go to when you just want a cold beer and a snack. If you want to support local talent, go on Fridays when they have live music.
Italian Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch
With farm-fresh eggs, organic tomatoes, free-range beef, and freshly caught fish, Sofia’s is rooted in a deep love for real food. They pride themselves in stocking their restaurant with the same ingredients that they’d stock in their own refrigerators, and it shows in their dishes.
With delicious plates of pasta, veal, chicken, and apps like burrata, a meal here will have you feeling as if you’ve been transported to Italy. If you’re lucky enough to get seated at the chef’s table, you’ll even get the opportunity to watch Chef Angelo work his magic.
Sofia’s Restaurant offers advanced booking through the OpenTable app.
As one of Lakewood Ranch’s newest Italian restaurants, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place the minute you experience its ambiance. Two stories of loft seating overlooking the water and ceilings made of lemon trees? It doesn’t get more romantic than that. But that’s just the beginning. There’s also the food.
With classic Italian dishes like Caprese, gnocchi, bolognese, and pizza, every menu item is a home run. In fact, one Yelp user said, “ It made me feel like everything was imported from Italy when I knew it was cooked here in the good old U-S-of-A.” So grab yourself a glass of wine or Aperol Spritz and enjoy this one for your next date night out.
The Mediterranean diet is arguably one of the healthiest out there, and with one look at the ingredients, it’s easy to see why. With fresh meat and seafood, veggies, and dairy, it’s one of the most natural you can find. At Apollonia Grill, you can get all of these fresh ingredients in delicious plates like flatbreads, pasta, and kebabs.
It also happens to have one of the best happy hours on this menu, with all of the dishes coming in at under $12, wine for only $6, and select refreshing cocktails for $8. Prices like that are hard to come by these days.
Adolfo’s story started in Naples, Italy, where owner Gary’s great-grandfather Leopoldo Colantuono lived until he was 12. He came to the States by himself, where he put his roots down in Brooklyn, New York, and started a family. Gary grew up cooking Italian dishes from family recipes, and when he moved to Sarasota, he opened Adolfo’s to keep his family’s history alive.
From hand-tossed pizzas with fresh, quality ingredients to homemade pastas crafted with love and care, each dish is as authentic as they come. That’s how the small Italian market and pizzeria has earned an almost perfect 4.7 stars on Google.
Asian Inspired Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch
With over 20 years of experience cooking, it’s not hard to see why the chef of Kore Steakhouse is one of the most popular Asian restaurants in Lakewood Ranch.
Of course, when visiting a Korean steakhouse, the highlight is cooking yourself; Kore offers countless great food options to grill. From beef bulgogi to wagyu NY strip to pork and shrimp, the selection here will have your mouth watering.
If you’re looking for a date night spot, this is it. Thanks to their combinations (good for 2-4 people), they’ve created tailor-made menus for those coming in couples or groups. This means you can sample a little bit of everything they offer and experience the wonderful flavors Kore is known for. Just don’t forget the sake.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a Thai restaurant. Thai Spice & Sushi offers a blend of authentic Thai cuisine and expertly crafted sushi rolls, using only the freshest and finest ingredients. Although it may not look like much from the outside, it’s a hidden gem that should absolutely be on the top of your list the next time you’re in the mood for pad thai or a spicy tuna roll. It also makes for some great takeout when you don’t want to cook.
Dim Sum Kitchen may not look like much from the outside, but it’s one of the best Chinese restaurants in Lakewood Ranch. With only about ten tables inside, this quaint restaurant packs a punch with authentic dishes at reasonable prices and large portions. Dumplings, noodles, rice dishes, you name it, and they have it. One of my personal favorites is the Dim Sum and make sure to get an egg roll.
As I mentioned, it’s not big by any means, and they have a small staff, and the neighborhood appreciates its authenticity, so it gets quite busy–especially on the weekends. Be prepared to wait, but also be ready to be taken care of. Their staff goes above and beyond to ensure you have a good experience.
Other International Lakewood Ranch Restaurants
Located on the corner of Main Street, McGrath’s feels like going into a cozy corner of Ireland, where friendship, hearty eats, and lively entertainment come together. From the Irish staple, shepherd’s pie, to boxty and scotch egg, each dish is a true celebration of Irish culture.
Irish cuisine wouldn’t be complete without beer and whiskey–something McGrath’s has no shortage of. Many of their cocktails are made with whiskey, or you can order one of the many bottles on the rocks if you’re in the mood for something stronger.
Go during happy hour (every day from 3 to 6 p.m.), and you can snag these drinks for $2 off. You can also enjoy half-priced draft beers, $4 house cocktails, $3 house wine, $5 bites, and $5 whiskies.
You can book a reservation for McGrath’s Irish Ale House on OpenTable.
Paris Bistrot transports you from the Sunshine State to the charming streets of Paris the minute you walk through the doors. Here, you can indulge in classic French dishes, such as escargot drizzled in garlic butter, foie gras, beef bourguignon, or a tasty crepe. Even the soft lighting, vintage décor, and leather booths are on theme.
Although the restaurant is most well-known for its dinner menu, they have an extensive brunch menu Tuesday through Sunday if you’re in the mood for breakfast. Between the french toast, sandwiches, quiches, and crepes, there’s no shortage of options.
To get the most bang for your buck, opt for their Chef’s Menu, which offers one entree for $23.90 or an appetizer and entree for $29.90 (what a steal). It’s the ideal date night spot when you need something extra romantic. Don’t miss the French onion soup, it’s a personal favorite.
⏰ Pro Tip: You can reserve a table for Paris Bistrot on OpenTable to save time on a wait.
If there’s one thing this list will teach you, never underestimate a restaurant in a strip mall. Tandoor Indian Restaurant is a small family-owned business that has been open since 2001 and grew so large that it had to move to a more prominent location. If that doesn’t speak volumes about their cuisine, then just look at their reviews.
Some of their best dishes are their butter chicken, saag lamb, and yummy garlic naan bread. I especially like that they offer an extensive list of vegetarian and vegan dishes when I’m dining with a couple of my friends.
Final Thoughts on the Best Lakewood Ranch Restaurants
As you can see from my list of best restaurants in Lakewood Ranch, there are various dining options for about any appetite. Lately, my preferences have been exploring the Waterside at Lakewood Ranch restaurants, such as Kore Steakhouse and Good Liquid Brewing Company. But, you can’t forget about the older staples on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.
While I’ve mentioned my favorite restaurants, tastes can be highly subjective! The most rewarding way to experience Lakewood Ranch’s food scene is to explore on your own and discover places that resonate with your taste buds.