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Must-Try Italian Restaurants in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice


 Written by Tara Caguiat for The Sarasota-Manatee Originals

Herb-filled aromas wafting through the air. Welcoming hosts ready to show you true hospitality. Renaissance decor and Italian opera setting the mood—these details are what make Italian dining experiences second to none.

Italian food is as varied as the colorful country itself, and restaurants may have completely different menus while staying true to authentic Italian cuisine. 

Expand your palate and go-to dinner spots at these authentic Italian restaurants in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

Buon appetito!

Bevardi's Salute! - Downtown Sarasota

Bevardi's Salute!

23 N Lemon Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

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Relax under Bevardi's Salute's twinkling outdoor lights in an unbeatable, central downtown location. Their comprehensive menu has multiple Bruschettes, fresh pastas and sauces, and your favorite Italian starters like Carpaccio, Calamari Fritti and Mozzarella di Bufala.

Café Baci 

4001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231 
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This Sarasota staple opened in 1991 and has since been serving Sarasota the finest Italian meals along with hilarious outdoor sign quotes like, "When an eel bites your hand with a pain you can't stand, that's a Moray." Try the creamy Lasagna Bolognese, the generously-portioned Flounder Francaise or the Vitella Di Abondanza—a sampling of three different veals.
Cafe Gabbiano - Siesta Key

Café Gabbiano

5104 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key, FL 34242

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Café Gabbiano offers private dining in their wine rooms along with indoor and outdoor seating right in the heart of Siesta Key Village. Start with a craft cocktail then try their homemade Truffle Sacchettini pasta dish, Scaloppine Mamma Lucia veal dinner or Pollo Milanese for dinner.
Cassariano Italian Eatery

Venice - 313 W. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285 | 941.485.0507

University Town Center - 243 N Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243 | 941.355.8615

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Stop in Cassariano Italian Eatery after a walk on Venice Beach. This authentic Italian eatery offers a full bar, outstanding service, fine dining atmosphere and superb housemade Limoncello! Consider ordering the Sea Bass Piccata, roasted rack of lamb with Italian herbs or walnuts and ricotta filled ravioli with gorgonzola sauce and pears.
Cassariano - University Town Center and Downtown Venice

Ortygia Restaurant

1418 13th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205

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Ortygia serves up authentic Sicilian food along with French and Mediterranean cuisine. According to their website, "Chef Gaetano serves up "Monzu" cuisine, a hybrid of Sicilian-French cooking that dates back to Napoleon's time." Treat your taste buds to dishes like Chicken Cannelloni, Scallopini of Veal and more!

Primo! Ristorante

8076 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

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Just north of Ringling Museum, visit the Italian restaurant with the first wood-burning pizza oven in the area! Primo! Ristorante has traditional Italian classics along with menu options like Grilled Octopus, Salmone Basilico and Pugliamia.

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