Off the coast of Sarasota, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico sits the tropical paradise of Siesta Key. As laid-back and peaceful as its name implies, this barrier island welcomes vacationers with its white sandy beaches and gorgeous blue waters. Settle into your Siesta Key vacation rental, and get ready for a relaxing respite. When it comes time to feed the family, don’t even think about turning on a stove or oven. Instead, head out to one of these fantastic kid-friendly Siesta Key restaurants.
1. Toasted Mango Cafe
For breakfast or lunch, you can’t go wrong with the Toasted Mango Cafe. Get ready for fast service, a large menu, fresh food, and large portions. Have the toasted mango waffle for breakfast, try the zesty black bean burger for dinner, or drop in for a smoothie on your way to the beach.
2. Hub Baja Grill
If you love spicy food, Hub Baja Grill is the place to be. This lively spot offers live music almost every day, and kids love dining al fresco on the patio, complete with festive lights. Munch on some of the restaurant’s chips and salsa as you read over the tempting menu. Choose from chili con carne, lobster tacos, baby back barbecue ribs, or chicken chimichangas.
3. Big Water Fish Market
No trip to Siesta Key is complete without a family seafood feast. Big Water Fish Market is known for its grouper sandwich, served with coleslaw and a pickle spear, but there’s no shortage of other equally tantalizing options on the menu. Have a salad with steamed shrimp, or try Jack’s famous fish stew. Feed the whole family with a steam pot of crab legs, mussels, shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Save room for dessert: Momma’s key lime pie.
4. Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream
Go ahead and spoil your dinner. Cap off a relaxing day at the beach with a stop at Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. Kids love watching their ice cream creations come together before their eyes. Choose your cream, flavor, and mix-ins, then watch as the friendly ice cream artists flash-freeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Scrumptious flavor options range from blackberry and cake batter to fudge and cotton candy, and kids love choosing gummy bears, cookie dough, and sprinkles as mix-ins.
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5. The Cottage Restaurant
Looking for a restaurant with an upscale vibe that’s still kid-friendly? The Cottage Restaurant is just the place. The service is excellent, and the inventive fusion menu offers plenty of options to please any palate. Live music keeps the kids entertained while you wait. Order the wonton tuna tacos or the Siesta seafood scampi, and let the little ones munch on a side of sweet potato fries.
6. Solorzano’s Pizzeria
A favorite among Siesta Key locals and visitors alike, Solorzano’s Pizzeria serves up incredible New Jersey-style pizza. Eat in to take advantage of the friendly service and cozy atmosphere, stop by for a pie and boneless wings to take back to your vacation rental, or just kick up your feet when you call in an order for delivery. For something out of the ordinary, try the buffalo chicken bacon pizza.
7. Senor Siesta
Senor Siesta prides itself on fresh ingredients in every dish. This hidden gem is a favorite among the locals, and visitors shouldn’t miss out on the experience, either. Grab a table on the covered porch to enjoy your dinner with a warm ocean breeze. Customers rave about the guacamole here, and the Siesta sushi burger is always a hit. The kids’ menu caters to even the pickiest eaters, with chicken strips, burgers, and quesadillas.
8. Ciao Gelato
Once your bellies are full from a great dinner, take the family for dessert before heading back to your vacation rental. This place is guaranteed to become a tradition after you try one bite of the smooth, silky gelato. Choose from flavors that include pistachio, banana cream, Almond Joy, and Chicago caramel. If you need a little pick-me-up before hitting the beach, stop in for an espresso.
9. El Toro Bravo
Get your fix of Mexican food when you have lunch at El Toro Bravo. The service is fast and friendly, and the food is incredible. Kids can check out the festive murals on the restaurant walls while you tackle the massive menu. Start out with guacamole salad as an appetizer, have a fajita burrito for dinner, and finish it off with deep-fried cheesecake. The menu features vegetarian options as well.
10. Dolce Italia
Enjoy an authentic Italian dinner with the family when you visit Dolce Italia. Enjoy the quaint atmosphere and charming decor as you consider your dinner options. Try the linguine with shrimp or clams for a seafood-inspired feast, or opt for the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Dessert choices include tiramisu, cannoli, and gelato.
11. Isan Thai Restaurant
When your family has a hankering for Asian cuisine, Isan Thai Restaurant is the place to go. Settle the kids into one of the cozy booths, complete with Asian-inspired textiles draped from the ceiling. The vast menu offers something for everyone. Vegetarians love the fried tofu and edamame, while the pineapple fried rice serves as a local favorite. The Pad Thai is a must-try, and be sure to save room for dessert: homemade flan cheesecake.
12. Gentile Bros. Authentic Philadelphia Cheesesteaks & Hoagies
Have an All-American dinner at Gentile Bros, which boasts some of the best cheesesteaks on the island. From the fresh bread to the piled-high fixin’s, the staff here knows how to make a cheesesteak. Eat in, or get takeout to enjoy back at your vacation rental. Try the Broad St. Bully, a sandwich with a chicken cutlet, provolone cheese, sauteed spinach, and hot peppers, or keep it simple with a classic cheesesteak. Be sure to pick up an order of pizza fries for the kids.
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