Food & Drink

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


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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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