Listed below is a sampling of restaurants our family and guests have enjoyed during their time on Anna Maria Island. Each of them offers something unique and has consistently stood out from the crowd. Bon Appetite!
A restaurant called Eat Here? Located in a shopping center? Don’t let the name or location fool you! This is the sibling of critically acclaimed Beach Bistro, but on budgetary restraint. The food is wonderfully executed, the wines are perfectly paired, and there’s plenty of space left on the credit card to do it all over again before you depart. We frequent Eat Here many times a year, and believe you will find it a fantastic place to enjoy one of your meals out on the town.
The WaterFront Restaurant
Every town needs a consistently high-performing restaurant. The team at Waterfront delivers an excellently crafted menu with each encounter. The craft bar at The Waterfront is a cocktail lover’s dream. Its lineup of mixed drinks offers adventurous twists on classics, like the Smoked Margarita made with Reposado Tequila and a rinse of Mezcal with fresh lime and ginger. The food menu boasts fresh Gulf catches and the porch seating provides the ideal environment to enjoy it all. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, so call ahead to make reservation.
If your palate and occasion demands culinary excellence, the Beach Bistro delivers. Commonly booked out weeks in advance, especially for dining times that coincide with sunset, we strongly suggest planning this experience before arrival. Dining tip: for enhancing the experience is to ask for a window-front table in the main dining room half an hour before sunset. The courses offered are equivalent to fine art, and adding the sunset views simply sends this evening over the top! Caution: you will pay for this experience, but for special occasions on Anna Maria, you won’t find any better than Beach Bistro!
Since you’ve spent hours exercising and dieting in preparation for beachwear, you can treat yourself to this historic burger dive. Skinny’s is still owned and operated by the same family who founded it many decades ago. Feel free to show up in bathing suits, flip-flops and kissed by the sun – you’ll fit right in – just bring cash (ATM is on-site), they don’t accept cards. To top it off, they offer $1 draft beer served ICE COLD. How’s that for a Cheeseburger in Paradise?
Who doesn’t appreciate an occasional tourist trap experience, especially one that offers the chance to dine with your “toes in the sand”? While this is not the top food experience on our list, many people love it! Sandbar offers yet another opportunity to take in the main-event of the island – sunset – and another highly popular occasion, beach weddings. Anna Maria is one of the country’s top wedding destinations, and Sandbar is the most popular beachfront wedding venue on AMI. Family-friendly, casual dining on or by the beach – that’s why it’s so popular!
Anna Maria Donut Experiment
A warning before you go with kids, they won’t want anything else for breakfast once they visit this fun shop! Don’t let that stop you, as it’s a fun experience customizing your donuts – some of our creations have been very interesting! From a caramel and sea-salt donut topped with bacon to traditionally glazed, you really can have it your way. Our kids start planning their next creation the second they leave the shop!
For those who just want to watch their favorite sporting event over a good meal, Slim’s is that place. Surrounded by HDTVs, high-top tables and great people, you are certain to find fans of all kinds in here. Above average pub-style food served in a casual, sporting event centered, and family friendly atmosphere, what’s not to like about that?
Village Idiot Pizzeria
Who’s in the mood for a fantastic pizza? For a break from seafood, try Village Idiot Pizzeria, with its NYC worthy (or better!) wood-fired pizzas in the Cortez Fishing Village just across the Cortez Bridge leaving Anna Maria Island. Their Florentine Pig is one of our favorites from the “white pizzas” selection; and the Chain Store Idiot is a pepperoni lover’s slam dunk! The hardest decision you will have to make is choosing to dine in (often a short wait); or ordering ahead and taking your slice of heaven back to one of our vacation homes to enjoy pool-side or as an indoor movie night treat.
Additional restaurant recommendations can be found inside our “Insider’s Guide” and in our informational binder located in each of our rental vacation homes.