Dining with a View

Congratulations on finding a gem of a destination for your vacation! Insulated from everyday worries, Anna Maria Island is celebrated for its world-class beaches, an authentic Old Florida way of life and its eclectic, yet grounded, sense of community.

While much can be said about renting a home with a perfectly equipped kitchen, experience proves that daily “self-catering” is far from a reality. A big part of traveling is to sample the local cuisine, and our seven-mile long barrier island is chocked full of options to please any palette.

But given its location between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, Anna Maria Island certainly features its share of eateries with brag-worthy views. Here are a few of our “guest favorites.”

Owned by Ed Chiles, an AMI stalwart, the Beach House Restaurant lords over 650 feet of pristine Gulf front beach. Patrons rave about the fresh seafood, but it’s the view and waterfront location that keeps the happy hordes returning. Less known is that the Beach House is a model for environmental-friendly development and embraces sound sustainability initiatives, making it an admirable steward of its surroundings. Address: 200 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217.

What’s in a name? The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar represents truth in advertising! The robust lunch and dinner menus are supported by inventive cocktails, a superb wine list and delicious daily specials. Favorite flavor profiles include picatta, au Poivre, pesto, and mojo, with fare that caters to the traditionalist to the adventurous. Grab a seat on their patio to drink in the views of emerald green water, while luxuriating in the refreshing island breezes. Address: 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216.

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Maybe it’s not fair to reserve the Beach Bistro for either the “ultimate date night” or super special occasion, but their Colorado rack of lamb will set you back $79… Money no object? Ballers pair the lamb with Nova Scotia lobster and Hudson Valley foie gras for a wallet-busting $96. While “food heaven” doesn’t come cheap, many foodies believe this award-winning beachside staple serves up the finest cuisine on Florida’s west coast. Critics seem to agree. Address: 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217.
**Insider’s Tip: The Beach Bistro is directly across the street from the Mainsail Beach Inn which features two and three-bedroom vacation rentals ranging from beachfront condos and spacious townhomes.

There are more so be sure and share your favorite dining views on Anna Maria Island!