Best Waterfront Dining in Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a world-class destination for visitors around the globe. It has a treasured place in Old Florida history and is celebrated for its miles of pristine beaches and sparkling blue waters. If you want sun, fun, shopping, and relaxation; there really is no place better in Florida to make it happen. And with so many things to do on Anna Maria Island, you will want to be a part of the action. Luckily, Mainsail Vacation Rentals has the best Anna Maria Island condo rentals to put you at the center of it all.

And we know that no vacation would be complete without some great meals. Whether it’s breakfast at sunrise or a sunset seafood feast, join us now as we tour some of the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island for waterfront dining.


The Island has a great history, and so does the Sandbar restaurant. Owner Ed Chiles bought the original place in 1979 to continue a tradition (since 1911!) of fantastic dining, top-notch service, and great memories for locals and visitors alike at this historic site. The Sandbar continues to surprise and delight and is also a powerful partner for environmental conservation and locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.

Start your meal off the local way, with oysters on the half shell or a plate of calamari with Thai chili sauce. Then, treat yourself to a sweet salad filled with candied walnuts, organic blueberries, and gorgonzola paired with a steaming bowl of clam chowder. Settle in for the main course of thick-cut New York strip, grilled octopus, or the catch of the day. Or, keep it casual with a vegan burger or fish tacos. An ample beer, wine, and cocktail menu will help you find just the right selection to raise your spirits as you enjoy good food, good company, and a breathtaking view.

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The Waterfront Restaurant

If you’re looking for great Anna Maria Island restaurants on the beach and by the water, try one that says it right in the name!  The Waterfront’s mission is great food and a great experience in “a simpler time – tropical, laid-back Florida the way it used to be.” Surround yourself with greenery and décor of a time past and enjoy something spectacular in the moment. The Waterfront sources much of its ingredients from local folks – featuring seasonal items – and is committed to crafting a menu sure to delight diners. They are also committed to going green, making the most of products that conserve energy and natural resources.

Their menu is chock full of fantastic items. Bob’s Lobster Bisque is a local favorite, as is a steam pot filled with clams or mussels stewing in garlic cream or tomato basil broth. Fresh salads, juicy burgers, and grouper sandwiches round it all out. If you’re in the mood for dinner, treat yourself to the scallops, mussels, clams, and linguini in the Frutti di mare, or spice it up with the wasabi-crusted tuna or braveheart prime New York strip. Ample beer, wine, cocktail, and liquor menus ensure the perfect spirit to accompany your meal. After dinner, cap it all off with a walk on the beach or a spectacular sunset. Perfection!

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waterfront dinner from anna maria island restaurant
Photo from Shutterstock

City Pier Grill & Bait Shop

The City Pier Grill & Bait Shop is conveniently located right on the Anna Maria City Pier. In addition to food, treats, and drinks, the shop sells bait and tackle for a day of fishing. Although the restaurant’s history dates all the way back to 1911, it rebuilt in 2020 after hurricane damage and came back better than ever! Focusing on “quality food at family-friendly prices,” it’s a popular destination where most of what you find on the menu is cooked by a father/son team. 

An ample breakfast menu features everything from hearty breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and oatmeal to bagels and lox and granola parfaits. The lunch and dinner menu has a wide variety of fresh favorites. Enjoy a pier dog with cheese and onion or go local with the Mahi sandwich. Fried shrimp or clam baskets come with everything you love: house-made hush puppies or fries and slaw. Gelato, brownie sundaes, and incredible homemade key lime or peanut butter pies are not to be missed! Beer and wine are also on offer throughout the day.

If you want to grab and go for a day on the beach, be sure to check out their carryout order service!

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The Chateau Anna Maria

Elegant dining in a place that has its own TV show? That’s the story at The Chateau. This restaurant’s New York location has been seen on The Food Network show, Summer Rush. Another great thing about The Chateau? They offer at-home meal kits that are “fully sliced and diced” and take 15 minutes to prepare. 

Stop in for breakfast and spoil yourself with the lobster frittata or decadent crème brulee pancakes. For lunch, step up to lobster mac and cheese, a cinnamon custard Monte Cristo, or the incredible seafood tower piled high with lobster, king crab, snow crab, shrimp, tuna, and more! Dinner is pure elegance. Grilled chateaubriand smothered in mushrooms, tilefish with black garlic and romesco sauce, and pan-seared Florida grouper with black bean mango salsa are just a few of the amazing dishes you’ll find. 

The Chateau Anna Maria Island is located inside our sister property, Waterline Villas & Marina.

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Plan Your Anna Maria Island Vacation

If you want to take advantage of all the Island has to offer, then our Anna Maria Island rentals are the way to go. If you’re ready to get your vacation started, book now, and make sure your next meal is right on the soft sands of Anna Maria Island!

Your Anna Maria Island Rental 

So now you know all the best waterfront dining secrets on Anna Maria Island. But it’s no secret that Mainsail Vacation Rentals offers you the best in local Anna Maria Island accommodations and service. We go above and beyond to make sure you have the ideal property that fits your budget and gets you close to everything you want to experience on your Anna Maria Island vacation. From one-bedroom suites to three-bedroom beachfront rentals, we have what you need to stay local and play endlessly.