Siesta Key Waterfront Restaurants for Fresh Food and Memorable Views

Craving fresh seafood and tropical views? Then Siesta Key, Florida, may be the perfect place for both. As a barrier island located off Sarasota’s coast, the city features picture-perfect views of both Sarasota Bay and Gulf of Mexico. Pair this with fresh catches and welcoming atmospheres, and foodies can’t resist this destination. To know where to go, read about the top Siesta Key waterfront restaurants – and remember to take pictures.

Siesta Key Waterfront Restaurants: Where to Dine Like a Local

siesta key waterfront restaurants seafood

The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill

Located adjacent to Siesta Key South Bridge, this local gem ranks as a favorite for casual dining and waterfront dining. To enjoy bay views, guests may sit in the dining room, banquet room or reef bar.

Restaurant chefs create innovative dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients from local suppliers. For starters, try island nachos, riblets or smoked fish dip. Then select from salads, big sandwiches, seafood, pasta and steaks. In addition, guests are welcome to bring their own catches, and the staff will fry or grill them. The Boatyard Waterfront Grill also offers an extensive wine and cocktail list, so guests can create the perfect pair.

Turtles on the Bay

Turtles on the Bay sits on Little Sarasota Bay near Turtle Beach, helping it rank among the top Siesta Key waterfront restaurants. For over 30 years, this casual spot has served delicious and affordable seafood to locals and travelers. Even better, Turtles on the Bay welcomes boats and kayaks to dock as well.

Open for lunch and dinner, find a vast menu with small- and large-plate options. Appetizers include shrimp cocktail, fish bites and avocado fries. Lunchtime brings salads, sandwiches, and entrees such as Turtles’ famous salmon pasta. For dinner, select from fried seafood platters and specialties. A few include Gulf grouper, mahi mahi, the fisherman’s platter and prime rib.

siesta key waterfront dining taco

Turtle Beach Grill

This bar and grill also sits on Turtle Beach and provides waterfront views of Little Sarasota Bay. At this hangout, enjoy open air seating mixed with a paradise-loving vibes. Boaters also enjoy free dockage at Bayfront Yacht Works and Marina.

Turtle Beach Grill welcomes hungry guests for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Start with grilled portabellos, mahi tacos or fried pickles. For hearty appetites, Turtle Beach Grill serves sandwiches, salads, flatbread pizza, fried baskets and entrees. To sample some raved-about items, select the famous black Angus burger, jerked chicken, crab cakes and seafood pasta marinara.

Marina Jack

Marina Jack is located in nearby downtown Sarasota. This award-winning marina also offers some of the best waterfront dining in the Siesta Key area. In addition, its dining room provides a place to relax with loved ones. Marina Bay overlooks Sarasota Bay and is only a bridge away from Lido Key.

Marina Jack serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Small dishes range from short rib sliders and oysters to lobster and jumbo prawn. Signature entrees include chef’s bouillabaisse, roasted duck breast, lobster carbonara and yellowfin ahi tuna. For more tasty options, try surf and turf, crab cakes, and grilled seafood. Marina Jack also ranks as a top place for steaks in Sarasota. The filet mignon is a must.

siesta key waterfront family restaurant

Ophelia’s on the Bay

Ranked among the best Siesta Key waterfront restaurants for atmosphere, Ophelia’s on the Bay focuses on fine dining. Visitors enjoy an elegant setting among Little Sarasota Bay and local wildlife.

Ophelia’s on the Bay opens for dinner and Sunday brunch only. This award-winning spot serves appetizers such as Maine lobster, smoked salmon, escargot, and eggplant crepes. Then choose from New England scallops, rack of lamb, Faroe Islands salmon and mahi mahi. After dinner, try a signature dessert. Guests rave about their in-house key lime pie, crème brulee and cheesecake.

Sharky’s On the Pier

In nearby Venice, Sharky’s on the Pier ranks among the best Siesta Key waterfront restaurants for its beachfront location. This hot spot not only features Gulf Coast views, but also provides easy access to a pier ideal for strolling with loved ones.

Sharky’s On the Pier welcomes hungry guests for lunch and dinner. Gulf starters range from black bean cakes and calamari to lobster and crab dip. When it’s time to order entrees, try fresh fish sandwiches, wraps, tacos, platters and seafood specialties. The menu also has a large selection of steaks, chicken, ribs, pastas and salads.

Stay near these Siesta Key waterfront restaurants and book a vacation rental near Sarasota’s beaches.

Bringing the family? Read about the top Siesta Key kids activities.