We had a great opportunity to visit Venice, Florida recently, and while we were there we had five must-dine experiences. Since this was our initial foray into the area, these were are first experiences. We didn’t have a bad one in the lot.

The Breakfast Cottage

The dining room is just half the fun at the Breakfast Cottage

Although our trip was to Venice, we found the Breakfast Cottage in nearby Nokomis. A great little eatery, it is bright, cheery and delicious. Owned by Bob and Brenda Hoover, the only thing that is more inviting than the decor is the menu itself.

There’s always a great list of their daily specials, recited dutifully by your waitress. But it seems that there’s little where you could go wrong in picking either a special or one of the items on the menu.

Our breakfast at the Breakfast Cottage was, in a word, delish

While there, I dove into the Tuscan Omelette with golden potatoes and thick, marbled rye bread. My wife had a selection of tomatoes, grits, golden potatoes and multi-grain bread. It was a wonderful culinary treat.

You can find out more at their website or follow them on a number of different social media platforms.

Blu’ Island Bistro

The Blu’ Island Bistro is described as “fresh, global cuisine.” The thing I liked is that they serve breakfast all day. This is another place that has a wonderful decor and a kitchen that really pays attention to what they’re doing.

The interior of the Blu’ Island Bistro is just fun,

When it comes to breakfast, there are omelets & scrambles, pancakes & french toast, eggs benedict or you can build your own breakfast. The lunch menu ranges from soups & salads to a full range of appetizers, sandwiches and more.

If you are interested, they have a very extensive website. Hint: you might want to call for reservations. This little place is very popular.

The Cafe Evergreen

We were poking around while looking for dinner and found the Cafe Evergreen. This is another restaurant located next door in Nokomis and another dining experience you do not want to miss.

Located in a restored post office, this is a place that uses clean, non-GMO foods and organic ingredients. They take them and “home-make” some of the tastiest dishes you’ll find.

They start early in the morning with breakfast. But unlike many “cafes,” they don’t close in the afternoon – but carry on through dinner.

I selected the Bison Burger with feta cheese and superfood slaw, while the wife had the Raw Avacado Sliders. Those were dehydrated onion bread made in the shape of a taco shell.

Our dinner was a great presentation of ultimate deliciousness.

They started us off with a bowl of soybeans, dusted with spicy creole sprinkles. Our meal was delivered quickly (despite the crowd) and everything was great.

It’s the kind of place you want to revisit, just to try some of the other menu selections.

There’s even a couple of outdoor tables if you would like to enjoy the day .

The Cafe Evergreen has an extensive website where you can see more of what they have to offer.

Joy’s Kouzine

This little place is tucked into a strip shopping center just east of where the US 41 Bypass cuts off the Tamiami Trail in Venice. We had been looking for a Greek restaurant and found this little Mediterranean spot.

Joy’s is tucked in The Bird Bay Plaza shopping center on the north end of Venice.

In addition to salads and sandwiches, they serve a variety of crepes and pitas. Although they had my favorite spanokopita, I opted for the Zorba pita- because they said it was bigger. It was very cheesy. Wife had the vegetarian pita. Both were generous.

Joy’s pitas were tasty

We had the joy of being waited on by Joy herself – the daughter of the owners. If you want to find out more, they have a website as well as a Facebook page.

TJ Carney’s

Our last meal before leaving Venice was at a place in the town’s historic district known as TJ Carney’s Pub & Grille. Although it has an Irish name, it serves much more American fare. They have a wide variety of appetizers, soups and salads.

There’s also a great selection of flatbreads, burgers and entrees. But as much as the burgers, TJ Carney’s might be as famous for their great selection of beers, wines and cocktails.

I had an open-faced Reuben while the wife had a veggie wrap.

In addition to the food and beverages, there’s live entertainment almost all week long. The night we were there, the handsome and exciting Ryan was playing and singing. As fortune would have it, we were seated almost directly across from the stage.

Ryan himself onstage at TJ Carney’s Pub & Grille

It was a good performance and not too loud. At TJ Carney’s they offer indoor and outdoor seating. The food is good as is the service. You can find out more at their website.

Again, this was our first trip to Venice and that area. It won’t be our last. There is a great selection of activities, and we only had time for a few. And as you can see, there were a lot of great dining choices. Stay tuned, we’ll go back and report further.