Best 4 seafood restaurants around Anna Maria Island

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!

Seafood Restaurants

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.

The Ugly Grouper seafood restauraunt
Stop in for a bite at the Ugly Grouper! Photo courtesy of www.bradenton.com

2. Derek’s

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.

Derek's seafood
Photo Courtesy of www.dereks-bradenton.com

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!

Mar Vista seafood
Enjoy yummy food along with a historic atmosphere at Mar Vista! Photo from www.tripadvisor.com

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.

Seafood at Starfish Company
Come visit Starfish Company for delicious food and a great view!

Derek’s Rustic Coastal Cuisine

Derekf’s Rustic, Coastal Cuisine is a new Bradenton, Florida  restaurant that I urge everyone to try!  It is located on State Road 64 (Manatee Avenue) about 6 miles from Anna Maria Island.  I have been driving by for months now, so I decided it was time to try it out and boy was I rewarded.

The chef/owner Derek Barnes has shaped his menu around rustic, coastal cuisine highlighting fresh seafood while offering his dinners something that is fresh, fun and casual.  Derek’s is perfect for the power lunch crowd, casual lunches, those special evenings, business dinners, private parties and also for families of all ages.

Here is just a little background on Chef Derek Barnes.

A semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Best Chef South award, Derek worked with Emeril Lagasse in the kitchen of Emeril’s in New Orleans before opening his own restaurant on the Gulfcoast in Sarasota.  Derek’s gift for creating distinctive, mouthwatering dishes has earned him Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon award, the “Most Innovative Chef” title in the Best of SRQ Magazine, and inclusion in the exclusive Zagat America’s “Top Restaurants” listing.

In case you were wondering Derek’s also offers a private room for business lunches/dinners, small sporting events, birthday parties, anniversaries or for that intimate gathering… say rehearsal dinner.  I was able to peek in the room since there wasn’t a party going on, and it looks to be a good size and comfortable!

My fiance and I aren’t food snobs by any means, but we do like well-prepared delicious dishes when we go to any restaurant, and Derek’s is both!

We wanted to sample a little of everything, so we started with the fried green tomatoes appetizer.  I am a Florida native and this was a staple in my house growing up, so the bar was set pretty high to see if this could stack up to my mother’s cooking.  Don’t tell mama, but these were way better because they paired it with a Dijon mustard remoulade.  My mama just gave us ketchup!

Prime Burger at Derek's Coastal Cuisine in Bradenton
The delicious Prime Burger at Derek’s Culinary Casual!

Next came the main course, and we both ordered the same thing which is pretty common when we go out.  We ordered their Prime Burger, but we added a little of that Dijon mustard remoulade I mentioned earlier.  I think Derek’s should bottle that remoulade, and sell it because I would love to have that in my house!  This burger comes with a side of extra crispy shoestring fries which happen to be a personal favorite of mine.   You probably guessed, but I also dipped those fries in that remoulade also.

I have to confess something… whenever I go out to dinner I am never able to finish an entire meal because I get full quickly.  I love this place because the portions are just the right size for me, so I don’t feel I am being wasteful for eating too little or feel sick for eating too much.  Plus we were then able to order dessert.  We had ordered the S’mores Cup which was the perfect size for sharing.  The melted dark chocolate hiding under the marshmallow was melted to perfection, and not too sweet. 

Derek’s doesn’t have a full bar which is OK by me because with a nice meal beer or wine is the perfect compliment.  I can only drink sweet white wine which doesn’t leave me with too many

Florida Cracker from Cigar City Brewing at Derek's Culinary Casual in Bradenton
Florida Cracker from Cigar City Brewing

choices, so I usually pick a Riesling or a Moscato.  They have the most delicious Moscato I have ever had, but you are not able to buy it anywhere as the distributor only goes to restaurants!  Looks like I will just have to go back soon if I want more.  My fiancé had a locally brewed beer called Florida Cracker.  I will admit he is a bit of a beer snob, so it must’ve been good because he went to the store to get some for the house.

The pricing is right in line with say Bonefish or Outback, but the food quality and presentation is definitely superior.  Stop in and see for yourself, and maybe we will run in to each other!

Derek’s
Rustic, Coastal, Cuisine

5516 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34209

Lunch:  Monday – Friday 11:30 – 2:00

Dinner:  Monday – Saturday 5:00 – 10:00

www.dereks-bradenton.com