Food & Drink

Manatee Eats: Where are the best dine-out places in Manatee County? Locals know best

Manatee Eats! Foods in Manatee County

A diverse variety of foods are available in Manatee County, and everyone has their own ideas about what's best.
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A diverse variety of foods are available in Manatee County, and everyone has their own ideas about what's best.

There was something about 2018 that made us really, really hungry.

We got hungry for new dining experiences. We got hungry for local food, made with care. And we got hungry for places worth visiting with family and friends.

That’s when we started asking members of our Facebook group, Manatee Eats, for tips on where to dine out in Manatee County.

After all, who knows local food better than the locals?

The response has been deliciously amazing. We hope you’ve enjoyed all of the recommendations, too.

Here’s a short list of the places that locals loved in 2018.

We can’t wait to see what next year brings to the table.

There are lots of great options for barbecue in Manatee County. Creative commons


C&K Smoke House BBQ, 12119 U.S. Highway 301 N., Parrish.

Mission BBQ, 4501 14th St. W., Bradenton.

Hickory Hollow Barbecue, 4705 US Highway 301 N., Ellenton.

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Whether you are looking for killer ambiance or a wide beer selection, there are lots of good spots to grab a cold glass of beer around Manatee.


3 Keys Brewing and Eatery, 2505 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton.

Motorworks Brewing, 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.

The Loaded Barrel Tavern, 450 12th St. W., Bradenton.

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A delicious home style breakfast with crispy bacon, eggs, pancakes, toast, coffee and orange juice. (Dreamstime/ TNS) Dreamstime TNS


The Sage Biscuit Café, 6656 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, and 1401 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, 1121 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, and 5405 University Parkway, Unit 104, University Park.

Popi’s Place, 815 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto; 10508 U.S. 41, Palmetto; 3911 U.S. 301, Ellenton; 6409 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; 5820 Ranch Lake Blvd., Bradenton.

First Watch, 7118 Cortez Road W., Bradenton; 4324 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton; 8306 Market St., Bradenton.

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Bacon and onion find their way atop a burger in the kitchen at S.O.B. Burgers in Bradenton. Bradenton Herald file photo


S.O.B. Burgers, 5866 14th St. W., Bradenton.

Shake Station, 4219 U.S. 301, Ellenton.

Kelsey’s on Cortez, 7020 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

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Whether you’re a fan of boneless or traditional wings, mild or spicy sauces, or blue cheese or ranch for dipping, there’s a wing joint for you in Manatee County.

Chicken wings

Chumlee’s Wings, 3436 U.S. 301, Ellenton.

SketchDaddy’s Wings ‘N Things, 7814 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

Kelsey’s on Cortez, 7020 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

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A traditional Cuban sandwich recipe calls for sliced ham, roast pork with a citrusy marinade (called mojo) and Swiss cheese layered in a loaf of Cuban bread. The sandwich is then garnished with pickles and mustard. Zbigniew Bzdak MCT

Cuban sandwiches

Café Havana, 1440 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton.

Crazy Papa’s, 4720 53rd Ave.. E., Bradenton.

Noreen’s Deli, 616 30th Ave. E., Bradenton.

Abuela’s Kitchen, 727 Seventh St. W., Palmetto.

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Customers can customize fresh doughnuts with glazes and toppings at The Donut Experiment on Anna Maria Island. Bradenton Herald file photo


Turner Donut Shop, 902 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton

Bradenton Donut Shop, 4616 14th St. W., Bradenton.

Shipley Do-Nuts, 6571 State Road 70 E., Bradenton.

The Farm House, 902 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton.

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french fries.jpg
There are lots of great spots to grab exceptional fries around Manatee County.

French fries

Five Guys, 6783 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; and 8447 Cooper Creek Blvd., Sarasota.

Central Cafe, 906 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton.

Checkers, 1001 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto; 5140 Cortez Road, Bradenton; 5220 15th St. E., Bradenton; 6020 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton; 8357 N. Lockwood Ridge Rd., Sarasota.

Jaxx Sports Bar, 1035 Hasko Road, Palmetto.

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Tyler’s Ice Cream banana split
A banana split at Tyler’s Homemade Ice Cream. Tyler's Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream

Shake Pit, 3801 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Sweetberries Frozen Custard and Eatery, 4500 Manatee Ave. W. Bradenton.

Tyler’s Homemade Ice Cream, 11904 Cortez Road, Cortez.

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Whether you like it plain or fancy, there are a lot of great options for mac and cheese in Bradenton. Bill Hogan MCT

Mac ‘n’ cheese

O’bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar, 427 12th St. W., Bradenton.

Mission BBQ, 4501 14th St. W., Bradenton.

The Waterfront Restaurant, 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.

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casa di pizza.jpg
Oven-fresh pepperoni pizza at Casa Di Pizza on State Road 64 in Bradenton. Casa Di Pizza


Danny’s Pizzeria, 7220 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Fire and Stone Pizza, 10519 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

Fav’s Italian Cucina, 419 12th St. W., Bradenton.

Casa Di Pizza, 4658 State Road 64, Bradenton

The Loaded Barrel Tavern, 450 12th St. W., Bradenton.

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salad creative commons.jpg
There are lots of places to grab a great salad in Manatee County. Creative Commons


Gecko’s Grill & Pub, 7228 55th Ave. E. and 4310 State Road 64 E.

Columbia Restaurant, 411 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota.

Bowled Life Cafe, 929 10th St. E., Palmetto.

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Stone crab claws at the Star Fish Company Seafood Market and Restaurant in Cortez. Bradenton Herald file photo


Star Fish Company, 12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez.

Tide Tables, 12507 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

Blue Marlin Grill, 121 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach.

The Waterfront Restaurant, 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.

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poppos taqueria.jpg
Poppo’s tacos range from $3 to $4 and are customizable with a choice of proteins and toppings. Poppo's Taqueria


Poppo’s Taqueria, 212 C Pine Ave., Bradenton; 6777 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; 4220 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton; and 8471 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton.

Birdrock Taco Shack, 1004 10th Ave. W., Bradenton.

Tio Carlos at Red Barn Flea Market, 1707 First St., Bradenton.

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Not a member of Manatee Eats? Join the group today to get in on the local food and drink discussion.

If you have suggestions for the topic of a future Manatee Eats story, drop us a line at