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The Best Anna Maria Island Restaurant Guide By An Insider

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Anna Maria Island Restaurant Guide

When visiting Anna Maria Island you will want to try as many of the amazing restaurants as possible. Anna Maria Island does not allow many large national chains to come onto the island so you won’t have any trouble supporting small local businesses at this vacation destination! As someone who has visited Anna Maria Island frequently for the past 10 years, I have compiled a list of the best places to eat on Anna Maria Island (or AMI) that I will share in this Anna Maria Island restaurant guide!

What To Eat On Anna Maria Island 

Hand holding an Aperol Spritz during sunset on the beach

Anna Maria Island has some seriously delicious restaurants and food that you need to try but you’re probably wondering what Anna Maria Island is KNOWN for, right? AMI is known for its…

Fried Foods

I know, I know, fried food isn’t all that healthy, but you’re on vacay! Have that fried shrimp or calamari if you want to. I’m sure all the beach walking and biking around the island will even it all out, right?

Fresh Seafood

While there are a lot of seafood options on Anna Maria Island that are fried, there are plenty of non-fried, fresh seafood options that are to die for! Whether you love shellfish, oysters, a classic Frutti di mare, or grouper, Anna Maria Island has it all. Anna Maria Island boasts some of the very best seafood in Florida.

Key Lime Pie

Now, I am lactose intolerant (sad day for me!) but my friends and family absolutely RAVE about the key lime pie that Anna Maria is known for! You can get it at most restaurants on AMI, but they say that the Publix grocery store actually has the best award-winning slice of key lime pie in the area! Other notable places to order a great key lime pie on Anna Maria Island are Anna Maria Oyster Bar and Scott’s Deli.

Coconut Cake

You can also find the most delicious cakes and sweets on Anna Maria Island. Many of the restaurants on AMI order their desserts fresh daily from Hometown Desserts on Pine Avenue, and every flavor is ridiculously good. The coconut, coconut key lime cake, and chocolate cakes are definitely fan favorites. Order at a restaurant or stop in their bakery on Pine Avenue.

Read next: Ultimate Anna Maria Island Travel Guide – Things To Do On AMI

Best Places To Eat On Anna Maria Island

Breakfast & Brunch On AMI

hand holding a berry smoothie in front of mint green "The Waffle Press" restaurant and sign

The Waffle Press

The Waffle Press is a newer spot on Anna Maria Island serving Belgian waffles, bakery items, smoothies, and artisanal coffees. They also have a good breakfast and lunch menu. We took a break from riding our bikes around the island and ordered smoothies. They were super refreshing on a warm, sunny Florida day!

Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe

This restaurant is famous locally for its incredible cinnamon rolls, but you will find a full menu of great breakfast, brunch, and lunch options. There’s also a very cute shop inside to buy fun souvenirs or to window shop while you wait for a table.

The Donut Experiment

The Donut Experiment is a cool donut shop on Pine Avenue selling made to order donuts. They have around 15- 20 topping options available and at least 6 different types of icing to choose from. The flavor possibilities are endless and so yummy! 

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is a casual beachfront restaurant located at Manatee Public Beach. AMI Beach Cafe is known for their all you can eat pancake breakfast. It is a great place to eat on Anna Maria Island, especially if you are enjoying a beach day on the public beach there. It is also connected with a gift shop and Anna Maria Island Welcome Center.

Casual Dining on AMI

Island Time Bar and Grill

Island Time Bar and Grill is on historic Bridge Street and serves up traditional burgers and sandwiches, but also has a lot of fresh seafood and island fare. The patio is cute and situated under beautiful palm trees directly across the street from the beach. I ordered the fish tacos which were very tasty!

Skinny’s

Skinny’s is known by the locals as the best burger on the island! Nothing fancy here, just a casual bar and grill style restaurant with a killer burger and fries. Skinny’s makes for a great lunch on Anna Maria Island. 

Rod & Reel Pier

Rod & Reel Pier is a great place to grab a casual bite. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’re sure to find something delish there! Perhaps some of that delightful fried food we were talking about before??

Anna Maria Oyster Bar On The Pier

Anna Maria Oyster Bar On The Pier is a family-friendly restaurant at the end of the Historic Bridge Street Pier. The Oyster Bar has been around for 20 years and has 2 other locations in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. My family and I have been eating at these restaurants together for the past 10 years and it has always been a favorite of ours. Try the coconut shrimp – it’s a crowd-pleaser for sure!

Pappo’s Taqueria

Pappo’s Taqueria is a local fast-casual style restaurant chain in the area. It is the perfect choice for quick take-out on nights that you don’t really feel like cooking, but you also feel like you have eaten a bit too much fried food, ha! It is a fresh, delicious Mexican style fare with a lot of options for everyone in your group. We loved their burritos and burrito bowls but they also have tacos and quesadillas too!

The Ugly Grouper

The Ugly Grouper is an upbeat bar and restaurant on AMI. You will find great live music here every single night! And their specialty is, you guessed it, grouper! Try it fried, fresh, or in a taco! I opted for the grouper nuggets and I have to say they were quite delish!

North Shore Cafe

North Shore Cafe is another cute spot on Pine Avenue. With a nice cafe menu, acai bowls, coffee, tea, and a small bar, you will want to stop by and sit in the nice patio area. Pro Tip – there’s a cool AMI mural on the side of North Shore Cafe, so get a cute pic!

The Feast Restaurant

The Feast Restaurant blends a casual feel with fine dining for a relaxed ambiance. All of the food and service are excellent here too! Try the steak, hogfish, or a gourmet pizza! 

The French Table

The French Table is a new restaurant on Anna Maria Island but is quickly becoming a favorite. I have family in the Bradenton/Sarasota area and they mentioned really enjoying The French Table. A great place to try some french onion soup or coq au vin! 

Eat Here

If Beach Bistro is a little bit out of your price range, but you still want to eat a delicious meal, check out Eat Here on Anna Maria Island. It has the same owners but a more affordable price point. You’ll find American fare with a twist at Eat Here and a fun atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place to order take-out pizza, this is definitely one of the best local places on the island for it.

Fine Dining on AMI

The Sandbar

The Sandbar is a must-visit during your stay on Anna Maria Island. It is one of the most well-known, iconic restaurants on the island, and for good reason. The Sandbar is directly on the beach, has an incredible menu, and you might even catch a beautiful wedding ceremony happening on the beach. They also ethically source all of their ingredients which gets an A+ from me! 

Beach Bistro

Beach Bistro is oh so fancy! You’ll want to dress up if you eat here. You can dine on the beach and watch the sunset over Holmes Beach. It is one of the most high-end restaurants on the island so it is a bit more formal than most other AMI establishments. Try the Bistro Experience tasting menu if you’re feeling extra! Beach Bistro is great if you’re celebrating a special occasion. 

Beach House

The Beach House has such an amazing vibe and is one of the restaurants where you can eat an amazing dinner with your toes in the sand because, as the name suggests, it is literally RIGHT on the beach. Try one of their seafood towers or seafood gumbo and enjoy your meal overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. 

The Waterfront

The Waterfront Restaurant is on the Tampa Bay side of the island, just a short walk from Anna Maria City Pier. The menu is absolutely incredible and the best meal I have had on the island was here. The Waterfront has rotating seasonal menus to ensure you’re getting the freshest and most mouth-watering dishes. I highly recommend eating here! Pro tip: go for lunch if you want to save a few bucks. 

Bridge Street Bistro

Bridge Street Bistro is right on historic Bridge Street, as the name suggests. It is a nice restaurant with a classic menu. Bridge Street Bistro is sure to delight seafood lovers. It is located directly above the more casual Island Time Bar & Grill. 

Bars on AMI

The Doctor’s Office 

The Doctor’s Office is a fun little craft cocktail bar on Anna Maria Island. The name is a nod to the local doctor’s office that used to be housed in the building for decades. It now has a cozy, cool atmosphere and a bar food menu to boot. It is a part of the Beach Bistro and Eat Here family so you know it is going to be good! (You currently need a reservation to get in here)

The Kokonut Hut Tiki Bar

The Kokonut Hut Tiki Bar is just like you would imagine from the name. Right on the gulf, under tiki-style roofs, and very casual. It’s a super fun place to hang out and grab a cocktail complete with a signature boozy slushie and relax. 

Slim’s Place

Slim’s Place is Anna Maria Island’s local sport’s bar. The menu at Slim’s is just what you would think of a sport’s bar with burgers, sandwiches, and wings. They also have award-winning lobster mac & cheese, yum! Check them out for a game, or visit for good Happy Hour deals during weekdays. 

The Freckled Fin Irish Pub

The Freckled Fin Irish Pub is a great place to hear live music on Anna Maria Island. Their menu has a classic bar food menu in a lively and upbeat atmosphere. It’s in the same plaza as The Doctor’s Office so you might like to visit both on the same evening! 

Ice Cream & Sweets On Anna Maria

Sweets

There is definitely not a shortage of sweets on Anna Maria Island! From ice cream shops to bakeries to creperies, there’s a little something for every sweet tooth on AMI! 

Hometown Desserts

Hometown Sweets is the bakery I mentioned above that makes all of the incredible cakes and pastries found in restaurants all over Anna Maria Island. They also have a shop on Pine Ave where you can buy cakes, pastries, desserts and more!

The Island Creperie

The Island Creperie is located on Bridge Street and serves French crepes and treats. You’ll find both sweet and savory crepes here and it’s a fun Anna Maria Island staple. 

The Donut Experiment

As I mentioned above, The Donut Experiment is a must-visit for donut lovers while visiting Anna Maria Island. The classic cake donuts and build your own toppings make this a great place for foodies and families alike. 

Ice Cream

You really cannot go wrong when choosing an ice cream shop on Anna Maria Island. Over the past decade, I have been to almost all of these shops and have never been disappointed! Here’s the list…

  • DIPS
  • Two Scoops
  • Island Scoops
  • Joe’s Eats and Sweets
  • Tyler’s Gourmet Homemade Ice Cream
  • Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery

Coffee Shops

Many of the shops and restaurants I’ve already mentioned in this Anna Maria Island restaurant guide have great coffee and tea menus to get you that dose of caffeine you need to start your day. Here are some of the more popular options that you will love…

  • Back Alley Treasures
  • North Shore Cafe
  • The Waffle Press
  • The Donut Experiment
  • Hometown Desserts

Local Markets on Anna Maria Island

City of Anna Maria Island Farmer’s Market

The City of AMI Farmer’s Marker is located at City Pier and is open every Tuesday from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, October 13 – May 11. You can get some fresh local produce and more so stop by if you can!

Vinny’s Italian Kitchen and Market

Vinny’s is a super fun local spot on Anna Maria Island where you can find plenty of Italian fares! You can grab some sandwiches, pizza, or stromboli for take-out. Or you might like to stay awhile for a wine tasting. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Grocery Stores On Anna Maria Island

There is only one grocery store on Anna Maria Island! There is one lone Publix near the middle of the island. If you had to choose one grocery store though, wouldn’t you want it to be a Publix?! I wish we had them in northeast Ohio where I live, but alas, I have to wait until I’m on AMI to shop there. And don’t forget to try their famous key lime pie!

Are There Delivery Services On Anna Maria Island?

view from under a red cafe umbrella across a busy street intersection of tall palm trees and a perfectly blue sky

There are delivery services on Anna Maria Island, yes! If you would rather not bother with grocery shopping during your trip to AMI, you can order your groceries through Instacart and have them delivered to the door of your rental property. 

If you would like to order takeout while visiting AMI, you’ll find that GrubHub and DoorDash are available at many of the restaurants. Although these services can be very convenient and it is nice to have around, if you are close to the restaurant that you want to order from, consider ordering directly from the restaurant and picking it up yourself. It is a great excuse for an island walk or bike ride! 

As I mentioned, Anna Maria Island is composed of almost entirely locally owned businesses. We all know that it has been a struggle for them to survive through the pandemic. Delivery services often take up to 30% of the order cost as commission, leaving the local shops with minimal profits. I don’t want to beat anyone up for using GrubHub or DoorDash, I myself have definitely used these services before, but it is just something to keep in mind.

Where The Locals Eat On Anna Maria Island

If you want to eat like the Anna Maria Island Locals do, be sure to check out The French Table, Rod & Reel Pier, Anna Maria Pier, Skinny’s, and Scott’s Deli.

My Personal Favorite Places To Eat On Anna Maria Island

I can’t share an Anna Maria Island restaurant guide without calling out some of my very favorite restaurants to eat at on AMI! If you only want to eat out a few times or only have a short amount of time on the island, these are the places I would recommend trying out first.

The Waterfront Restaurant

As I mentioned above, The Waterfront Restaurant was my absolute favorite meal on Anna Maria Island. It was everyone at the table’s favorite meal of the week, to be frank! This Frutti di Mare (pictured above) made all of my dreams come true. All five of us ordered different menu items and loved every single delectable bite. I would obviously, highly recommend eating here!

The Sandbar

No Anna Maria Island restaurant guide would be complete without mentioning The Sandbar restaurant! My second favorite meal of the week goes to The Sandbar! This restaurant is iconic to Anna Maria Island because it is located directly on Holmes Beach. We went there on our first night in town for a lovely sunset dinner. We ordered appetizers and we even won their contest of the day by choosing the exact time of sunset (to the second!) and were rewarded with a free bottle of champagne for the table! The ambiance and the food were both stellar. 

Beach House

Beach House is under the same ownership as The Sandbar and Anna Maria Oyster Bar. They are definitely in the right biz because they always hit the mark on the menu and ambiance for me! Beach House can get quite a long wait time, so go early to avoid crowds, grab a cocktail, and walk over to the beach while you wait for your table. The waitress and chef also went out of their way to ensure that I got a meal I loved despite my dairy allergy which always earns a restaurant bonus points with me!

Pappo’s

My family actually ordered Pappo’s on two different nights during our stay on Anna Maria Island! It was super easy to order online for curbside pickup. We ate at our rental home on our beautiful lanai and it was delish!

Two Scoops

Two Scoops is the only ice cream shop we went to during our last visit (it was December and a bit chilly after all!), but we have truly been to them all over the last decade…you really cannot go wrong! But Two Scoops really hit the spot this last trip. I ordered the lemon sorbet, like I said, I’m lactose intolerant so no dairy for me! 

What To Wear To Go Out To Eat On Anna Maria Island

girl in navy blue dress walking back from the beach at sunset on a greenery lined bath

I won’t go too in-depth as this post is an Anna Maria Island restaurant guide, but I will share a few tips on what to wear on AMI here. Anna Maria Island is a very laid-back and casual Island with its “Old Florida” vibe. At most restaurants, it is completely acceptable to walk right off the beach in your cover-up and be seated at the restaurant if you want to. Most of AMI’s restaurants have outdoor seating as well so anything goes. 

Personally, I like to dress up a little bit if I am going out to dinner! It just makes me happy so I usually opt for a nicer sundress or skirt if I’m going out to eat on the island. At places like Rod & Reel Pier or The Ugly Grouper, I usually go casual with jeans or shorts depending on the weather. 

It really is a matter of personal preference though. Shorts and a t-shirt are great for most establishments, but I would really dress nicely if you plan to eat at Beach Bistro. 

Best Places To Eat On Anna Maria Island

I hope you find this Anna Maria Island restaurant guide helpful and that you enjoy eating some incredible seafood, sweets, and more during your visit. Let me know in the comments below if you think anywhere else deserves a mention on the best places to eat on Anna Maria Island list! If you want all of these restaurants in one easy list, click here for my Google Maps list.

Things To Do On Anna Maria Island

Click here for a free Google Maps list of all of these restaurants and more!

If you are looking for a full travel guide to Anna Maria Island, check out my super in-depth dive into all of the best things to see and do on AMI, as well as the best places to stay! Enjoy your trip and let me know if you do any of these activities I suggest. I love hearing from you guys, it’s the best! Follow me on Instagram for more tips and inspo!

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