Anna Maria Island is a seafood enthusiast’s paradise. The acclaimed restaurants here feature some of the most accomplished seafood dishes you will find anywhere, with local owners who are passionate about what they produce.
The welcoming attitude of our locals and the “Old Florida” atmosphere are added bonuses to the amazing seafood you’re sure to enjoy at any of the island’s top establishments.
Below are the three top Anna Maria Island seafood restaurants that are worthy of a visit during your next vacation here. These culinary attractions stand out for their commitment to quality, local ingredients, and top-tier service.
The Waterfront Restaurant
There is a reason why the Waterfront Restaurant is one of the highest rated seafood restaurants on Anna Maria Island. It does everything it strives to do at an exceptional level. At least three main aspects of the restaurant elevate its stature, aside from the extraordinary beach views.
The first is the daily menu. It consists of local specialties, almost always obtained from local fishermen. The menu is where the chefs can creatively experiment with new strategies for preparation and presentation, all based on years of solid experience of course.
The second area is the specialty dietary aspects that the team puts into consideration. Few seafood restaurants are vegetarian and vegan-friendly, for example. The Waterfront Restaurant has options in both areas. The chefs are versatile enough to encompass menu items of strict vegetables prepared to perfection, such delectable fried green tomatoes or watermelon salad.
Featuring some local delights that you can’t get anywhere else in the world, quite literally, the Waterfront Restaurant excels on just about every level. You can find this premium seafood spot at 111 Bay Blvd N, Anna Maria, FL 34216.
If the Waterfront Restaurant is one of the all-around best seafood options on the island, the Sandbar Restaurant is the romantic beach alternative for lunch, dinner or brunch.
It’s casual yet classy, and it is hard to compete with the captivating sunset on the beach beside the Sandbar Restaurant. Some of the outdoor tables rest directly in the sand, giving the restaurant a relaxing scenic setting for a couples night or getaway.
The food holds up brilliantly to match the location. The seasonal fish, steak, sausage, lobster and chicken sandwiches are popular lunch items along with the sliders, tacos, seafood tower, salads and Southern lunch entrees like fried shrimp and chicken & waffles. These are just a few of many options you’ll find at this elegant restaurant. Everything is sourced from local ingredients whenever possible of course.
The history of the restaurant’s location dates back to 1911. In these early days, many people visited the bay side of the island from Tampa and other areas to “The Pavilion” – a preferred meeting area for its scenery and diving platform that extended 100 feet offshore.
This is the same site where the restaurant now sits, and there are plenty of other tales about this unique historical site that locals will be happy to fill you in on. You’ll find the Sandbar Restaurant at 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216.
Rod & Reel Pier
The Rod & Reel Pier is the affordable and casual alternative to the other seafood restaurants on Anna Maria Island, with some remarkable water views right from the pier. The menu features a grilled grouper sandwich, peel and eat shrimp, crab cakes, and plenty of other locally sourced seafood specialties.
The menu also includes chicken sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese for those who prefer non-seafood dishes. You’ll find the Rod & Reel Pier on the north end of the island at 875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216.
Anna Maria Island is a quaint Florida escape that is full of attractions and culinary experiences. Here you’ll get to experience some of the best seafood restaurants anywhere amidst breathtaking ocean scenery, making every vacation here memorable. You won’t go wrong with any of the three above mentioned options, but plenty of others await!