Where to Take Your Takeout
Nora Patterson Bay Island Park
Visit Sarasota has paired 7 great options for getting food-to-go in the Sarasota area with 7 places nearby where you can eat it outside! Read on for their recommendations.
A picnic in the park is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and Sarasota County is an oh-so-perfect spot for this kind of alfresco activity. So we’ve rounded up some delicious options for a takeout lunch and paired them with nearby parks that offer scenic settings for a meal. Are you hungry yet?
Get takeout from: Brick’s Smoked Meats
Eat it at: Pioneer Park
This downtown Sarasota spot serves up some seriously good Texas-style barbecue. For an easy on-the-go lunch, order it in sandwich form; Brick’s offers hand-held options like pulled pork, brisket and a ’cue-bano melt that puts a smoky twist on the popular Cuban sandwich. Add some spice with sides like the pimento mac and cheese or the sweet-heat-seasoned fries.
Once you’ve grabbed your order, drive to Pioneer Park. If you’ve got kids in your group, there’s a picnic table right near the cool new tree-top inspired playground. Or bring a blanket or some beach towels and find a picnic spot under a leafy tree. After lunch, check out the historic Bidwell-Wood House and Crocker Memorial Church located on-site; don’t miss the historical marker that shares a highly intriguing tale from Sarasota’s past.
Get takeout from: Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village
Eat it at: Arlington Park
Head to Yoder’s Deli Market for made-to-order and specialty sandwiches and grab-and-go items. Or order off the menu at Yoder’s Restaurant for Amish eats like Yoder’s famous fried chicken and “Mom’s Meatloaf.” Whatever you order at this local institution in Sarasota’s Pinecraft neighborhood, make sure to include a slice (or two) of cream pie, available in flavors like peanut butter and homemade butterscotch.
Then drive over to Arlington Park, where there are picnic tables nestled among some gorgeous stands of trees at various spots throughout the site. The Sarasota park also offers a half-mile walking trail and outdoor fitness gym if you’re feeling guilty about that pie, plus a good playground for young visitors.
Get takeout from: Screaming Goat Taqueria
Eat it at: Phillippi Estate Park
This Gulf Gate spot serves up traditional Latin street tacos, including signature combos filled with options like beef barbacoa, curried sweet potato or vegan chorizo. You can also opt for a burrito or bowl, and the menu is filled with lots of choices that are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free. Make sure to include a side of chips and guac in your order.
After picking up your food, drive over to nearby Phillippi Estate Park. This pretty south Sarasota spot on the shores of Phillippi Creek has lots of picnic tables scattered throughout the park, some under a pavilion and others set amid the trees. Burn off some calories from your lunch by strolling the trail that winds throughout the property, where you can take in views of the creek and walk through a shady maritime hammock. The kids can also hit the playground for some post-meal fun.
Get takeout from: Morton’s Gourmet Market
Eat it at: Nora Patterson Bay Island Park (South)
At Morton’s Gourmet Market in Sarasota’s Southside Village, you can pick up salads, sandwiches, sushi and all kinds of baked goods for a tasty midday feast. The longtime family-owned specialty food store is a favorite among locals and a great spot for purchasing groceries, wine and other necessities for your stay too.
For a waterfront dining experience, drive over to Nora Patterson Bay Island Park (South) on the northern tip of Siesta Key. You can snag a picnic table perched right on the Intracoastal Waterway and watch the steady stream of boat traffic passing by. It’s also a great place to play House Hunters as you admire all the waterfront homes you can spy from your scenic vantage point.
Get takeout from: Boca - Sarasota
Eat it at: Gillespie Park
Known for serving up farm-to-table fare from its downtown Sarasota location, Boca offers lunch choices that include fresh salads with various protein options and flatbreads topped with everything from bacon and white barbecue sauce to brie and Granny Smith apples. Order some parmesan truffle fries to share, or get them as a side with sandwiches like the OMG Burger made with pasture-raised beef and aged white cheddar.
Grab your takeout and drive over to Gillespie Park, which offers lots of room to spread out. Choose one of the strategically placed picnic tables or pick a spot under a tree near the picturesque pond, where you might spot a family of ducks gliding past. There’s also a playground, butterfly garden, fitness trail and basketball courts if you want to make an afternoon of it.
Get takeout from: Shore St. Armands
Eat it at: Bird Key Park
A popular spot with a beachy, mid-century-modern vibe, Shore St. Armands offers lots of options to create a seafood-centric takeaway meal. Go for the Lobster, Shrimp and Crab Cobb Salad or order several small plates, like the Lobster and Lump Crab Rolls, Kung Pao Calamari and Rustic Rosemary Olive Bread and Spreads.
Then take your eats and drive to Bird Key Park near the sweeping John Ringling Causeway bridge. Cross your fingers that you can snag a parking spot and a picnic table; if you do, you’ll be rewarded with postcard-worthy views of Sarasota Bay and Downtown Sarasota. (If that sounds too high stress, Ken Thompson Park is another good nearby option that also offers waterfront vistas.)
Get takeout from: Croissant & Co.
Eat it at: Heritage Park
Located in historic Downtown Venice, French bakery Croissant & Co. offers sandwiches served on a baguette or croissant with lots of continental touches. Go for a classic like the Le Parisien (thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese and butter), or choose a sandwich served on a warm croissant filled with options like French brie and prosciutto or goat cheese and honey. And a tart, éclair or another homemade pastry is a must with your order.
Once you pick up your food, walk west on Venice Avenue to Heritage Park. This linear park located in the tree-filled median stretches along a portion of Venice Avenue between the downtown and Venice Beach. Grab a bench or picnic table under the branches and enjoy your French feast. If you’d rather picnic by the beach, you can drive to nearby Service Club Park or Maxine Barritt Park where you can eat in view of the Gulf of Mexico.
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