Nov 042016
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As you know, I recently spent three wonderful days in Bradenton Florida.  It was my first time in the area and while I was there, my days were packed with fun activities and lots of great food.

Full disclosure: I don’t like seafood.  I know, I know….

I am one of the few people from New England that doesn’t and when I arrived in the area and saw that my itinerary was full of dining reservations at seafood restaurants, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find something that I was able to eat. Thankfully, that was not the case at all. The group that I was with dined at three restaurants known for great seafood, but all of them served non-seafood items for people like me. Phew.

Today I want to tell you about some of the highlights at all three of them so that if you are planning a visit to the Bradenton area, you can plan a meal at one of these fantastic eateries.

1. Pier 22


Dining at Pier 22 is truly unique waterfront dining experience.


Pier 22 has become a distinctive destination for casual fine dining in downtown Bradenton with their magnificent views of the Manatee River, historic ambiance and impeccable service. Additionally, their commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients to prepare all their foods and the fact that their chef proudly prepares all menu selections from scratch makes Pier 22 one of the most popular restaurants in the area.


Pier 22 Features:

  • Lunch and Dinner daily with Sunday Brunch
  • Sushi Bar from 3pm and all day Wednesday & Friday
  • The Patio features a Full Bar & Fire Pit
  • The Waterfront Terrace offering al fresco dining
  • Waterfront Ballroom seating 200+ overlooking the Manatee River
  • Private/Semi-Private Rooms for all occasions (weddings, receptions, corporate events and parties)
  • Catering full service offsite and onsite
  • Complimentary dockage available while dining
  • Overnight dockage call 941.747.8300 for slip assignment

While I don’t eat sushi, I couldn’t help but be impressed by this sushi boat that our server, CB, brought out to our table.


After loading up on several appetizers, our group opted to split a few entrees including this burger:


And this fried alligator sandwich.


If you’re wondering, yes, I ate the alligator.  Before you ask, it tasted like chicken.

Oh and the desserts at Pier 22 were phenomenal.  We had homemade fudge, key lime pie and peanut butter pie – which was to die for.


The four people in our group basically had to roll ourselves out of there by the time we were done because we all ate so much amazing food.

Pier 22 is located at 1200 1st Ave West in Bradenton, FL 34205.

2. The Seafood Shack


If you are looking for a table with a saltwater view, a cold beverage and the freshest fish you can possibly find, the Seafood Shack is where you want to be.

The menu at the Seafood Shack is dominated, as you might expect, by seafood (heck, it’s in their name), but they do a few non-seafood options for people like me who don’t eat seafood.


The Seafood Shack Marina has been a Cortez landmark since 1971. Located to the north of the Cortez Drawbridge on the mainland side, The Seafood Shack Marina is fully accommodating with 68 deep water and sailboat safe slips.

The chef had prepared a selection of seafood from the menu and it was served family style for the table to share.




I mentioned that I didn’t eat seafood and the chef was kind enough to make me pork chops with baked apples.


Our table then got this pecan pie to share for dessert.


At the Seafood Shack you will not only great decor, but fantastic food. The restaurant features both outdoor and indoor dining and it’s very family friendly.

The Seafood Shack is located at 4110 127th St W, Cortez, Florida 34215.

3. The Sandbar


The Sandbar is located on the north end of Anna Maria and they are well known in the area for their fresh Florida seafood. At the Sandbar, you can dine inside or outside on their covered deck right, which is right on the white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico.


When we dined there, we were given a table that was literally on the beach so we were able to sink our toes in the sand while we enjoyed some delicious appetizers (including hush puppies) and our meals.


Again, the menu consisted of mostly seafood, but there are other choices including, chicken, burgers and steak. I opted for the burger:


During our meals, we were able to watch an unforgettable sunset over the Gulf.


The staff was polite and professional and the service was top notch. It was wonderful to be able to relax and eat some fresh, delicious food right on the beach.

The Sandbar is located at 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria FL 34216.

If you are in the area, I highly suggest adding at least one (or all) of these restaurants to your list of places to eat while you are there.

Disclosure: I was provided with an all expenses paid trip to Anna Maria Island thanks to the BACVB, but that did not influence my opinions in any way.

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  93 Responses to “Where to Eat in Bradenton Florida”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I’m all about the food when we travel, so I will make use of this the next time we’re in Bradenton.

  2. I don’t eat seafood either so this was a great read for if I ever visit the area. A trip to Florida is definitely in our future. Oh that burger looked amazing!

  3. These look like great places! All the food looks delicious.

  4. First of all your foodie pictures are amazing and second of all thanks for all these in depth reviews and recommendations- I love having an idea of where to chow down before I book a trip!

  5. These are the types of restaurants we love to eat at. Nothing better than some good seafood right by the water!!!

  6. Whenever I go on vacation to a place close to the ocean I always try to find a restaurant right on the pier. This one looks beautiful and I hope at some point I can get down to it. I love exploring areas like this.

  7. Looks like an awesome trip! I also don’t like sea food so some of those meals wouldn’t be my thing. My husband would love it though!

  8. Being vegan, I probably wouldn’t have eaten much of it, but the presentation of this dishes is fantastic! I’d go just for the lovely view!!

  9. I love seafood. That sushi bowl would be my favorite.

  10. I don’t eat seafood either (kudos to you for eating alligator!) so when I go out to a seafood restaurant I am usually thankful to see chicken or a burger.

  11. I love that you tried alligator but hate sushi! I would totally be down for the sushi bowl it’s the biggest thing I miss being inland now!

  12. We love seafood so there is a lot I would like at these restaurants. I love that The Sandbar is literally on the beach! How cool!

  13. I haven’t been to Florida in a couple of years and I’m planning on making a trip soon. I would love to visit a new area and these food/restaurant tips are very handy!

  14. The numbers 22 and 222 follow me everywhere so I will have to hit Pier 22 first, that sushi boat is EVERYTHING! I’ve got to hit that! So basically hanging out with you means more seafood on press trips for me? LOL – let’s be sure to take all of our press trips together! 🙂

  15. My mouth is watering. I eat a limited amount of seafood so I totally know the feeling! All of these restaurants and dishes look delicious. I’ll definitely add this to my list to check out next time we’re in the area.

  16. My blogger contributor doesn’t live too far from Bradenton, so I will definitely be sharing this list with her. I know she is a huge fan of trying out new restaurants, especially when they offer brunch.

  17. I also don’t like sea food, however, I’d love to have my food in front of a sea 🙂

  18. I would eat at each and every one of these restaurants. I do love seafood, even here in land locked Missouri.

  19. I love going to Florida so I can have so many fresh choices of seafood though that open mouth fish isn’t appealing to me.

  20. I absolutely loved Bradenton when we visited there a few months back. These all look like great places!

  21. I am so super jealous seeing these photos right now! I want to be dining on the water, with the sun shining and with beautiful temps!

  22. Those foods in Pier 22 are look fantastic! I’m gonna bring my family there before Holidays!

  23. Those foods in Pier 22 are look fantastic! I’m gonna bring my family there before Holidays!

  24. What fun places and being right on the ocean is priceless! The food also looks amazing!

  25. All of these restaurants look great and eating near the water always makes me happy. I bet the seafood is as fresh as can be too!

  26. These pictures have me drooling! Florida is a beautiful state

  27. Yummy!! Everything look so delicious! I have to go to Florida soon, I’ll keep this in my mind and try to visit those restaurants.

  28. I love the view from The Sandbar. What a gorgeous sunset. I travel to Florida every year and I will have to make a point of stopping into these restaurants.

  29. Wow, the Array of foods is beautiful!! Thanks for the tips, one day I want to travel.

  30. Wow does this food look great! I love most seafood and burgers. I am not a fan of egg on my burgers though and prefer cooked onions or onion straws.

  31. Wow, Bradenton has some great restaurants! That pecan pie looks great. And I was thinking that alligator tastes like chicken right when I read the line where you mention that! 🙂

  32. I lived in Bradenton for 6 years and loved The Sandbar! We enjoyed celebrating special times on Anna Maria Island!

  33. So many excellent choices… the toughest part would be what to try first. I love to eat by the water, the view makes everything takes good.

  34. If I ever make it to Bradenton one day, I’ll be sure to try all of these different places! Great selection my dear 🙂

  35. I would love to eat at The Sandbar. Being able to dine right along the beach like that would be an amazing experience!

  36. One of my favorite things about a restaurant is if it has beach access. There’s nothing better than enjoying dinner while looking out at the ocean.

  37. Your photos instantly made me hungry. And the views! I am definitely keeping this in my back pocket for future trips!

  38. These all look like great places to eat. I would love to try Pier 22. I love the waterfront dining experience.

  39. All your food pictures are amazing and all these great reviews and recommendations! I love having an idea of where to eat, before I book a trip!

  40. One of the things that makes a vacation nice is having good food to eat. It is great that you shared so many places to get good food to eat.

  41. These all look like great places to eat! I love eating by the water. It’s one of my favorite things to do 🙂

  42. It’s nice to know that all offer non-seafood options. I don’t like seafood myself, but Jason does, so we could still go to any one of these and both be satisfied with the options.

  43. Pregnancy dreams are made of this stuff! I would try Pier 22, but it all look so good. I visit FL so often. I need to go!

  44. Awe come on…you have to like sushi!!! LOL The food all looks amazing (well except that scary looking whole fish). It looks like you had a great time.

  45. I’ve never been to Bradenton, but it looks lovely! I’ll check out your suggestions if I’m ever in the area!

  46. I have never been there before but now I wanna go just for the food. lol. Everything looks so delicious!

  47. That sushi boat looks amazing! I love sushi. All that food looks absolutely delicious. This is definitely a place I should check out!

  48. Those views are amazing. I would love to eat there. Sorry you don’t like seafood…you are missing out. 😉

  49. I think I vacation just so I can eat! You found some great food in Florida.

  50. Oooh I love seafood! Pier 22 looks so yummy!

  51. Aw! The food is fantastically represented! I love the presentation and it looks delicious! And I do love seafood a lot! Great dining! 🙂

  52. Florida is one of my favorite places, but I’ve never been there. Those foods are looks tempting and mouth watering.

  53. I’m sure your family had fun experiences. I’ll bring my family there because of beautiful place and fantastic foods.

  54. Thanks for sharing your experiences on this place and share some tips about this! 🙂 Makes we wanna go there soon! 🙂

  55. Looks so good! I love seafood so those look amazing! I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try alligator though, I’ve heard it tastes like chicken before 🙂

  56. wow awesome places to eat! I love that it’s on the seafront too so you get to eat with a view! It looks so peaceful and the food looks delicious too!

  57. I don’t like seafood either but my husband is a huge fan. All the restaurants you visited look really great. I think I’d like to visit The Sandbar.

  58. Thanks for this very helpful guide! Would love to visit Bredenton soon!

  59. Awesome!! This is a great post. Wish I had this over the weekend when I was near there in long boat key! I will have to check out these places whenever I get back to that area 🙂

  60. So now I am starving…thanks 🙂 That sushi boat is the coolest thing I have seen! Very impressive.

  61. Look at you eating alligator and stuffs! That is awesome. I don’t think I could do it knowing what it is, but probably would enjoy it not knowing what it is lol. Looks like lots of great places to eat in Bradenton!

  62. There’s no doubt that there’re a lot of places to go eat in Florida! Thanks for the list! I might come down there and I would love to try these places out.

  63. This looks like a tough spot to be for someone who doesn’t like seafood 🙂

    Seriously, this place looks great; my husband and I are big sushi lovers.

  64. There really is a lot of good food to enjoy in Bradenton! I would love nothing more than to take my girls here!

  65. This looks so pretty to go to. I should have gone to Florida more when I lived in Georgia.

  66. How can you not like seafood and go to FL? LOL I never been to Bradenton FL but I would love to try that sushi on the sushi boat.

  67. That’s super interesting. I actually don’t like seafood too much, I can eat it but I prefer chicken or red meat. All those places look great though!

  68. I only live about two hours SOUTH of here! We should have met up! 😉 Can’t believe that alligator sandwich!

  69. I don’t like seafood either… sometimes I wish I did. People are just enabored with it. The sunset is pretty. I have not been to Bradenton. Its right up the road though, so I might just go!

  70. It all looks so delicious! I’m always adding places to my travel bucket list and I’d love to add this place!

  71. This looks awesome! I am allergic to seafood so most stuff by the beach doesn’t work for me. But so many people love it and they really like it.

  72. I’m not big on seafood either and sometimes it’s hard to find good food in destinations near the water. Thanks for sharing these alternatives!

  73. All of the food here looks awesome! I’m not a big seafood fan either but I live in a land locked state so I feel like that has something to do with it!

  74. oh wow this looks and sounds amazing. I have yet to eat and now feel hungry.

  75. These restaurants look amazing! Sometimes finding great places to eat is one of the best parts about being at the beach!

  76. Hey why didnt you take me with? lol Food looks fab! That dessert is calling my name!

  77. I love to eat by the water. It is so tranquil and relaxing. The Pier looks like a great place to have a meal.

  78. I love to eat by the water. It is so tranquil and relaxing. The Pier looks like a great place to have a meal.

  79. Oh yes, I always love getting lists of places to eat from those who have experience. It makes the deduction process much easier!

  80. I live on the opposite side of the United States. However, we’ve always wanted to go to Florida and these places look fantastic!

  81. Hey Robin,

    Now I know where to eat in Brandeton Fl, You rock. I love posts like these that give me a reason not only to visit a destination but give me where I will find sustenance and be watered 🙂 Keep bringing em 🙂

    Julie Syl

  82. Pier 22 looks like such a beautiful place to eat. I really enjoy eating by the water and often frequent restaurants in City Island, NY exactly for that reason.

  83. Wow those photos and food look amazing! I have always wanted to visit Bradenton!

  84. I have been to Florida couple of times and it is such a nice place with lots of fun activities all around. These are some great suggestions to note and I am in love with those delicious options we have at Pier 22 right away!

  85. It has been many years since I have visited Florida. I love seafood – so I would be ordering lots!

  86. Wow that food looks soon yummy, I wish we lived closer! And can we talk about the amazing presentation!

  87. So much good for! It’s great that they have options for those who do not like seafood.

  88. I love seafood! This place looks amazing – will have to check it out the next time I visit to Florida!

  89. That alligator sandwich looks really interesting! I would love to give that a shot.

  90. I have never been to this area of the country. It all looks so good!

  91. All of these choices look amazing. I need to give these a try when I am in Florida again.

  92. Have been eating at The Sandbar since the early 90s. My favorite restaurant in Florida!

  93. Great ambiance. Wish I can go to that place someday with my family.. Nice post..