Food & Drink

What are the best restaurants in Bradenton? Users of a popular travel service weigh in

Locals are passionate about Bradenton’s dining scene.

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get many different answers about which restaurant is the best in town.

Fortunately, there are some places that lots of folks agree are worth a visit.

On travel website TripAdvisor, locals and tourists alike can weigh in to recognize the standouts in a local restaurant scene; businesses are then ranked based on user reviews.

So who tops the list in Bradenton?

Currently, Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, Downtown Bradenton holds the first-place honors.

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Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, Downtown Bradenton offers patio dining just off of the Manatee River. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Opened in 2016, the waterfront grill has steadily climbed the rankings to claim the No. 1 spot in a group of 398 Bradenton-area restaurants that are ranked on the site.

With around 400 reviews, the restaurant has an average score of 4.5 out of 5 — no easy feat on a public internet forum.

The positive reviews come from both locals and out-of-town travelers. One reviewer from Denmark even took the time to give Mattison’s a glowing review in his native language.

TripAdvisor’s popularity rankings are based on the “quality, recency and quantity of reviews that a business receives from users — and the consistency of those reviews over time,” the website says.

The list of top Bradenton restaurants fluctuates based on daily reviews, but Mattison’s has managed to keep the No. 1 spot most of the time lately, according to Mattison’s marketing director Caryn Hodge.

Reviewers give high marks for the open-air dining atmosphere, quality of service, live music, and, most importantly, the food and drinks.

Part of the magic recipe for satisfying so many customers may be the wide variety of foods that the restaurant specializes in, both simple and sophisticated.

The spread of cuisines on the menu includes Italian, American, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin, Midwestern beef, New England seafood and New Orleans Cajun-style. Lovers of burgers and pizza can feel at home next to connoisseurs of steak, sushi and seafood.

Many items are made with local and sustainably sourced ingredients, according to Hodge.

“Partnerships with local companies like Tropicana and Dakin Dairy is a way Mattison’s supports local farms and companies,” Hodge said in a press release.

The Bradenton Riverwalk restaurant is one of three Mattison’s locations. In addition to a downtown Sarasota location and another on South Tamiami Trail, the local business also provides in-house dining services at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and catering in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.

So, who else is currently on the list of best places to eat?

Here are Bradenton’s top 10 restaurants, according to TripAdvisor’s rankings:

1. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, Downtown Bradenton, 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton

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

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

4. Ortygia, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton

5. Blue Jasper Restaurant, 5718 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

6. Lucky Frog Restaurant, 4625 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

7. Vertoris Pizza House, 6830 14th St. W., Bradenton

8. Sage Biscuit Cafe, 6656 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

9. enRich Bistro, 5629 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

10. Apollonia Grill, 8235 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton

Try them for yourself and see if you agree.

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