Known for its sugar-white sandy coastlines and laid-back atmosphere, the island of Anna Maria located just 20 minutes from Bradenton is known for being home to some of the most gorgeous beaches around the Gulf Coast of Florida along with its incredible selection of authentic Floridian cuisines that you can find in one of the hundreds of restaurants situated around the island.
Since there are so many options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming when planning a visit to the exotic Anna Maria Island to know which restaurants are worth your time, effort and money, along with which serve the greatest selection of food and drink for you to enjoy throughout your trip.
Here are 19 of the very best restaurants to try out the next time you visit the beautiful and sandy Anna Maria Island.
1) The Sandbar Restaurant
If you dream of enjoying delicious seafood cuisine while looking out across the glistening sea while watching the sunset inside a warm and cozy shack restaurant, The Sandbar features a big menu with very fair prices.
Whether you’re only in the mood for a light dish of shrimp or a rich and chewy smoked haddock with a creamy smoked fish dip on the side, you won’t be spending more than $25 for even the biggest options on the menu.
Sandbar also offers a fantastic selection of gluten-free and vegan options, and with a wide interior with each table sitting close together, it’s the perfect restaurant to make some new friends while enjoying some of the finest seafood in Florida.
Location: 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria
2) Beach Bistro
If the quaint and cozy atmosphere of this upscale diner doesn’t immediately peak your interest, then the incredibly expansive food and wine menu definitely should with Beach Bistro being one of the most romantic restaurants in all of Anna Maria, especially when eating on the beach itself.
Whether it’s lobster, scallop, or steak that you’re in the mood for, Beach Bistro specializes in serving top-quality dishes, alongside serving some of the best desserts around including their creamy toffee pudding and chocolate truffle terrine.
With the vegan menu also having plenty of options to enjoy and with a wine selection that is constantly in a state of flux and being updated all the time, Beach Bistro is the perfect restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal in a quiet and intimate atmosphere.
Location: 6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes
3) Wicked Cantina
There are so many of us who just can’t get enough of the spicy taste and aroma of some Mexican cuisine, and there are not many restaurants you’ll find on Anna Maria that serve top-quality Mexican food quite like Wicked Cantina.
Pork is the main meat used in many of their recipes, from their enchiladas to their fan-favorite spicy pig burritos, however, they do also offer customers a few more ‘premium’ dishes that do tend to be a little pricier, but still taste incredible such as the Tex Mex burger which is topped with guacamole, salsa and jalapenos, along with a fantastic selection of spicy salads to tuck into.
Location: 101 7th StN. Bradenton Beach
4) Poppo’s Taqueria
When you’ve been venturing through the wide and expansive Anna Maria Island during the day, there’s no better feeling than enjoying some quick and easy grub at Poppo’s Taqueria which is a laid-back and casual restaurant that lets you choose the type of meal you want.
If you choose the taco or burrito, you will then get the option to add a few additional jalapenos, tempeh, pico de gallo, garlic, or even extra meat depending on your preferences.
For a quick bite to take home, or to enjoy in the small and confined wooden restaurant interior itself, Poppo’s Taqueria is the perfect place to pay a visit.
Location: 212 Pine Ave, Anna Maria
5) The Ugly Grouper
It’s incredibly rare to find many restaurants not just in Florida, but worldwide that offer customers the choice of eating a grouper, which many consider to be the best-tasting fish because of how it blends being soft, sweet and juicy at the same time.
The Ugly Grouper serves these scaly fish in many of their meals and while they are very big and quite hefty to consume, eating one is guaranteed to keep you full and satisfied for at least a few hours.
Along with the other excellent food options including shrimp cocktails, and a fantastic selection of beer and wine to sip on, the restaurant also has an incredibly lively atmosphere where you will commonly find live bands performing or karaoke being played, and with a wide interior giving everyone plenty of space when it starts to get busy around the evening time, The Ugly Grouper can’t be missed, especially with the huge metal fish laying outside the front door.
Location: 5704 Marina Dr, Holmes
6) The Donut Experiment
In the mood for snacking on a few small and appetizing freshly baked treats rather than a large and hefty seafood meal?
The Donut Experiment can easily be spotted along Pine Avenue for its bright and eccentric color scheme which reflects the vibrant and exciting texture and taste of their most prized menu item, their donuts.
The Donut Experiment allows you to choose your icing, topping and drizzle to make the donut of your dreams, and since they are also fairly cheap and incredibly light and refreshing to snack on throughout the day, it’s always a good idea to buy a few in a single box.
Location: 210 Pine Ave, Anna Maria
7) The Feast Restaurant
The Feast Restaurant prides itself on two things, its rich and flavorful seafood menu, and a large craft beer selection for customers to try out alongside their meal.
While they do serve all the delicious seafood you would come to expect from a restaurant with a reputation as good as this one, they also offer pre-made pizzas and salads, however, you do also have the option to add any toppings or extra ingredients if you wish.
The classy interior oozes style, and since its windows offer you a spectacular view of the calm rolling waves of the ever-stretching Atlantic sea, it’s considered a must-try restaurant for anyone visitng Anna Maria Island.
Location: 5406 Marina Dr, Holmes
8) The Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant
Maybe you’re venturing around the ever-expansive island of Anna Maria and just need a little pick-me-up to keep you energized and refreshed as the Floridian sun beams down with full force.
If so, Rod & Reel offers an incredible selection of mini seafood delicacies that are still packed full of flavor because of the additional seafood sauces and spices that are added in.
Some of the most popular options include the spicy jalapeno poppers, the easy-to-digest shrimp skewers, and the delightfully crunchy crab cake sandwich. It’s not just seafood they offer either, you can also order chicken strips or wings which can all be enjoyed while relaxing just inches above the sea along the pier.
Location: 875 N Shore, Anna Maria
9) Gulf Drive Cafe
While many seafront restaurants will need (see also: 15 Nashville Restaurants You Need To Check Out)to be situated on a platform above the beach, the Gulf Drive Cafe can be found on the beach itself, meaning you can feel the powdery white sand between your feet while you enjoy a mouthwatering selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
This tropical-themed restaurant was actually awarded as having one of the “Best Breakfasts in Florida” by Southern Living Magazine, and it’s hard to disagree when looking at the number of bagels, waffles, and pre-made breakfast meals you can enjoy.
When visiting, be sure to try out the Gulf Drive Omelette which features bacon, sausage, ham, onions, and cheddar cheese to make for one of the crunchiest and most appetizing breakfast items you have ever tried.
Location: 900 Gulf Dr, Bradenton Beach
10) Hurrican Hanks
If you start getting that familiar craving for some sticky barbeque flavor, Hurrican Hanks features a decent-sized menu including the likes of wings and spicy burgers, alongside a good selection of seafood ranging from island crab cakes to peel and eat shrimp.
Hurrican Hanks also features a full liquor bar, along with nightly happy hours which turns this restaurant into more of a lively pub when the evening rolls around, making it a great place to spend the day and see where the night takes you.
Location: 5436 Gulf Dr, Holmes
11) Minnie’s Beach Cafe
A big reason Minnie’s Beach Cafe is so popular among locals and visitors to Anna Maria Island, aside from the jaw-dropping view of the island’s landscape and the clear blue waves, is their daily specials which are constantly changing, keeping the menu new and fresh each time you visit.
Their standard menu also has a lot to offer, especially in the brunch department where you can enjoy some potato pancakes with a side of blueberries, ham steak, and beef hash just to name a few.
While their pancakes tend to be their most popular food option, the hot dogs and sandwiches offered by Minnie’s are also incredibly big and satisfying to chew down on.
Location: 5360 Gulf Dr, Holmes
12) City Pier Grill & Bait
While it only recently opened in 2020, the City Pier Grill & Bait restaurant has made a name for itself not only for the excellent customer service and great selection of food and beer you can enjoy, but also for the downright jaw-dropping aesthetic and scenery of the restaurant itself, especially at night when it uses dim, warm lights to make the whole place feel even more homely while you enjoy your food on the pier out at sea.
While you will need to book a table in advance when dining at the City Pier Grill & Bait restaurant, the extremely friendly staff make this incredibly easy so that you can get dining on the finest meat and seafood accompanied by a stunning view in no time.
Location: 100 S Bay Blvd, Anna maria
13) Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus
This German-style restaurant serves a fantastic (see also: 16 Fantastic Restaurants On The San Antonio Riverwalk)selection of not only popular German and Austrian cuisines, but also many European dishes that you can enjoy alongside their incredible selection of authentic German beer including Dunkel and Helles.
Their schnitzel is an incredibly delicious menu option, being breaded and fried pounded meat that is often served alongside creamy or spicy sauce depending on your taste preferences.
There’s even more food to enjoy from the starters, soups, appetizers, and the vegetarian menu which includes veggie sausages and potato salads.
Location: 3246 Bay Dr, Bradenton Beach
14) Anna Maria Oyster Bar
Far along Bridge Street you will find Anna Maria’s very own oyster bar, and while it does have an outstanding selection of oysters that you can choose to come in 9 different variations from steamed to stewed, all the way to fresh-shucked oysters, they also offer your standard fish and chips dish if you don’t want to spend too much, or just want to enjoy something familiar while gazing out the large clear windows at the deep blue sea.
When choosing a drink, there’s no better option than their signature key lime colada which uses frozen pina coladas and a little lime juice to make one of the most refreshing drinks you’ve ever tried.
Location: 200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach
15) The Waterfront Restaurant
While the global seafood dishes and affordable beer-&-wine selection already make this a stunning restaurant to visit, it’s the view that really takes The Waterfront Restaurant to another level where you can either relax with your food on the beach itself, or enjoy it on the patio where you get a stunning view of the skyway bridge.
While this is definitely one of the pricier restaurants on the island, it’s perfect when you want to make the most of your visit, or celebrate a big and important occasion.
Location: 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
16) North Shore Cafe
Located alongside Pine Avenue, North Shore Cafe is a small and casual restaurant that offers your usual seafood sandwiches, burgers, and salads selection, however, what really makes them stand out is their mouth-watering teas and coffees.
From their espressos to their smoothies, all their beverages are handcrafted in the store, giving you a warm and delightful experience each time you take a sip while enjoying some avocado toast or fruity acai bowls on the side.
Location: 304 Pine Ave, Anna Maria
17) Anna Maria Beach Cafe
If you want a restaurant you can easily access while sunbathing on the beach, the Anna Maria Beach Cafe is right next to the Manatee Public Beach and allows you to order food and enjoy it while digging your toes into the sand.
You also will be spoilt for choice in terms of the food you can order, from juicy chicken and seafood wraps to burgers, sandwiches, and a fantastic kid’s selection, Anna Maria Beach Cafe is perfect when you don’t want to wander too far from the beach itself to enjoy some food.
Location: 4000 Gulf Dr, Holmes
18) French Table
With an incredible selection of authentic French cuisines on offer, French Table is open from 6pm to 9pm every weekday so while you will need to catch it in time when it’s still open, it is well worth it for just how delicious the food selection is.
Guests can choose from either the 3-course or the 5-course menus where they can order a variation of French dishes from the popular soupe a l’oignon as a hearty starter, all the way to the caramel-like chocolate souffle, no matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your stay in French Table.
Location: 103 Gulf Dr, Bradenton Beach
19) Vinny’s Italian Restaurant
If you’re maybe in the mood for some Italian food rather than French or German, Vinny’s Italian Restaurant offers many Italian cuisines you can dream of from lasagna to ossobuco, along with the biggest selection of pasta and pizza flavors you’re ever likely to see.
With there also being a take-out option, feel free to leave with a starter or dessert after you finish the main meal, just in case you get a little peckish later in the evening.
Location: 314 Pine Ave, Anna Maria
Next time you explore the exotic Anna Maria Island and you start hearing your stomach grumble, try out some of these amazing restaurants(see also: 14 Amazing Restaurants To Try In New Orleans) that are all guaranteed to quench your appetite with their own unique menus.
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