Shore Diner. Photo by Thomas Bender

Sarasota ranks among top U.S. food cities

Sarasota was ranked among the top food cities in the country.

Conde Nast Traveler listed our little corner of Southwest Florida as the best food spot in Florida and the 14th best place in the country to eat.

But this isn’t a surprise, is it? Food here is fabulous.

The list cites  Sarasota’s “technicolor sunsets and thatched-roof daiquiri bars” and gives a shout out to the mushroom bisque garnished with truffled rye croutons at Indigenous as well as the crêpes and fresh croissants at C’est La Vie.

And while I know investigative reporter Emily Le Coz has a fondness for C’est La Vie — there’s a ton of good food in this region.

If I had a last meal in Sarasota it would be kung pow calamari, slow roasted carnitas tacos and pot de creme from Shore Diner.

So. I polled the Unravel staff on their biggest craves in the region.

Graphics guru Jennifer Borreson

  • Brisket tacos from Nancy’s BBQ
  • Chicken Parmesan sandwich from Mozzarella Fella
  • Spiced Rum from Siesta Key Rum. “Its a food group,” she says,  “Don’t look at me like that.”

Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch, now located and open on Lakewood Ranch’s main street, will be serving beef briskets. (January 28, 2016; STAFF PHOTO / THOMAS BENDER)

Photog Rachel O’Hara (the newsroom’s vegetarian.)

  • Coconut lemongrass tofu (vegan) from Pho Cali
  • Tofu and mixed vegetable curry (ordered Thai hot and vegetarian) from Tropical Thai.
  • The margherita pizza from Cafe Epicure. “My mom demands we go there every time she visits,” she says. “Sometimes more than once.”
  • And of course “Station 400 brunch period. Best cheesy grits in town.”

Station 400’s Chef Eric Bein is behind a smoked trout salad, a combination of unexpected ingredients including arugula, fingerling potatoes, toasted pecans, French green beans, pickled red onion, celery and drizzled with a horseradish dressing. (STAFF PHOTO/E. SKYLAR LITHERLAND, SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE)

Copy editor Kat Dow

  • Boiled peanuts and fire-pit grilled oysters from Owen’s Fish Camp, in the backyard, with a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’.
  • Spicy margherita pizza from Polpo, when you can find them, with a nice IPA.
  • Literally anything at Indigenous, with a Florida craft beer, of course.
  • Smoked salmon scramble on toast at Station 400, with a fancy mimosa. “Because hey, beer doesn’t go with ​*everything,*” she says. “Honorable mention to anything at Station 400 with fried green tomatoes. Pro tip: You can order those as a side dish.”

Investigative reporter/Bestie Elizabeth Johnson

  • The grouper sandwich from Starfish Co. “Technically in Cortez, I guess,” she says.
  • Chicken curry from Pho Cali.

Hu tieu hoac mi ga quay (roasted chicken) is served at Pho Cali Vietnamese Noodle House in Sarasota. (Dec 9, 2010) (Sarasota Herald-Tribune photo by Dan Wagner)

Reporter/Bestie Katy Bergen 

  • Any of the eggs benedicts at Toasted Mango
  • Italian Stallion at Monkey Business/Pangea

Engagement editor Tony Elkins

  • Fish and chips from Owen’s Fish Camp
  • Cuban sandwich from Packinghouse
  • Cheeseburger from  New Pass Grill



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