The Sandbar Restaurant
Just steps from the water on Anna Maria Island
with a view to die for!
Like in a picture postcard, The Sandbar Restaurant sits right on the beach – in Anna Maria Island’s city of Anna Maria.
On the northern side of the island in a picturesque setting
looking out on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, which is just steps away
from your table, this is one of the kinds of places you come to Florida
Our visit to was on a hot, bright, Florida
sunshine filled Labor Day. The place was packed this Holiday; both
outdoor deck and indoor dining room and bar.
Yes, it was crowded but due to either good timing or good
luck, perhaps a little of both, we “sneaked in,” compared to others,
with only a 15-20 minute wait at about 1:30 pm. After we were seated the
waiting time increased to about an hour.
Did I mention it was hot?
Well, to combat the heat in the summer months The Sandbar
Restaurant’s outdoor deck has numerous fans strategically placed around
the deck, on the ground and from the ceiling, that keeps the breeze
flowing. But it was still hot; after all it was normal early September
weather in Florida!
While we were settling in at our table and cooling down with some
iced tea, which was quickly served to us, we could see some of the
orders being delivered to other nearby tables and they all looked
While perusing the lunch menu we found some nice surprises other than the standard “beer & burger” fare.
Anna Maria Island Restaurants – My Review of
The Sandbar Restaurant
Many of the lunch entrée descriptions were very tempting. Let me give you an idea:
For example there was a “Seafood Mar Vista” comprised of sautéed
shrimp, scallops and fresh fish with garlic herb butter, white wine,
mushrooms, red and green peppers and artichoke hearts served over
linguine! ($15.99) That all sounded terrific. (And I’ll be going back
But I had spied a dish on another table as we were being seated that I
wanted to investigate; A “Turkey Bacon Club:” Roasted turkey breast,
bacon and Swiss cheese between layers of your choice of bread or a
Croissant, with lettuce, tomato and mayo. ($9.99)
Now I LOVE turkey, but seem to only get to have it at
Thanksgiving Holiday time, so if I occasionally see it on a menu in this
form, I’ll treat myself to it. That’s what I ordered. It came on 4
skewers with a load of French fries – very appealing and a nice
presentation. And delicious. I would order it again.
My lunch partner had the Sandbar Crab Pasta Salad ($10.99) and
was delighted with this old Anna Maria Island favorite. Filled with
chunks of crab and white fish then tossed with Sea Shell Pasta and
served with fresh fruit, she found it to be pleasing and delicious and
plenty for her.
The menu, on our visit, was eclectic enough to offer a “Buffalo Burger” of 97% fat free buffalo grilled the way you like it, as well as escargot on the appetizer menu.
Suffice it to say that there were plenty of appealing and creative choices on the Sandbar Restaurant’s lunch menu.
There’s also an “Early Bird” menu, a “Deck Menu,” and a “Dinner
Menu” with menu prices ranging from $8.99 for a Bali Chicken Sandwich to
$27.99 for a 10 ounce Filet Mignon.
The dinner menu also features sandwiches as well as more seafood,
beef, poultry and pasta entrées including a delicious sounding
“Shellfish Pasta” ($22.99) featuring gulf shrimp and scallops over
linguine in a lobster cream sauce.
As I mentioned above, the menus here at The Sandbar Restaurant on
Anna Maria Island are much more than just burgers. They are quite
creative and extensive and include a variety of seafood items for both
lunch and dinner, although you can get a simple Sandbar Steak Burger
($8.99 for a half-pounder!) and beer if that’s your heart’s desire.
You can also enjoy Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. with both new and traditional menu selections such as Gulf Coast Benedict; fried grouper, poached egg, spinach, tomato and hollandaise served with potatoes, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Shrimp and Grits, the Islander Breakfast which features pan seared grouper, Stuffed French Toast and more. Kick back with some mimosas, a sparkling berry sangria or a coconut punch and chill with live jazz music. Dine inside or out.
Brunch menu items are from $9.99 – $15.99.
The Sandbar Restaurant also has full bar service and all your
favorite tropical concoctions from Margaritas to Caribbean Breezes that
you can enjoy with live music from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday
If you like the thought of lunching or dining right on the beach,
where with some tables you can swirl your toes in the sand, this is the
place for you.
You can watch the boats anchoring off the beach, the guys and
girls on the beach, the sparkling water of the Gulf of Mexico right
before your eyes and toes or just people-watch in general.
In conclusion: The Sandbar Restaurant is in a great location with a delightfully ambitious menu.
The Sandbar Restaurant, on Anna Maria Island, is definitely worth the
scenic drive from Sarasota and a good choice amongst other Sarasota
Restaurants in the Suncoast region as well as a fun experience.
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Directions: The scenic route: From downtown Sarasota, drive
across the Ringling Bridge onto St. Armand’s Key; follow Rt. 789 around
St. Armand’s Circle to Longboat Key. Follow Gulf of Mexico Drive north
across Longboat Key and across the draw bridge onto Anna Maria Island.
Once on Anna Maria Island simply follow Gulf Drive North all the
way to Spring Avenue and the Sandbar Restaurant. From downtown Sarasota
it’s about an hours’ drive. 100 Spring Avenue – Anna Maria, FL 34216 –
Hours: Daily from 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. — Early Bird Special: Inside Dining Only: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Sunday brunch: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tip: There’s an additional parking lot off site about a block south on the west side (gulf side) of the street.
Tip: Since you’re heading out on a road trip from the
Sarasota area why not allow an extra hour or so to stop and explore the
shops in Bradenton Beach on Bridge Street?
It’s at the intersection of the roundabout at Gulf Drive
South/Rt. 789 and Bridge Street at the far south end of Anna Maria
From Sandbar Restaurant to Sarasota Restaurants Main Page
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