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Anna Maria Island Top Ten Restaurants

Looking for tasty food while you’re on the Anna Maria Island? Well you’re in luck we have composed list of Anna Maria Island restaurants from fine dining, to beachfront restaurants, pizza, and where to get the best burger on the island. We have plenty of tasty restaurants to choose from on AMI but the ten restaurants below are a MUST VISIT!

1) Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach – Enjoy fine dining on the Gulf of Mexico with an excellent wine selection and amazing entrée’s.

6600 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-6444

2) Island Ocean Star in The City of Anna Maria – A unique dining experience on Anna Maria Island with award winning Sushi and a Hibachi Grill.

902 South Bay
Anna Maria, FL, 34216
(941) 251-6940

The Things that Locals Know!

Waterfront Dining on Anna Maria Island

If you’re making the trip to AMI, then do yourself a favor by stopping by one of these restaurants below that offers waterfront dining. Whether the restaurant is on a pier, or directly on the beach, all of these establishments will provide you with a lovely experience and water view.

Waterfront Dining Options

  • The Sandbar Restaurant (100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216):
    BEACHFRONT! Open for lunch and dinner, The Sandbar Restaurant is truly the way to go if you want to dine with a drink in your hand, and your toes in the sand. Featured in the picture above.
  • Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe (4000 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217):
    BEACHFRONT! Super laid-back beachfront spot with super delicious tropical cocktails. The Beach Cafe is open from 7:30am – 8:00pm everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Beach Bistro (6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217):
    BEACHFRONT! For an upscale waterfront dinner, Beach Bistro will surely impress. This surf-side restaurant is perfect for date night.
  • The Beach House Restaurant (200 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217):
    BEACHFRONT! Another restaurant on Anna Maria Island that offers toes-in-sand dining is The Beach House in Bradenton Beach. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Rod & Reel Pier (875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216):
    Rod & Reel is a staple piece for our Island. This 2 story restaurant sits directly out on the Gulf of Mexico. Casual dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Island Ocean Star (902 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216):
    Japanese cuisine with a view. Island Ocean Star sits on Bimini Bay in Anna Maria and is open from 4pm – 10pm everyday.
  • Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier (200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217):
    Located on the historic Bridge Street Pier, AMOB on the Pier offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with brunch on Saturday and Sundays.




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Anna Maria Island Gulf Front Dining – 6 Restaurants

There are plenty of options for Anna Maria Island gulf front dining. From north to south you will find 6 different restaurants for toes in the sand dining.

Anna Maria Island Gulf Front Dining

There is nothing better than sipping a tropical drink while watching the sunset with sandy feet. Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to unwind with a good meal on the gulf. Try one of these six restaurants on your next trip to the Anna Maria Island gulf front.

Sandbar Restaurant

Located at the end of Spring Avenue, The Sandbar restaurant is in the city of Anna Maria. This is a very popular location for direct gulf front dining. Indoor seating is also an option here. The Sandbar offers a large menu, a full service bar and a lovely wine menu. Host an event or wedding at the sandbar too! They offer a large beachfront pavilion that is great for large gatherings island style.

Beach Bistro

While the majority of seating is indoors, The Beach Bistro does offer amazing views of the gulf from their indoor dining room. If the weather is right, they may even serve you in their limited outdoor seating area. The Beach Bistro is an award wining restaurant offering a high end dining in Holmes Beach. This may be the nicest dining experience you’ll ever enjoy!

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

Manatee Public beach access is one of the most popular destinations on Anna Maria Island. Here you’ll find the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe for all your concession needs. Their menu offers a little of something for everyone, and also includes a full service Tiki bar!

Gulf Drive Cafe

Find the ultimate Anna Maria Island Tiki bar at the Gulf Drive Cafe. This restaurant has beautiful direct gulf front views. You’ll find a huge full service outdoor beach bar and menus for all meals of the day. If you’re lucky, you may just find live music happening!

Beach House

Located on the south end of Anna Maria Island, the Beach House is the sister restaurant of The Sandbar. This is also a very popular spot for dining with the sunset. Enjoy indoor and outdoor dining and be sure to visit their gift shop too. The Beach House is also a lovely place for weddings and catered events.

Coquina Beach Cafe

Coquina Beach Cafe is on the far south end of Anna Maria Island. They offer casual gulf front dining and concessions right on Coquina Beach. Visit them for breakfast and lunch any day of the week. They are also open for dinner Friday through Sunday.

While visiting, be sure to try out Anna Maria Island gulf front dining with one of these six restaurants. You’re surely be pleased!

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Anna Maria Island Spiny Lobster Season

Anna Maria Island – The 2015/2016 Spiny Lobster season is always a treat for seafood lovers! Starting August 6, 2015 thorough March 31, 2016 Spiny Lobster season is open to those holding a recreation saltwater fishing license with spiny lobster permit.

As trapping is an illegal method of harvest, fishing for Spiny Lobster is a delicate process, but well worth the effort. Most commonly, for non commercial fishing, Spiny Lobster are caught by hand with a net. Using a snorkel mask, individuals dive down to the ocean floor, looking for the tell tail Lobster antenna peaking out from under rocks and coral. Using what is called a tickle stick technique, Lobsters are coaxed out from under their hiding spots by lightly tapping their back. Once the Lobster starts to walk out of its hiding spot they are scooped up in a net, and brought to the surface. Below is a video on how to catch Spiny Lobster.

Not all Spiny Lobster are eligible for harvest. It is illegal to harvest egg bearing lobster and lobsters with a carpace less than 3 inches in length. The carpace is the area of the lobster connecting the head and legs to the tail as pictured below. It is extremely important to be sure the measuring device you use is correct, and illegal lobsters are thrown back.

Spiny Lobster Carpace
Florida Fish and Wildlife Spiny Lobster carpace measurement chart.

When harvesting Spiny Lobster they must be caught whole.  It is illegal to separate the tail and body in state waters. During season individuals may catch up to 12 Spiny Lobsters per person. The State of Florida does allow an exception to this rule. One additional Spiny Lobster can be harvested if the individual catches 10 lion fish.

Buying Spiny Lobster

When purchasing Spiny Lobster they may also be reffered to as warm water lobster. Spiny Lobster have sweet tender meat perfect for many applications and are served best split down the middle. Spiny Lobster lack front claws, and have a slightly harder shell.

Looking for Spiny Lobster on Anna Maria Island? Head over to the Beach Bistro located at 6600 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. Beach Bistro’s “Lobstercargots”  are lush chunks of Florida spiny lobster. Slow cooked in a crock with herbed spinach and seasoned garlic butter.

Happy Spiny Lobster Season!