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The Things that Locals Know!

Outdoor Dining on Anna Maria Island

There is nothing better than relaxing on Anna Maria Island and dining outdoors.  It is a fabulous way to enjoy our tropical weather and enjoy the great outdoors!  Anna Maria Island does boast some fabulous restaurants that offer dining with waterfront views.  Open air dining with a waterfront view is pretty spectacular.

Lots of choices below and hopefully we have wet your appetite enough to go visit a few.  Be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Question pages for more information on Anna Maria Island.

Sandbar – 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria
Sandbar offers direct Gulf front Dining.  Plenty of parking located in Anna Maria City.

The Waterfront – 111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
The restaurant offers views of the public pier from outdoor covered dining.

Anna Maria Public Pier – 100 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
The public pier offers mostly dining inside but has phenomenal Bay views.  Sorry 2020 pier was rebuilt.  Awaiting restaurant choice of City.

Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
The restaurant has a small area where outside seating is offered.  The area has views across the street to the intercoastal.

Island Time Bar & Grill – 111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach
Open-air setting, across the street from the Gulf and is located on a main thoroughfare with lots of people watching options.

The Beachhouse – 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Direct Gulf front with tons of seating, some covered and the ability to host very large parties.

Coquina Café – 2650 Gulf Drive South, Coquina Beach
Direct Gulf front dining with a bar and very large dining area with lots of televisions to enjoy a sporting event or two.

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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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Fishing Report Restaurants The Things that Locals Know!

Seafood Shack – Great Seafood just over the Cortez Bridge

If you’re looking for great food with a beautiful view of the Intracoastal, take a short ride over the Cortez Bridge from Anna Maria Island to the Seafood Shack.

Located on the western shoreline of the old Cortez Fishing Village on what is called Hunter’s Point, Seafood Shack has been serving up fresh off the boat seafood since 1972.

Seafood Shack
Seafood Shack Restaurant and Marina in Cortez, Florida. Photo Credit: Seafood Shack Facebook page.

Restaurant and Marina History

Shortly after the Marina was built in 1971, the Seafood Shack opened its doors. In 2014 both the marina and restaurant were taken over by a Canadian based development firm who has implemented new management, menu items, and renovations to the marina and restaurant keeping that old Florida Feel in tact.

Menu and Dining

Today Seafood Shack is as popular as ever with a menu including something for any pallet, fabulous views, and a full service bar. The menu offers great fresh seafood such as bacon wrapped scallops, fish tacos and a grouper sandwich. If you aren’t a seafood fan try out their meat like the NY Strip or the Classic Burger.

Along with fresh caught seafood, local growers such as Geraldson Community Farms provide fresh sourced produce to this fine eatery.

Enjoy daily fresh catch specials, or have the chef cook up your own catch of the day with the “Hook to Platter” special. For just $14.99 bring in your own fresh caught and cleaned fish, and the Seafood Shack chefs will prepare it to your liking.

When dining at Seafood Shack enjoy a full service bar with Happy Hour specials from 2-5pm daily.

Seafood Shack offers three different venues for banquets along with catering services. Enjoy a gorgeous wedding destination with no detail overlooked at this gorgeous waterfront restaurant.

You’ll find fun daily specials and events at this restaurant including live music, seasonal events and half off rum drinks on Rumday Mondays.

Marina and Charters

The Marina offers several first come first serve boat slips for both large and small vessels. The Marina offers fabulous amenities including shower/bathroom facility, free wireless, boat/trailer storage and nearby gas and diesel. If you aren’t arriving by boat, experience the area with one of Seafood Shacks suggested charters.

Seafood Shack
941.794.1235
Visit Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday/Saturday 11am-10pm.
Located at 4110 127th Street W, Cortez, Fl by land, or by sea at ICW marker 49. 27’28,215 N 82’41,425 W

Vacation Rentals on Anna Maria Island

Looking for a boat friendly vacation rental home nearby Seafood Shack? Check out Island Real Estate’s list of vacation rental homes with boat access!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental “513 Loquat” offers accommodations for 12 guests on a canal front leading out to the Intracoastal Waterway. Includes boat dock and lift! Click on the image for more information about “513 Loquat”.
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Dining & Nightlife Fishing Recreation Restaurants The Things that Locals Know!

The Mackerel Run and Fishing Anna Maria City Pier

It’s a great time to be fishing Anna Maria City Pier.  The Mackerel Run is ON and they are showing up in spades.

Last evening we decided to take a quick ride up to the Anna Maria City Pier…our favorite college team Penn State was ahead at half time, and our dinner still had another 45 minutes to finish in the oven.

Fishing Anna Maria City Pier? Buckets of Fin!

As we walked down the recently re-built pier we were greeted by lots of anglers fishing in the beautiful blue-green waters of the Tampa Bay.  The fisherman told us that the mackerel were biting and they were not kidding; there were buckets and buckets filled to the brim with fish.

It was such fun to see people of all ages, casting and catching fish…  Then we enjoyed a guitarist playing great Neil Young songs, one of which my husband requested and enjoyed.

As we listened and looked out over the lovely Gulf Of Mexico waters and the silhouette of the outstanding Skyway Bridge, we were, once again, amazed at the glory of this unbelievable place in which we have the privilege to live.

We walked back down the pier to return to our car watching the setting sun highlight the clouds. It is far too often that we don’t take enough advantage of Anna Maria Island.  We got back home and ate a great dinner while we watched our team win the game in FOUR overtimes!

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Fishing Report The Things that Locals Know! Videos

Fishing On Anna Maria Island

The fishing report is in and excellent along the shores of Anna Maria Island.  I went out in search of some proof last week, and started at the Anna Maria City Pier.  There were about a dozen people standing at the end of both the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier with poles in hand waiting to catch the next big fish.  I spoke with a couple of local fisherman and people in the bait shops to get the scoop.

The fishing off of the piers, bridges, and along the shoreline on Anna Maria Island has been very promising catching Redfish, Snapper, Jacks, and the fishermen are saying that we have an excellent Snook season to come.

Tarpon, Mackerel, and Grouper have been biting in deeper water and are always worth going out on a fishing charter to catch these larger game fish.  If you hook into a Tarpon be ready for a fight!

Anna Maria City Pier Fishing

Don Kuhn was cast netting for Jacks and Silver Mullet off of the City Pier today.  He told me that I could find him there most days in the spring.  Don told me about the schools of Silver Mullet and Jacks that were running through the area.  The schools of fish had numbers in the thousands and Don was grabbing about 12-16 per toss.

While chatting with Don at the City Pier he told me about the dolphin with the white tip on his dorsal fin.  The dolphin was after the same fish in that area and “he chased down a huge redfish earlier this morning.”

Don told me about this dolphin that got wrapped up in a cast net and did not fight or resist. Instead when the fisherman pulled him in the dolphin remained calm until the fisherman could set him free.  This very dolphin was swimming alongside the pier as we spoke; Don was able to identify him by the white markings on his dorsal fin.

Cast Net Fishing Anna Maria City Pier

At the Anna Maria City Pier you can throw your cast net on most of the pier.  There is a yellow line painted the width of the pier indicating the designated net fishing area.  As far as fishing off the pier with a pole you can go anywhere.

The bait shop opens at 7am and closes with the restaurant in the evenings. Feel free to call the restaurant for bait shop hours.  The bait shop consists of a small selection of hooks, bait, basic tackle, and draft beer!  If you get hungry while you are fishing grab a bit to eat in the restaurant.  They have a great selection for both fisherman and land lovers.

Rod & Reel Pier Fishing

Just down the beach from the City Pier is the Rod & Reel Pier, stop in and talk to my friend Derek Olson, he knows everything about the Rod & Reel Pier and is chock full of Island history.

The Rod & Reel Pier is a great place for fishing, and has a bait shop that is open from 7am-closings (around 9pm) feel free to call the restaurant for bait shop hours.

Cast netting is not permitted at the Rod & Reel Pier but they do offer fishing pole rentals, a small selection of hooks, bait, basic tackle, and of course cold draft beer right in the bait shop!  The bait shop has both live and frozen bait for your complete Anna Maria Island fishing experience.

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Holmes Beach Shopping

Fresh Fish Market on Anna Maria Island

The fresh Fish Market on Anna Maria Island in Holmes Beach is a great local shop to purchase really great, fresh local fish.  They offer a wonderful selection of fresh catches such as red snapper, salmon, shrimp, and much more.  The selection changes daily with the availability of the fish.  They only offer the  freshest fish, thus the name Fresh Fish Market!

When you order your fish, they fillet it for you right on the spot and also offer some really great recipe ideas.  If you are unsure of the best cooking methodology just ask, they are pros and can give you plenty of ideas on how to cook your fresh Anna Maria Island seafood.

Fresh Fish Market is located in Holmes Beach

The Fresh Fish Market located in Holmes Beach often has several seafood recipe cards sitting out for ideas on what to have for dinner or lunch.  On our most recent visit the Ahi Tuna with Mango & Avocado recipe card caught my eye and will be our next seafood cooking adventure.

The Fresh Fish Market of Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island has more than just raw fish, they also offer a selection of fresh made soups such as New England Clam Chowder.   The Fresh Fish market also has a variety of fresh spices and organic foods provided by Front Door Organics.

If you are looking for a quick bite to eat they have a small spot to sit and offer fresh made to order salads that can have freshly prepared fish or shrimp added on top!  Wonderful selections of hot chocolate, vegetables, and fruit.

The Fresh Fish Market of Anna Maria Island is a must visit if cooking fresh seafood is on your list of things to do while on Vacation.

Fresh Fish Market

5604 Marina Dr.
Holmes Beach, Fl 34217
941-567-6130

Want more choices for fresh fish?  Two great options are both located in Cortez, Florida.  Just off Anna Maria Island in the Village of Cortez.  Starfish Company is a great choice and just to the East of Starfish Company is the Cortez Kitchen.  Both sell raw seafood that you can grab and cook.

If you are cooking seafood you are going to need a vacation rental with a barbecue grill.  Most of our Anna Maria Island Vacation rentals have a barbecue Grill but click here to sort for a rental with a barbecue grill.