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Hidden Gem Alert: The Seemingly Tourist Trap That’s a Locals’ Hotspot

Photo credit: Mark Sickles

Photo credit: Mark Sickles

It’s the prime time of season and your spare bedroom – ahem make that couch for some – is occupied with visitors escaping the frigid temps sweeping the country. It’s hard not to take out-of-town guests to touristy places because let’s face it; they are in Florida, near the beach, and want a cocktail in hand, preferably at a tiki bar. We’ve pinpointed one spot that seems like a tourist trap, but is truly a hotspot with the local set. It’s not easy to miss the authentic-looking Lido Key Tiki Bar on the southern end of Lido Key. We happily stumbled upon it because there is public beach access nearby. It’s part of the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club, and has retained it’s original self before the Ritz-Carlton moved in and instead of knocking it down, took ownership of it. You can expect the best in quality and service, yet with a laid back vibe.

Menu items include typical beach-bar fare and hand-crafted tropical drink concoctions, as well as  beer and wine. My sister, visiting from out of town, declared the fish tacos were the best she’s ever had. We loved the relaxed authentic feel, while still getting top-notch food and drinks. They outfitted the bar area with a few picnic tables for dining and with a few Adirondack chairs perfectly situated to watch the stunning sunsets. They close nightly right at sundown and we could think of no better way to end the day with visiting family and friends.

Nicole Carbon

Nicole Carbon

Nicole Carbon is the Editor-In-Chief of VODA Magazine. She is based in beautiful Sarasota, FL. For over a decade, she has been writing for both print and online media outlets about food, wine, travel, and other lifestyle-related finds. She received her Level 2 Award in Wines certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and writes a monthly wine column in the Venice Gondolier Sun. She contributes to Edible Sarasota, writes a health and wellness blog, and various feature articles and content for other media outlets. Previously, she wrote two magazine columns titled “A Girl Walks Into a Bar,” and “Inside the Kitchen.” Her work has appeared in the Austin American Statesman, Austin MD, Austin Monthly, Austin Woman, Austin Man, Citysearch Austin and Los Angeles, CultureMap.com, JetBlue’s blog, SRQ Magazine, and the list goes on. She has also made TV appearances on local NBC and Fox news affiliates as well as Cooking Channel’s Eat Street.

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