Posted on 3/11/2024

10 Best Dinner Restaurants on Anna Maria

When you visit Anna Maria Island, it's natural to get swept up in the serene ambiance and catch yourself living on island time. While you might be busy enjoying your oceanfront vacation home, eventually, rumbling tummies prevail, and before we know it, it's dinner time!

With that in mind, we've compiled this list of the best restaurants to have dinner on Anna Maria Island to have on hand.

SALT Bar & Table

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker

  • Address: 2519 Gulf Drive N, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • What to Order: Blackened Fish with Bacon Braised Green Beans and Sweet Plantains

Similar to Italian cuisine, SALT Bar & Table in Bradenton Beach emphasizes high-quality ingredients prepared simply. Many of their entree offerings are cuts of meat or filets of fish served with your choice of sides. Although it may sound basic, the execution of the dishes is where SALT really shines.

The atmosphere at SALT is somewhere in between chic and family-friendly, making it a great option no matter who your dining companions are. It's perfect for either a date night, dinner with friends, or a family outing.

Bamboo Island

Photo Credit: Vladislav Kern

  • Address: 119 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • What to Order: Grouper Medallion with Shrimp, Mushrooms, & Capers

Bamboo Island Bar is an interesting restaurant concept brought to AMI by a lovely Brazilian family. The menu is completely inspired by their world travels, so you can expect a little bit of everything, taking you on a veritable global culinary journey.

It's the perfect dinner option when you're with a group of people who all want different things! You wouldn't necessarily expect chefs that wear too many hats to be able to pull off proper execution, but at Bamboo Island, they do it flawlessly.

The Doctor's Office

Photo Credit: James Peters

  • Address: 5312 Holmes Blvd. #B, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • What to Order: Lobstercargots

For a unique dining experience in Holmes Beach, try the small, shareable plates at The Doctor's Office. We absolutely love this concept, as it allows guests to try a number of different dishes without having to settle on just one!

The Doctor's Office offers small plates, tapas-style dishes, and larger plates for sharing. We are nuts for the Lobstercargots - their take on escargots, but, in the chef's words, "better than those chewy little slugs." Chunks of Novey lobster are baked in a crock to perfection with a garlic butter sauce that is nothing short of divine.

Just as delicious as their food options are the cocktails. This is the spot to be on the island if you're looking for legit, authentic craft cocktails made by a staff that knows their stuff.

The Bridge Tender Inn Dockside & Tiki Bar

Photo Credit: Warda Shafi

  • Address: 135 Bridge Street Marker 49, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • What to Order: Grouper Reuben

Locals and tourists alike have been frequenting The Bridge Tender Inn since 1989! This is the perfect spot for a casual dinner on Anna Maria Island that offers a fun ambiance and plenty of entertainment. BTI, as it's affectionately called, is home to live music seven days a week, Bingo on Monday afternoons, and 18 TV screens for catching any game you could imagine! There's a reason it's one of the most popular  restaurants in Bradenton Beach.

In terms of the food, think casual bar eats - but made really, really well. The menu is broad, showcasing a number of specialties with local ingredients. They're known for their Grouper Reuben, a grouper sandwich with sauerkraut, melted Swiss, Thousand Island dressing, and grilled rye bread.

Sandbar Restaurant: Seafood & Spirits

Photo Credit: Lorena Serrano

  • Address: 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL
  • Price Point: $$$
  • What to Order: Stuffed Shrimp

This beachfront seafood restaurant in Downtown AMI is among the most popular  seafood restaurants to grab dinner on island. With the soothing sounds of the Gulf waves coupled with the feeling of your toes wiggling in the sand, the ambiance cannot be beat.

The menu offers a variety of dishes featuring the freshest sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. The Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp served alongside Bahamian rice, farm veggies, and Beurre Blanc is absolutely mouthwatering. There are plenty of options for non-seafood eaters as well, in addition to vegan and gluten free options.

Unfortunately, if you're looking for some upscale takeout, The Sandbar doesn't accept online or phone orders during the busy tourist season - you'll have to come and check it out in person!

Wicked Cantina

Photo Credit: Pierre Suranto

  • Address: 101 7th St N, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • What to Order: Spicy Pig Burrito

If you're looking for a yummy, authentic  Mexican restaurant on AMI, look no further than Wicked Cantina. With a variety of Mexican, Tex-Mex, and American BBQ options to enjoy, there's a little something for everyone. The menu features items such as enchiladas, meat and fish tacos, burgers and sandwiches, burritos, salads, and more. We love the Spicy Pig Burrito, which is made with green chile pork, Jack cheese and Mexican rice. So good! Don't forget one of their epic margaritas to wash it all down.

Wicked Cantina has a fun, lively ambiance to it. With live music daily from 6 to 9 PM, it's easy to see how this makes for one of the most fun dinner experiences on AMI.

It's also a great spot to bring the kids, as their children's menu is relatively extensive in comparison to some other AMI eateries.

The Ugly Grouper

Photo Credit: Matthew Greve

  • Address: 5704 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • What to Order: Grouper Polynesian Boat

The Ugly Grouper is an island institution in  Holmes Beach. Almost like a rite of passage, don't pass up the chance to have dinner here while you're visiting Anna Maria Island. Another high-energy place to stop for a casual bite to eat or evening drinks, it's an ideal option if you're looking for a fun-filled night.

As the name insinuates, there are plenty of grouper options on the menu - but that's not all. You can find other seafood dishes, burgers, steaks, pastas, and plenty more. We recommend trying the Grouper Polynesian Boat, an extravagantly plated dish that features Blackened Grouper, Garlic Parmesan Risotto, and Seasonal Veggies inside a Pineapple Boat.

The kids will love the iconic grouper statue, a large-scale art installation that just begs for a selfie!

The Waterfront Restaurant

Photo Credit: JM Travel Photography

  • Address: 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • What to Order: Frutti di Mare

Dinner at The Waterfront Restaurant is a must for the highly coveted Old Florida vibes that Anna Maria Island is known for. Like the laid-back ambiance and friendly staff, the food here leaves little to be desired.

The kitchen staff at The Waterfront Restaurant heavily emphasizes high-quality, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients prepared in classic American style. The menu offers plenty of variety, whether you're in the mood for fresh seafood, a juicy steak, or a simple pasta dish. We love the Frutti di Mare, a tasty combination of perfectly simmered Linguini, Diver Scallops, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Basil.

For a truly unique experience, participate in The Waterfront's 'You Catch We Cook' partnership with  Anna Maria Charters. As the name indicates, the restaurant will prepare your catch for you!

Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier

Photo Credit: Joselyn Maria Pèrez

  • Address: 200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$
  • What to Order: Florida Lobster Tail

Located on the historic Bridge Street Pier in  Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier overlooks the intercoastal waterway for some superb views if you take advantage of their outdoor seating.

The menu is casual and offers some of the standard fare you'll find on the island. For an appetizer, you can't go wrong with the Southern Fried Oysters. For entrees, it's a toss-up between the Florida Lobster Tail and the Baja Chicken Breast. But the real showstopper is their homemade Key Lime Pie—a truly local dish if there ever was one!

One unique perk of having dinner at Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier is that you can also arrive by boat—docking is available!

Beach Bistro

Photo Credit: Olga St

  • Address: 6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
  • Price Point: $$$$
  • What to Order: The Tasting Menu!

For the ultimate date night experience in fine dining, Beach Bistro is the best spot to grab dinner on Anna Maria Island. Beach Bistro offers three different dining areas - the main dining room, the wine room, or beachfront. If you opt for beachfront, you'll sit with your toes in the sand, crisp white linen settings and an enchanting sunset as your backdrop.

In terms of the food, get ready for the special event of dining on AMI. While Beach Bistro isn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination, the five course Chef's Tasting Menu is well worth it. If you have any doubts, this  Holmes Beach restaurant has been nationally recognized by James Beard Foundation and the New York Times, among others!

You'll have several options for each of the five courses. The menu changes frequently based on seasonality and availability, so be sure to check their website before you go.

Come for the Beach, Stay for Dinner on Anna Maria Island

While there are plenty of delicious places to grab dinner throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Anna Maria Island restaurants are top-notch. With eateries catering to different budgets, tastes, and moods, you will surely find something ideal for your entire group.

Have you already begun planning your AMI vacation? Get in touch with us at  Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals today to discuss our vacation rentals.

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