Dining in Longboat Key, Fl.


Senior Insider
We spent the past 4 nights on Longboat Key on the ocean, near Sarasota. Here is a quick review of some of the restaurants we dined at. All were very good.

On a side street in the middle of nowhere. Gazpaco, Volcano Roll, Fresh Pear Salad, Lobster Risotto, Garlic Infused Shrimp, Short Ribs and the catch- Mahi Mahi were all excellent.

The restaurant is situated on the water and it is nothing to write home about in terms of decor. There is only one thing to do here- eat the Stone Crab. We bought $100 worth of the Claws and that was not enough for the two of us. It is caught daily and served warm or cold. We prefer cold. There are small, medium, large and jumbo claws. The bigger the better but it depends on availability as to what you get.

It has a wonderful clothes shop below also called Shore. It is on a second story with huge retractable roofs. (The owners' principal business is retractable roofing, which they sell nation wide.) Ask to sit outdoors- reservations needed. The libations are wonderful and the service is done quickly via good server teamwork. The Local Red Snapper, the Crab Encrusted Grouper, Lobster Sliders, Kale Caesar were all tasty. The place is very crowded at all meals, including brunch.

Wow is this place big and absolutely jam packed! I would call it a must tourist stop. We came for the Paella and Sangria both of which are tossed and mixed tableside. Make reservations and check out their store inside the restaurant. The service was a little slow but the price and quality of food made up for it. Make reservations.

Sarasota is also a fun place to go. There is a wonderful aquarium, the Ringling Circus Museum and lots of excellent art galleries and good restaurants and bars. Of course, this time of year with our temps below zero, it is a great place to be. This was our first visit to this part of Florida and we will return.

MIke R

Senior Insider

Next time you re on Longboat try the Dry Dock Restaurant, which we liked a lot


but the Rod and Reel was the bomb on Anna Maria

The Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant

Eatin', fishin' & sittin' on the dock of the bay!

The Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant is one of the most uniquely named and located restaurants I’ve been to anywhere. Just by looking at it you’ll get the idea!
Its name isn’t the only unique thing about it though. It’s both a fishing pier and a restaurant and bar in a very unique location: at the end of a fishing pier and extending out over the water of far south Tampa Bay.
Located on the far northeast side of Anna Maria Island, the Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant is most likely the most unique of all Anna Maria Island restaurants

There’s a small, “squeeze-yourself-into” bar on the lower pier/deck where you can hang your head out the bar door and watch someone drop a fishing line, where you can also get both a bite and a drink and there’s an upstairs more “formal” restaurant with outside deck seating as well as an indoor dining room.
However, it’s anything but “formal.” This is about as laid back of a place as you can get…once you get a table during the height of “season,” which can turn out to be a pretty good trick!
Bring your fishing pole so you have something to do while you're waiting for your table. Maybe you'll catch tomorrow night's dinner!

But, once you do get seated you can peruse a pretty extensive menu with both land lubber and seafood lover


Its good to hear to know how much fun you had enjoyed there. For sure whenever i got a chance definately i will go there and spend some time and relax.