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    Monday, 24 November 2014

    Where to eat on Anna Maria Island

    Anna Maria Island is home to dozens of really fantastic restaurants. You could stay here for a week and eat every meal out without going to the same place twice!

    With that kind of variety, it can be daunting to decide where to spend some quality culinary time. This is why we’ve put together a brief list of some of our very favorite restaurants on Anna Maria Island. We love these places not just for their delectable, innovative, fresh cuisine, but also for their commitment to sustainability.

    The Waterfront Restaurant

    These days, you can’t throw a rock without finding a restaurant that claims to be committed to sustainability. But The Waterfront was all about keeping it local and minimizing their footprint long before being green was a trendy new thing.

    The Waterfront Restaurant on Anna Maria Island

    Not only do they source their seafood from local fishermen and buy as much local produce as possible, they make just about everything from scratch, from soup stocks to hamburger buns. The few things they do get from bigger restaurant suppliers include biodegradable eco-friendly takeout containers and paper goods.

    And this commitment to keeping things local doesn't end in the kitchen!

    Last year, The Waterfront opened Anna Maria’s first and only craft bar. They make every cocktail individually to order (no pre-made batches of drink mixes here) using specialty and organic liquors, homemade simple syrups and sour mixes, and fresh produce for garnish. Their craft bar menu is easily the best cocktail menu on Anna Maria Island, if not the county.

    Poppo’s Taqueria

    When you think about Florida food, Mission-style Mexican cuisine probably never enters your mind! But on Historic Pine Avenue, you’ll find a family business that is committed to bringing that West Coast culinary style to Anna Maria.

    Poppo’s Taqueria is truly one of a kind. The proteins they serve are all antibiotic and hormone-free, and they source local and grass-fed beef whenever possible. Their produce is 99% local, and a large percentage of that is organic. Even their beer selection is carefully curated: they offer craft beer on tap from amazing local breweries all in a fifty mile radius. Even their décor is made out of sustainable and reclaimed materials.

    Their tasty food and inimitable style has been a big hit. Poppo’s already has established a Bradenton location, and is at work on opening their third spot soon. But the original Poppo’s in Anna Maria remains a sentimental favorite of ours.

    Blue Marlin

    On Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, you’ll find a charming 1920’s cottage that has been sustainably converted into a rustic, yet sophisticated family-owned restaurant.

    Blue Marlin Restaurant on Anna Maria Island

    Every day the restaurant purchases whole, fresh fish from the local Cortez fishing fleet to prepare their wonderfully innovative dishes (which also feature local, seasonally-appropriate produce). It’s also one of the best places on Anna Maria Island to find local musicians playing original songs – no cheesy Jimmy Buffet cover bands here. At the Blue Marlin not only can you eat local, you can listen local, too.

    These are just a handful of our favorite restaurants on Anna Maria Island, as locals we are well and truly spoilt for culinary choice!

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