The Sarasota-Manatee Originals was established in September 2003 based on a shared passion to celebrate and preserve our community's culinary "sense of place." A group of 24 independent restaurateurs from Sarasota and Manatee counties joined together to become Florida's first chapter of a group of this kind. The Sarasota-Manatee Originals now boast more than 50 active members located from the northern tip of Anna Maria Island to Venice Pass at the southernmost point.
The prevalence of quality independent restaurants in the Sarasota-Manatee area is unsurpassed in the state of Florida. Within a 20-mile radius of downtown Sarasota, there are more Florida Trend Award and Zagat top-scoring restaurants than any other area in state. Remarkably, each one of these award winners is independently owned.
Our independent restaurant owners and chefs are obsessed with the flavors that define our region, yet are always looking for ways to incorporate interesting styles of cuisine from around the world into our own brand of SunCoast dining. Our motto is: "Eat Like a Local." We promise to serve our guests only the freshest food available. Our long-standing business and culinary relationships give us the distinct advantage of offering you meals prepared within hours of harvest from fields and waters close to our kitchens.
Our restaurateurs are famous for dishes that embody the flavors, color and culture of Florida's West Coast. Our fabulous menus offer locally caught or farmed seafood, fresh, just-picked fruits and vegetables and ever-inventive use of the best ingredients produced right here at home by chefs with a commitment to their suppliers, their customers and their craft.
Many of our member restaurants have been serving locals and visitors alike for 20 to 30+ years and have established a culinary heritage that simply can't be replicated in the corporate kitchens of Chicago, Los Angeles or Dallas. We live here, work here and play here.
From a casual meal on the beach to an exquisite four-course fine dining experience, we guarantee the meals you eat at member restaurants are freshly prepared using the best local ingredients combined with the famous heritage flavors of the SunCoast. It's what makes us The Originals!
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals exists to promote dining in independently owned restaurants and collaborates to serve the interests of the the independent restaurateur in our community.
We believe in preserving and enhancing our local culinary legacy though collaborative partnerships with our members, customers, vendors and community. When you join The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, you become a part of something special.
By joining The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, you get so much in return without paying a membership fee.
Increased advertising and marketing opportunities
Greater online exposure
Helping you do business
Free Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) Membership
All these amazing benefits are FREE!
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals exists to promote dining in independently owned restaurants and collaborates to serve the interests of the independent restaurateur in our community.
We maintain partnerships with various suppliers and vendors who support our group and our individual restaurants. These companies recognize and support our mission to promote locally owned independent restaurants. Our business partners provide financial support to our organization to fund our marketing program. These partnerships are unique to each supplier and mutually agreed upon between the company and The Sarasota-Manatee Originals.
There are several local businesses who provide a product or service that many of our member restaurants use or would use in order to operate efficiently. Once an Allied Member, your business will be introduced and endorsed to our member restaurants. Allied Membership may also be combined with Forks & Corks corporate sponsorships.
There are 3 different levels of Associate Membership:
The partnership benefits vary with the three different levels of partnership. Some very valuable benefits of joining The Sarasota-Manatee Originals as an associate member are: