The Grasshopper, also known by its Spanish name El Chapulin, is a Tex-Mex restaurant in southwestern Sarasota, less than a 10-minute drive from central Siesta Key. At The Grasshopper, they abide by “Grandma’s secret”: make everything in small quantities so as not to jeopardize the quality of the food.
The History and Decor of the Grasshopper
While there are lots of great Siesta Key restaurants, The Grasshopper is well worth the quick drive to the mainland. The restaurant first opened its doors in Michigan in 1971 as a family-owned and operated Tex-Mex joint, and remains the same today. Since then, they have opened second and third locations: one in Ohio, and one in Sarasota, FL.
One of the most upbeat places to eat in the area, The Grasshopper is guaranteed to satisfy everyone in the family.
The atmosphere at The Grasshopper is anything but dull. Its terracotta walls are paired with bright green accents and patterned tiles. Hot chilies and floral ceramics hang from the walls.
Diner-style tables are covered with a mixture of simple, white dishware and bright Mexican ceramics in blood reds, vivid greens, and bright blues. The Grasshopper can accommodate a party of any size with a mixture of joinable booths and tables. If you are hoping to find a place to eat with a large group, this is the place to go.
The menu is chock-full of classic Tex-Mex food with a Grasshopper flair. Siesta Key and Sarasota are buzzing with places to eat, but only at the Grasshopper can you find $4.50 sangrias on Sangria Thursdays over guacamole-stuffed chimichangas.
The Grasshopper Special Wet Burrito is a must-try and a fan favorite. This huge burrito comes with standard ingredients – rice, beans, onions, cheese, and a choice of meat – and is doused in sauce and melted cheese. You’ll definitely need a knife and fork for this one.
Some of the other favorites include the Chile Relleno, roasted Poblano pepper stuffed with meat or cheese, Tamale Plate, and Barbacoa Taco Plate, which consists of pulled meat tacos with a side of rice and beans.
They serve a variety of tacos ranging from $2 to $4 for those who like to mix and match. Chorizo, fish, barbacoa (pulled meat) are among the options.
Desserts include a fruit burrito topped with whipped cream, fried ice cream, and buñuelos – flour tortillas fried and coated in cinnamon sugar.
Their “Lite Lunch Specials” offer smaller midday plates Mondays to Fridays. The prices range from $5 to $8. Some of the features include a small wet burrito, a half order of fajitas, a taco salad, and, of course, Taco Tuesday.
Vegetarians can enjoy veggie tacos ($2 each), fajitas, burritos, as well as The Grasshopper’s Veggie Chile Relleno, which is filled with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes instead of meat.
For the Niños
For the niños, their Little Amigos menu will certainly satisfy. For just $5.75, kids can get a smaller version of the enchilada, tacos, quesadilla, and burrito plates. For kids who are set in their ways, chicken tenders, hamburgers, and hotdogs are also on the menu.
The Grasshopper offers daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., and $3 all-day Margaritas on Mondays. They serve a variety of Mexican beers, including Tecate, Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, Sol, and Corona, and their pitcher of sangria is great to share.
Location & Hours
The Grasshopper is located at 7253 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, across the bay from Siesta Key. They are open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.
Looking for More Info?
Learn about even more great Siesta Key restaurants or Sarasota things to do on our travel guide.