Are you looking for some dining alternatives while on your Anna Maria Island vacation? Take a couple of evenings (or afternoons) and venture down to Longboat Key. There are some awesome Longboat Key restaurants to enjoy. Most have the luck of boasting beautiful water views and a special ambiance; others offer a casual feel where you can come straight from the beach. Here are five of the most popular ones:
Lazy Lobster, 5350 Gulf of Mexico Drive
This is a great way to spend an evening if you are looking for something a little posher. The food is excellent and the ambiance is like a classic slightly more upscale restaurant. It’s perfect for “date night” or a nice evening away from the kids where you can enjoy a bottle of wine and divine seafood entrees (land lovers are cared for too!). The Lazy Lobster is not overly priced and reservations are recommended.
Maison Blanche, 2605 Gulf of Mexico Drive
It may take a bit longer to get down to Maison Blanche since it’s down at the southern end of Longboat Key but it’s a worth the drive. This is definitely on the higher end when it comes to what you are going to spend but it’s worth every penny. Each item on the menu is so full of flavor and is presented in a way that shows off the chef’s artistry. The Sea Bass is so good as is the Filet Mignon – oh and the Flaming Potatoes are divine! Be sure to make reservations and be ready for a true dining experience.
Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub, 760 Broadway
Off the beaten path but close to the bridge to Anna Maria Island, Mar Vista is a Longboat Key institution. This is the place where you go during or after a day on the water. You are welcome as is and you can even bring Fido. The outside area has a perfect Florida atmosphere with a dock at which you can dock to come in and eat. Some of the favorites include the Old Bay Shrimp Bowl, Tater Tots, and the Catch of the Day. This is a favorite for locals so that says a lot about it.
Long Beach Café, 6836 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Think breakfast and lunch with Long Beach Café. It’s located at the north end of LBK in the Whitney Beach shopping center – just over the bridge from AMI. The food is excellent with delicious breakfast and lunch fares. Whether eating pancakes, eggs benedict, corn beef hash, or French toast, to name a few for breakfast, or burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch, you are going to leave with a full belly. The best part is that it doesn’t break the bank!
Harry’s Continental Kitchen, 525 Saint Judes Drive
Harry’s is a little less than halfway down LBK from the AMI bridge and worth the drive. Whether you eat inside or out, the ambiance is wonderful and the food is way up there too. Harry is always at the helm creating spectacular meals. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and brunch with lots of great choices and includes classics like eggs with traditional sides and omelets with delicious fillings. One of the most popular lunch items is Harry’s Favorite Crab Cakes – order them and see what all the fuss is about! If that isn’t what you want, make it special and have the Seafood Cobb Salad. It is mouthwatering! Harry also goes all out at happy hour on the patio with cocktails and apps outside. Dinner focuses on local seafood as the main ingredient on delicious meals paired with even better wines. Harry’ is definitely an experience. Oh, and even though the menu does accommodate children, try leaving them at your Anna Maria Island vacation rental while you enjoy a night out that starts at Harry’s Continental Kitchen, but try to make reservations. If you don’t, plan to sit at the quaint bar for a while diving into the extensive wine list.
Even though we featured a handful of Longboat Key restaurants, there are others that you need to put on your list of places to eat along the Gulf islands. Enjoy!