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Top Ten Things to do

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

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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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Activities Family Fun Restaurants The Things that Locals Know!

Tide Tables Restaurant Cortez Fishing Village

Tide Tables Restaurant Cortez Fishing Village offers fresh off the boat seafood, and is just a short drive over the Cortez Bridge too!

The Bell family owns AP Bell Fish and Ice Company, Starfish Market and Tide Tables. If you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Starfish Restaurant you know how good Cortez seafood really is. Starfish Market has a reputation for having some of the areas best seafood, and this also extends to Tide Tables. This great restaurant was opened in January 2014.

Tide Tables Restaurant Cortez Fishing Village

The Menu at Tide Tables is indicative of an old Florida Seafood joint, but with the addition of burgers, ribs and chicken. Find something for everyone at Tide Tables! There’s fresh grouper and snapper, fish tacos, Shrimp Po Boy and many Florida style favorites. They also serve beer and wine along with a kids menu and specialty desserts!

The View and Location

Tide Tables is located at the base of the Cortez Bridge on the in land side at 12507 Cortez Road. This is also the area called Cortez Fishing Village, and is one of the oldest working fishing villages in the country. The building is seemingly simple from the road, but this little dock side spot is beautiful!

You’ll only find outdoor seating here, but there are shaded options for hot days. Belly up to the bar, or find a spot at the picnic tables too.

Visitors rave about the great views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Anna Maria Sound and Anna Maria Island. You can come by boat too! If you are out on the boat, and are looking for a place to stop, you found the best. Located at marker 48, there is room to dock and dine here.

Tide Tables is open Monday through Sunday from 11:30am to 8pm.

There is nothing better than enjoying seafood by the waters it came from with a cold drink! For Florida fresh seafood with a beautiful view visit Tide Tables Restaurant today!

Tide Tables Restaurant Cortez Fishing Village
The View is beautiful at Tide Tables!
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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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Activities Family Fun Fishing Report Gulf Front Restaurants The Things that Locals Know!

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!

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Fishing Report The Things that Locals Know!

June Fishing Anna Maria Island Update and Report

This June Fishing Anna Maria Island Update and Report features some pretty amazing species. Tarpon have been on every anglers mind lately. From what we hear they have been biting like crazy along the beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island.  Try using crab for bait. When you hook into a tarpon be ready for a fight.  We have been hearing of battles that have lasted up to an hour and a half.

Inshore June Fishing Has Been Great!

Inshore fishing around Anna Maria Island has been excellent, producing big numbers of trout.  The reports have been coming in about lots of catch and release Snook and gag grouper.  

Cobia have been lurking under the piers and bridges feeding on pinfish.  Catch Redfish with the outgoing tides in the afternoon. Mullet are patrolling the flats.

Offshore red snapper are being caught in about 120 feet of water. Mangrove snapper have been biting in 60-80 feet of water.  Try using live shiners or live shrimp. A chum block is a great way to bring the snapper closer to the boat and get them in the mood to start biting.

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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 The Things that Locals Know!

Shop in Paradise At Publix Super Market On Anna Maria Island

There are lots if great restaurants on Anna Maria Island but you can’t eat out every night of the week. Lucky for you Anna Maria Island has Publix Super Market.  It is an Anna Maria Island full service Super Market with a great deli, bakery, meat department, fresh produce, fresh fruit and fresh seafood.

Publix Super Market is located at 3900 East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach just south of Manatee Avenue.

It is a great place to pick up supplies for a month or just one meal. You will find an excellent selection of meat, seafood, produce, and fresh fruit. If you are in the mood for a quick lunch or snack, stop  at the deli and grab a sandwich, they will make it to your liking.

Boars Head Anna Maria Island

I order mine with Boars Head Mesquite Turkey, salami, extra sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo, you should try one!  They have fountain drinks, and refrigerated beverages, as well.  You can even pick up one or two of your favorite bottles of wine, wine coolers, cider, lager and cold beer.

Publix deli also has great prepared foods like fried chicken, potato salad and ready-made sandwiches. (you  In the bakery you will find excellent cakes, doughnuts, bagels, fresh breads, and other tasty treats.

Contact Publix Bakery and Deli Anna Maria Island

You can call ahead to 941-778-5422 to both the bakery and deli and they will have your items ready for pick up.  They can customize your cakes for birthday parties and events.  Check out some of the amazing  selections from Publix Bakery.

There is always something on special at the seafood counter, and they will even steam your pick for you, free while you are shopping.  We like to enjoy those tasty Gulf shrimp, steamed with either Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun spices.

Right next to the Seafood counter, you will find the fresh Sushi.  Sushi is rolled fresh every morning, even on the weekends.  Grab your favorite spicy or savory combo, and some chopstix, and enjoy!

The Anna Maria Island Publix has all your Super Market needs.

You can grab anything from deodorant and cotton balls, to pet food and plastic baggies.  There are coolers, and coozies, lottery tickets, and lazy day reading.  The lobby boasts beach supplies like cover ups, hats, pool toys and beach floats.  Customer Service will even blow them up for you.  There’s a Redbox Movie Rental Box too.  Grab a flyer from the rack that will give you a list of all the Buy 1 Get 1 Free specials for that week, and head inside for all your supplies.

If you are looking for the perfect restaurant, shopping, fishing, entertainment check in with one of our Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Specialist.  Make sure that you get the most out of your Anna Maria Island Vacation. We have beach house rentals all over Anna Maria Island.  Call Island Real Estate today 877-778-6066 and book your island getaway!

Publix Super Market

3900 East Bay Drive

Holmes Beach, FL  34217

941-778-5422

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Bradenton Beach Restaurants Shopping The Things that Locals Know!

Welcome to Bridge Street on Bradenton Beach

Welcome to historic Bridge Street on beautiful Anna Maria Island.  After the first bridge was built in the 1920’s Bridge Street was the center of the island community. Today the island side of that old wooden bridge still stands, and Bridge Street is a great place for walking, Shopping, Dining, Family Activities, and breath taking views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay.

There are plenty of things to do on Bridge Street from morning to night. Start your day off with breakfast at the Island Creperie on Bradenton Beach Pier, and then keep on top of your putting game at The Fishing Hole Adventure Golf.  When you’re in the mood for shopping, stop at Two Sides of Nature for some island wear, or walk over to Hive Creations for handmade jewelry and exotic décor.

Grab a Steak or some fresh seafood at The Bridge Tender Inn or Island Time Restaurant as the sun slowly slips away into the Gulf of Mexico and island night life is about to begin. Blow off dinner completely and go for drinks at the Sports Lounge or the Drift Inn.

After you have finished your perfect day on  Bridge Street let one of our Anna Maria vacation rental specialists help you get the most from your Anna Maria Island vacation. We have beach houses around the corner from Bridge Street, or anywhere on Anna Maria Island.  Call Island Real Estate today 877-778-6066 and book your Island getaway!

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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.