The AMI Beach Cafe is a great toes in the sand dining spot! Imagine this, the beach, the sun, the sand, people watching, AND FOOD! It doesn’t get any better than that!
This is the perfect place for breakfast on the island. Enjoy your cup of coffee, maybe even an order of their all-you-can-eat pancakes, and take in the gorgeous Gulf view. Oh, you didn’t wake up for breakfast did you? That’s okay because they serve lunch and dinner too! Don’t worry they didn’t forget about you late risers. If you think I skipped telling you about putting on regular clothes, your wrong, I didn’t. You can wear anything here, your swim suit, pajamas, work clothes, wedding dress, anything. Ordering is quick, simple, and fun. Just pick your favorite menu option, place your order at the window, pay for the meal, grab a number, then sit back and wait.
An atmosphere like this is hard to find. Laid back people, sunshine and waves, live music, it is absolute perfection. Chances are, if you’ve been to the Island, you’ve most likely enjoyed a meal at the Beach Cafe. And if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? There is a reason not only tourists, but locals as well, love this place! They also have ice cream and shopping! Yes, you can cool down with a scoop of cookies’ n cream ice cream for dessert and then stroll right on into the gift shop for some island memorabilia.
Oh, and that’s not all!
The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe also offers beach rentals. They offer rentals for beach chairs, cabanas, and umbrellas. Even better, upon request they offer beach wheelchairs.
Where: 4000 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217 Phone: (941) 778-0784 Hours: Open EVERYDAY from 7:30am – 8pm
Breakfast ends at 11am Monday – Friday, and noon on SATURDAY and Sunday
Originally opening their doors in 1992, Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach is a staple restaurant on Anna Maria Island, and especially when it comes to barbecue. The restaurant itself is an extremely unique environment, which is prevalent as soon as you walk through the front doors. A large coffin stocked with a variety of beer for you to take and enjoy while you’re dining can be found at the entrance. There’s even a skeleton, not a real one of course, at the front of the restaurant which adds to the fun found inside the dining area. Feast on several different types of barbecue ribs, chicken, or beef. The baked beans are delicious, as well as the beans and rice. Not a fan of meat? No problem! Mr. Bones takes special care of their vegan and vegetarian customers and dishes.
“This care includes buying, when possible, organic and local ingredients. Or, like soaking and seasoning our own black bean recipe, and using organic quinoa as one of our binders for the black bean burgers. Just as we ask our customers with allergies to inform us when they order, we ask our vegan customers to let us know so we can take every needed precaution in the kitchen when preparing their meals.”
– Direct Quote from Mr. Bones Website
Mr. Bones takes pride on making their food from complete scratch. This includes all 5 of their sauces. And their BBQ sauces are so good, you’ll want to take some home with you, and luckily you can! They bottle and sell their original BBQ sauces AND their hand-mixed dry rub right out of the restaurant.
If you haven’t already visited Mr. Bones BBQ Restaurant, then you need to! Make sure you try their Mrs. Frost’s Strawberry Shortcake for dessert (if it’s in season). It is to die for!
MR. BONES BBQ:
. 3007 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
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?!