One of the best features of Florida living is stopping at a casual Florida tiki bar or dockside restaurant for a tasty bite and a frosty beverage. Whether you boat, bike or drive to one of these destinations, you are sure to find like-minded people who appreciate relaxation, marine life and some island-style music. Spend a quintessentially Florida evening dining on the fresh catch and watching a glorious southwest Florida sunset. The boat launch at Hidden Bay on Shackett Creek leads you to Dona Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico to find these great escapes.
1200 1st Ave West
Bradenton, FL 34205
The location where Pier22 resides has a rich history dating back to the Bradenton Memorial Pier built in 1878. Before it became a restaurant in the early 1970’s, the building at Memorial Pier served as a social scene for local dances, a warehouse for steamship freight, home to the South Florida Museum, the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce and even a radio station. Today, the restaurant and bar are on a pier surrounded by 225 marina boat slips. It is a regular spot for many, a special occasion destination for some and a terrific hurricane hole for boaters. Tucked in up river it has live music, open air and outside seating, bartenders that remember your name and a fire pit on the patio. The food is good whether you come for 3pm sushi, Sunday brunch or a wedding reception. They do have it all- casual dining on the water, private function rooms, elegant dining, catering. It’s fresh and locally-sourced food with desserts made from scratch. The view is mesmerizing. It is a great place to watch a storm.
New Pass Grill & Bait Shop
1505 Ken Thompson Pkwy
Sarasota, FL 34236
Best burger on the waterfront since 1929. This is a local landmark that never lost the charm of Florida’s recreational fishing community. Offering fresh and frozen bait, tackle, rental equipment, charter services and the stuff you need for fishing in the Florida sunshine all day. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner plus the coldest beer on the water and wine by the glass. They also have a kids menu including hot chocolate because everybody needs a cup ‘o something on a crisp morning.
The Rod & Reel Pier
Address: 875 North Shore Drive
Anna Maria, FL 34216
Pull up to the pier, fish, relax and watch the water and sky change before your eyes. This particular spot at the northern tip of Anna Maria Island is unique. It sits smack dab in the Gulf of Mexico and there isn’t a view in the Caribbean that can compare. This is a local spot that few lucky tourists discover. Walk down the long pier to a two-story building with inside and outside dining. Sit upstairs on the deck, order a grouper sandwich and be amazed with the rays, manatees, dolphins, herons, pelicans, egrets and other Florida marine and bird life that surround you. If you time it just right, you can seek shelter here from an afternoon tropical storm and watch the most incredible show over the Gulf of Mexico with a cold one. When the sky clears an hour later, you can be on your way but you’ll never be the same.
Riverhouse Reef & Grill
995 Riverside Drive
Palmetto FL 34221
The restaurant is great but the marina is among the best. Boaters love Regatta Pointe Marina because of the ideal location and the fact that you have no bridges to the Gulf of Mexico. Regatta Pointe is on the north shore of the Manatee River in Palmetto. It is just over the green bridge from Bradenton. The restaurant, Riverhouse Reef & Grill enhances this ideal boating destination. (Regatta Pointe Marina is a live-aboard marina and winner of the Bradenton Herald People’s Choice Award for Best Marina Manatee County, Florida 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Riverhouse Reef & Grill is a large restaurant with different options for dining inside, outside or a little of both. A menu serving fresh seafood, highest quality Certified
Angus steaks and burgers, and new twists on old favorites like the signature
Lobster Pot Pie, Cajun Crawfish Cheeseburger, Fish Tacos, and more.
Serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch to a crowd that loves live music and a waterfront view of Bradenton across the Manatee River. The casual boater will be quite comfy on the Snook Deck waterside.
Woody’s River Roo Pub & Grill
5717 18th St E
Ellenton, FL 34222
By boat you head up the Manatee River just past the I-75 overpass and look to your left at the boats, people dancing and the big yellow awning that says, “Woody’s”. Tie up and plan to make some friends. Woody’s is an old Florida joint on the Manatee River where the people are relaxed, the music is live, the bar is hopping and the food is much better than you would ever expect from a restaurant with a fantastic “sunset on the water” view. Sure they have burgers, beer battered fish and fries and a signature Grouper Reuben but they also serve ostrich, bison, kangaroo, buffalo and elk! They have homemade soups, fresh seafood and amazing black angus burgers that make a memory. Woody’s is popular with cops, captains of industry, contractors, families and captains of their own destiny. If Jimmy Buffet lived in Manatee County he would sing about “The Roo”.
Casey Key Fish House
801 Blackburn Point
Osprey Florida 34229
Phone: (941) 966-1901
Visit a little piece of old Florida for lunch or dinner at this relaxed family-friendly waterfront restaurant. Come by land or sea, 7 days a week, to enjoy vast array of fresh fish and seafood, salads, sandwiches or entrees served dockside or inside. You will see captains of industry from Casey Key kicking back with captains of fishing boats. It is a melting pot of folks who like to hear a little island music, sip a cold one and watch the light dance on the water.
2 Marina Plaza
Sarasota FL 34236
Sarasota Main Street begins at Marina Jack and so does the weekend. The Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill offers a full bar and al fresco dining in a family-friendly atmosphere. The Deep Six Lounge and Piano Bar features a traditionally nautical casual setting for lunch, dinner and beyond. Choose from an array of favorite menu items for lunch such as fresh oysters on the half shell, beef tenderloin sliders, salads and chowders. Inside the glass-walled Marina Jack Dining Room you will find an award winning wine list and an exceptional menu. A day at Marina Jack includes Sarasota Bay breezes, charter boats, pleasure boats and some pretty impressive yachts. This is a favorite spot to see the Christmas Boat Parade in December, the Fireworks in July, the Season of Sculpture and the world float by on the Intracoastal Waterway of Sarasota. This is a Sarasota landmark.
Marker 4 Oyster Bar
505 North Tamiami Trail
Venice Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 484-0344
Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina in Venice, Florida, this casual waterfront spot has ample dock and parking space for cars, trucks, RV’s, and motorcycles. Why? Because everybody goes to Marker 4! Enjoy a juicy grouper sandwich or bowl of homemade lobster bisque while watching the sailors and boaters meander down the ICW. A new addition since they renovated is the Marker 4 Tiki Hut featuring live entertainment weekly. Stop by and enjoy a beautiful Venice sunset, some island tunes, a hand crafted cocktail and some terrific seafood.
MarVista Dockside Restaurant & Pub
760 Broadway Street
North Longboat Key Florida 34228
Phone: (941) 383-2391
MarVista, on the North End of Longboat Key is in the heart of historic Longboat Village and was built in 1912! It is an old Florida-style restaurant with an inside dining room and an outdoor deck overlooking Sarasota Bay. This restaurant is a favorite stop for boaters heading north and south. Look for Intracoastal Mile Marker #39. Leave a dollar bill on the wall and a little bit of your heart to find on your return visit! Sarasota Magazine readers voted MarVista the favorite place for boaters to dock and dine.
O’Leary’s Restaurant & Tiki Bar
Bay Front Park
This is a beach joint. Flip flops and shorts are the norm. Bring your dog, sit at a picnic table and listen to live music. If you like tropical frozen drinks in a plastic cup and some batter-dipped and fried seafood, this is your spot. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to locals, tourists and boaters in the marina. Bring your fresh catch off the boat and O’Leary’s will make it a meal to remember.
Old Salty Dog – Venice
1485 Tamiami Trail South,
Venice, FL 34285
Phone: (941) 483-1000
The Old Salty Dog is a local chain with a waterfront restaurant on City Island, another in the Village on Siesta Key and now a waterfront Salty Dog in Venice. The Venice Dog is located on the marina at the South bridge of Venice Island at Marine Max. It’s a cool casual seafood shack with great food. The namesake menu item is The Old Salty Dog. Imagine a batter-dipped and deep fried hot dog in a bun with all your favorite toppings. Order dog bites if you want to share. These morsels of deliciousness are popular with kids of every age. They offer a steamer and raw bar, fish tacos, oyster po’ boys, and much more. A good beer selection served in bottles, cans, pints and pitchers ensures everybody is happy. This was the First dog-friendly restaurant in Sarasota for obvious reasons.
Ophelia’s on the Bay
9105 Midnight Pass road
Sarasota, FL 34242
This fine dining establishment on Siesta Key offers a unique culinary experience. Featuring Little Sarasota Bay on the terrace and through huge windows, guests are treated to views of tropical birds and marine life in addition to fine wines and flavorful food. Ophelia’s has been awarded Best Waterfront Restaurant, Most Creative Menu, Most Romantic Restaurant, and has been featured in Gourmet Magazine and Food & Wine Magazine. They offer valet parking.
Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar
5353 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota Florida 34231
Phone: (941) 925-4444
This restaurant is filled with happy families and serves a vast variety of seafood prepared in almost every way imaginable! Sit inside, outside, on the deck, or at the bar. Come by land or by boat for lunch or dinner. Don’t dress up. The paper towel rolls are affixed to the picnic tables and the floors are wood planks. A full bar is available and the seafood specials are impressive. It’s fun and everyone loves it. Just go. You will probably wait for a table outside on the deck and you will enjoy every minute.
Sharky’s On The Pier
Fins at Sharkey’s
1600 Harbor Drive South
Venice Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 488-1456
Fax: (941) 486-6682
Both Sharky’s on the Pier and Fins at Sharky’s sit smack dab on the Gulf in the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World, serving amazing sunsets, gorgeous views, and the best seafood in Venice, Florida. Sharky’s is a Venice “must do” because it is easy and fun and really sits on the beach. Taste their delicious tropical frozen drinks, excellent grouper sandwiches and enjoy the live music, all while sitting or dancing right on the Gulf of Mexico! Sharky’s extends a warm welcome to all to dine, dance, and have fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local, a Florida Cracker, visiting the grandparents, or vacationing in Venice. You will be welcomed with smiles and great service.
Fins at Sharky’s, is right next door to Sharky’s on the Pier and is a more sophisticated establishment. Fins features an inventive, ever-changing menu inspired by an array of global cuisines and seasonal South Florida ingredients. Fins proudly serves their guests fresh Gulf seafood, sushi, and premium cuts of steak and pork. If you want the waterfont view with a nice glass of wine, an appetizer at the bar surrounded by upscale coastal interiors, a clever crafted cocktail and some small plates, and a memorable dining experience, try Fins. Steaks and chops at Fins are roasted in a Josper oven at 800-1,000 degrees with all natural mesquite charcoal, seasoned with salt and pepper and basted with butter. Seafood is fresh and fabulous with spectacular presentation.
No tie is required but leave the flip flops at home when you head to Fins. The outdoor terrace is on the Gulf of Mexico with unobstructed views. It is breathtaking so dress to be photographed. You won’t be able to help yourself even if you have lived here for fifty years. The Pachota family owns and operates Sharky’s, Fins and Snook Haven-a kitschy cool historic place on the Myakka River where the waterfront has gators! All their restaurants are unique and memorable.
Spanish Pointe Restaurant and Tiki Bar
135 Bayview Dr
Osprey FL 34229
This spot has been a favorite for folks in Nokomis, Osprey and Venice, Florida for decades. Eat inside at
the bar or outside on the deck or right on the water. Dock the boat, stake out a picnic table on the water or a round under an umbrella. Order at the window and they will call your name when your food is up. It is “come as you are” attire and very popular among boaters because it is a convenient stop between Venice and Sarasota and looks really inviting from Little Sarasota Bay. Live music adds atmosphere in the evening.
Stump Pass Grille
260 Maryland Avenue
Lat. 26* 54.350 North
Long. 82* 19.696 West
ICW Marker 17A
You will find the Stump Pass Grille in Englewood, Florida on the shore of Lemon Bay. Buckets of beer, frozen drinks, smoothies and all the lunch and dinner treats you want at a relaxing waterfront restaurant. Grab a quick bite or kick back and spend the day. This is a destination. Great food, easy docking, live music and voted “Best Tiki Bar in Englewood”. Need we say more?
The Crow’s Nest Marina and Restaurant
1968 Tarpon Center Drive
Venice Florida 34285
Phone: (941) 484 -9551
Fax: (941) 485-9154
Venice’s waterfront landmark since 1976, The Crow’s Nest features casual fine dining overlooking the Venice Inlet and Intracoastal Waterway. Recipients of the Best of Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator for the Cellar Wine List. Charcuterie with cheese, a seafood tower to share, steaks, fowl, chops, seafood and wide, wonderful waterfront views bring patrons from far and wide. People who are looking for quality cuisine in addition to a view bring their friends and visitors to The Crow’s Nest over and over again. The Crow’s Nest is popular year-round so make a reservation if you don’t want to wait. If you want something faster, the downstairs Tavern has seafood baskets, raw bar faves and sandwiches.