Food & Drink

Just look at that view: Locals recommend favorite spots for waterfront dining in Manatee County

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

Everyone needs a vacation once in a while.

And even if your next one is a long way off, we know of a way that you can pretend to be worry free — at least for a few hours.

Welcome to the world of waterfront dining.

And drinking.

And dessert-ing.

In Manatee County, coastal dining options are almost endless, so we brought in some experts to help narrow the field.

Here’s where members of our Facebook group Manatee Eats recommend taking in some coastal beauty and cuisine.

0202 F cortez 3 TAT.JPG
Specialties at Star Fish Company in Cortez include stone crab claws, mullet, grouper, gulf shrimp, oysters, crab cakes and lots of fish sandwiches. Tiffany Tompkins

Star Fish Company

You can’t beat the historic fishing village of Cortez for some of the most unspoiled waterfront vistas in Manatee County.

Star Fish Company is no exception.

Gaze out over the Gulf of Mexico from the restaurant’s dockside picnic tables as you enjoy seafood prepared simply in old Florida style.

"Emeril's Florida" on Sunday will feature a segment on Star Fish Co. in Cortez.

Specialties include stone crab claws, mullet, grouper, gulf shrimp, oysters, crab cakes and lots of fish sandwiches. Try your entree grilled, fried, blackened or sauteed.

Star Fish Company is at 12306 46th Ave. W. in Cortez.

Info: starfishcompany.com.

0322_brbu_tidetables_5.JPG
Highlights at Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina in Cortez include peel-and-eat shrimp prepared with Cajun spice, fish tacos, fresh Gulf grouper, a shrimp po’ boy, corvina and scallops. Bradenton Herald file photo

Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina

Another Cortez favorite, Tide Tables is a prime spot for sunset drinks and dinner.

A simple menu promises food made to order and always fresh, and the seafood is often locally caught.

Highlights include peel-and-eat shrimp prepared with Cajun spice, fish tacos, fresh Gulf grouper, a shrimp po’ boy, corvina (served charred, grilled or blackened) and scallops.

Pair your meal with a domestic or craft beer, cider or wine.

Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina is at 12507 Cortez Road. W. in Bradenton.

Info: tidetablescortez.com.

47575956_10156796933084462_3081643828063502336_o.jpg
Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant in Palmetto offers many seafood favorites -- not to mention gorgeous views of the Manatee River. Courtesy of Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant/Facebook

Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant

At Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant in Palmetto, several enticing dining experiences are housed in the same building, all with gorgeous views of the Manatee River.

The original restaurant, Riverhouse Reef & Grill, is on the bottom floor and features casual eating, including seafood plates, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pasta and dessert.

Check out the Snook Deck for drinks and light bites. The patio bar offers beer, wine, custom cocktails and a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.

And coming soon, a new restaurant on the second floor (called, fittingly, The Second Floor) will offer gourmet coastal dining and private party spaces.

Riverhouse Reef & Grill is at 995 Riverside Dr. in Palmetto.

Info: riverhousefl.com.

0523 F dine 3 WGJ.JPG
Blackened Red fish with wild rice and wilted collards, Florida gumbo and French cruller bread pudding with caramel rum sauce are among the options at Linger Lodge. Bradenton Herald File Photo

Newsroom recommends: Linger Lodge

Maybe the beach isn’t your thing. Or maybe you just need a break from the tumultuous tourist season.

This riverside gem may be the stop for you.

Head off the beaten path to Linger Lodge, where eclectic decor, authentic Southern food, folksy music and the lush backdrop of the Braden River await.

Landmark at 7205 85th St. Court East had been closed since Aug. 1 for remodeling.

Linger Lodge also offers a full liquor bar.

Linger Lodge is at 7205 85th St. Court E. in Bradenton.

Info: lingerlodge.com.

Other recommendations:

The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria

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

Rod and Reel Pier, 875 N. Shore Dr., Anna Maria

The Beach House Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, 760 Broadway St., Longboat Key

PIER 22 Restaurant, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, 412 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key

Swordfish Grill, 4628 119th St. W., Cortez

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

Read Next

Read Next

Read Next

Read Next

Read Next

  Comments