Olive Garden is a great Bradenton Italian restaurant

Olive Garden is a great economical place to eat if staying on Anna Maria Island or in Bradenton, Florida.  The Bradenton

Olive Garden Restaurant has outdoor seating for the great balmy nights of the West coast of Florida.  The restaurant has a bar for waiting or just to eat or have a quick cocktail or bit to eat.  Typically the Olive Garden is a great place to eat for busy nights on Anna Maria Island.  The restaurant is about a 20 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.

The Olive Garden is primarily Italian although they do have a few traditional dishes.  Beef, Pork and Fish dishes.  The restaurant often offers all you can eat bread as well as soup or salad.

The Olive Garden has great spaghetti, chicken Parmesan, heck anything Italian is good.

Olive Garden Restaurant
4420 West 14th Street
Bradenton, Fl, 34207

Want another great Italian choice just off Anna Maria Island?  Try Oma’s just off Anna Maria Island on Manatee Avenue.

Beach House Restaurant – Outdoor dining and great Florida seafood

The Beach House restaurant is located in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island  just past the street light after the Cortez Bridge heading south.

Experience great waterfront dining on the Gulf of Mexico with breathtaking views and fresh Florida seafood. It is the perfect place for family dining with plenty of room for all the kids to play on the beach while you sip on a tropical drink and enjoy great food while listening to live entertainment by local artists. You can choose, if you like, to have your meal inside the dining room or on the waterfront deck. There is even a covered Gulf front area, which makes it perfect rain or shine.

Beside the regular lunch and dinner menus, Beach House offers a happy hour menu at the bar including delicious libations and small plates.  In addition to fresh local seafood you can find farm fresh produce on the menu. The Grouper sandwich is a popular menu item, but be sure to check out any seasonal offerings like the stuffed squash blossoms from Gamble creek farms.

The Beach House is a wonderful spot to enjoy a gulf sunset after a long day at the beach. If you like to take a look at some spectacular sunset pictures visit our Anna Maria Island  blog and get in the mood for a nice dinner at The Beach House.

It is also a great place to have a wedding. The Beach House is an award-winning location for beach weddings, receptions or any special event. Maybe if you are in luck you’ll witness one of the happy couples exchange their vows.

You can even do a little shopping in their gift and souvenir shop located at the entrance area of the restaurant.

The Beach House Restaurant
200 Gulf Dr
Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217
Phone (941) 779-2222

The Feast located in Central Holmes Beach is a top ten restaurant

A fFeast is a relaxing place to have lunch or dinner.  The Moveable Feast moved to Holmes Beach on

Anna Maria Island, Florida many years ago from Longboat Key and changed their name to just the Feast.  The restaurant offers dining in, pick up and delivery.  Delivery must be at least $15 at the time of this blog so check with the restaurant to be sure they deliver.  The Feast has plenty of staff to be sure you are serviced well and the restaurant can support about twenty tables.  The restaurant serves Beer and Wine.

The Feast offers a ton of variety.  Plain pizza’s or gourmet pizzas.  Pasta, Sandwiches, salads and hearty entrees.  Our party started off with the Firecracker shrimp which were very good and a healthy serving which was plenty for four.  The Greek Salad was very good and could have added Chicken,Shrimp, Scallops, Tuna or Snapper for $5.  The Caribbean Red Snapper sandwich was a big portion with two sides.  They have plenty of sides to choose from.  The Vegetables were good but the mashed sweet potatoes were to die for and seemed more like a dessert than a side.  Lastly we tried the full rack of barbecue ribs which fell right off the bone.  Pretty saucy but cooked to perfection.

The restaurant offers a few desserts like key lime pie and a brownie.  If your party is looking for a good amount of variety ranging from a sandwich to gourmet meal then The Feast is probably a good bet.  The Feast is in a central location in Holmes Beach.   Please note the pictures in this blog represent food provided by the Moveable Feast.

The Feast
5406 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
Anna Maria Island
(941) 778-5092

The Feast makes most local top ten restaurants.  Another local favorite sit down restaurant is the Waterfront in Anna Maria City.

Bridge Tender Inn restaurant in Bradenton Beach, FL

Bradenton Beach – The Bridge Tender Inn is a fabulous restaurant and full service bar situated directly on the intercoastal side of Anna Maria Island on Beautiful Sarasota Bay. Located on Historic Bridge Street just south of the sight of the first bridge that connected the Island to the mainland, the Bridge Tender Inn has an old Florida small town casual feel.

The Bridge Tender Inn offers more formal indoor seating and an open air seating area nestled into Mangroves just across the street at the base of the Bradenton Beach pier.  A locals favorite, Bridge Tender Inn serves fresh seafood including tuna, shrimp, grouper and scallops to name a few.  If you have already had your fill of seafood on your Anna Maria Island vacation don’t worry.  The Bridge Tender restaurant has duck, pasta, steak, ribs, a vegetarian dish and much more.

For a more relaxed atmosphere visit the bar style dining area.  The bar area often has live music, and is a fun place to dine with entertainment and endless Bradenton Beach character.  The restaurant bar offers a limited menu which serves a lighter fare than the formal restaurant menu.  The bar area outdoor seating has the island’s most beautiful views the intercoastal has to offer.

The name Bridge Tender Inn is of important significance.  Anna Maria Island’s first bridge to the island with motor vehicles is the current sight of Bradenton Beach pier. The men who operated the bridge were called Bridge Tenders.

For great food with an amazing view head over to the Bridge Tender Inn and enjoy a slice of old Florida charm.

Bridge Tender Inn and Dockside Bar
155 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-4849

Sweet Berries Frozen Custard and Eatery

Sweet Berries is known for the best homemade frozen custard in the area.  Sweet Berries has been voted “best in the area” every year since it has been opened! Sweet Berries boasts a family-friendly, small town atmosphere which is a very inviting and a pleasant experience.  Their food menu consists of Soups, Salads and Sandwiches which are all made daily. Prices range from $6-$10.

If you are in the mood for ice cream and have tried a few shops on Anna Maria Island then make the 10 minute ride down Manatee Avenue, State Route 64.  You won’t be sorry.  Sweet Berries Ice Cream is fantastic and worth the ride from Anna Maria.   Their specialty is a “Concretes”. Concretes are hard-packed frozen custard and absolutely delicious.  They are very similar to a blizzard and Sweet Berries claim to fame is they will hold your Concrete upside down as they hand it to you to show it is packed nice and tight.  Don’t worry, if you are looking for a simple, creamy delicious, ice cream cone Sweet Berries will fill the need.  If you are looking for a great family environment, fresh menu or/and great ice cream then SweetBerries is for you!  They do have an outdoor seating area as well as an outdoor ice cream order center.  Sweet Berries is open until 10PM and some nights until 11 PM.

Please go to the Sweet Berries website to find out more information and take a look at the menu.

Sweet Berries Frozen Custard and Eatery
4500 Manatee Ave West
Bradenton,FL 34209
(941)750-6771

If you are looking for more ice cream choices on Anna Maria Island be sure to visit our top 5 ice cream places on Anna Maria Island..

Minnie’s breakfast and lunch restaurant in Holmes Beach

Minnie’s is a great breakfast and lunch restaurant.  The diner like restaurant plays oldies music that the waitresses sometimes sing to.  It is seat yourself so if you see a table free sit-on-down.  There is a very large table close to the cashier which is used mostly for single diners.  Minnie’s is very local as you often see lots of folks stopping and catching up with each other.

Saturday’s and Sunday’s they serve breakfast all day, and normal days up until noon.  They have some great lunch and breakfast specials.  Be sure to bring your CASH as they do not accept credit cards.  I have had lunch and breakfast there several times and Minnie’s of Holmes Beach has always satisfied my hunger and the prices are very reasonable.  For breakfast they have Pancakes, eggs, breakfast sandwiches, as well as a few breakfast specials.

For lunch they have sandwiches as well as bigger meals with soup or salad.  The atmosphere is fun and in a central location in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island.  Stop in and tell them Island Real Estate sent ya!

Sorry no outside seating except for a few seats for a quick smoke.  As mentioned cash only so keep your credit cards at home.  Breakfast and lunch only.

Minnie’s restaurant
5360 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, Anna Maria Island
34217
(941) 778-4140

Need a few more choices for breakfast on Anna Maria Island?  We provide a great list of potential perfect fits for breakfast on Anna Maria Island.

Starfish Company Restaurant, great outdoor dining

Starfish Company

The Starfish Company is a fabulous restaurant just a short 5 minute drive from Anna Maria Island. It is just off Cortez road just past the drawbridge heading East of Anna Maria Island. The Anna Maria Restaurant officially resides in Cortez village and becomes the hub during the Cortez fishing festival.

Most will probably arrive by car however if boating is your passion then boat right on over to Starfish. Go East along the shoreline south of the Cortez Bridge. Pass the U.S. Coast Guard Station and A.P. Bell Fish Company before coming to Star’s back dock. Tie up wherever you can and the boat parking is free! By the way, just about every map I have viewed, Yahoo, MSN, Google messes up the location of Starfish Company restaurant.  Trust us, heading East from Anna Maria Island just past the drawbridge take a right on 123 rd Street WEST go two blocks and you run right into Starfish Company.

The Starfish Company restaurant has outdoor seating right at the docks. There are fantastic views from the dining area of the Starfish Restaurant and includes mangrove islands, Jewfish Key, Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach. You can sit out on the dock under the sun or under the shade the restaurant provides. The restaurant is more of a take out dining style and they specialize in simple presentation and great seafood. Free automobile parking is in the front by the entrance for the fresh fish market and in the rear of the restaurant by the water is the bar and dining area. Walk back behind the building on the right side. In the video below you can see the dining areas as well as where you order your food. Don’t go right to your seat and sit down and expect a waitress to take your order. It doesn’t work that way at Starfish Company restaurant. Walk up to the right side of the bar and order your food through the window. When the food is ready they will call your name or number.

Starfish Company restaurant has fantastic fish, clam strips, scallops, shrimp, and just about anything you would look forward to eating in a fishing village. My favorite are the hush puppies. Yes, that is right they server hush puppies as a side dish as well as chowder. The restaurant has domestic and imported beers as well as wines. For children they do have hamburgers, hot dogs and yes, french fries.

Starfish Company is a great very casual Anna Maria Island restaurant and although it is not officially on Anna Maria Island it is so close it might as well be! Be sure to check their schedule. They normally are closed for dinner on Sunday and Monday’s and serve a great lunch 7 days per week.

If you are looking for fresh fish their seafood market is a great choice for fresh Florida local seafood. For more information visit the Starfish Company restaurant and Seafood market website.

Starfish Company
12306 46th Avenue West
Cortez, Fl, 34215
(941) 794-1243

For another great seafood alternative try the Cortez Kitchen.  It is just a short 5 minute drive from Anna Maria Island and just down the street from the Starfish Company restaurant.

AMI Beach Cafe – Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

cafe-on-beach-front

AMI Beach Cafe is located at Manatee public beach on Anna Maria Island.  It is a great inexpensive indoor and outdoor casual restaurant located on Anna Maria, Fl.  The Anna Maria Island restaurant has seating outside under roof or under beach umbrella’s just feet from the gorgeous white sand of Anna Maria Island.

Continue reading AMI Beach Cafe – Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

The Ringling -The John and Mable Ringling Museum

The Ringling museum is a great day trip from Anna Maria Island into Sarasota. The museum is located right off Sarasota Bay just a short 30 minutes drive away. This is truly an amazing museum, and a must visit for art lovers!

John and Mable Ringling built their home and museum in 1927 and left their beautiful grounds and buildings to the State of Florida. The museum opened to the public in October of 1931. The history behind this gorgeous waterfront property is incredible, to read more please go to www.ringling.org.

The museum includes the Ringling Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, Rose Garden, Ringling Courtyard, and the Ca d’Zan Mansion.

Exhibits at The Ringling

You will fall in love with the historically significant art found here. Works from Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens fill an entire room. These pieces are huge and astonishing. Additionally many other famous names decorate the walls.

The Circus Museum is fun for everyone! Yes, this is the John Ringling of Ringling Circus. You will find interesting circus history, and fun things to see.

Ca d’Zan is the summer home of John and Mable. It’s like visiting a palace on Sarasota Bay. This mansion is one of a kind. You’ll never see anything like this luxurious home. The Ringlings held amazing balls and also loved entertaining here.

One of the galleries at the museum is for rotating exhibits. This is an excellent place to catch traveling shows.

The museum offers complimentary tours with admission of the Ringling Museum and the Circus Museum.

Saturdays at the Ringling Museum are family fun days with story time, exploration stations, family friendly exhibition tours and more all with paid admission.

Also located on the grounds, Banyan Café and the Treviso Restaurant are great for dining.

 Located at the end of University Parkway on beautiful Sarasota Bay.

For more things to do in Sarasota, visit our top ten list.