Here we go. There are way more Gulf Gate food and dining options than could be contained in a single post! So, let’s get started on the second half of this Gulf Gate culinary experience.
Gulf Gate is a real grab bag of stuff. Not just restaurants, but stuff in general. Between the tailors, shoe repair places, a trophy shop, and an aquarium supply store are some fantastic and eclectic places to dine. This three block area is unique, at least foodwise. You’re going to get a little bit of everything when you’re eating here. I’d say “smorgasbord”, but that would be too easy!
If you consider the first two meals of the day important, then GG has you covered.
I’m going to start this by simply saying this is the “original” Word of Mouth. I think that needs to be stated because of the other Word of Mouth locations that have popped up around town in years past. And the fact that they make the distinction too. They have fantastic breakfast and lunch dishes. Let’s just say “diner-esque” in the best way possible! I just love these kinds of places.
The newest addition to the breakfast and lunch scene in Gulf Gate, Lovely Square is off to a super fast start and creating a lot of positive buzz. There’s a little bit of everything on the Lovely Square menu, even tacos! Oh, the bruschetta fried eggs avocado toast is really something!
The Clever Cup (6530 Gateway Ave., (941) 806-5909)
I’m going to put The Clever Cup in with the breakfast and lunch places. They are technically open at dinnertime. But their limited food selections (mainly baked goods) fall squarely in the breakfast and lunch basket. A simple, comfortable place to grab a coffee or tea.
These are great places to go for a super casual, local experience.
This place has been something of a surprise. And a very pleasant one. They have done so well at their Gulf Gate location that they had to take over the space next door that was formerly their seafood restaurant (SeaBar). And they have opened two other locations (Fruitville Rd. and Bradenton). This is elevated bar cuisine on steroids. I’m not sure of a better way to say that. The menu is creative, and the food delicious. Try The Diplomat burger, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
Yes, it’s been featured on national TV (Man vs. Food). But it is still a place for Sarasota locals to hang out. Especially late night. They are open until 4:20AM! Giant sandwiches filled with crazy components. It sometimes feels like someone spun a wheel of ingredients, and then created a sandwich. You have basically the kitchen sink on some of them. Filling, yes, but tasty too.
The Godfather rules! It’s the sandwich I’m talking about here. Italian prosciutto, hot capicola, Genoa salami, hot sopressata, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and hot giardiniera. How can you not love that? Vegan/veg? Their menu sports five delicious vegetarian sandwich offerings (The Siesta & Mediterranean are both great). They also have a nice, little Italian market here.
Our last local stop is the most local of all, Monk’s. Nothing fancy here. Just freshly steamed seafood and some great local craft beer to wash it down with. Everybody generally knows everybody that walks into Monk’s. If you haven’t been, don’t let that stop you. Stop in a make some new local friends.
One of the weirdest things about Gulf Gate.
A Taste of Europe (2130 Gulf Gate Dr., (941) 921-9084)
This must be seen to be believed. Lots and lots of international foods that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Sarasota. Caviar, Bavarian breads, spices, and wines. The array is almost head spinning!
Scandinavian Gifts Baked Goods & Grocery (2166 Gulf Gate Dr., (941) 923-4313)
Similar to a Taste of Europe, but with a Scandinavian tilt. This is way more than just food. They have got clothing, jewelry, dishware, and a lot more. It’s hard to see everything in the store, but it is worth making the attempt!
Oriental Food & Gifts (2212 Gulf Gate Dr., (941) 924-8066)
Cooking at-home Asian cuisine has really taken off the past few years. But it can sometimes be super difficult to find all of the necessary ingredients to make that recipe. This is the place where you can find some of those missing pieces. There is also some inspiration hidden in these shelves. A new dish for you to cook could be right around the corner.
One last thing that Gulf Gate houses isn’t so obvious by just walking the streets. It is the home of caterers, ghost kitchens, and shared prep spaces. These are homes to culinary professionals that don’t have a traditional restaurant space. If you are a food truck operator in search of a place to get all of your prep done, then this is for you. If that sounds like something you’ve been hunting for, Your Culinary Place (6592 Superior Ave., (941) 922-9222) can maybe solve that problem. Here’s where to get more INFO.
Whoa! Between parts one and two, there is a ton to eat here. But all good things must come to an end. This will conclude our little tour of Gulf Gate. Please don’t forget to return your headset before you leave the neighborhood. Thank you, and please come again.
SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS CALENDAR
We’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you! All you need to do is make that reservation. Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting…
LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET INFORMATION
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmers Market (Lemon & Main – Downtown Sarasota)
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (S. Tamiami Trl.)
EVERY SUNDAY - Siesta Key Farmers Market (Davidson’s Plaza, Siesta Village)
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