Food & Drink

It’s National Greasy Food Day. Yes, we’re serious. Burgers and fries, anyone?

Oct. 25 is National Greasy Food Day. Yes, seriously.

Before you scoff, remember that this gives you a valid excuse to chow down on some guilty pleasure food.

But what to get?

As far as we’re concerned, good french fries and burgers should be greasy and proud of it.

With that in mind, here’s a throwback to when we asked members of our Facebook group Manatee Eats for recommendations on must-try burgers and french fries around Bradenton and Manatee County.

Now go get greasy; that salad will still be there tomorrow.


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Central Cafe at 906 Manatee Avenue East serves house-made fries as an appetizer or as a side with many dishes. Bradenton Herald file photo

Jalapeno Swiss Burger at Central Cafe

Opposites attract deliciously in Central Cafe’s Jalapeno Swiss Burger. The mild and sweet profile of Swiss cheese meets the heat of jalapeno pepper in this unlikely but intriguing combination.

The cafe’s burgers are grilled medium well and served on a brioche bun. Don’t miss out on the hand-cut fries.

Central Cafe is at 906 Manatee Ave. E. in Bradenton.


Cheeseburger at Chumlee’s Wings

Chumlee’s specialty is the namesake chicken wings, but the rumor among locals is that they sling a pretty good burger, too.

And there are no difficult choices to make on this menu; just the one eight-ounce cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and onion and served on a hard roll.

Chumlee’s Wings is at 3436 U.S. 301 in Ellenton.

Info: 941-981-5383.

At Cremesh European Restaurant, you’ll find a different take on the hamburger. The European Burger’s patty is 70 percent beef and 30 percent pork belly. And if that isn’t decadent enough, it’s topped with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and melted provolone cheese. Ryan Callihan

European Burger at Cremesh European Restaurant

At Cremesh European Restaurant, you’ll find a different take on the hamburger.

The European Burger’s patty is 70 percent beef and 30 percent pork belly. And if that isn’t decadent enough, it’s topped with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and melted provolone cheese.

Cremesh European Restaurant is at 7232 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton.


Leland Special at Council’s Bradenton Recreation

Council’s has been serving up burgers in Bradenton for nearly 100 years, and according to locals, they know what they’re doing.

The Leland Special features a generously-sized patty topped with extra cheese, bacon, lettuce, grilled jalapenos and onion.

Bring your appetite and head to Old Main Street to get counciled.

Council’s Bradenton Recreation is at 536 12th St. W. in Bradenton.


Jalapeno and Havarti Burger at Duffy’s Tavern

Duffy’s Tavern is described as a hamburger heaven, and it’s no wonder when you consider that locals have been enjoying the restaurant’s burgers since 1958.

One favorite comes with fresh jalapenos, Havarti cheese and an optional topping of lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo.

The restaurant’s bacon cheeseburger also gets high praise.

Duffy’s Tavern is at 5808 Marina Dr. in Holmes Beach.


Matty Matt at Full Belly Stuffed Burgers

As the name suggests, Full Belly Stuffed Burgers in Bradenton specializes in loading burgers with tasty ingredients.

The Matty Matt is a bold burger that combines sweet maple bacon and all-natural peanut butter in a juicy, Angus beef patty.

Full Belly Burgers is at 8742 State Road 70 E. in Bradenton.


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An Impossible Burger served 1950s-style at Shake Station, a burger and ice cream joint in Ellenton. Ryan Ballogg

Impossible Burger at Shake Station

There are lots of restaurants that have a meatless burger on the menu, but few of them offer up the nostalgic warmth and comfort of an old-school burger and ice cream joint.

The walls of this 1950s-inspired diner are lined with ephemera and jukebox classics play amid the chatter of bustling tables.

Enjoy this modern burger in a vintage setting.

Shake Station’s other burgers, made with hand-pattied, hormone-free beef and cooked on a vintage grill, are also worth a stop.

Shake Station is at 4219 U.S. 301 in Ellenton.


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The Skinny Cheeseburger at Skinny’s Place, an old-Florida burger joint on Anna Maria Island. James A. Jones Jr.

Skinny Cheeseburger at Skinny’s Place

The Skinny Cheeseburger is the signature hand-crafted offering at Skinny’s Place, an old-Florida burger joint in Holmes Beach.

It comes open-faced with the burger on one side of the bun, and the tomato, lettuce, pickle and onion on the other. It’s regarded as a good, satisfying burger, and even better with some of the coldest beer in town, served in a frosted mug.

Don’t drink beer? Maybe you’ll want to try one of the bottled Cokes, made the old-fashioned way with cane sugar.

Skinny’s Place is at 3901 Gulf Dr. in Holmes Beach.


Brisket Burger at Smoqehouse

Smoqehouse serves quick, quality eats on Anna Maria Island.

The Brisket Burger at Smoqehouse features smoked cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and the restaurant’s signature Smoq’n Sauce.

The Smoqehouse staff is always inventing new burger creations, so you’ll have a reason to come back for more.

Smoqehouse is at 1701 Gulf Dr. N. in Bradenton Beach.


Voodoo Burger at S.O.B. Burgers

S.O.B. Burgers is a Bradenton gastro pub established in 2014. Since then, the place has been slinging burgers like crazy.

The Voodoo burger is topped with Cajun cream cheese, caramelized onions and bacon.

S.O.B. uses Angus beef for its burgers, and there’s also a house-made veggie burger on the menu.

S.O.B. Burgers is at 5866 14th St. W. in Bradenton.

Info: 941-755-1998.

Read Next

Other recommendations:

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

Gecko’s Grill and Pub, 7228 55th Ave. E. Bradenton.

D’s Breakfast and Burgers, 423 10th Ave. W., Palmetto.

The Feast Restaurant, 5406 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach.

Linger Lodge Restaurant and Bar, 7205 85th St. Court E., Bradenton.

Glory Days Grill, 8253 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton.

RJ Gator’s of Bradenton, 6100 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

French fries

Five Guys

Fast-food restaurants are hard to beat at the French fry game, and Five Guys is at the top of the chain.

For goodness sakes, the potatoes are right there when you walk in the door, stacked up in those white and red checkered bags.

The fries are so voluminous that it takes a cup and a brown paper bag (which eventually saturates with grease) to contain them. Kudos if you can finish a whole helping of the things.

Five Guys has two Manatee County locations: 6783 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; and 8447 Cooper Creek Blvd., Sarasota.


Central Cafe

Central Cafe is located in east downtown Bradenton in the historic building that formerly housed the Manatee Hotel.

The cafe is so confident in its fries that it serves them as a unaccompanied dish on the small plates menu, flavored with malt vinegar.

Alternatively, get them as a side with a one of the cafe’s big burgers.

Central Cafe is at 906 Manatee Ave. E. in Bradenton.



Checkers’ fries just have that special something. That perfect contrast of black pepper crispiness on the outside and a soft warm interior makes you keep reaching for just one more. And one more ... and one more ...

Checkers has four Manatee County locations: 1001 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto; 5140 Cortez Road, Bradenton; 5220 15th St. E., Bradenton; 8357 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota.

Jaxx Sportsbar

The French fries at Jaxx Sportsbar in Palmetto are house-made, crispy and piled high.

Order them as an appetizer, loaded with melted cheese and bacon, or as a side with the bar’s wings, sandwiches and burgers.

Jaxx Sports Bar is at 1035 Hasko Road, Palmetto.


Other recommendations:

Curly fries at Sketch Daddy’s Wings ‘N Things, 7814 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

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

Regular and sweet potato fries at Clancy’s Sports Bar and Grill, 2601, 6218 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Sour cream and chive wedges at Buffalo Wild Wings, 4120 14th St. W., Bradenton.

Popi’s Place, 6409 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton and four other locations.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers, 7376 52nd Place E., Bradenton.

Blackened fries at Tom’s Bad Ass Cafe and Bar, 312 12th St. W., Bradenton.

Gecko’s Grill and Pub, 7228 55th Ave. E., Bradenton.

Skinny’s Place, 3901 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach.

Boiler Room Bar and Grill, 5600 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Cortez Clam Factory, 10104 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Sharky’s Sea Grill, 2519 Gulf Dr., North Bradenton Beach.

Sweet potato fries at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 4925 Cortez Road, Bradenton and two more locations.

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