Cravings Blog

Area restaurants open for Christmas and New Year’s

Are you looking for a way to get out of slaving over a stove for hours or doing tons of dishes on Christmas Day?

Well, here’s our gift to you — a list of the many restaurants in Manatee and Sarasota counties that are open so that you don’t have to do all of that work.

It’s wise to make reservations early because most restaurants fill up quickly.

▪ BeachHouse, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach, open 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 24 and 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31 with fireworks display at midnight, weather permitting. Closed Dec. 25. No reservations.

▪ The Sandbar, open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 24. Closed Dec. 25. No reservations.

▪ Island Time, 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach, open regular hours Dec. 24 and noon-10 p.m. Dec. 25. 941-782-1122.

▪ Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, annual Christmas buffet is noon-5 p.m. Dec. 25. Buffet is $42 adults, $20 children under 12. Reservations: 941-782-0899, ext. 2 or visit

▪ Woody’s River Roo, 5717 18th St. E., Ellenton, open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25. 941-722-2391.

▪ Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub, open until 6 p.m. Dec. 24 and opens at noon Dec. 25. 941-794-2489.

▪ Chart House, 201 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. serving dinner menu Dec. 25. Reservations only available after 8 p.m. 941-383-5593.

▪ Lou’s Diner, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 24. Closed Dec. 25.

▪ Stone Bowl, 5516 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, open 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Dec. 25. 941-761-8899.

▪ PIER 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton., will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 24. There will be a special holiday lunch and dinner menu 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25. On New Year’s Eve the restaurant is open 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. featuring a holiday menu at 4 p.m., late night DJ on the patio and champagne cash bar. A VIP ballroom party and buffet begins 9 p.m. New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch is 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 1. Reservations: 941-748-8087.

▪ Anna Maria Beach Cafe, 4000 Gulf Dr., open 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and Christmas buffet is noon-5 p.m. Dec. 25.

▪ Arts & Eats, 1114 12th St. W., Bradenton, Village of the Arts, is open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 24 and 5-9 p.m. Dec. 25 with regular menu. A New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight; $49. Reservations: 941-201-6647.

▪ Mattison’s City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk, 101 Riverfront Blvd., will open at 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Live music by the Accidentalz. Holiday dinner specials. They will host a New Year’s Eve 1st Anniversary Party. Dinner service at 5 p.m. Music by Backtrack Blues Band at 8:30 p.m. Reservations: 941-896-9660.

▪ Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus, 3246 E. Bay Dr., Holmes Beach, will be closed on Dec. 24 and open from 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 25. Reservations recommended. 941-778-1320 or

▪ Ortygia, 1418 13th St. W., Bradenton, will offer a New Year’s Eve Candlelight dinner with seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m.; $55 prix fixe excluding tax and tip. 941-741-8646.

▪ Blu Mangrove, Riviera Dunes Marina, Palmetto, will hold a New Year’s Eve Masquerade with a limited menu. No cover. Eric Stone Band plays 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Reservations: 941-479-7827.

▪ Lazy Lobster, 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, open 4-9 p.m. Dec. 24, noon-8 p.m. for dinner service Dec. 25, 4-9:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and 4-9 p.m. Jan. 1. Reservations: 941-383-0440.

▪ Wicked Cantina, 101 Seventh St. N., Bradenton Beach, open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 24, closed on Dec. 25, open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. 941-281-2990.

▪ Mattison’s City Grille, 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, will open at 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Live music. Holiday dinner specials. They will also host a New Year’s Eve Bash featuring Big Night Out and Jah Movement. Watch the annual downtown Pineapple drop.Reservations: 941-330-0440.

▪ Michael’s On East Restaurant is accepting holiday reservations for Christmas Eve (4-8 p.m.), Christmas Day (2-8 p.m.) and New Years Eve (5-7 p.m. or 9-10 p.m.). A $50 cover charge applies for the later seating on Dec. 31, which includes live music and dancing. Michael’s holiday dinner menu featuring favorite signature dishes and inspired global fare is offered. 941-366-0007, ext. 224 or visit

▪ The Columbia, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, is open at 11 a.m. Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 with holiday dinner specials as well as the regular menu. Reservations:,

Chain restaurants open on Christmas Day include IHOP, Boston Market, Denny’s, Waffle House and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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