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20 Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL You Gotta Try

Looking for the Best Restaurants in Bradenton, FL?

Bradenton may not be the first place that people think of when they plan a visit to Florida. But with so many great activities for visitors, it should certainly be high on the list!

This city on the Gulf in Southwest Florida is sandwiched between the more popular tourist destinations of Sarasota and Tampa. Because of its proximity to both, it is very easy to plan a visit there via either air or land.

You’ll definitely have to eat while you are visiting the area, and Bradenton has no shortage of incredible food experiences to offer! The following is a list of 20 of the best restaurants in Bradenton to visit while you are in town.

20 Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL You Gotta Try

Downtown Bradenton

1. Lost Kangaroo Pub

This self-described dive bar is a great place to kick back, order a beverage and watch the game. At this downtown Bradenton locale, its mostly about the beer and atmosphere.

Hors d’oeuvres are served on Sundays during football season, but otherwise you should plan to eat elsewhere. Lost Kangaroo has around 30 local microbrews and other domestic beers on tap, and another 100 selections in bottles and cans.

The pub’s website has a complete list of their beer selections which is updated regularly. There is a big screen television in the main room for those who want to watch sports, and plenty of tables inside and out for those who don’t.

Other on-site entertainment options include dart boards and several pinball machines. On Thursdays, the bar has a Yappy Hour where customers are allowed to bring along their canine companions. One of the best bradenton restaurants.

Lost Kangaroo Pub Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL

Lost Kangaroo Pub/ Flickr

2. Clancy’s Sports Bar & Grill

If you can imagine the combination of Caribbean Tiki bar and Irish pub, the result would be Clancy’s Sports Bar & Grill.

For over 20 years, this popular Bradenton spot has been serving up large portions of pub favorites including Shepard’s Pie and Corned Beef & Cabbage. Diners can also build their own burgers and pizzas, and pair them with a cold draft Guinness or other beverage of choice. Clancy’s has drink specials during happy hour every weekday afternoon, and they keep patrons entertained with games like trivia, poker and bingo.

For St. Patrick’s Day, Clancy’s holds a huge outdoor celebration underneath a tent with live music, drink specials and lots of Irish cheer!

To show their commitment to the community, Clancy’s also hosts the Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge each New Year’s Day, where hundreds of locals and visitors alike brave the chilly winter waters to raise funds for less fortunate children in Manatee County. Without doubt, one of the best places to eat in bradenton fl.

Clancy's Irish Sports Pub

Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub/ Facebook

3. Pier 22

Pier 22 has been operating for over 4 decades in its location at the end of the Municipal Pier in downtown Bradenton. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner each day of the week, along with brunches on the weekend.

Pier 22 menus feature many fine dishes from both the land and the sea. During lunch hours, the restaurant serves mainly salads and sandwiches. Some of their signature items include a wonderful Seafood Cobb Salad featuring shrimp, crab and lobster, and don’t miss the Fried Alligator Sandwich!

When the restaurant switches to dinner service, the menu expands to include a variety of steaks and seafood dishes including Blackened Grouper and Pork Osso Bucco. While indoor dining is available, the more popular option is to eat on their waterfront terrace overlooking the Manatee River. Pier22 even has spaces available on the dock where boats can tie up for the day or overnight.

Pier 22

Pier 22/ Facebook

4. Tom’s Bad Ass Bar & Grill

If you are in the mood for a laid back and relaxed vibe while you’re in downtown Bradenton, look no further than Tom’s Bad Ass Bar & Grill.

Tom’s serves fresh, casual comfort food along with quality hand crafted cocktails. You can’t go wrong with pub favorites such as burgers, wings and nachos. There is also a selection of loaded salads for those who want to stay on the lighter side of things.

For the kiddos, there is a Future Bad Asses menu including the usuals like corn dogs, mac and cheese and chicken tenders. Tom’s is open every day for lunch and dinner, so there’s plenty of opportunities to schedule a visit there while you are in town.

Tom’s Bad Ass Bar & Grill Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL

Tom’s Bad Ass Bar & Grill/ Facebook

5. The Sage Biscuit Café

When it comes to breakfast, your best bet in the downtown Bradenton area is the Sage Biscuit Café.  This eclectically designed family run eatery is open every day and serves up a variety of homestyle dishes for breakfast and lunch.

The breakfast menu is packed with favorites like omelets, biscuits & gravy, and corned beef hash. For those who try to keep it healthy first thing in the morning, the café also has vegetarian breakfast items like Quinoa Scrambles, yogurt parfaits and avocado toast.

When it comes time to switch over to lunch, Sage Biscuit Café offers a wide array of salads and sandwiches. Don’t miss Chef Joe’s Killer Crab Cake! Make sure you save room for dessert, as their selection of confections that ranges from Peanut Butter Pie to Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake is sure to please any sweet tooth.

The Sage Biscuit Café

The Sage Biscuit Café/ Facebook

6. Sam’s Seafood & Grill

Because if its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Downtown Bradenton has no shortage of places to get a seafood dinner.

One of the best of these is Sam’s Seafood & Grill, where the food is always fresh and cooked to order. Sam’s also has two locations in Pensacola, FL, but their popularity has given them the opportunity to expand to Bradenton as well.

The menu at this local’s favorite spot has something for nearly everyone. From various sandwiches like a Philly Cheesesteak and the Cubano to seafood dishes like Crawfish and Snow Crab. The portions at Sam’s are large and the prices are reasonable. The fast casual concept opens daily for lunch and the dinner hours go well beyond midnight.

Sam’s Seafood & Grill

Sam’s Seafood & Grill/ Facebook

7. Zeko’s Mediterranean Grill

Just on the edge of downtown Bradenton is a popular spot called Zeko’s Mediterranean Grill. There are 5 Zeko’s locations around Southwestern Florida, and each one of them has a reputation for serving up unique flavors out of their made-from-scratch kitchens.

As you would expect, there are Mediterranean favorites like kabobs, schwarmas and gyros all present on the menu. But it doesn’t stop there at Zeko’s, as the menu is also influenced by their location in the Sunshine State.

Platters are piled high with fried or grilled fish and/or shrimp and served with a side of your choice. Vegetarians will delight in the fresh house-made falafel patties, served either on their own or as a sandwich. Diners at Zeko’s rave about their hummus and pita bread platter, both of which are made fresh each day.

Zeko’s Mediterranean Gril

Zeko’s Mediterranean Gril/ Facebook

West Bradenton

8. Stone Bowl Pan Asian

Located in West Bradenton, this fun little spot is a great place to top in to get an inexpensive meal with a Japanese influence.

Stone Bowl Pan Asian is open every day but Sunday for lunch and dinner. The menu at this location is jam packed with a huge variety of sushi rolls, sashimi, bento boxes, and noodle dishes. But what they are really known for are the bowls.

The signature stone bowl dishes are filled with a base of rice and covered with your choice of vegetables, proteins and sauces. The combinations are nearly endless, and the sauces range from Thai Curries to Teriyaki and every flavor in between. Protein choices include tofu, chicken, steak, pork, salmon, shrimp. If you’re in a rush, you can place your order online through their website and have it ready for pickup.

Stone Bowl Pan Asian

Stone Bowl Pan Asian

9. Danny’s Pizzeria

Just before you cross the bridge that leads to Anna Maria Island, you’ll pass by a shopping center that houses Danny’s Pizzeria.

Originally established in New York over 30 years ago, Danny’s has made it all the way down the coast to its new home in West Bradenton. As you would expect, the kitchen at this pizzeria serves up delicious New York style pies with a wide array of toppings.

However, the menu doesn’t stop there. Beyond the pie, Danny’s sells calzones, hero sandwiches, and Italian favorites like Manicotti, Lasagna, Baked Ziti and Chicken Parmigiana. There are also some unique starter dishes on the menu like Fried Ravioli, Zucchini Sticks, and Garlic Knots. All dishes on the menu are available seven days a week for dine in, carry out and delivery.

Danny’s Pizzeria Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL

Danny’s Pizzeria/ Facebook

10. Sweetberries Frozen Custard

The weather in Soutwestern Florida can be quite hot – and on those days a cool treat can really hit the spot. Sweetberries Frozen Custard in West Bradenton has just what the doctor ordered!

Their delectable frozen custard is made in house at least twice each day. They always have vanilla, chocolate, and the flavored custard of the day.

Order yours in a cup or a cone, and with or without toppings. If you’re looking for something more savory, Sweetberries makes more than just custard. The daily lunch menu consists of several sandwiches made with deli meats and cheeses. Choose one of their creations or build your own custom plate. Side dishes vary daily with the seasons based on what is available.  

Sweetberries Frozen Custard

Sweetberries Frozen Custard/ Facebook

BEACHES & ISLANDS

11. The Ugly Grouper

One of the favorite dining hotspots on Anna Maria Island is the Ugly Grouper, with a seafood centric menu and eclectic décor.

Dining at the Grouper is completely outdoors, and there’s often a wait to get a table. However, once you are seated you’ll forget all about how long you had to wait. The menu at the Grouper is chock full of seafood specialties, as well as a few standard sandwiches including burgers and pulled pork sliders for those who prefer to dine off the land.

The Ugly Grouper is famous for its take on Grouper Tacos.  These delights have heaps of blackened fish on a bed of lettuce and tomato, served inside a cheese crusted tortilla shell.

Another crowd favorite is the Grouper Polynesian Boat, which consists of a blackened grouper filet and parmesan risotto served inside a hollowed out half pineapple. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious! Gluten free and vegan options are also available upon request.

The Ugly Grouper

The Ugly Grouper/ Facebook

12. Anna Maria Oyster Bar

The original Anna Maria Oyster Bar opened its doors in 1995 on the Anna Maria Pier. The restaurant quickly became so popular that the concept expanded to include several locations in the surrounding areas of town.

The original location was forced to shutter its doors in 1999, but an abridged version of the AMOB returned waterside in 2015, this time at the Bradenton Bridge Pier. These coastally inspired restaurants serve a wide selection of dishes which focus mainly on seafood.

As one would expect from a restaurant with “Oyster Bar” in the name, there is a raw bar that features several different oyster preparations. The AMOB menu also includes many dishes that are beyond the shell. Diners can select a type fish from the daily Fish Market and having it prepared in the style of their choosing.

The most popular dish at AMOB is the Fish and Chips, which is available in an all-you-can-eat version from 2-5pm daily. There are a few selections on the menu in the category of Things That Don’t Swim, including Baby Back Ribs and a 12oz Ribeye steak.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Anna Maria Oyster Bar/ Facebook

13. Smoqehouse

This family run restaurant is not your typical BBQ shack. Instead it is a fast casual eatery that serves up delicious dishes that are made from scratch.

Originally started in Minnesota, the Smoqehouse crew opened their Anna Maria Island location in 2017. Since then they have been feeding the crowds that descend on the Island each winter with unique hand-crafted sandwiches and sides.

The BBQ meats they serve are cooked in house and are seasoned by a fantastic combination of fire and smoke. Crowd favorites includethe traditional Cuban sandwich with pulled pork, ham and pickles, and the Korean Beef sandwich featuring shaved beef, Korean BBQ and a ginger-lime slaw.

Smoqehouse chefs cut fresh potatoes for their French Fries and House Chips. These are then used in side dishes like the Poutine (fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds) and their Loaded Chips (covered in bleu cheese and a garlic-thyme aioli).

Smoqehouse

Smoqehouse/ Facebook

14. The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar

Located on the Bay side of Anna Maria Island, the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar has been serving the Bradenton area since 1989.

This casual dining space right on the water is a favorite for many island residents and visitors. The Bridge Tender is open 7 days a week, and they have live music performances going on each afternoon and evening. No reservations are accepted, so be sure to show up early and with an appetite for some incredible island inspired eats!

Gulf Grouper, Fish Tacos and Sesame Tuna Sashimi are all popular items in the seafood category. On the land side of the menu, some favorite items are the Roast Duck, Jo’s Short Ribs, and the BTI Filet Medallions. The Bridge Tender even thinks of those canine companions and includes a Doggie Burger on the menu!

The restaurant is active in the community and has raised thousands of dollars for local charities over the years.

The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar

The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar/ Facebook

15. The Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus

Since 1999, the Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus has been serving the Bradenton area the best of German and Austrian Cuisine.

The restaurant is located in the Holmes Beach area of Anna Maria Island and has the simplicity, fun and festive atmosphere you would expect of a classic German-inspired beer hall. To start your meal off right, you might want to order a cup of Goulash or some homemade Potato Pancakes.

The entrée section of the menu is laden with traditional German dishes like Schnitzel, Pork and Beef roasts, and of course a variety of sausages. Pair any one of those with a mug of German beer and you are in for a true culinary experience! To finish off the meal, try a piece of Apple Strudel or a slice of Black Forest Cake.

The Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus

The Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus/ Facebook

16. The Beach House

For a more upscale dining option you might want to check out the Beach House. The menu at this waterfront dining locale features sustainably and locally sourced ingredients which can all be enjoyed alongside views of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Beach House opened in 1993, in the space that used to hold the Harbor House Restaurant. In 2017 the Beach House underwent significant renovations to make it a local leader in the environmentally friendly building movement.

The mission of the Beach House is to serve the very best foods from the land and sea. Many of their ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, and they even maintain a list of suppliers on their website. The menu lists starters that include Peel & Eat Shrimp, Smoked Fish Dip and Vegan Lettuce Wraps.

From the entrée category, favorites include a grilled whole Pompano fish, Seafood Gumbo, and their Short Rib Tacos. Don’t forget to save room for dessert – as they have an extensive selection of confections that are the perfect ending to a wonderful meal experience.

The Beach House

The Beach House/ Facebook

Village of the Arts

17. Cottonmouth Soul Food

Just south of the downtown area is the Village of the Arts, where dozens of artists and their galleries are located.

Many of the galleries are open to the public on certain days for viewing and shopping. There are also many public and private events where the artists can showcase their work in person.

From paintings and sculptures to folk art and more, there is no end to the creativity of the creators who take up residence there. The district covers 32 city blocks, and strolling through all those galleries can work up quite a hunger. At the north end of the district, you’ll find Cottonmouth Soul Food. Cottonmouth offers an array of comfort foods like Gulf Shrimp and Cheesy Grits, Buttermilk Biscuits, and a Meatloaf burger.

Cottonmouth Soul Food

Cottonmouth Soul Food/ Facebook

18. Birdrock Taco Shack

Located in the middle of the Village of the Arts, this funky little shack serves up gourmet tacos and burritos to the delight of the Bradenton public. These creations are a huge departure from the usual ground beef and shredded lettuce that many of us think of when we hear the word taco.

Chef David fills his shells with high end items like Korean beef, Peking duck, blue crab, and even cold water Lobster. For non-meat lovers, there are several vegetarian and vegan filling options including falafel, brussels sprouts, beets and goat cheese, and edamame.

As for burritos, those can come with ingredients like chipotle bbq chicken, pork carnitas, and Thai peanut shrimp. A taco wouldn’t be as delicious without a cold drink to accompany it, and Birdrock has plenty of those to choose from as well on their extensive beer and wine list.

Birdrock Taco Shack

Birdrock Taco Shack/ Facebook

19. Motorworks Brewing

The first microbrewery in Bradenton, Motorworks was founded in 2014 and is located just south of the downtown business district.

The building that houses the brewery is nearly a century old and was previously an auto dealership and service center for the Hudson Motor Company. Motorworks has created Florida’s largest beer garden where they host weekly movie nights, outdoor concerts, and plenty of yard games to entertain customers. The outdoor area is also dog-friendly.

While they don’t have a kitchen of their own, the brewery has partnered with several area food trucks who appear on a rotating schedule. The stars of the show are the beers that are produced on site, which have won a litany of awards. Motorworks keeps nearly 30 of their beers on tap, along with a wide selection of canned brews. The bar also sells wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic selections for customers who aren’t into beer.

Motorworks Brewing

Motorworks Brewing/ Facebook

20. Ortygia Italian Restaurant

On the far end of the Village of the Arts is Ortygia Italian Restaurant, which promises authentic Sicilian, French & Mediterranean fusion-style cuisine.

The food at Ortygia is all made from mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients, and the menu changes regularly. Chef Gaetano uses his culinary skills to create an array of distinctive dishes that feature an uncommon but impressive flavor profile.

To start, there will be a small selection of appetizers including soups and salads like Onion Soup and a Mediterranean Caesar Salad. Among the entrees they put on the menu there’s always a Fresh Catch of the Day and a Pasta of the Week.

You may also see classics like Veal Scallopini or Pork Milanese among the choices on the menu board. Ortygia is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, reservations are welcomed and encouraged.

Ortygia Italian Restaurant Best Restaurants in Bradenton FL

Ortygia Italian Restaurant/ Facebook

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As you can see, there are quite a few amazing restaurants to keep you fed during a visit to Bradenton, and this list just begins to scratch the surface! So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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