5 Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation

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.

5 Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation

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.

Rod & Reel Pier
Rod & Reel Pier in the city of Anna Maria.

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 Restaurant in the city of Anna Maria.
The Sandbar Restaurant in the city of Anna Maria.

 

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.

Bridge Tender Inn
Bridge Tender Inn Bradenton Beach

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 in Holmes Beach.
The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach.

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.

Star Fish Restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village.
Star Fish Restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village.

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!

 

 

 

The Rod and Reel, back and better than ever!

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.

Rod-Reel-Pier-2

 

Great Island Real Estate Properties near by

Rest a Shore 838 South Bay

Grants View 412 South Bay

Sea Esta 890 North Shore 

Anna Maria Island Restaurants’ Christmas and New Years hours 2013

Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you have to cook. Anna Maria Island has plenty of options for your consumption pleasures. Here’s our list of restaurants that are open and closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day and Eve.

Santa on Anna Maria Island

Restaurant Phone Number Christmas Eve Christmas Day New Years Eve New Years Day
Beach Bistro 941-778-6444 5:30-10PM Closed 5-10PM Closed
Eat Here 941-778-0411 5-10PM Closed 5-10PM Closed
Sign of the Mermaid 941-778-9399 5-9PM Closed 5-11PM 5-9PM
The Waterfront 941-778-1515 11:30-9PM Closed 11:30-10PM 11:30-10PM
The Sandbar 941-778-0444 12-9PM Closed 11AM-9PM 11AM-9PM
The Beachhouse 941-779-2222 12-10PM Closed 11AM-9PM 11AM-9PM
Bridge Street Bistro 941-782-1122 1-9PM Closed 1-9PM Closed
The Feast 941-778-5092 Closed Closed 12-9PM 12-9PM
Bridge Tender Inn 941-778-4849 12-9PM Closed 4-10PM 4-10PM
Havana Cabana 941-254-4999 7AM-9PM 7AM-9PM 7AM-9PM 7AM-9PM
Hurricane Hanks 941-778-5788 11AM-2:30AM Closed 11AM-2:30AM 11AM-2:30AM
Ocean Star Sushi 941-778-1236 5-10PM Closed 5-10PM Closed
AMI City Pier 941-779-1667 11AM-7PM Closed 12-9PM 12-9PM
Rod and Reel Pier 941-778-1885 Closed Closed Closed Closed
Gulf Drive Café 941-778-1919 6AM-4PM Closed 7AM-9PM 7AM-9PM
Oma’s Pizza 941-778-0771 12-9PM Closed 11AM-12PM 11AM-12PM
Banana Cabana 941-779-1930 4-9PM 4-9PM 12PM-2AM Closed
Old Hamburg 941-778-1320 Closed 4-8PM Closed 4-8PM
Lobastah’s 941-779-1000 4-10PM Closed 4-10PM 4-10PM
Moore’s Stone Crab 941-383-1748 11:30AM-8PM Closed 12-9PM 12-9PM
Café on the Beach 941-778-0784 7AM-5PM Closed 7AM-6PM 7AM-?
Harry’s Continential Kitchen 941-383-0777 9AM-9PM Closed 9AM-9PM 9AM-9PM
Euphemia Hay 941-383-3633 4-9PM 3-9PM 5-10:30PM 6-10PM
The Chart House 941-383-5593 5-9PM 11AM-9PM 5-9PM 5-9PM
Mar Vista 941-383-2391 12-8PM Closed 11AM-9PM 11AM-9PM
The Columbia 941-388-3987 11AM-8PM 12-10PM 11AM-9PM 11AM-10PM
Crab and Fin 941-388-3964 11:30AM-10PM Closed 11:30AM-10:30PM 11:30AM-?
Cha Cha Coconuts 941-388-3300 11AM-6PM 5PM-12AM 11AM-12AM 11AM-12AM
Tommy Bahamas 941-388-2888 11AM-10PM Closed 11AM-5PM 11AM-11PM
Bonefish Grill 941-795-8020 4-9PM Closed 4-11PM 4-10PM
Carabbas 941-755-7712 3-10PM Closed 3-11PM 12-9PM
Outback Steakhouse 941-792-1898 Closed Closed 4-11PM 4-11PM

Anna Maria Island's Restaurants' Thanksgiving Hours 2013!

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If you don’t have any plans to cook at home on Thanksgiving, fear not! Anna Maria Island has plenty of restaurants that will be open for the holiday. Read the table below for a list of which business are open and which ones are closed.

Restaurant Phone Number Thanksgiving
Beach Bistro 941-778-6444 Closed
Eat Here 941-778-0411 Closed
Sign of the Mermaid 941-778-9399 Closed
The Waterfront 941-778-1515 Closed
The Sandbar 941-778-0444 12:30-9PM
The Beachhouse 941-779-2222 12-9PM
Bridge Street Bistro 941-782-1122 1-9PM
The Feast 941-778-5092 Closed
Bridge Tender Inn 941-778-4849 12-9PM
Havana Cabana 941-254-4999 7AM-9PM
Hurricane Hanks 941-778-5788 11AM-2:30AM
Ocean Star Sushi 941-778-1236 5-10PM
AMI City Pier 941-779-1667 Closed
Rod and Reel Pier 941-778-1885 Closed
Gulf Drive Café 941-778-1919 8AM-6PM
Oma’s Pizza 941-778-0771 Closed
Banana Cabana 941-779-1930 Closed
Old Hamburg 941-778-1320 Closed
Lobastah’s 941-779-1000 Closed
Café on the Beach 941-778-0784 7:30AM-5PM
Moore’s Stone Crab 941-383-1748 11:30AM-8PM
Harry’s Continental Kitchen 941-383-0777 2-8PM
Euphemia Hay 941-383-3633 2-9PM
The Chart House 941-383-5593 5-9PM
Mar Vista 941-383-2391 12-9PM
The Columbia 941-388-3987 11AM-10PM
Crab and Fin 941-388-3964 Closed
Cha Cha Coconuts 941-388-3300 11AM-6PM
Bonefish Grill 941-795-8020 Closed
Carabbas 941-755-7712 Closed
Outback Steakhouse 941-792-1898 Closed

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from the Island Real Estate family to yours!