Sandra's Restaurant

From left: Sandra Ruhland, Tyler Hewitt, Heather Thorpe and Kristen Lee Hauser represent Sandra’s Restaurant in Punta Gorda, one of the many eateries in the city that was just named the No. 2 Best Small Town Food Scene.

Punta Gorda was ranked No. 2 in USA Today’s reader’s choice awards for the Best Small Town Food Scene.

Coming in first place before Punta Gorda in the national competition was Abindgdon, Virginia. Each town ranked in the category has fewer than 25,000 residents, but big food scenes. Punta Gorda was the only Florida location to make the list.

“We are thrilled to have Punta Gorda recognized by USA TODAY’s 10Best and delighted to have been ranked in the top of the list at No. 2 for Best Small Town Food Scene,” said Sean Doherty, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor and Convention Bureau Interim Director in a prepared statement. “Our town boasts a bounty of unique, local flavor to share, along with an amazing roster of restaurants offering exemplary food and drink, service, ambiance and experiences. We hope to see this contribute to a strong and positive recovery for the Punta Gorda restaurants so greatly impacted by COVID-19 and help to stimulate the local economy post-crisis.”

A full list of winners is available at


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