The Best of Restaurants in Manatee County

Published: July 15, 2014

Manatee County is a beautiful area on the gulf coast of Florida where my family and I have resided for many years. It is adjacent to Sarasota and about an hour South of Tampa. The economy has recently been booming with more restaurants, activities, and places to go. It is exciting to see the recent growth in the area. I live in the area of Palmetto which is a quiet community. Palmetto is right next to Bradenton where many good restaurants are. Anna Maria Island is also a part of Manatee County. Actress Cameron Diaz spends many summers and holidays on the Island. Manatee County is truly a beautiful place with very much to offer for people of all ages. This article will feature three restaurants that I believe are the best restaurants in Manatee County. I have rated this mainly on the quality of food, friendly service, and comfotable atmosphere. I would reccommend these places to anyone who is visiting the area. It is great to live in such a beautiful area with such amazing restaurants.     

  1. Central Cafe

    Central Cafe is one of Manatee County's best hidden treasures. The family has been in the restaurant business for years and I would have to say that this is their very best restaurant yet. The atmosphere is very comfortable with brick walls and large bench seats with comfy pillows. Their menu features local freshly caught fish, handmade burgers, thin crust pizza, and an array of salads. It also has a full liquor bar. Central Cafe is set apart because the owners have made their own wine. The family owns a vineyard in California and has recently bottle their wines and brought them to Florida. The brand is called Lola and it is one of my very favorite wines. Central Cafe is the most bust at lunch. They have very tasty sandwiches and chicken salad. The prices are pretty reasonable if you consider the quality of food. My favorite are the shoestring fries. They come out hot and with vinegar for dipping sauce. They have a pinot noir, chardonnay, and recently came out with a sparkling wine. I enjoy all three. Their unique dishes are always very enticing. Central Cafe often features live music from local artists. They also have a Ladies Night on Tuesday which has wine up to half off. They have been very successful with Ladies Night to make their wine more popular. There is also a banquet hall upstairs where many events have been held. The Central Cafe staff are some of the most warm hearted people I have ever met. I have my birthday dinner at Central Cafe almost every year. They always go out of their way to make sure their customers are beyond happy. I always enjoy my experience and food every time my family goes to Central Cafe. It has become a weekly favorite. All of my friends that I have brough there have all become frequent visitors.

  2. The Beach Bistro

    The Beach Bistro has received many mentions from magazine and news sources across the country. It has been mentioned by The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Food & Wine magazine. What makes The Beach Bistro so great? First off, it is located directly on Holmes beach on Anna Maria Island. Guest are able to enjoy the view and watch the sunset while they enjoy an incredible meal. It has been given the award of Best Food and Service in America by the Zagat Guide. The Beach Bistro has also been invited to perform a James Beard Foundation dinner.  The wine has been on the Wine Spectator list receiving an Award for Excellence for twelve years. It is a very romatic spot and usually reserved for special occasions. The restaurant was open in 1985 by Shawn Murphy and his wife. After a traumatic hurricane, they put all of their money in the restaurant and made a small profit the first night. They strive to be the very best and provide amazing service. The menu features items such as duck, prime beef, lamb, and fish. The Beach Bistro has recently expanded by offering a casual bar. It is great to introduce people who are interested in The Beach Bistro but have been turned away by the hefty price tag. It us a nice way to enjoy the enviroment. It would probably entice more visitors. They have also been helping the Concession Gof Course with their menu. Their Key Lime Pie dessert has won awards. It is truly a treat and worth the large price tag. The waterfront view ties it all in. 

  3. Pier 22

    Pier 22 is a beautiful restaurant located on the Manatee River in Bradenton, Florida. The atmosphere is always lively. They feature bands that always know how to rock out. My favorite thing to get at Pier 22 would either be pizza or sushi. The pizza is a medium crust and their signature pizza has artichokes and many types of cheese. It is to die for! The sushi was voted "Best Suchi Restaurant" by the Bradenton Herald when they held The People's Choice Awards. The fish is always fresh and they have many tasty cocktails to choose from. The upstairs banquet hall has a beautiful view of the water. It hosts many weddings and special events and can seat up to 300 people. One of my favorite features of Pier 22 is the large fish aquarium. One of the private rooms has the fish aquarium as a wall. It is a great place for families and special events. I would reccommend Pier 22 because of their wonderful service, lively atmosphere, and tasty food. It is also very nice that Pier 22 is less than a minute from downtown Bradenton. It is a great place to catch a drink or an appetizer special before heading for a night out.

Out of all of the restaurants listed above, I would say that my favorite is Central Cafe. The atmosphere is lovely, the food is amazing, and the friendly service is always exceptional. I am most comfortable in that enviroment with my family and friends.