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Restaurants on Anna Maria Island rank among the best in the state, and for a seven-mile stretch of land, there are many!
Whether you’re vacationing in the area or live elsewhere in the Sunshine State, a pilgrimage to the unofficial foodie capital of southeast Florida is worth the effort.
A Little About Anna Maria Island
Set off the west coast near Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Island is a bit of preserved “Old World” Florida.
Wreathed in sugar sand beaches and crystalline waters, it’s an ideal American vacation destination — a place where you can shed stress and live the laid-back island life for a couple of days or weeks.
Live music, water sports, shopping, and gallery hopping are all at your fingertips while in town, and for a relatively small spit of land, places to eat on Anna Maria Island abound.
Looking for vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island? This guide reviews the very best places to stay on the island!
18 Best Restaurants on Anna Maria Island
Price range: $$$ | website | 941.778.6444
Picture it: the sun is setting, you’re relaxing in paradise, and gently lapping waves mixed with soft jazz provide a soothing soundtrack.
You’re sitting at a perfectly appointed table on a white-sand beach at one of the most celebrated restaurants on Anna Maria Island.
The food arrives; it looks like a work of art. You take a bite of the award-winning cuisine, and your eyeballs roll back in pleasure as every taste bud stands alert.
Readers, this dream is a reality at Beach Bistro, a high-end dining restaurant on Anna Maria Island.
Recognized for its excellence by “Zagats,” “Food & Wine,” “The New York Times,” and the James Beard Foundation, Beach Bistro offers four- and five-course meals prepared by top chefs.
Offerings frequently change, but guests can always count on seafood, meat, and vegan options.
Be aware that their menu isn’t a la carte. Everyone pays a flat menu fee, and upgrades are available.
Beach Bistro is more than just a restaurant — it’s a culinary experience.
Apart from major holidays, Beach Bistro is open daily from 5 PM to 10 PM.
Anna Maria Oyster Bar
Price range: $$ | website | 941.778.2662
Located at the end of the Historic Bridge Street Pier, the Anna Maria Oyster Bar overlooks the Intercoastal Waterway and offers everything from oysters to fried shrimp to sandwiches. Vegetarian options are also available. And yes, parents, there’s a menu for the “kiddos.”
Anna Maria Oyster Bar — which is open for lunch and dinner — is the quintessential seaside eatery, with large windows, strong cocktails, wood floors, and a friendly atmosphere.
Located at 200 Bridge Street, near Bradenton Beach, it opens daily at 11 AM. On weekdays, Anna Maria Oyster Bar closes at 10 PM; on weekends, the doors shut at 11 PM.
Island Time Bar and Grill
Every night, the Island Time Bar and Grill offers up good drinks, excellent bar food, live music, and a crowd that’s ready to let loose.
There’s no need to dress up for a night at the Island Time; just bring an appetite and a cheerful attitude.
Guests can choose between the bar and food menus, and the kitchen serves up delicious, flavorful comfort food. Kids are welcome, but be aware that things get rowdier later into the evening, especially when the band starts.
Island Time Bar and Grill sits in the heart of the Bradenton Beach section of Anna Maria Island and opens daily at 11:30 AM. Closing time is…flexible.
Anna Maria Island Beach Café
Price range: $$ | website | 941.778.0784
Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is your one-stop shop for food, rentals, merch, amenities, and drinks. The indoor-outdoor facility is near the Holmes Beach volleyball courts and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Sit at one of the beach-side tables, with sand below and an umbrella above, and chow down on a delectable sandwich, funnel cake, or salad.
Afterward, enjoy a cone of Edy’s ice cream — or a tropical cocktail if that’s more your speed.
The Beach Cafe often hosts live music events — so arrive early to secure a good seat!
It’s open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM.
Beach House Waterfront Restaurant
Price range: $$ | website | 941.779.2222
Sea-to-table freshness in an elegant-but-casual atmosphere is what the Beach House Waterfront Restaurant offers up — and they’re excellent at what they do.
Located in the Bradenton Beach section of Anna Maria Island, Beach House is an excellent choice for people who enjoy a serene dining experience.
Pick a table inside or check out the outdoor seating area, and feast on options from one of the more considered menus on Anna Maria. They even have a resident baker!
Go for the Oysters Rockefeller and stay for the Bourbon Salmon, Seafood Gumbo, and Pompano.
Beach House used to be called Harbor House and has undergone extensive renovations with a keen eye toward environmental concerns.
It opens daily at 11:30 AM. It closes at 9 PM on weekdays and 10 PM on weekends and is located at 200 Gulf Drive North.
Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café
Price range: $ | website | 941.779.2222
A trip to Anna Maria Island is incomplete without checking out Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe — one of the most vibrant restaurants on Anna Maria Island.
The eclectic shop-restaurant on the north end is a one-of-a-kind gem that will have your neck swiveling from side to side.
A treasure trove of local art, memorabilia, and novelty tchotchkes, Ginny’s and Jane E’s has been feeding bellies and handing out smiles for decades.
Ginny’s has you covered whether you’re in the market for some shell art, postcards, a bagel with lox, or a hot Reuben sandwich.
The cafe opens daily at 7 AM for breakfast, switches to the lunch menu at noon, and closes at 4 PM.
The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar
Price range: $$$ | website | 941.779.2222
Casual attire is welcome at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar — the food, however, is anything but! In addition to a seasonal menu, The Waterfront offers daily options derived from the fresh morning catches.
Expect to pay a bit more here than at other restaurants on Anna Maria Island — but understand that you get what you pay for: a premier waterfront dining experience.
The kitchen specializes in savory seafood dishes so delicious that you’ll let each bite linger in your mouth a bit longer than normal.
Located on the Tampa Bay side of the island, a few clicks away from the Anna Maria City Pier, this seafood restaurant opens daily at 11 AM.
It closes at 9 PM on Sundays through Thursdays and an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Freckled Fin Irish Pub
Price range: $-$$ | website | 941.251.3930
Wings, nachos, and burgers are the name of the culinary game at The Freckled Fin Irish Pub.
Plus, they’ve got plenty of drafts on tap, and the bartenders are skilled in the art of pouring a proper Guinness. Sure, you could order a salad and wine, but their strengths are bar food and beer.
Lively, ultra-casual, and frequently loud, The Freckled Fin is where to party hard on Anna Maria Island, and it reliably features some of the best live music in town.
Located near Holmes Beach in the AMI Plaza, you’ll recognize it immediately thanks to its bright-emerald exterior and giant mermaid mural.
The Freckled Fin is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 AM to 11 PM; on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s 11 AM to 2 AM.
Price range: $-$$ | website | 941.281.2990
An Austin, Texas transplant, Wicked Cantina specializes in Tex-Mex cuisine and burgers. Their food is made daily in-house, and the menu is extensive enough for everyone to find something that hits the spot.
The kitchen takes great care to use the freshest ingredients, and don’t forget to save room for dessert, especially if you have a sweet tooth!
Like many restaurants and lounges in the area, Wicked Cantina offers live music most days.
Open daily from 7:30 AM to 10 PM in the Bradenton Beach section of town, Wicked Cantina serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus happy hour happens daily from noon to 5 PM.
Also, consider the to-go pack. It feeds four and is perfect for nights when you’d rather eat at your vacation rental or hotel.
Price range: $ | website | 941.778.0771
Oma’s is the quintessential Italian restaurant and pizzeria. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is laid back, and the price is always right.
Their pies are handmade to order, and the menu includes a host of options, from veal to eggplant.
Oma’s is the ideal spot when you’re ready for a seafood break.
Located in Bradenton Beach, it’s open from 11 AM to midnight every day. Delivery and takeout are also available if you want to eat in for the evening.
Price range: $$-$$$ | website | 941.778.0444
As is the case with a handful of island eateries, environmental considerations take top priority at Sandbar, and the kitchen ethically sources everything that comes into the restaurant.
Situated directly on a Gulf-side beach, The Sandbar is one of the island’s most iconic and well-loved restaurants.
Favorites include the oysters, stuffed shrimp, and the grouper Reuben. The menu isn’t huge, but they have a couple of vegan options.
The Sandbar opens its doors Monday through Saturday at 11 AM, and it closes at 10 PM Starting hour on Sundays is 10 AM for brunch.
If you plan to head over, understand that they don’t take reservations. So expect to endure a slight wait. It’s worth it.
Gulf Drive Café
Price range: $$ | website | 941.778.1919
On the island’s south end sits the Gulf Drive Café, a friendly place where residents and visitors have been gathering on Anna Maria Island for over 30 years.
The Kokonut Hut is now part of the complex, so guests can choose to dine indoors or out.
“Southern Living Magazine” has voted the Gulf Drive Café the “best breakfast in Florida,” and locals consider it the ideal spot to grab a glass of chilled wine and sinful dessert.
Portions are large, and the menu is diverse — making it an excellent option for large parties with picky eaters.
The cafe portion opens every day at 7 AM and closes at 9 or 9:30 PM. The Kokonut Hut also welcomes diners at 7 AM, but it stays open till midnight.
Bridge Street Bistro
Price range: $$-$$$ | website | 941.778.1919
Atop the Island Time Bar & Grill sits a quieter, gentler option: the Bridge Street Bistro, which features a classic seafood menu and top-notch steaks. A kid’s menu is also available.
The Bridge Street Bistro’s kitchen isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel — and that’s a good thing. The daily menu includes fresh-caught fish prepared with butter and a side.
A handful of chicken and beef options round out the menu, in addition to yummy scallop and lobster dishes.
Guests can enjoy the Bridge Street Bistro from 5 to 9 PM on the weekdays and 5 to 10 PM on the weekends.
Rod & Reel Pier
Price range: $-$$ | website | 941.778.1885
One of the oldest Anna Maria Island restaurants, the Rod & Reel Pier has been serving up a taste of “old Florida” since 1947.
It’s located at the far north end of the island, and the building looks like a house. The downstairs is a bar and the upstairs a dining room.
It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you’ll likely come across more locals at the Rod & Reel than other area joints. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and seafood are all on tap.
The food is great, but not at all fancy. Flip-flops are fine at the Rod & Reel, and the conversation is usually friendly. It also has one of the best sunset views on the island.
The Rod & Reel is open every day from 9 AM to 8 PM at 875 North Shore Drive.
The Ugly Grouper
Price range: $$ | website | 941.896.8033
It’s difficult to miss The Ugly Grouper — after all, there’s a giant metal statue of an ugly grouper out front!
A very family-friendly restaurant, complete with nine televisions and games to play with the kids, The Ugly Grouper is one of the more laid-back options in Anna Maria.
Rain or shine, there’s live music nightly. And don’t forget to save money for the gift shop.
The menu features the eponymous fish in myriad ways — fried, baked, in a taco — in addition to shrimp dishes, clam chowders, fish and chips, burgers, and sandwiches.
Salads and wraps are also on tap. Speaking of which, The Ugly Grouper has an extensive drinks menu, and their cocktails are renowned throughout the island.
The Ugly Grouper opens at 11 AM daily and closes at 10 PM. Happy Hour happens between 2 and 5 PM.
The Doctor’s Office
Price range: $$$ | website | 941.213.9926
Named after the local physician who once occupied the building, The Doctor’s Office is a high-end craft cocktail bar, and some people don’t consider it a restaurant. But we beg to differ because their tasting-bar menu is superb.
Clearly, the Doctor’s Office is not a place to bring the kids. Instead, it’s a decidedly mature and elegant experience. Moreover, you need a reservation to get a seat, so call ahead or book online.
Seatings start at 5 PM nightly and last for an hour and 15 minutes. The last seating is at 9:30 PM.
The Donut Experiment
Price range: $ | website | 941.896.3172
Most donut shops make the goods in advance, and customers pick what they want from available options.
But that’s not how it works at The Donut Experiment. Instead, visitors get to choose from 20 toppings and fillings, and donut specialists prepare the custom pastry on the spot. It’s a unique restaurant on Anna Maria Island by far!
The Donut Experiment is a national franchise, and the one on Anna Maria Island is on the north end. But arrive early! It’s only open between 7 AM and 1 PM.
Price range: $$ | website | 941.778.2501
Since 1959, Duffy’s Tavern has been serving up ice cold beers and juicy hamburgers — beachside.
Soups and sandwiches are also available, but vegans should probably look elsewhere. A classic pub, guests can grab a table or eat at the bar — and casual attire is always welcome.
Duffy’s Tavern is open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 8 PM; on Sundays, the hours are noon to 8 PM. It’s closed on Tuesday.
We hope you found our list of where to eat on Anna Maria Island helpful. Bon appetite!