Location: 9707 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL
Hours: 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sign of the Mermaid is still a bit of a hidden gem on Anna Maria Island among travelers, however it has been open since 1992 and is a favorite among locals who appreciate great food.
The unpretentious exterior is slightly misleading because inside you’ll find some truly incredible seafood focused local cuisine in a very welcoming and unique setting.
The restaurant was opened in the restored Royal Palm Cottage on Gulf Drive which dates back to 1913. It soon became known for its casual atmosphere, mermaid themed décor and for offering a menu of freshly prepared local fare that rivaled the top establishments on Anna Maria Island.
Long time island resident Ed Spring is the owner with his daughters Serena and Kellie, and their menu focuses on the best and highest quality local produce, dairy and meats prepared in exciting and diverse ways.
Sign of the Mermaid is cozy and full of antiques and quirky décor. It is family friendly and offers a discounted kids’ menu along with many options for every meal of the day.
Eating at least one breakfast at Sign of the Mermaid is a must with its impressive menu of traditional and unique items.
Breakfast is served from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and includes shrimp and grits, eggs, fruit, custom omelets, French toast, eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and the signature homemade roast beef brisket hash which the restaurant is famous for.
For the lunch menu you can choose from a unique selection of fresh soups and salads, signature lunch selections such as the Mermaid’s Baked Brie: a wedge of brie wrapped in phyllo dough, baked to golden brown and topped with fruit, honey and almond slices.
The Mahi Bundle includes fresh blue crab, Mahi, red onion and butter baked in flaky phyllo dough and served with a mouthwatering sundried tomato sauce and Cuban bread.
Several other exclusive lunch options are available along with an array of signature sandwiches, mac and cheese customized with your choice of shrimp, Mahi, crab, ham, bacon or sausage, and so many other creative takes on traditional American favorites.
For dinner, you’ll get to choose from multiple made to order steak entrée options, lamb Florentine or rack of lamb, duck and chicken, pasta dishes, locally sourced fish made the exact way you want including 8 different preparation techniques, and shellfish and scallop entrees.
Along with these impressive signature menu items you’ll have a large selection of sides to choose from, desserts, appetizers and an extensive beer and wine menu. Many choices are available for specific dietary preferences such as gluten free, vegan or vegetarian.
As large as their menu is, you can rest assured that every dish at the Sign of the Mermaid will be cooked to perfection unlike other restaurants that spread themselves too thin with big menus.
The owners search far and wide for the absolute best ingredients on Anna Maria Island and as far as the Parish and Myakka areas of Florida.
At Sign of the Mermaid you’re guaranteed to get generous servings and top tier service and the opportunity to sample the incredible seafood that Anna Maria Island is known for, prepared with the skill and care you would expect at any luxury or 5-star restaurant.
However, your bill won’t be nearly as high and you’ll have a quaint, warm and comfortable atmosphere to experience it all in.