Taste the Flavors of Anna Maria Island at The Waterfront

One thing you will not find on an Anna Maria Island vacation is a shortage of great restaurants; so many that there’s a long list of best restaurants Anna Maria Island to choose from on your trip.

The Waterfront Restaurant Anna Maria Island is a long-time favorite establishment found on the Anna Maria City Pier. The Pier is a historic sightseeing location typically listed on many must-see lists when it comes to vacationing on this island. The Pier has such a history on Anna Maria Island and was used many years ago to drop visitors off by steamboat!

Fun things you can do on the Pier besides dining at The Waterfront Restaurant include fishing, shopping, and getting ice cream. You might not find a better place to exude the “Old Florida” feel than the famous Pier.

Conveniently located near many Anna Maria Island waterfront rentals and other Anna Maria Island rentals, The Waterfront Restaurant, like the Pier itself, is a must-visit among Anna Maria Island restaurants whenever you are lucky enough to be vacationing on this Florida Gulf Coast barrier island.

Restaurant Overview

Billed as “Anna Maria Island’s Premier Waterfront Dining Experience” and “New American cuisine meets Old Florida Charm” and garnering more than 1,800 Excellent along with 700-plus Very Good reviews on TripAdvisor, The Waterfront Restaurant is a popular site on Anna Maria Island. 

The restaurant was opened in 2002, emphasizing sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, food preparation from scratch, and vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant’s founder, Jason Suzor, came from an extensive background in chain restaurants. He was determined to offer the residents and visitors of Anna Maria Island something different: a social place where they could enjoy high-quality foods and services focused on caring for the planet. All of this while maintaining the island charm, enjoying the gulf breezes, and most of all delivering a dining experience that was both flavorful and memorable.

Many would say he has succeeded!

The restaurant features an expansive covered outdoor dining area, a stunning bar, a cozy fireplace, and a breathtaking view of the blue Gulf waters and the Pier amidst lush foliage and inviting wood-paneled walls. With the emphasis on sustainability, The Waterfront butchers its meats, bakes its breads, and makes all soups and sauces onsite from scratch. The restaurant has also installed a UV-C filter air-sanitizing system, showing how much attention is given to the health and comfort of both patrons and staff. After dinner, step out onto the soft white sands of the beach and take a picturesque walk.

The Waterfront is known for its rare seasonal dishes, unique presentations, and fresh, natural flavors. Both picky and more adventurous diners will find something to their liking on The Waterfront’s menu.

What might you find listed on this extensive, well-crafted menu? Let’s take a look.

Popular Menu Items

From appetizers to main courses, The Waterfront is known for several items on its dinner menu. Fish dishes such as scallops and pork belly fried rice, wasabi-crusted tuna, Scottish salmon, and fresh catch entrée are sure to appeal to even the most causal fish diners. There’s also chicken parmesan, pork tenderloin, and NY strip, all prepared in The Waterfront style.

Every main course dish comes with a choice of a la carte side dishes: olive oil and lemon-grilled asparagus; maple-glazed bacon fried brussel sprouts; truffled gouda macaroni & cheese; and wild mushroom risotto. You might have a hard time choosing only one or two of these mouthwatering sides!

Notable appetizers include lobster bisque, baked brie, grouper tacos, fried queso blanco with cilantro mojo sauce, and a drizzle of chili orange jarritos reduction. You might be ready to book your reservation at this Anna Maria Island mainstay right now.

Photo from Shutterstock

The lunch menu contains many of the same appetizers and boasts a delicious array of sandwiches (fresh catch fish, grilled chicken club, turkey & brie, BLT on a toasted butter croissant, and grouper cake), burgers (signature beef burger with pimento cheese and bacon jam and an almond-crusted portobello “burger” with provolone, balsamic mayo, and arugula on a kaiser roll), and other great choices such as truffle-gouda mac & cheese and blackened, fried, grilled, or island-jerk Gulf shrimp.

Kids will love The Waterfront for its fish n’ chips, macaroni and cheese, hand-breaded chicken breast tenders, hamburger, or brioche grilled cheese. Classics made The Waterfront way!

New items are introduced to the menu on a daily and weekly basis.

From the bar, you can order from an extensive wine and beer menu, or select from several specialty cocktails like the Bay Cooler (Svedka Vodka, a splash of house-made sours, fresh cucumber & mint), Jalapeno Margarita, or the Waterfront G&T (Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin, juniper berries, fresh rosemary & seasonal fruit topped with Fever-Tree Tonic & served over ice in a Waterfront Wine Glass). Spirits and liquors include vodkas, gins, rums, brandies, cognacs, American/Canadian whiskeys, bourbons, and single malt Scotches. 

Contact Information & Directions

The Waterfront Restaurant is located at 111 South Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria and operates Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. You can reach the restaurant by phone at 941-778-1515 or by email at info@thewaterfrontrestaurant.net.

There’s curbside pickup for orders daily for lunch and dinner. Just call in your order, and it will be ready when you are!

Found on the island’s northern end, you will take Palm Avenue toward North Shore Drive. Turn left on Crescent Drive, then turn right at the first cross street onto Magnolia Avenue. Travel a quarter of a mile, then make a left onto South Bay Boulevard. The restaurant is about 400 feet along the boulevard on the left.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of quality places to stay on Anna Maria Island where you will not be far from The Waterfront and other fine Anna Maria Island restaurants.

From Mike Norman Realty, you’ll find many one – to five-plus bedroom Anna Maria Island rentals with full kitchens (all utensils and appliances), washer/dryer, high-speed WiFi, spacious living and dining areas, and tropically landscaped yards.

Plan Your Stay

You can select waterfront on-the-beach or near the beach Anna Maria Island vacation rentals such as homes, townhouses, and condos featuring, depending on the type of rental, king- and queen-sized beds, screened porches, grills, pools, private yards, outdoor showers, garages, and even provided bikes and beach items. Some rentals are even pet-friendly, so be sure to ask about such accommodations if you’re bringing the four-legged kids along.

View All Rentals

These Anna Maria Island rentals are designed to accommodate between four and 10 people comfortably, with many homes and units presenting updated décor, modern kitchen appliances, large bedrooms, relaxing outdoor seating areas, and most of all, a quiet, serene atmosphere you might not find at a hotel or other accommodations.

Mike Norman realty offers Top amenities and comfort, luxurious and spacious rooms, beach and Gulf views for the spectacular sunsets, and great places like The Waterfront Restaurant. Your Anna Maria Island vacation will be an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left the sun, sand, and delicious meals behind.