Historic Downtown Sarasota has stood the test of time and remains the cultural hub of the city today. There's so much to do from high-end shopping to award-winning dining locals and excellent entertainment options. 

With its proximity to the Sarasota Bay, it's also a beautiful area to explore. Here are some of our picks for the best shopping, dining, and entertainment in Downtown Sarasota. 

Shopping in Downtown Sarasota

Mercantile Home & Apparel

Mercantile Home & Apparel is downtown's top location to find a variety of fun home goods and apparel. Their selection of handmade crafts makes the store a great quick stop to find the perfect gift. 

Mercantile Home & Apparel specializes in classic European women's apparel and jewelry, and they are open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Bohemian Bliss

Bohemian Bliss is a fun boutique that has pieces designed for the confident fashionista. They carry brands that convey a consistent theme like Alexis Bittar, Johnny Was, Samantha Wils, and Voltaire.

Bohemian Bliss offers styling appointments and, they take pride in providing this top-notch service to their customers. They are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Toy Lab

While big-box toy retailers are going out of business around the country, Toy Lab continues to thrive and remind Downtown Sarasota shoppers of a simpler time. This unique store carries popular toy brands like Playmobil, Star Wars, and Lego. 

Toy Lab also has a large selection of educational toys that will stimulate the mind. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

Dining in Downtown Sarasota

Owen's Fish Camp

Owen's Fish Camp is in a historic Burns Court cottage and is everything a good Gulf Coast seafood restaurant should be. You'll feel like you are back at an Old Florida fish camp at this lively establishment featuring indoor and outdoor seating. 

Some of the highlights on Owen's Southern-inspired menu include the shrimp and grits and a Low Country boil. Finishing the night off with a slice of their fried black cherry pie with vanilla ice cream is the way to go!

Related content: Best Seafood in Sarasota

Made Restaurant

Made has taken over Downtown Sarasota's culinary scene since they entered with their bold flavors in 2013. They work with local growers, farmers, and ranchers to make dishes featuring the freshest local dairy and produce. 

Made has earned rave reviews for dressing up traditional dishes like meatloaf and fried chicken. They also have a very popular brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Related content: Spotlight | Best Brunch Restaurants in Sarasota

Selva Grill  

Selva has a new take on Latin cuisine, borrowing flavors from many different cultures that have become part of Sarasota's communal fabric. Many flock to this Main Street hot spot to try their menu of ceviches. 

Selva has delicious entrees like Mirin Roasted Sea Bass, Atun a la Parilla, and Arroz con Pato. They have a fun late night tapas menu that can also be ordered in the adjacent lounge. 

Related content: Best Late Night Eats in Sarasota

Entertainment in Downtown Sarasota

Tavern on Main

Tavern on Main is the place to go in Downtown Sarasota for craft beer with rotating list over 80 microbrews, domestics, and imports. The staff has expert knowledge about their beers and can certainly point you in the right direction. 

Tavern on Main also has a list of fine wines, and the bar regularly has live entertainment and billiards, darts, and e-poker available. 

Burns Court Cinema

The Burns Court Cinema caters to film connoisseurs by showing first-run independent flicks. The Sarasota Film Society presides over the theater, and they regularly have around four films showing at any point in time.  

There are typically a few afternoon showtimes and one evening screening for the major films at Burns Court Cinema. The movie-going experience is also enhanced by the availability of beer and wine in addition to traditional theater snacks like popcorn. 

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre

If you are looking to laugh, head down to McCurdy's Comedy Theatre. The downtown spot has welcomed famous comedians over the years like Chris Rock, Jeff Foxworthy, and Larry Miller. 

McCurdy has shows Wednesday through Sunday. If you're looking to get into the comedy game or searching for another fun activity, they also offer stand-up classes through their Humor Institute. 

Make a whole weekend out of exploring everything in Downtown Sarasota and enjoy all shopping, dining, and entertainment that the city has to offer. 

Find out about more things to do in Sarasota by registering on 941area, your free guide to the Sarasota and Bradenton area.

Cover photo courtesy of PxHere