If you’re looking for a classic Old Florida vacation, it’s tough to find a better place than Anna Maria Island. The area is known for its pristine 7-mile stretch of beaches, replete with iconic Floridan sugar-white sand and excellent surf. Anna Maria Island is a wonderful destination for swimming, boating, and sunbathing. However, there’s more to this thriving island besides relaxing days by the ocean. The area is also known for its fantastic eateries. It’s especially famous for fresh-caught, local seafood. Many of Anna Maria Island’s best restaurants and attractions are located just minutes from the many delightful Anna Maria Island vacation rentals. Here are nine of the best kid-friendly restaurants to visit on this island.
1. Poppo’s Taqueria
Tacos and the beach go together beautifully. Poppo’s serves gourmet Mexican street food in a casual setting that’s inviting for both kids and adults. Of course, there are tables available inside, but take a seat on the outdoor swinging benches to get the full experience. Treat your family to burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and, of course, tacos. The food is inspired by San Francisco’s Mission District, which is an area that’s famous for producing some of the country’s finest Mexican treats. As an added bonus, Poppo’s doesn’t use any ingredients that contain preservatives, antibiotics, hormones, or growth stimulants, so it’s the perfect spot to grab a healthy and satisfying meal with the whole family.
2. The Donut Experiment
The Donut Experiment is located right next door to Poppo’s Taqueria, so it’s a wonderful spot to grab dessert or some donuts to go. While it’s not technically a restaurant, you could certainly fill up on these decadent donuts with little effort. Unlike traditional donut shops, you control your donut destiny. You begin with a plain, freshly baked cake donut, and then you get to select your favorite toppings to create customized donuts. From the traditional sprinkles and frosting to tantalizing candies to classic cereals, you’ll never run out of mouthwatering topping combinations.
3. Ginny’s and Jane E’s
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, Ginny’s and Jane E’s is the place. The restaurant is located in a store that features a wide range of products, from sunscreen and sunglasses to antiques and artwork. The decor is truly special, providing a magical and eclectic atmosphere. The restaurant serves a wide variety of classic staples such as soups and sandwiches, as well as a kids menu that features grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and other kid-approved favorites.
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4. The Sandbar
The Sandbar provides a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere that’s pure Florida. This beachside restaurant is very popular as a wedding spot, and it’s not hard to see why. Enjoy live family-friendly entertainment by sunset while you indulge in delectable cuisine ranging from lobster tail and oysters on the half shell to tacos and sliders. There are plenty of signature cocktails available for the adults, as well as mouthwatering appetizers that the whole table can share. The kids will love digging their toes in the sand while they eat, and if you’re lucky, your family may even see dolphins playing in the ocean while you feast.
5. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe
Located right on Manatee Public Beach, it doesn’t get more laid back than Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe. Start the day off right by stopping in for the cafe’s famous all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast, or enjoy a delectable plate of fresh fish tacos for lunch. It’s located right on the beach, so you can take off your sandals and enjoy the sand underfoot while you indulge. If you go for dinner, you’ll be treated to live music at dusk. If you like your meals with a beach view, you won’t be disappointed by Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe.
6. The Beach House Restaurant
The Beach House Restaurant is the perfect place to go when you want to eat something a little nice, but you still want a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Featuring indoor and outdoor seating areas, you have your option of an upscale dining room or a table on the beach. The Beach House is most popular for its exquisite and often creative seafood dishes. The kids are sure to love the extensive kid’s menu that features favorites such as chicken fingers, pizza, hot dogs, and cheeseburgers, and the parents will appreciate the affordable kids menu pricing.
7. Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant
Located right on the Gulf of Mexico, the Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant has been serving traditional cuisine and fish specials since 1947. It’s a two-story restaurant that features indoor seating as well as a covered outside deck. Visitors and locals love this restaurant because it provides that classic, sleepy Old Florida feel that vacationers love. The majority of the menu consists of seafood dishes, but there are plenty of other meats, sandwiches, and other dishes too. Kids 12 and under can enjoy kids menu deals, including BLTs, hot dogs, fish and chips, and plenty of other kid-friendly treats.
8. Island Time Bar and Grill
The Island Time Bar and Grill provides a welcoming dining experience for both the young and the young at heart. The restaurant has a sports bar type of atmosphere, but they make sure the kids are happy too. Children receive a placemat-sized kids menu that boasts ten different delicious meals, and it also includes crayons so the kids can color and play games while they wait for their food. The teens and adults are sure to appreciate classic dishes such as fish, steak, burgers, and so much more.
9. Oma’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Situated right across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, Oma’s is the place to go when you’re craving a big Italian family-style feast after a day on the water. Whether you want to order a couple of pizzas to your vacation rental or sit in the dining room and indulge in a heaping plate of spaghetti and meatballs, Oma’s offers large portions and fresh ingredients. The huge menu has plenty to offer to hungry guests of all tastes, and there are even child-sized dinner options if you don’t want to deal with leftovers.
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