Posted on 10/9/2023

10 Best Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

Ahoy, food lovers and island adventurers! When embarking on a vacation to the breathtaking Anna Maria Island, in addition to the pristine beaches and clear waters, the delectable dining spots scattered across the island deserve a standing ovation, too! Imagine enjoying a gourmet meal after a fun-filled day of snorkeling - you can't get much better than that!

We've embarked on this scrumptious journey to guide your taste buds through the winding paths of Anna Maria Island's culinary treasures.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the ten hottest restaurants to try while staying at an Anna Maria Island vacation home rental!

1. The Waterfront Restaurant

Photo Credit:  MrBrooks

  • Address: 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Grouper Tacos

Prepare to be swept off your feet at The Waterfront Restaurant, an easygoing yet elegant dining spot nestled right by the beach. Imagine indulging in globally-inspired seafood dishes as the calming whisper of waves accompanies your meal. No reservations here, folks! It's all about the laid-back, first-come, first-serve island lifestyle, adding a delightful spontaneity to your dining experience.

Anna Maria's premier waterfront dining experience is an ode to New American cuisine, effortlessly married with Old Florida charm. The Waterfront Restaurant's commitment to fresh, natural flavors shines through in every dish, providing delights for every palate, from the conservative to the more adventurous. Savor the exquisite Grouper Tacos, lightly blackened and nestled in grilled flour tortillas, topped with cheddar jack, jicama slaw, and pico de gallo - a true dance of flavors and textures!

If you've spent your day fishing on Anna Maria Island, the joy doesn't end with the catch. The Waterfront Restaurant invites you to enjoy your freshly caught fish in the most delectable ways possible. One glance at the daily menu, filled with the freshest seasonal items provided by local watermen and imaginative presentations, showcases their culinary dedication.

2. Rod & Reel Pier

  • Address: 875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Fried Oyster Dinner with Famous Onion Rings and Grilled Veggies

When it comes to hidden treasure dining experiences on Anna Maria Island, the Rod & Reel Pier emerges as a nostalgic gem. Tucked away on the far North end of the island, step into a "Little Bit of Old Florida" that's been serving traditional fare, local favorites, and famous fish specials since the swinging '40s. Ah, talk about timeless taste adventures!

Embark on a culinary journey in a restaurant that stands proudly on the Gulf of Mexico. The Rod & Reel Pier promises family-friendly, casual dining, offering the quintessential Old Florida experience. Choose to dine indoors or relish your meal on the quaint covered outside deck, bathing in the hues of a famous Florida sunset.

But the allure doesn't stop there. For a smidge of a fee (a modest $2), bring along a fishing pole and cast a line right off its dock and walkways. You can revel in the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria's beautiful beaches, and the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge as you wait for a bite on your line!

3. Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier

Photo Credit: Anna Shepulova

  • Address: 200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Pier Poke Bowl

If you find joy in shucking oysters and savoring fresh, ocean-kissed flavors, look no further than the Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier. This casual, kid-friendly seafood restaurant is a haven for seafood aficionados, sporting funky nautical accents and inviting outdoor seating on the water's edge. And hey, sailing in? Convenient boat parking at the pier ensures you can transition from seafaring to dining in a breeze!

Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier not only offers a tantalizing array of seafood but also presents it with a distinctive flair. Dive into their Pier Poke Bowl – yellowfin tuna served poke-style with a splash of ponzu with guacamole and quinoa; it's a dish that promises to satisfy your seafood cravings and then some.

The location is idyllic, allowing diners to soak in the vibrant marine atmosphere while indulging in yummy dishes. The panoramic views of the water only add to your dining experience!

4. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

  • Address: 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast

Welcome to Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, where the vibrant beachfront buzz marries casual dining delight, beckoning both the sunbathers and the sunset admirers. This relaxed spot offers a hearty spread of American grub and decadent ice cream, setting the stage for a fun-filled, sun-soaked feast.

Picture this: starting your day with an endless supply of fluffy pancakes as the waves lap at the shore in the distance. The cafe's fame rests in its "All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast," a morning brunch ritual you shouldn't miss! Like the island's relaxed vibes, the cafe welcomes all on a first-come, first-serve basis, ensuring everyone gets a taste of their favorite dish.

The cafe delivers more than a meal with amenities like outdoor showering facilities, bathrooms, changing areas, and volleyball. Enjoy indoor and outdoor Gulf front dining, complemented by the tunes of weekly live music and creative events on special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

5. The Ugly Grouper

Photo Credit: The Ugly Grouper

  • Address: 5704 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Little Ugly Clams

If you're seeking a straightforward and enjoyable spot to chow down on Anna Maria Island, cast your sights on The Ugly Grouper. This bustling eatery, marked by a quirky 3,000-pound metal fish sculpture, proudly serves up a range of seafood and burgers, not to mention refreshing drinks.

The Ugly Grouper is the go-to place on AMI for a laid-back dining experience. This entirely outdoor dining venue lets you relish your meal with a refreshing, beachy breeze, keeping the ambiance light and cheerful. Families and their furry friends are all welcome here.

Enjoy the simple yet satisfying pleasures of local seafood, complemented by live music daily to enhance your dining experience. The Little Ugly Clams features a pound of clams sautéed in a white wine garlic sauce, topped with basil, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Beyond the food, The Ugly Grouper offers various entertainment options. Engage in a friendly game of cornhole, catch the latest sports games on one of the nine TVs, and don't forget to snap a memorable picture with the colossal Ugly Grouper statue!

6. Hurricane Hanks

  • Address: 5346 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Grouper stuffed with crab cake

Hurricane Hanks, nestled in the heart of Holmes Beach, is a go-to destination for those seeking comfort food in a cozy, laid-back setting. Here, a delectable array of beer-battered fish, sandwiches, and burgers grace the menu, ensuring every diner finds something to satisfy their cravings.

Stepping into Hurricane Hanks, you're embraced by a casual and welcoming atmosphere. It's a place that locals and visitors flock to for consistent quality and heartwarming meals.

One of the must-try dishes here is the Grouper stuffed with their homemade crab cake, baked to perfection, and drizzled with a citrus beurre blanc.

7. The Sandbar Seafood & Spirits

Photo Credit: Teri Virbickis

  • Address: 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • Something Special: Fish Tacos and Grouper Reubens

Welcome to The Sandbar Seafood & Spirits, a beachfront haven where the allure of fresh seafood blends with the charm of a dining experience nestled right on the sandy shores of Anna Maria Island.

The promise of a tasty meal at Sandbar Restaurant is complemented by the unique experience of dining with your toes burrowed in the warm Gulf sands. This iconic spot has drawn people from all over, all in pursuit of a dining experience steeped in beauty, comfort, and good eats.

The acclaimed Fish Tacos served with coleslaw, lime crema, pico de gallo, cilantro, Bahamian rice and beans epitomize the fresh and vibrant flavors of the Sandbar's menu.

Although the high volume of guests currently precludes online or call-in orders, the warm sands and tantalizing flavors at the Sandbar eagerly await your visit.

8. The Doctor's Office

  • Address: 5312 Holmes Blvd. #B, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • Something Special: Lobstercargots

Looking for an injection of culinary brilliance on Anna Maria Island? Make an appointment at The Doctor's Office, a hip bar with a unique theme and an innovative menu to match.

In the quaint setting of a repurposed doctor's office, this spot serves up an array of craft cocktails and yummy bites, all prepared with real attention to detail.

Stealing the spotlight among the delightful dishes is the legendary Lobstercargots. This creation from Sean and Susan, featuring chunks of Novey lobster baked in a crock with garlic butter, is a culinary masterpiece echoing the innovation and quality that The Doctor's Office is renowned for.

9. Duffy's Tavern

Photo Credit: Duffy's Tavern

  • Address: 5808 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $
  • Something Special: Best Burger in Manatee County!

When it comes to casual dining with a hefty dose of character, look no further than Duffy's Tavern, a beloved local establishment.

Stepping into Duffy's Tavern, guests are greeted with a laid-back dining atmosphere filled with kitschy license plate decorations and a warm, welcoming vibe. The restaurant, a fixture in the community since the '60s, has earned a reputation far and wide for its famous burgers and icy-cold beers.

Beyond just burgers, Duffy's is celebrated for its array of appetizers and casual, family-friendly entrees. This family-owned restaurant embodies commitment, ensuring every guest, whether local or visitor, feels right at home in its charming island atmosphere.

10. Bridge Street Bistro

  • Address: 111 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • Something Special: Jerk Scallops and Key Lime Pie

Indulge in a blend of elegance and laid-back beach charm at the Bridge Street Bistro on Anna Maria Island, where the tasty dishes match the breathtaking views.

Perched in Bradenton Beach just to the north of Longboat Key, the Bridge Street Bistro provides not only spectacular vistas of the beach and the Gulf of Mexico but also a dining experience that brims with both taste and comfort. Guests are invited to savor their meals in a relaxed yet refined atmosphere, with resort-casual attire making it the perfect spot for a stylish, unhurried dining experience.

Don't miss out on the favorite dishes here, particularly the Jerk Scallops and the classic Key Lime Pie, each plate promising a burst of flavors that encapsulate the tropical allure of Anna Maria Island.

Be sure to visit during the Happy Hour from 12 pm to 4 pm, and enjoy discounted food and drinks, adding an extra layer of appeal to your dining experience at the Bridge Street Bistro.

The Best Restaurants in AMI are Waiting for You!

After a long day of beach lounging and sunset chasing on Anna Maria Island, there's nothing better than grabbing a bite at any of these fantastic spots. Whether you're into the laid-back vibes at Duffy's Tavern or digging the views at Bridge Street Bistro, there's a bit of something for every palate on the island.

And hey, after all that delicious food and drink, you'll need a cozy spot to crash. Check out Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals. No fuss, just comfortable and convenient spots to kick back and continue savoring the island life.

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