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“Good food, slow service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Snook Haven

Snook Haven
5000 E. Venice Avenue, Venice, FL
941 485-7221
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Ranked #49 of 210 Restaurants in Venice
Price range: $3 - $13
Cuisines: American, Barbecue, Seafood, Sandwiches
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating, Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night
Description: This Old Florida location offers scenic views of Florida's river wildlife and tree lines. Seated right on the Myakka River in a county park, Snook Haven is an old fish camp with a menu featuring a variety of smoked and barbequed meats. Indoor and Outdoor seating is available. Snook Haven offers a variety of entertainment from canoes, kayaks and river tours to live music for your ears pleasure.
Manchester, New Hampshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Good food, slow service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

Just ate here last night. I really love the location. You have to drive down a narrow road surrounded by woods on either side. When you arrive, it feels very tropical, kind of Key West-ish. The restaurant is located in a summer camp/cabin type of building, on the banks of the Myakka River. There is a dirt parking lot next to the building. On the front of the building, there is counter-service where you can buy your food and eat it at the outside tables located there. Inside the building, there is a decent sized dining room, followed by another small dining room, and beyond that, outside seating overlooking the river. We arrived probably around 5:40 pm on a Tuesday night and the place was packed. It is seat yourself style and we could only find 2 available tables in the main dining room, and there were no tables anywhere else. They had live old-style country music, like Johnny Cash, etc. It's really not my style of music, but I can appreciate talent and the duo was quite good. However, the music was very loud, and the tables are crammed very close to each other. I don't mind loud music at a club, etc., but it's distracting to me when trying to eat. If it had just been a little softer it would have been great. It seemed like it took forever to get a waitress' attention. I honestly can't say how long, maybe 15-20 minutes or more? We finally signaled to a waitress (after trying more than once) and she brought us our menus. We ordered drinks and they took a surprisingly long time to arrive. Once the food was finally ordered, it came pretty quick. I had a combo plate of pulled pork, smoked chicken, corn on the cob, and baked beans. It was very good. There are 4 different styles of barbecue sauces left on the tables to choose from. My two companions ordered chicken, sausage, and pork ribs, along with homemade potato chips. I got to try some chips and they were excellent. Overall my dinner companions really liked their meals, although one of them did not care for the sausage and felt that the portion for it was small. The rest of the portions were very large. The prices were reasonable. I think the total bill was around $60, including tip for the 3 of us. Also, be aware that they go around from table to table with a bowl to collect money for the musicians. It was a different type of restaurant and I would definitely go again.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Terre Haute, Indiana
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Natural Atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

If Frank Lloyd Wright needed inspiration for a dramatic architectural entrance into a living space, the road that leads to Snook Haven would be it. Turning off North River Road onto East Venice Avenue transports you into an era of Florida that is only captured in history books. The sand road is framed by a dense tree canopy leading you to the old wooden restaurant snuggled up to the scenic & pristine Myakka River. Park your vehicle in one of two parking lots, or motorcycle in its own lot, and select a table outside on the deck overlooking the river or around the building, or go inside.
This venue is staffed by Sharkey's on the Pier, another classic restaurant in Venice, employees. They know you are there for a good time, & they enjoy a good time, too. Lunch & dinner are served. The food is not the typical tavern food. Some appetizers include gator bites, fried green beans, & frog legs. Main dishes range from fish (fried, blackened, or pan seared) to ribs, sandwiches (choice of Kaiser roll, hoagie, or garlic toast), smoked chicken, turkey, & pork. There are salads, wraps, & desserts. The BEST DEAL is the PICK TWO: 2 meats, choice of 2 sides, & garlic toast. Use it as a share plate or order different items & have your own buffet with your party. A bit of a down side for my husband & I, though, were the fried items; gave us heartburn. The up side was we really enjoyed the smoked meats...and beer. Give the Jai Alai IPA a try.; brewed out of Tampa.
Entertainment was a part of the experience, also. We went for the first time (Yes, we returned 4 times in a 3 week period.) on a Fri., & there was a band outside with a guitar player/singer on the inside. We especially liked Thurs., from 11AM -1:30PM because the Banjo Society puts on a great show. This is a group of volunteers that either know how to play the banjo or are interested in learning how to play. They have some marvelous singers in the group, too. One of their altruisms is to share their talents in the local schools giving students banjo lessons & supporting music programs. A free will offering was taken to supplement their altruism.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Endwell, New York
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Rustic and Fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

We're so glad that we learned about Snook Haven. Set well back in the trees at the end of a dirt road along the Myakka River, it's like a step back in time. Rustic setting, with tree trunks growing into the restaurant building and deck, very casual and laid back. Friendly wait staff. We came at 2:00pm on a recent Saturday. It's very popular. A band was playing on the outside stage from noon to 4pm, and Saturday happy hour was in effect, with reduced prices on beer. The restaurant's website has an events calendar where you can see when live music is scheduled and who's playing. The grounds in front of the restaurant have picnic tables, and it's near the stage. The music can be loud enough to make conversation difficult, and smoking is permitted in this area. We chose to check out the back deck along the river, accessed through the restaurant. No smoking is allowed on the back deck, and you can still hear the band, but at a reduced volume that's perfect for conversation. There are umbrellas at most of the deck tables, which have chairs. Inside the restaurant and on the front grounds it's mostly benches.
We had the fried green tomatoes appetizer, the brown sugar baked salmon special, and the salmon fish tacos. All were very tasty. The beer was icy cold, and we shared a key lime tart for dessert. Bees are sometimes present on the back deck, but the staff will happily move you inside if it's a problem. The river views are wonderful. The restaurant is operated by the same family that owns Sharky's and Fins. We are definitely coming back!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Real old Florida with great music”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

OK, so my buddy was playing in the band, so I have to compliment the music :-)

But what a great location, the staff are really friendly and the food is far better than expected.

Wonderful shrimp and pork with a really relaxed atmosphere, a place that must be tried at least once.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Sarasota, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Old Florida”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

Went for lunch with visiting relatives from the cold north. Place has been updated but the atmosphere remains pretty much the same as it was. Sat outside by the river with a nice view. Our server was quick to get our drink orders, although the pitcher of beer seemed to take a bit long she got our food request. Kept us posted as to when the food would arrive. The free hush-puppies was a nice touch. Two had the maple glazed salmon special and reported it excellent. Included sides were more than adequate. The shrimp poorboy was delicious. Tasty shrimp and a spicy remoulade sauce made the sandwich. The home made potato chips are a must have. Noted the price of a pitcher of beer was very reasonable for this area and time of year.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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