The Beach Bistro is a fantastic restaurant that offers a dining experience to remember. Several courses are served, or you can order how you like. Reservations are strongly recommended, but you can also try to grab a seat at the bar. The bar has a little more limited menu and provides some “lighter fare” options. If you are looking for a romantic spot with limited gulf views and price is no option then we strongly recommend the Beach Bistro. Average meal prices are well over $35, so be sure you are comfortable with their prices.
Younger children are welcome, but are not recommended if you plan on having a long dining experience. Parking can be a bit of a challenge but if you can find a “legal” spot go for it otherwise be sure to use their valet parking. One additional note, the seating for two is normally fairly intimate so be prepared to get to know your neighboring diners.
We’ve provided some information below to help you contact them or find them once you’re on the island!
The Bistro is located in Holmes Beach, FL
Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5 stars – based on 377 reviews
Great view of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Bridge is only the beginning at this wonderful local seafood restaurant on Anna Maria Island. The food choices at the Waterfront are fantastic. From wonderful fresh soups and salads to gourmet meals, salmon and steak. The Waterfront located in Anna Maria City also offers vegetarian choices as well that are made fresh and homemade right at the restaurant. Waterfront of Anna Maria Island is famous for their delicious fish taco appetizer and outdoor seating taking advantage of the wonderful bay views. The giant fish tank that separates the main dining room from the bar area is beautiful and adds charm to the dining experience.
The Waterfront restaurant also offers a wonderful selection of beers and wine from all over the world. UPDATE: The Waterfront now serves liquor and phenomenal cocktails. If you are in the mood for something new, ask one of the friendly bartenders for some suggestions. My wife loves the Jalapeno Margarita.
The wait staff of the waterfront in Anna Maria city is always inviting and prompt with their service. If you are in the mood for great service, great views of the bay, excellent food, this is the place for you to come as a family or as a couple. One last note, try the lobster bisque, trust us, you wont be sorry. It melts in your mouth.
Anna Maria – A long time landmark of Anna Maria Island, The Rod and Reel Pier employs a staff that are more like family than coworkers. Known to locals and tourists alike, the Rod and Reel has been serving islanders since 1947 until an unfortunate mishap on September 29 2013, when heat from a stove ignited the insulation in the wall behind it. Thanks to the quick thinking of the Rod and Reels manager Dave Cochran and off duty police officer Gary Sellitto all patrons were evacuated and no one was injured. In the aftermath of this event many of the employees who had worked at the Rod and Reel for years were left with no income and no real answer as to when the Rod and Reel would be open again, if ever. Regardless, Anna Maria Island has a way of looking out for its own.
All Island Denominations and the Island Food Bank Along with the owner Mario Schoenfelder helped employees by directly paying for employees rent, and purchased gas vouchers for local filling stations. J & J Graphics a local design company on Anna Maria printed and sold enough t-shirts to donate $11,115 to All Island Denominations for pier employees. Today after over $200,000 in renovations and upgrades to bring everything back to the classic look and feel. The Rod and Reel is now back to serving the best grouper sandwich on Anna Maria to patrons from all over. So next time you find yourself in need of a good meal, a great view or just a place to drop your line and relax, stop by the brand new yet same old Rod and Reel Pier.
No that’s not a typo, Mr. Bones BBQ off Gulf Drive makes grabbing a cold one an entertaining experience. Not only is their BBQ hands down the best on the island and in town, but also their HUGE variety of beer is placed upfront in a coffin for you to take.
Mr. Bones BBQ Coffin of Beer
Trust me it’s not as creepy as it sounds, in fact it feels quite normal in the Mr. Bones atmosphere to just simply drink a beer from the coffin and not even think twice about it. If you enjoy some well made barbecue and having a fun dining experience, don’t be afraid to come in to Mr. Bones.
The Donut Experiment is an amazing spot for donuts and coffee! When choosing breakfast on Anna Maria Island there is definitely no shortage of options. But there is only one place where gourmet donuts are baked fresh daily and topped with your choice of crushed M&M’s, Fruity Pebbles, Oreos and so much more.
The Donut Experiment
Located at 210 Pine Avenue, The Donuts Experiment is a staple of the breakfast community coming out with new and more creative recipes every day.
AMI Donuts is the brain child of Shawn and Cecilia Wompola. Shawn formerly a police officer and Cecilia, a retail buyer for QVC, vacationed to Anna Maria. They dreamed of one day making it their home. Their only complaint while vacationing here was the lack of good doughnuts on the island. What could be more obvious? Now, a year and a half later, you can stroll down Pine Avenue and be lured by that tantalizing smell of fresh, tasty doughnuts. The Wompolas will welcome you in the door of Anna Maria Doughnuts with a big smile and such a creative array of sumptuous treats like the Golden Grahams S’more donut or the all new the sriracha donut.
So next time you find yourself in need of a delicious pick me up, stop in and try some of the one of a kind recipes like Key Lime or the Cinnamon Sugar (personal favorites of Shawn and Celia) or the Maple Bacon (my
Anna Maria Island – You can buy a t-shirt that says “Life is sweeter on vacation” and I totally agree, but vacation is the best time to relax your regular diet a little and enjoy a treat after a delicious island meal. Anna Maria Island has some of the best dessert offerings around and here are a few of my personal favorites that I hope you can try.
Eat Here: Sean Murphy was mixing salty and sweet before it was trendy! The “pot de crème” is what I always order – a delicious thick decadent chocolate pudding served in a cute little glass jar with a sprinkling of sea salt on top. The combination of creamy, sweet and salty is just perfect. Kind of reminds me of the salt from the gulf.
Blue Marlin: Bring a friend so you can each order one of my favorites and taste – best of both worlds! The tropical bread pudding puts a fruity spin on a southern classic. The pineapple and orange sauce is amazing all on its own. Blue Marlin also makes a Guinness Chocolate cake with real Guinness stout beer in the mix! The chocolate is rich and the cake perfectly moist yet the hint of stout at the end of a bite is what makes this cake so different. Of course you should wash it down with a cold Guinness instead of milk!
Island Gourmet: They make a “grown up” s’mores sundae that I hate to admit you should share. I’m all about having my own dessert, yet this one is just too much for one person unless you made it your full meal (which is a good idea, actually!). They take the most delicious warm brownie ever made and on top goes delicious vanilla bean ice cream which has been rolled in graham crackers. The s’mores part kicks in with a marshmallow topping that is toasted to be just like a campfire treat. Caramel and chocolate sauce is drizzled on top and of course more graham crackers. Begin the sugar coma!
Sign of the Mermaid: Basically my suggestion for a delicious dessert here is to walk in, order ANYTHING on the dessert menu or in the pastry case and dig in. You’re welcome
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.
Anna Maria – Back in the day….When you walked into the IGA grocery store at 9807 Gulf Drive , you would most often find old Ernie Cagnina chewing on his cigar, barking at a stock boy or cracking jokes with customers. He always had colorful Gladiolas for sale when they were available. Ernie was a big part of Anna Maria Island. He served his community through volunteer work, as mayor of the city of Anna Maria and by quietly extending credit to members of his ‘island family’ if they fell on hard times.
These days, the store that has spent so many years serving residents and visitors, is busier than ever carrying on the tradition. No, you won’t find cans of corn neatly stacked on shelves, but you will find one of the best latte’s this side of the Mississippi (I highly recommend the “STAR WARS”), wonderful trinkets and treasures from local artists and kitschy, take home gifts (just to remind your friends that YOU spent time in paradise and they got a key ring!) .
Now Ginny’s & Jane E’s offers a WIDE variety of wonderful goodies; the cinnamon rolls are the size of a dinner plate, it took six different trials before they found the PERFECT corned beef for the bestest Rueben around! You can take your breakfast or lunch to the beach or hang out in the big casual dining area that is just as much a mish mosh of tables and chairs as the visitors to our beautiful island!
Breakfast entrees run from $4.95 to $9.00, for omelets to tantalizing scones and pastries, fresh fruit to waffles. Lunch is just as deserving of raves. Sandwiches, salads, soups, Panini and wraps will average $7 to $10 per person for a wonderful lunch of comfort food with a twist. It shows that the team at Ginny’s & Jane E’s are passionate about being a part of the great Island experience for our visitors and residents. Ice cold beer and wine are also available. How good can it get?!
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!
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
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!
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