There’s no such thing as too much time spent on the beach on an Anna Maria Island vacation. So, why not finish off your beach day right by dining with your feet in the sand?
Anna Maria has plenty of great restaurants, from casual pub food to world-class dining experiences. While you may enjoy cooking at Anna Maria vacation rentals on occasion, vacation is about treating yourself. What better way to do this than eat with an ocean view at the best Anna Maria Island restaurants on the beach?
Here are our top picks for waterfront dining on the island:
The Sandbar RestaurantThe Waterfront Restaurant
This restaurant has a long Old Florida-style wrap-around patio under a striped awning – the perfect setting for a beach front restaurant on the quiet northern tip of Anna Maria Island.
Here, beautiful views are paired with an innovative menu – in fact, a page of the menu is dedicated to unusual specials in order to allow their skilled chefs to use their creativity.
The Waterfront Restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. For lunch, tropical-inspired salads topped with beef, chicken, or seafood seem to take the cake. Dinner menu includes appetizers like lobster bisque and grouper tacos, and mains ranging from the classic chicken parmesan to moqueca, a traditional Brazilian stew made with local seafood.
Halfway down the island is Beach Bistro, an upscale beachfront restaurant in the city of Holmes Beach.
This restaurant features white-tablecloth dining in a romantic atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the indoor dining room closer to nature. A large outdoor patio offers incredible views overlooking white sands and the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beach service is weather dependent.
The foie gras, lamb, and varied tasting menu are popular choices, along with a number of seafood dishes, such as maple shrimp and “lobstercargots,” imitation escargot made with juicy lobster meat.
Gulf Drive Café
This Bradenton Beach joint is a casual beachside café during the day, and a party spot at night.
It features a large deck overlooking the beach – perfect for families with young kids who want to play in the sand while waiting for the food.
Gulf Drive Café serves classic American pub food, with a focus on fried seafood plates. Breakfast is available in the mornings, too (try the French toast), and there is often live music in the evening.
With its panoramic view of the beach, this has got to be one of the best places to watch the sunset fill the sky.
Watch the sun go down from the patio of The Beach House Restaurant as colorful cocktails float by on a platter, begging you to order another.
This restaurant a casual-fine dining restaurant located in Bradenton Beach, on the south end of Anna Maria Island – yet another beachfront gem among the array of Anna Maria Island restaurants.
The Beach House is a seafood restaurant with an eco-friendly bent. Mains include a seafood capellini, crab cakes, and stuffed red grouper. They use turtle-friendly lighting and native landscaping in the design of the restaurant, buy locally sourced seafood and produce, recycle, and serve drinks without straws.
Coquina Beach Cafe
Coquina Beach Café is a great little Bradenton Beach patio dotted with thatched umbrellas and outdoor furniture. It’s a casual daytime cafe right on beautiful Coquina Beach, typically open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (5 p.m. on weekends).
They make a mean breakfast, which includes waffles, French toast, and all the staple bacon-and-egg fishes. Not a bad place to have your morning coffee, if you ask us.
Lunch includes a long list of sandwiches, salads, and, of course, fish tacos. Stop by for a cold beer on a hot, sunny afternoon while the kids continue to play on the beach.