Florida’s Anna Maria Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the US. With its sugar-white beach coastline, this gorgeous barrier island has everything you need for a memorable vacation.
Anna Maria Island is also home to many amazing restaurants where you can enjoy everything from local American classics and seafood to international cuisine.
Whether you wish to have a meal at a low-key burger joint or want to pay a visit to a fine dining establishment, the island provides plenty of options for an unforgettable dining experience. To help you decide where to go, we’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island Restaurants
Anna Maria Beach Café
You will find the iconic Anna Maria Beach Café right on the popular Manatee Public Beach. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this laid-back beachfront café offers classic American cuisine and refreshing cocktails. It’s a perfect place to grab a bite while sunbathing on the beach. Relax on their shady patio decorated with colorful umbrellas and plastic tables.
Breakfast options are plentiful and include everything from egg dishes and biscuits to pancakes and Belgian waffles. The lunch menu is also amazing and includes salads, coleslaws, and burgers. In the evening, you can choose a dish from their innovative seafood and fish menu. It is also worth mentioning that Anna Maria Beach Café hosts live music performances every evening.
- Address: 4000 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-778-0784
If you are in the mood for some Mexican cuisine while vacationing on Anna Maria Island in Florida, book a table at the Wicked Cantina. Located right across Bradenton Beach, this cozy Mexican restaurant serves a wide range of classic Mexican foods. Along in the lines of pork enchiladas, shrimp tacos, cheese quesadillas, and spicy pig burritos. Meat lovers will definitely want to order the mouthwatering Tex Mex Burger topped with queso, guacamole, salsa, and freshly grilled jalapeños.
If you are into salads, go for the Mexican Caesar Salad or grab Fajita and Greens (Beef or chicken fajitas, mixed greens, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, house blend of cheese, and tortilla strips).
Wicked Cantina also offers a kids’ menu with options like corn dogs, chicken strips, and bean and cheese burritos. We should also mention that this charming Mexican restaurant on Anna Maria Island is reasonably priced. For instance, Cantina shrimp will set you back $10.
- Address: 101 7th St N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-281-2990
The Donut Experiment
Did someone mention gourmet donuts? One of the most popular eateries on Anna Maria Island, the Donut Experiment (Which used to be known as Anna Maria Donuts) serves the best made-to-order donuts ever. The procedure here is simple! The friendly staff makes a fresh cake donut and then you get to choose your icing, toppings, and drizzles.
Fan of chocolate, maple, or caramel? It doesn’t really matter, as all of their icings are top-notch! Topping options are plentiful and include coconut, nuts, sprinkles, and much more. The only thing left to do is opt for one of their drizzles with fruit flavors. Go for the peanut butter or get the raspberry drizzle. Visitors should keep in mind that Donut Experiment is a busy joint, which means that you’ll probably need to wait in line for a bit.
- Address: 210c Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-896-3172
A fast-casual-style restaurant on Anna Maria Island, Poppo’s Taqueria is an ideal spot for a late-night snack. This family-owned mini-chain eatery is all about made-to-order tacos, bowls, and burritos. Yes, the menu is on the small side, but the food is absolutely delicious.
Guests can choose from a plethora of ingredients and toppings including tempeh, pickled cabbage, spicy jalapeno relish, pico de gallo, chicken, and steak. If you are looking for fresh and tasty Mexican-style fare, Poppo’s Taqueria on Anna Maria Island will satisfy your food craving.
- Address: 212C Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-254-7941
Gulf Drive Café
Located right on the beach, Gulf Drive Café offers fabulous outdoor seating with magnificent water views. The food menu at this casual beachfront eatery is extensive with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to choose from. For breakfast, order the island French toast or get the signature beignets. If you are into seafood, we recommend the spicy shrimp diablo pasta.
Guests say how the Hawaiian island chicken is a must-order and add that the restaurant hosts live music performances. What really makes this restaurant special is that it’s situated in its own beach area. You can order your food, go for a swim, and then dig your toes in the sand and enjoy your meal.
- Address: 900 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-778-1919
The Sandbar Restaurant
The Sandbar Restaurant is one of the best dining establishments on Anna Maria Island. The owner, Ed Chiles did a great job with this place! So, what’s so great about the Sandbar? It’s located right on the beach, has a fabulous menu, and serves the most amazing artisan cocktails! The star of the food menu is seafood. Try the grouper Reubens or feast on smoked fish dip with house-pickled vegetables.
Other signature seafood dishes on the menu include steamed clams in white wine/butter/garlic sauce, stone crab claws (available in season), cold oysters, and grilled Gulf of Mexico octopus. If there is some space left for dessert, order the house-made flan! We should also mention that Sandbar is not an expensive restaurant, which is great. Eating here will cost around $20-30 per person.
- Address: 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-778-0444
City Pier Grill and Bait
Opened in late 2020, City Pier Grill and Bait is a lovely restaurant with a premium waterfront location right on the Anna Maria City Pier. This popular dining establishment on Anna Maria Island offers fresh food, wine, beers, and ice cream. Enjoy outdoor seating in the morning and feast on breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and biscuits and gravy.
The lunch and dinner menu at City Pier Grill and Bait includes everything from chicken wings and veggie burgers to Gulf shrimp and fish tacos. In addition to tasty food, the restaurant serves beer, wine, and seltzers.
We should also mention that City Pier Grill and Bait has its own bait and tackle area where you can enjoy fishing. If you don’t have your fishing gear, they can even rent all the necessary equipment.
- Address: 100 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-254-4219
Anna Maria Oyster Bar
With a few locations in the area, Anna Maria Oyster Bar is a great place for all you oyster lovers out there. This eatery on Anna Maria Island in Florida offers 9 different preparations. Whether you are a fan of fresh-shucked oysters or you prefer Oysters Rockefeller, Anna Maria Oyster Bar has it all. Needless to say, oysters here are always extremely fresh!
Not everyone is a fan of oysters, right? Luckily, this family-friendly restaurant offers other fresh seafood meals like your classic fish and chips, grouper, and salmon. If you don’t like fish, order a portion of ribs or get one of their delicious chicken sandwiches. Wash down your meal with a glass of Key Lime Colada!
- Address: 200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-778-2662
North Shore Café
Opened in 2020, North Shore Café is one of the newest additions to the fabulous food scene here on Anna Maria Island. You will find this cool and chic restaurant with a Hawaiian vibe down on Pine Avenue. With a beautiful outdoor setting, this cute restaurant is a great place to snap some cool photos from your vacation on the island. As for the food, it’s healthy and delicious.
On the menu, you will find everything from acai bowls and avocado toast to croissants and sandwiches. The restaurant also offers plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as beer, wine, and champagne. However, we recommend their smoothies. Jamba Juice is definitely one of the most popular options on the menu.
- Address: 304 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-900-2671
The Waterfront Restaurant
Well-known for its casual bar and beachfront outdoor seating, the Waterfront Restaurant offers rotating seasonal menus and incredible views of the skyway bridge. It’s a classy restaurant where you can feast on fresh and tasty foods.
The menu consists of both modern and traditional dishes and includes things like Kung Pao Calamari Curls, Scallops & Pork Belly Fried Rice, and Wasabi crusted Tuna.
Not a fan of seafood and fish? Order their signature chicken parmesan that practically melts in your mouth. The restaurant also offers a bunch of gluten-free options and has a lovely bar where you can unwind with a refreshing drink or two.
- Address: 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-778-1515
Hurricane Hanks is a popular restaurant on Anna Maria Island that serves the most delicious burgers ever! This casual grill doesn’t have a beachfront location, but the vibe is great and the beers are always cold!
So, what’s on the menu apart from their signature burgers, you ask? For starters, the medium hurricane wings are definitely a must-order if you are into spicy foods. Other entrée options include island crab cakes, peel and eat shrimp, and ahi tuna stacker.
Hurricane Hanks also offers a bunch of seafood and sandwich options like pub shrimp, fish and chips, fish tacos, and Reuben sandwiches. Pasta lovers will want to try lobster mac and cheese and bishop bowl. We should also mention that Hurricane Hanks has probably the best selection of craft beers on Anna Maria Island.
- Address: 5346 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-778-5788
An upscale dinner-only dining establishment on Anna Maria Island, the Beach Bistro is the poshest restaurants on this list. You’ll definitely need to make a reservation to dine here. This charming waterfront bistro boasts elegant décor and a lovely terrace with killer sunset views. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner date or an anniversary celebration.
Eating at this award-winning surfside restaurant is a unique experience. On the menu, you will see that the food is presented in “acts” (prelude, act one, act two, act three, and act four). For starters, you have options such as shrimp and lobster cocktail and smoked salmon which is grilled to perfection.
As for the other “acts”, some of the most popular dishes on the menu include prime beef tenderloin, scallop pan roast, and American domestic lamb. Make sure to leave some room for act four and desserts like coconut ice dream, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate truffle terrine.
- Address: 6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
- Phone: +1 941-778-6444
The Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant
Last on our list of the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island is the legendary Rod & Reel Pier. This place is actually situated right on the water at the end of the island’s historical pier (built in 1947). It’s all about the views and the seafood here at Rod & Reel Pier.
Don’t expect anything fancy, only fresh seafood delicacies. Our favorite dishes are Crab Cake Sandwich, Jalapeno Poppers, Shrimp Skewer, and Fish & Chips. Guests particularly like the grouper dinner which is available grilled, fried, or blackened. If you are visiting with kids, you’ll be pleased to hear that the restaurant offers a cool kids’ menu with options such as fried shrimp, chicken wings, and grilled cheese.
- Address: 875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
- Phone: +1 941-778-1885
Where do locals eat on Anna Maria Island?
Anna Maria Island is home to many amazing restaurants. From casual burger and pizza joints and Mexican eateries to seafood dining establishments, there is definitely plenty to choose from. We believe that the best food is served at places where locals go to eat. These restaurants are usually budget-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about overpaying your meal.
For instance, Rod and Reel Pier is great for cheap beer and fish and chips. If you want to enjoy seafood, we recommend paying a visit to Cortez Kitchen. A bit of a hidden jam, Sharky’s Seagrill is an old-school joint that also serves delicious seafood. If you are craving burgers, head out to Skinny’s or Duffy’s on Anna Maria Island.
What is Anna Maria Island known for?
Where do we start? Situated along the Gulf of Mexico on the peninsula’s west coast, Anna Maria Island is famous for its sugar-sand beaches and emerald green waters. The island consists of 3 main cities: Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria at the north end. Each beach town has its own unique vibe. The free trolleys allow you to explore the island without renting a car, which is super cool.
The beaches are vast, so it’s always easy to find a free spot on the sand. While the beaches on the island are gorgeous, there are tons of other Anna Maria tourist attractions to enjoy when you want a break from the beach. Learn more about the island at the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum or catch a performance at the Island Players Community Theatre.
Visitors can also join the Salty Dolphin tour or check out AMI Charters which offers a wide variety of private fishing and boating charters. Wish to go on a shopping spree? The island is home to many shops, galleries, and local boutiques where you can purchase everything from designer clothing to local souvenirs and handicrafts.
To sum it all up, Anna Maria Island is one of the rare places where that “old” Florida charm is still visible. Life on the island is slow-paced and there are no high-rise condos or massive resorts here. If you are looking for a low-key tropical destination with some seriously awesome dining options, book your accommodation on Anna Maria Island and you won’t be disappointed.