Dining with a view – it’s on nearly every visitor’s Anna Maria Island bucket list! Whether you’re looking for a fine dining option or something the kids will think is great – there are restaurants all over Anna Maria Island and nearby communities that will fit your needs perfectly. Check out our reviews and information for more details as you plan your trip!
Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining is a must during your visit. Experience gorgeous sunsets over the gulf or views of the bay while you enjoy fresh Florida seafood or cocktails at one of the many waterfront restaurants.
Anna Maria City Waterfront Dining
The Waterfront Restaurant at the north end of Anna Maria Island overlooks Tampa Bay offering a casual dining atmosphere with fresh seafood, salads, steaks, and pastas. The Waterfront is a great addition to Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front dining. Stop in and ask them about their microbrew selection.
Just across the street from the Waterfront Restaurant is the Historic Anna Maria City Pier. The City Pier Restaurant is located at the end of the pier and has a great selection of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and of course seafood. The pier is also a great place to go fishing, and enjoy spectacular views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
If you look to the west from the City Pier towards the Gulf of Mexico you will see the Rod N Reel Pier. The Rod N Reel pier has a killer breakfast, beautiful views, and also offers lunch and dinner. Fishing from the Rod and Reel pier is a real treat. Another popular restaurant in Anna Maria City is the Sandbar Restaurant located right on the beach. The Sandbar Restaurant is a fantastic restaurant that has an excellent selection of steaks, seafood, and American cuisine. Find The Sandbar on Spring Avenue.
Holmes Beach Waterfront Dining
One of Anna Maria Island’s famous restaurants is The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach. The Beach Bistro is the best fine dining Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining option. The Beach Bistro offers fantastic fresh local seafood, prime American beef, and lamb, making this restaurant a must visit during your trip to Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a great place to have breakfast or a tea party try the Harrington House in Holmes Beach.
Located at the Manatee public beach the Café on the Beach is an inexpensive indoor and outdoor dining establishment. Try the all you can eat pancake breakfast it is fantastic!
Bradenton Beach Waterfront Dining
On the south end of the island in Bradenton Beach. Make sure you stop into the Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar perched right on the beach. The Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar offers Indoor and outdoor dining in a casual atmosphere with extraordinary cuisine. Just a short distance down Gulf Drive you’ll find Wicked Cantina. This restaurant is across the street from the Gulf, but does offers gorgeous waterfront views. Wicked Cantina offers fabulous Austin style Tex-Mex, hand crafted cocktails and great ambiance on their deck!
Just down the beach is the Beachhouse Restaurant offering beachfront dining and fresh Florida seafood, great beaches and great fun.
The Bridge Street Bistro in Bradenton Beach is just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and offers an open air bar with live music on the first floor. The top floor offers excellent food and amazing Gulf Views. Stroll down Historic Bridge Street toward the bay and stop in the Bridge Tender for a bit to eat. At the end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant, a great place to stop in as you are, and enjoy a cocktail, or dinner in a casual, relaxed atmosphere right on the Bay.
Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations.
Island Real Estate has an inventory of almost 300 vacation rental properties on Anna Maria Island to help you find the perfect destination during your relaxing Florida getaway! Book your next Anna Maria Island vacation today!
Here are 5 restaurants that will transform your Anna Maria Island vacation! While the beautiful beaches, friendly people and luxury family beach rentals are plenty to rave about, the island has a few eateries that truly affect the way travelers feel about AMI.
Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation
There is one thing people all over the world have in common. Eating. Everyone requires nourishment. However, food isn’t just a requirement, it’s often an emotional experience that started before you were even born.
Many of us can think back on meals that effect us on an emotional level. Like that casserole your mother made every Sunday when you were a kid. The way your husband makes that secret barbecue sauce recipe before firing up the grill. Or even that special meal you had during your travels in Florida.
These Anna Maria Island restaurants are the exact place to go for that meal you’ll think of years from now. These are flavors and feelings you’ll take home and tell all your friends about. Not only are these restaurants full of fantastic menu items, but they offer a glimpse into the island life. Each has a culture all of it’s own, but still connects with those unique local island vibes.
Rod & Reel Pier – Seafood with a view.
The Rod & Reel Pier has been serving up traditional Florida fare since 1947. Wonder up to the bay side of north Anna Maria, and you’ll find what looks like an old house on a small old fishing pier. There’s always people fishing and lounging outside enjoying the gorgeous views of Tampa bay, Egmont Key and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This is a nice place to relax. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists and everything is low key.
The menu at Rod & Reel is indicative of a typically simple and casual Florida eatery. Find basics like chicken wings, peel and eat shrimp and a Grouper sandwich. Each day you’ll find a different selection of fresh fish grilled, blackened or fried served with mango chutney or garlic butter.
This is the spot for a no frills meal with cold beers. Service moves at its own pace. The staff might be friendly, or they might be salty. Either way just relax and go with the flow. There is a bar downstairs and a dining room up top. Locals tend to prefer the bar seating. The beer selection is limited and mostly domestic, but this spot isn’t about fancy brews. Its about the experience of eating on beautiful blue waters, enjoying warm weather, doing a little lazy Florida fishing, and relaxing island style.
The Sandbar – Sunsets and Tourists
The Sandbar is the quintessential island dining experience. Toes in the sand dining room, sun burnt to a crisp tourists, fruity frozen cocktails and sunsets so pretty you just can’t even believe your eyes. This type of restaurant experience is why you decided on a Florida vacation!
The menu is more eclectic than one might expect from a touristy destination. A little bit of everything from southern home cooking to high-end seafood. Find things like shrimp and grits, sliders, fish tacos and even caviar too! The Seafood tower is a great option for tasting a variety of seafood including lobster tail, seasonal crab, shrimp, oysters, clams and smoked fish dip. Along with a lovely menu, The Sandbar offers a full service bar and a fantastic wine menu.
When you are looking for that fun beach bar vibe with a family friendly atmosphere, good food and accommodating service head over to The Sandbar in Anna Maria. There’s nothing like sitting in a crowd of happy vacationers all relaxing and watching the sunset while enjoying a great meal on the gulf.
Bridge Tender Inn – Salty characters and local culture.
The Bridge Tender Inn is where you’ll find a salty good time with funky local characters and some pretty decent food too. Finding those places that the locals frequent are what really makes a vacation feel authentic. Yes the touristy places are super fun. However, you have to find the local hangouts to really get a feel for an area, and this is one of them!
The Bridge Tender is nestled along north Sarasota Bay at the end of Historic Bridge Street. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating with a bar on the water and one inside too. There is nothing up-tight about this restaurant. Everyone is laid back and having a good time. The no frills staff are eager to please and have fun too, but not without a little of that salt life attitude only Floridians have.
The menu has something for everyone. Find crab cakes, burgers, Grouper and sandwiches. A lot of pub grub type of items, but with some nicer selections like roast duck and steaks.
The Bridge Tender Inn is extremely family friendly, but is open late to accommodate those looking for night life. From time to time you’ll find live music, and during Football season you’ll find a lot of Packers fans watching the games.
Grab a rum and coke and a crab cake and sit back with a view of the bay and the Anchorage. The Anchorage is the area in North Sarasota Bay where many year round residents anchor their various house boats. For many the Anchorage is not only home, but a way of life. If you hang out at the Bridge Tender long enough you’re sure to meet an Anchorage character.
Beach Bistro – Fancy fine dining and beach views.
The Beach Bistro is an award winning gulf front restaurant that will leave you amazed. Nestled in Resort 66 in Holmes Beach, the Bistro has been providing the island with fine dining since 1985. You won’t find anything else like it on Anna Maria Island and the locals will agree!
Here the menu offers only the finest ingredients. Find items like fresh caught seafood Bouillabaisse, foie gras, steaks and lobster too. Everything is of the highest quality as owner Sean Murphy’s primary goal has always been the pursuit of perfection. Along with an award winning menu, you’ll find an outstanding wine selection and a lovely full service bar.
Not a large restaurant the dining room offers an intimate setting great for celebrations, romantic evenings and special occasions of all sorts. Service at the Beach Bistro is above average in every way. You’ll truly feel taken care of as your server and support staff guide you through an amazing dining experience. Because the Beach Bistro has been serving the island for decades, you’ll always find locals enjoying their evenings here. It’s not uncommon for Sean Murphy to stop by your table as he loves meeting his guests in person.
Anna Maria Island has such a laid back feel that even this fine dining establishment still feels warm and welcoming. This dining experience is truly one of a kind.
Star Fish Company Restaurant and Market – The “real” old Florida.
Located in one of the countries oldest fishing villages, Starfish Market is an absolute must when visiting Anna Maria Island. The Cortez Fishing Village is located just over the Cortez bridge from the island. Everyday boats hull in fresh caught fish and seafood to feed Florida and beyond.
As you make your way from the main road through the village you’ll find quaint old cottages, tons of boats and a quiet neighborhood setting. Generations of families have been fishing from the shores in this community and it’s apparent as you look around. Many of the fishermen working for the Starfish fleet live in the village. You’ll feel like you have been transported back in time while in Cortez.
Star Fish offers both a restaurant and market. All restaurant seating is outdoors along the water where the fishing boats are kept. You’ll literally watch the days catch coming to dock while dining here.
The Menu is simple, fresh and classic old Florida Seafood. Find Gulf Shrimp, Grouper, Smoked Mullet and clams. Seasonal favorites include Stone Crab claws and Spiny Lobster. The side dishes are nothing but southern with cole slaw, hush puppies and grits. Order at the bar, find a table and the staff will call your name when the order is ready. Food is served in crisp white paper boxes. Bring cash!
Dining at Star Fish is something special. Sitting on North Sarasota Bay eating local seafood, watching the salt beaten boats come in, and Pelicans looking for a handout. This is the essence of what Florida once was, and continues to live on at Starfish.
These are the restaurants that will transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation in ways you never thought!
From mingling with locals, to enjoying a sunset with a group of strangers, to an intimate fine dining experience. Enjoy the true authentic flavor of the island life on your next Anna Maria Island getaway!
An Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving is a great way to spend the holiday with friends and family by the beach! Once you arrive, enjoy a relaxed location with family friendly activities and accommodations. You’re sure to love filling up on a turkey feast in tropical paradise.
Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving Guide
We have put together a list of everything you need to know about spending Thanksgiving on Anna Maria Island. Get ready for a family gathering you won’t soon forget with this helpful guide!
Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals and Accommodations
Island holiday rentals fill up fast on Anna Maria Island, but Island Real Estate still has availability! Whether you are looking to sleep a couple or even a large group, we have openings.
Bay View Inn 102
This Bradenton Beach Condo sleeps up to 4 guests with 1 bedroom. You’ll be just a couple blocks from gulf beaches, shopping, dining and free trolley stops!
Sunfish sleeps 4 guests with 2 bedrooms. This Holmes Beach duplex rental has a shared heated pool and is less than a block to gulf beaches.
La Casa O’Bar
A luxury beach front rental, La Casa O’Bar sleeps 6 guests with 3 bedrooms. Enjoy glimpses of the gulf and the heated community pool too.
This Holmes Beach rental sleeps 8 with 4 bedrooms. Enjoy a private heated pool and spa, and tons of kitchen space for making Thanksgiving dinner.
Just two blocks from gulf beaches, Sunset Glow sleeps 10 guests with 5 bedrooms. This platinum rated rental offers a heated pool and spa along with a gorgeous kitchen.
Thanksgiving Restaurant Openings
There are many restaurants open for Thanksgiving on and around Anna Maria Island. Here is our list of the five places to dine out for Thanksgiving on Anna Maria Island. These are not the only local options, but rather, just the places open on island.
There are some fun things to do during an Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving. Keep your friends and family entertained during the day with activities!
Beach It! A Thanksgiving on Anna Maria Island isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. The water might be a tad crisp, but the weather is sure to be warm enough for beach time.
Bike Rides are a great activity for the family. Enjoy sightseeing while you burn off all that food you ate!
Nature walks are a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving activity. Head over to Leffis Key or Robinson Preserve for beautiful wildlife viewing. Both these preserves are open dusk until dawn.
Trolley Hop. Ride around the island with the free trolley. This is the best way to explore those hard to find beach accesses of north end.
Pier Fishing. Head over to one of the island’s three public piers and bring your fishing pole too! All public piers have a blanket fishing license, so even visitors can catch their own island style Thanksgiving dinner. Fish off the Bradenton Beach city pier at the end of Bridge Street. Also find the Rod and Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier located near Pine Avenue.
Anna Maria- If you’re looking for exceptional seafood, you’re at the right place! With water surrounding almost all of Anna Maria, it’s no doubt our restaurants have access to the best seafood. All within 20 minutes of the island, here are four restaurants that you’re sure to love!
1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill
Located on the island, The Ugly Grouper is right across the street from our Marina Drive office. They serve delicious food such as grouper sandwiches and mahi fish tacos along with meals for people who don’t care as much for seafood. Also, all of their fish is fresh off the coast of Anna Maria, so you’re sure to get fresh fish. The Ugly Grouper has a history here on Anna Maria Island, as it was previously The Barefoot Tiki Bar and even before that a gas station! Take a look at the menu here.
Found on Manatee Avenue, Derek’s is prided on its ever-changing menu and good food. They serve wild pink shrimp pasta, blackened salmon and much more. Whether you want to have a causal luncheon or a fancy dinner, Derek’s is the perfect place to go. They do accept reservations and are open from 5am-10pm Monday-Saturday.
3. Mar Vista
Mar Vista resides in Longboat Key and is casual place to get great seafood. Some of their best dishes are a Grouper sandwich and Scallops Mar Vista. Another cool aspect of Mar Vista is its history on Longboat Key. It was one of the first structures built by Rufus Jordan in 1912 and has withstood hurricanes and erosion. Still in the original building, Mar Vista is an extremely interesting place to visit that has tasty food!
4. Starfish Company Market
If you’re wanting to cook your own or buy already cooked seafood Starfish Company is the perfect place to go. Located off Cortez, they sell locally caught seafood such as fish, scallops, and shrimp. Starfish Co. was started in the 1920’s and sits on one of the few remaining working waterfronts. With an absolutely gorgeous view, Starfish Co. is a must visit when vacationing here on Anna Maria.
Anna Maria Island – Fish Tacos have become a very popular cuisine in Florida with Anna Maria Island being no exception. Said to have originated from the Baja region of Mexico, Fish Tacos typically consist of a battered and fried white fish. The fish is then wrapped in a flour tortilla with a variety of traditional and non traditional toppings.
Anna Maria Island Fish Tacos
When searching for the best fish taco on Anna Maria Island there is no shortage of options. We have put together a list of 10 places to find fish or seafood tacos to keep your tummy happy. While perusing our list click on any of the restaurant names to read more about their offerings and location.
Located along the bay side of Anna Maria with a gorgeous view, The Waterfront offers Grouper Tacos on their appetizer menu. These tacos offer premium black Gulf Grouper seasoned and seared in a flour tortilla with pico de gallo, jicama slaw and cheddar jack cheese.
Offering two types of Taco’s on the menu, Eat Here has a Shrimp/Lobster combo Taco served with garlic butter, aioli, fruit salsa, and slaw. The second taco changes daily by the chef’s choice with options including the fresh fish catch of the day, steak or pork.
Our number five on the list is actually two restaurants under the same ownership offering delicious fish tacos with gulf waterfront views. Sandbar, located in the city of Anna Maria, offers blackened Grouper Medallions over slaw with corn and flour tortillas, served with rice. The Beach house, in Bradenton Beach, offers fish tacos fried or blackened with slaw, pico de gallo, and a sweet and spicy sauce, served with chips.
Located at one of Anna Maria Island’s most popular beaches, AMI Beach Cafe is directly on Manatee public beach offering all types of concessions, drinks, music and beach atmosphere. AMI Beach Cafe offers both shrimp and fish tacos, and is a great place to catch the sunset.
A locals hangout, the Bridge Tender Inn offers a gorgeous view of Sarasota Bay located at the end of Bridge Street. Sit inside or dine outdoors while enjoying their jerked spice Mahi tacos topped with lettuce and chipotle ranch dressing, served with black bean soup.
Located on the corner of Bridge Street with open air seating, Island Time Bar and Grill has a unique scallop taco. It comes lightly blackened with lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and coleslaw.
On the direct gulf front of Bradenton Beach, Gulf Drive Cafe offers three Mahi Tacos blackened with cheddar cheese and pico de gallo in a flour tortilla. These are also served with salsa, sour cream and Spanish rice on the side.
Inspired by Austin style Tex-Mex, Wicked Cantina offers several tacos on the menu. These include beer battered grouper, breaded shrimp and breaded lobster options. Each of these options are topped with slaw, pickled onions, cilantro and chipotle aioli served in a flour tortilla. All tacos come with refried beans and Mexican rice.
While visiting Anna Maria Island try these locations and see for yourself who has the best fish taco in town!
Bradenton Beach – Wicked Cantina Anna Maria Island offers the freshest Austin style Tex-Mex and American classics in a fun atmosphere.
Wicked Cantina Anna Maria Island
Wicked Cantina Opened their doors in December of 2014. Owners and former Austin residents Janice and Mike Dolan previously fell in love with Anna Maria Island on a trip. After the decision to make the Bradenton area their permanent home, Janice and Mike decided they wanted to bring a piece of Austin to the island, and that’s how Wicked Cantina got started.
Everything at Wicked Cantina is prepared fresh daily too! They offer a large selection of Tex-Mex, American classics and seafood. Fresh made sauces, and slow roasted meats give Wicked Cantina a unique and delicious flavor. The Menu offers appetizers like the fried guacamole bites. Also find soups and salads, Angus burgers with fries and Seafood dishes. Tex-Mex classics include Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas, Fajitas and Tacos. Feed the entire family at home with the Family Package Tacos to go.
Wicked Cantina offers amazing hand crafted beverages like Bahama Mamas, Pina Colladas and fabulous Margaritas.
Inside Wicked Cantina enjoy a vintage Austin cantina atmosphere with distressed wood and funky sophistication. The patio is a relaxing place to enjoy sunset and the hand crafted Wicked Cantina margaritas too!
Check out the Wicked Cantina Facebook or Twitter page for updates on live music.
head over to Wicked Cantina for a delicious Austin style meal. They’re open daily for lunch and also dinner from 11am-10pm.
Anna Maria Island – All over coastal Florida the Sunray Venus Clam is gaining recognition as a sustainable, and delicious new addition to the state aquaculture market, and Anna Maria Island has hopped on this new trend.
The Sunray Venus Clam has a softer shell than most farmed clams making it a little pricier on the current market. These Clams have a sweet briny conch like taste, and a large tender meaty foot. When frozen fresh Sunray Venus Clams have an almost 100% open rate; much higher than most species. Sunray Venus Clams grow from South Carolina to Florida and get to be about 3 inches long. They have a beautiful shell that turns a pink salmon color when cooked.
Recently Bruce Barber a Professor of Marine Science at Eckerd College has started research on Sunray Venus Clams around Anna Maria Island’s bay side. In July Barber received an $82,000 grant from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer service’s Division of Aquaculture to specifically study the eating and reproductive habits of Sunray Venus Clams. During the year long project, Barber will be studying a natural population of the clams just south of the Anna Maria City Pier to gain information to better inform shell fish fisheries like locals run Bay Shellfish company.
In Florida all submerged coastal land is state owned. Currently only 2,250 of 280,000 acres of this submerged land are leased for aquaculture. With such a great deal of available space there is a lot of potential for growing Sunray Venus Clams that could be a great boon to the Florida shell fish market.
Anna Maria Island restaurateur and partner at Bay Shellfish company Ed Chiles is on the forefront of supplying the Island with this delicious bivalves. Currently the Sunray Venus Clams can be found at all three of Chiles restaurants The Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Dockside. Chiles believes Tampa Bay waters to the north of Anna Maria Island are the perfect area to grow Sunray Venus Clams because of water temperature, quality and nutrient content.
Next time you visit Anna Maria Island be sure to support local aquaculture and try out Sunray Venus Clams.
Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island is the quintessential way to hang out in beautiful tropical climate! There’s nothing better than when going out to grab a bite to eat or drinks, having the warm island breeze surrounding you. Some of the wonderful restaurants I’ve listed below have beautiful water views of either the crystal clear Gulf or Bay, or an open-air setting directly across the street from the beach.
The fresh air of AMI always makes your food taste that much better and your drinks that much tastier, bringing you relaxing vibes that will be sure to lift your spirit. I have suggested different places from smaller and more quant spots, to casual any-time spots, to romantic night spots.
Bradenton Beach – Anna Maria Island is known for having fantastic locally-owned restaurants like Island Time! One of my favorite places to go on the island is Island Time Bar & Grill in Bradenton Beach. This is an open-air restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. You are right across the street from the beach to see the sunset too! While enjoying some of their delicious food, cocktails and live music, you’ll love the atmosphere!
They have live music 5-7 days a week. Have you ever been to a bar or restaurant and the band/singer starts performing and it’s just no good? It’s a bummer because it can potentially kill the good vibe going on. Well, Island Time always has great bands/singers that everyone enjoys! This restaurant is both family oriented and fun for a night out.
Island Time has awesome food. Every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve always liked what I ordered! They have an awesome 7 layer dip for an appetizer along with other great choices. You’ll also find really good sandwiches, lobster bisque, burgers, and much more! Don’t be afraid to try something new – you will love it!
I know when I’ve been at the beach all day I love to walk across the street to Island Time to get an ice cold drink! Island Time’s bar staff is all very nice and attentive. It’s no fun when you have to wait forever to get a drink! The staff is great and they acknowledge you as soon as you get to the bar. Check out some of their drinks specials below!
$2 Margaritas Thursday: $9.95 Fish & Chips
$5 Frozen Drinks Saturday:
Big Ten Network Sunday and Monday:
NFL Ticket Football
$12 Bucket of Bud or Bud Light
$4 Smirnoff Bloody Mary’s & Jameson Whiskey
Anna Maria is well known for its white sandy beaches and amazing Gulf front dining. But dinner is not the only time to discover one of the island’s culinary gems; breakfast IS the most important meal of the day after all!
It would be impossible to pick “the best” breakfast restaurant on the island, as each has a unique personality. Southern Living touts Ginny’s & Jane E’s at the Old IGA for a special breakfast experience, the fabulous Morning Glory muffin and the funky beach chic boutique. Sink your toes in the sand at the Sandbar during their Sunday jazz brunch. Please don’t miss the Sign of the Mermaid for breakfast either; as their Stuffed French toast is not to be missed. While visiting one of Forbes List of America’s Prettiest Towns, try the Donut Experiment on Historic Pine Avenue. For an international flair, the Island Creperie French Bistro located on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach serves up a myriad of selections. Also Havana Cabana in Holmes Beach is a great quick breakfast if time is tight!
Local favorites include the home style of Peach’s in Holmes Beach, the “specials board” is always something special! Minnie’s is a great little breakfast and lunch spot. A petite restaurant offering great service, an intimate setting and nice portions…be sure to bring cash, because Minnie’s, as well as several other local favorites are still cash only!
Discover your favorite breakfast spot by exploring the flavorful delights Anna Maria Island has to offer!
We are sorry, AMI Bring it is no longer in service. However, we still think the information page below can help Anna Maria Island Visitors with dining choices of Anna Maria.
People come from all over the world to see Anna Maria Island so we make sure to not disappoint. Our beaches speak for themselves; it’s nothing but blue skies over sands like powdered confectioner’s sugar. And when it comes to the food, you’ll find very few chain restaurants on this seven mile stretch of paradise. Food always tastes better on the beach and when it’s coming from well loved, local businesses.