Top 10: Best Restaurants - Anna Maria Island INSIDER'S GUIDE
It's here, our Insider's Guide list of the BEST, TOP 10, NO-FAIL restaurants on Anna Maria Island, Florida!
This list will make your epic-curious island visit well.... epic! Our honest opinions about the best of the best places for foodies to eat. If you're starving and need to get some grub fast... skip to the end of this article and interact with our Top 10 Anna Maria Island Restaurant Map.
OK... I need to fess up. I lied. It's not actually the TOP 10 LIST because I needed to add a few more favourites, so it's really a TOP 12 LIST. You'll forgive me right?
If you are looking for the best pizza... check out our Pizza Smackdown article here.
If you are looking for burgers.... wait for our Burger Smackdown article coming out soon!
Grab a cup of Joe and let's start with breakfast, mosey into lunch, enjoy some dinner options and finish off with some dessert.
ROD 'N REEL PIER - Best Gulf Front Breakfast
875 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria
Open Daily 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
The Rod 'n Reel Pier is our favourite spot to hit for breakfast on Anna Maria Island. There are a few reasons for this. First off, it's on the water and that's why people come to Anna Maria Island, Florida. Watching for dolphins, manatees, and fish while you munch on a yummy, diner-style breakfast is incredibly laid-back and that embodies the true Beach Life that our little island is all about. Secondly, it's inexpensive, which leaves money in the budget to shop at the local stores. Thirdly, it's an amazing spot for photography and one of the most well-known landmarks on the island. Bean point is a short stroll down the beach, which is a beautiful sight.
Insider Tip: Do arrive early during the high season, the parking lot is small. Arrive with your entire party. They won't seat you unless everyone is present and ready to eat.
GINNY & JANE E's - Most Funky
9807 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria
Open Daily 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ginny & Jane E's is one of a kind and not to be missed if you visit the island. This cool, funky, flea market slash cafe is where everyone meets in the mornings, including both locals and visitors. They have humungous danishes that are larger than your head! The coffee is good and the muffins, smoothies, and breakfast sandwiches are all delicious.
Pick up an island souvenir such as sharks teeth, island artwork, funky beach decor and even shabby chic furniture. It really is a treat to meander through this eclectic store. There's also a cool kids table with colouring books to keep the young ones busy during a wait.
Insider Tip: Don't forget to pick up your rewards coffee card.... after you buy 10 the next one's free. Attention Caffeine Addicts.....They have FREE coffee refills throughout the day!
POPPO'S ~ Best Mexican
212 Pine Ave., Anna Maria
Open Daily 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
I love Mexican food and Poppo's Taqueria fits the bill. Freshly made pulled pork, beef and chicken fillings are the staples for their quesadillas, burritos, and tacos. The freshly made guacamole is the perfect side to their home-made crispy nacho chips. You can eat inside or out on their porch if it's not too hot. My mouth is watering now!
Insider Tip: If you order a deep-fried corn tortilla quesadilla with beef and all the fixings, you will think you've died and gone to heaven! Attention..... the portions are generous, you get 2 tortillas or quesadillas on each plate.
Scott's Deli - Best Subs
5337 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Best Sub I have ever eaten... period! I've traveled all over the world and absolutely love good food. The Roast Beef sub at Scott's Deli with homemade sauce and caramelized onions is fabulous (ask them to saute the onions first). It has the perfect combination of crunch from the shredded lettuce and juiciness from the beef and sauce. Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum!
Insider Tip: Scott's Deli delivers right to your beach or boat dock!. Having a great
day on Anna Maria island has never been so easy. To order, give them a call and tell them where to find you - they accept cash and credit cards at the beach.
Delivery is free!
STARFISH COMPANY ~ Best Seafood by Boat
Latitude 27.468N. Longitude 82.686W.
12306 46th Ave W. Cortez, FL
Open Daily 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
We like to swing by the Starfish Company when we are out boating, they have a few dock slips to tie up to. Located in Cortez, just south of the Cortez bridge on the east side. Cortez is one of the oldest continuously working fishing villages in the USA. The fishermen come in with their catch and it's on your plate within hours... now that's fresh! Actually, the restaurant first opened to feed the fishermen coming in from a days work, but this seafood secret is out of the bag. I love the shrimp dinner, served in old-fashioned boxes with a side of hush puppies. The shrimp is delicately deep fried, super tender and fresh. And I'm a sucker for hush puppies.
Stop by their fish market and take home the catch of the day. From sea to table, it doesn't get any fresher than this.
Insider Tip: This spot is notoriously busy during high season where wait times can exceed 90 minutes. It is the best place to get seafood around Anna Maria Island. Get there early to avoid the line-ups. Be patient with the staff, they do their best with a small kitchen and large crowds. If the Starfish Company is too busy, you can try Tide Tables around the corner, next to the bridge which also has dock slips and great food.
VINNY & CHERYL's ITALIAN KITCHEN ~ Best Italian
314 Pine Ave. Anna Maria, FL
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
The most important thing you need to know about Vinny & Cheryl's is that it's take-out only. Which for the chef in the family, is a great break from cooking while still having a delicious meal at one of our vacation rentals. This is the best Italian food this side of Italy. We love ordering their home-made meatballs, white pizza, and eggplant parmigiana.
Insider Tip: Vinny & Cheryl are transplants from New Jersey, where they had a catering business. They catered to the cast and crew on the set of The Sopranos. Hey if it's good enough for Tony... it's good enough for us! Do order your meal in the early afternoon and pick it up by 6:30 pm.
THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT ~ Best Food
111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL
Sunday to Thursday 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Friday to Saturday 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Yes, I said that out loud. I'm confessing.... our family thinks that The Waterfront Restaurant has the best food on the island... Well, the Beach Bistro is fabulous too, but more about them later. This is your destination for the best Fish Tacos on the island. The steaks are wonderful too. The menu has something for every taste and palate and it changes regularly. The chef is creative and unafraid of putting unique combinations together on a plate that make perfect harmony. Get there!
Insider Tip: The Waterfront Restaurant takes reservations for inside only. Outside seating overlooks Tampa Bay and Anna Maria City Pier and is seated on a first come first served basis. They do offer a great service if you live close by, which our vacation rentals are, after putting your name on the waiting list they will telephone you when your table is ready. This is a really nice service during high season!
The BEACH BISTRO ~ Best Food
6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL
Daily from 5:00 am - 10:00 pm
OK, I lied... it's a tie for the best food on the island. The Beach Bistro is my absolute favourite restaurant for a special celebratory dinner. The dining room is luxurious and romantic, but if you want something a little more low-key you can sit towards the entrance at the bistro bar area. It's consistently rated highly on Zagat and their service is white glove impeccable! Your enjoyment is their number one priority. This restaurant is located directly on the beach but has inside seating which is incredibly romantic. They change their menu often, but if you are lucky do try the short ribs. They are melt in your mouth tender, exploding with flavour! Note: We head to this restaurant usually for special occasions because the menu is a bit pricey.
Insider Tip: They do not cater to small children. This restaurant is geared towards an older, sophisticated crowd and sometimes mommy and daddy really need that! A definite go-to for real, epic-curious foodies. You're in for one of the best meals of your life!
EAT HERE ~ Best Interior Ambiance
5315 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL
Daily from 5:30 am - 10:00 pm
Eat Here is the little brother to the Beach Bistro. The interior ambiance is warm and lively with great coastal artwork. There is a communal bar to sidle up to other guests, which makes for a fun social atmosphere. You never know who you're going to meet. Eat Here creates ambitious takes on comfort food, like the deep fried spare ribs, heart attack hot dogs and not yo mamma's pot roast. They also have more sophisticated fish and seafood plates and a great make your own pizza option to keep young un's busy. We love to start with the olive tapenade and bruschetta plate with thick garlic toast. Everyone in our family, young and old likes Eat Here.
Insider Tip: This restaurant is on the smaller size but they do have extra seating on their patio which is located in the parking lot, inside seating is definitely preferable. If you have to wait the Eat Here staff will be happy to serve you a cocktail to make the time pass more enjoyably.
THE SANDBAR RESTAURANT ~ Best Beachfront Ambiance
100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, FL
Monday to Friday from 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday from 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
The Sandbar Restaurant is an iconic landmark on Anna Maria Island. It has a huge outdoor patio with seating where you can sink your toes into the sand while you eat and sip cocktails until sundown. This is the spot where islanders and visitors congregate for the fabulous sunset vistas. Their recent interior renovation allows more seating with a large bar area and beach shop. They also have a large Pavilion which is the absolute perfect location for a destination Wedding. The staff is friendly and the food is good. You'll feel like you've landed in paradise overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Our favourite foods are the grouper sandwiches, coconut shrimp, and world famous margaritas.
Insider Tip: Join their newsletter to receive insider discounts and updates on their sponsored events on the island like my favourite... The Food and Wine on Pine Festival. They also have Sunday brunch with a jazz band, a true island experience.