The allure of Anna Maria Island: the pristine beaches, the relaxed ambiance, and the sunsets that look straight out of a painting. But there's another aspect of this paradise that often goes unnoticed by many—a culinary scene that transports you straight to Italy.
Whether you're a vacationer who has just booked a tranquil getaway in one of our Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals or someone contemplating a serene escape, nothing says "not a care in the world" like a big bowl of fresh pasta.
Dive into the world of authentic pasta, creamy risottos, and pizza that tastes just like Nonna's. Join us as we explore Anna Maria Island and neighboring Longboat Key, highlighting the best Italian eateries! Andiamo!
Photo Credit: Natallia Harahliad
- Address: 5337 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: Chicken parmesan or stromboli
An institution of authentic Italian cuisine on Anna Maria Island, Vinny's Italian Kitchen in Holmes Beach is more than just a restaurant—it's a culinary journey that takes you straight to the heart of Italy.
Led by Chef Vincenzo, a native of Bagnaia, Italy, this establishment boasts over half a century of tradition and expertise. Every dish served, from the rustic pizzas to the savory plates of pasta, echoes the heritage of his family's recipes, passed down through generations.
The extensive menu, coupled with an in-house bakery and deli, offers patrons an array of choices, be it artisan Italian bread, mouth-watering sandwiches, or delectable pastries. And if you're looking to recreate the magic at home, Vinny's bake-at-home option is a perfect pick. The history of Chef Vincenzo, from his beginnings in family butcher and deli shops in New Jersey to establishing Vinny's Italian Kitchen in 2010, adds a layer of authenticity to every meal.
When visiting Anna Maria Island, missing out on this slice of Italy would be a culinary travesty. Whether you dine in or want to bring takeout back to your vacation beach rental, Vinny's promises a meal that satisfies the soul.
Photo Credit: Tatiana Bralnina
- Address: 5904 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: Burrata Antipasto Italiano or Lasagne Tradizionali
Isola Bella Italian Eatery, finds its roots in Sicily, near Mount Etna. The original owners, Alessandra and Gianfranco, brought with them a stockpile of family recipes and an understanding of Italian tradition when they chose Anna Maria as the location for their eatery.
Vicki and Dan, having worked with the original owners, took over in 2022 and have maintained the authenticity of the dishes while also adding flavors from various Italian regions.
The eatery emphasizes handmade pasta and sauces made from scratch, bringing the traditions of local Italian trattorias and ristorantes to AMI. The meal structure encourages diners to indulge in multiple courses, starting with an antipasto and concluding with a sweet treat.
Isola Bella also offers weekly specials and caters to younger patrons with an elevated kid's menu.
Photo Credit: AS Foodstudio
- Address: 201 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: New York or Sicilian Style Pizza
Oma's Pizza and Italian Restaurant in Bradenton Beach offers a relaxed dining experience focusing on hand-tossed and Sicilian-crust pizzas. In addition to their specialty pizzas, they also serve calzones and various Italian entrees.
The restaurant's ambiance is more laid-back compared to Vinny's and Isola Bella, making it a great choice for a casual meal. They provide various service options, including dine-in, curbside pickup, and no-contact delivery. For those with a sweet tooth, the tiramisu is absolutely mouthwatering!
Photo Credit: Sportrade.studio
- Address: 308 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: Taco or Buffalo style pizza
Pizza Social stands out with its commitment to authentic pizza-making. The pizzeria prides itself on its daily routine of preparing dough and tomato-based pizza sauce from scratch.
The highlight is the cooking process in their 700-degree imported Italian oven, ensuring each pie is cooked to perfection. Though the wait might be slightly longer than at typical takeout places, the end result is a pizza that stands out in taste and quality.
Many patrons rave about the well-balanced sauce, the perfect crust with the right amount of chewiness, and the standout Italian Sausage with its distinct fennel flavor. Beyond pizzas, they also offer fresh salads, with the Greek salad, dressed in locally made Farmer Boy Greek Dressing, being a popular choice.
Photo Credit: 5PH
- Address: 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, #104, Longboat Key, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: Traditional Lasagna or Melon and Prosciutto Salad
Located in Longboat Key, just a few minute's drive south of AMI, La Norma Italian Restaurant offers a blend of inventive and classic Italian dishes. One of their standout items is the Sweet & Savory Melon Salad, which combines sweet cantaloupe melon with mixed salad leaves, pumpkin seeds, "prosciutto crudo," burrata, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
While they do bring a creative touch to their dinner menu, traditional favorites like lasagna and the Caprese salad with burrata are available for those craving classic Italian flavors.
La Norma also has a lovely outdoor seating area, allowing diners to enjoy their meal amidst the serene ambiance of Longboat Key.
Photo Credit: Irina Mos
- Address: 6814 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL
- Price: $$
- What to Order: Lobster Ravioli
Ventura's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Longboat Key is the go-to place for an Italian meal. Offering daily specials at their bar from 3 pm to 5:30 pm and additional specials on Mondays and Fridays after dark, they have managed to keep the ambiance lively and engaging.
Patrons can enjoy their meal with a scenic view of Bishop's Bayou, choosing to dine indoors or al fresco. Their fun weekly highlights include "Wine Down Wednesday" at the wine bar, "2 for Tuesdays", and "Steak Thursdays".
But the offerings aren't limited to these specials; Ventura's presents an array of Italian dishes and hand-tossed pizzas to satisfy diverse palates. A recommendation for first-timers would be the lobster ravioli.
Photo Credit: Ossile
- Address: 2630 Harbourside Dr, Longboat Key, FL
- Price: $$$
- What to Order: Salmone alla Griglia e Funghi
Tucked away within the exclusive Longboat Key Club, Portofino Ristorante & Bar stands out as a yummy example of Northern Italy's culinary traditions. With a picturesque view of the Marina at Longboat Key Club Moorings, diners are treated to an ambiance that complements the authentic flavors on their plate.
The restaurant promotes the concept of shared plates, allowing patrons to experience a variety of their offerings. Highlights include the Prosciutto & Dolce Antipasti with its combination of honey roast figs, walnuts, and Gorgonzola dolce, and the Misto di Calamari Fritti, a crispy delight accompanied by lemon aioli.
For those leaning towards vegetarian options, the Bruschetta al Pomodoro and Spaghetti di Zucca al Pomodoro Arrostito al Forno con Parmigiano are must-tries.
A Little Bit of Italy on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island isn't just a haven for beach lovers and sunset enthusiasts. It's a culinary gem for those with a penchant for Italian flavors. As you stroll the sandy shores or admire the island's vibrant life, remember that an authentic Italian meal is never too far away.
Whether you're craving a classic spaghetti carbonara or an inventive Italian fusion dish, AMI and Longboat Key have got you covered. Here's to memorable vacations and unforgettable meals. Buon appetito!