A city both rich in beauty and history, southwest Florida’s Bradenton is a haven of Old Floridian charm. It boasts an enticing dining scene too, offering everything from laidback pubs and gourmet burgers to upscale Italian and rustic coastal cuisine. Read on for our guide to Bradenton’s best local eats.
Ortygia is located in a charming converted house in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts. Ortygia’s standout dishes include a fava bean soup appetizer with pasta, fennel and parmesan and farsumagru, a slow-braised sirloin stuffed with prosciutto, sweet sausage, provolone, pancetta, egg and asparagus. Guests attending Ortygia over the summer season will be treated to the restaurant’s special summer menus that visit a different culinary region of Italy each week.
Arts & Eats is set in a charming 1925 bungalow and is renowned for serving deliciously diverse food alongside a hearty dose of art and music. Choose from eclectic, inspired eats while taking in Arts & Eats cultural side – the walls of the eatery are decorated with local art and live music is featured four nights a week.
For upscale-casual dining with stunning waterfront views, look no further than Pier 22. Residing in a beautiful Spanish-style building on Bradenton’s historic Memorial Pier, the restaurant first opened its doors in 1976 and since then its unique location and eclectic New American cuisine have become a local dining legend.
Part traditional Irish pub and part Manhattan-style martini bar, O’Bricks is a casual downtown Bradenton dining destination. One half of the popular bar is a smart dining room known as ‘The Grill’ which dishes up classic American plates of food, while its lively pub bar occupies the other half serving a range of martinis and classic Irish and British beers.
Derek’s specializes in rustic coastal cuisine served in a fun, casual environment. Located in a former Arby’s, Derek has taken a tired fast food chain and transformed it into one of the town’s most raved about restaurants. Its a stylish space in which to enjoy dishes like mahi-mahi tacos with toasted peanut slaw or blackened salmon with sweet potato-pecan hash.
Full Belly Stuffed Burgers is the place to get your fill of delicious gourmet burgers. All of Full Belly Stuffed Burgers patties are crafted from juicy Angus beef and stuffed to the max with delicious extras. Try the Mushroom Swiss burger stuffed with Portobello mushrooms and Swiss cheese and wash it down with one of Full Belly’s locally brewed beers.
Fire & Stone Pizzas is one of Bradenton’s best dining destinations for handmade, artisan pizzas. Choose from 20 gourmet pizzas, homemade soups and a number of hearty, Italian-style sub sandwiches. True pizza fanatics will love Fire & Stone’s endless artisan pizza bar where guests are invited to create their own pizza from a smorgasbord of toppings.
YachtSea Grille serves simple, yet creative seafood and chophouse food and its gorgeous location riverside location has earned the restaurant popular acclaim amongst locals. Opt for Kansas City-style baby back ribs smoked in-house and served with the restaurant’s homemade BBQ sauce or go Gulf Coast gourmet with the macadamia and pesto encrusted grouper with yoghurt dill sauce and wash down with a selection from YachtSea Grille’s extensive wine list.
Doors first opened at Lucky Frog a year ago and the eatery’s unique, eclectic food; a healthy, modern take on German and Mediterranean cuisine mixed with American breakfast classics; is already proving a hit with local diners. Get a kick start to your day with a healthy breakfast omelet or nutritious bowl of homemade granola or go for dinner when guests can choose from delicious dishes like lightly spiced sautéed shrimp with tabbouleh salad or sauerbraten.
Sage Biscuit Café specializes in healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes served up alongside more traditional meat options. Veggies and vegans can choose from dishes like the hearty breakfast tofu scramble or the homemade veggie burger, while meat lovers aren’t left out with dishes like biscuits with sausage gravy and Sage Biscuit’s meatloaf sandwich. Don’t leave without trying one its delicious homemade desserts the coconut cream pie and strawberry cheesecake come highly recommended.