Six Ways to Eat Like a Local
When in Rome eat like a roman. When in Bradenton, eat like a local! The Bradenton Area is home to some of the most eclectic restaurants you’ll find on the Gulf Coast.
One local secret that’s slowly getting out is the Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina. The ambiance, food and staff are all top notch and a local favorite. Want to give it a try? Get there early! Tide Tables opens at 11:30 a.m. and fills up quickly. Although there are beautiful picnic tables to wait by the water and boats on a busy day, crowds can quickly extend the wait. Located in the historical Cortez Fishing Village, some dishes are so fresh you will think the fish were just caught. And maybe they were! From fish tacos to fresh gumbo you’re bound to walk away rubbing your tummy with satisfaction. When you are looking for that great local spot, stop at Mile Marker 48, and enjoy the salty air, cold brews and freshest fish in the area.
Downtown Bradenton has a few local spots that are sure to please. Kefi Streetside Café is a small patio restaurant that serves food out of a window in the back of the building. Decorated with bright colors with art deco flair, the patio is a local hangout for those looking to eat a little healthier and take in a cool street vibe. Kefi offers fresh, convenient Mediterranean coffee and cuisine with specials like the Pedro De Pacas Omelet, a breakfast specialty of hash piled high with egg patty, served with multigrain toast. Lunch offers tasty treats like the O.G. Greek, a Greek salad which you may want to top with Greek pork, shrimp, falafel, gyro meat or chicken. Top off any meal with a specialty drink like berry hibiscus kombucha, dirty chai latte or caramel apple cold brew. You can also order on Kefi’s website and pick it up on the go. Enjoy this local café Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mean Deans Local Kitchen serves up great service, large portions at fair prices and wonderful food. Lunch favorites include the Brie LT, Basil Dijon chicken, Angry Squirrel Burger (no, it’s not actually squirrel) and Fresh Salmon Taco with SharkBite sauce. Dinner doesn’t disappoint either. Bourbon Maple Short Ribs, Lobster Lasagna, Pina Colada Shrimp or Sirloin Siracusa are popular choices and offer a unique dining experience. Specialty sauces like Sweet Heat Peanut Sauce or Fra Diavolo take these dishes to the next level. Mean Deans also hosts specialty wine tasting dinners and holiday fare for special occasions. The restaurant is open seven days a week and reservations can be made on their website. Give Mean Deans Local Kitchen a try, we think it’ll become a favorite!
Cottonmouth Southern Soul Food
A hidden gem in the heart of downtown Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, Cottonmouth Southern Soul Food is sure to please. Cottonmouth serves a large selection of soul-comforting food like fried chicken, shrimp and grits and a melt-in-your-mouth meatloaf burger. Enjoy dinner while grooving to blues, jazz, funk, folk and Americana local bands. The Cottonmouth website has a music calendar of upcoming musicians and you can reserve a table in advance! With seating inside and out, Cottonmouth is a great place to hang out, grab some food, listen to some soul stirring music and spend time with family and friends. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 or 9 p.m. There is plenty of streetside parking.
Siam Thai Bistro
Siam Thai Bistro is a tiny restaurant with a friendly atmosphere conveniently located on Manatee Avenue. Siam Thai is run by The Lehman Family whose love for Thai food combined with Grandma Chanpheng’s traditional Thai recipes, have brought authentic Thai food to locals and visitors alike. Some of their popular dishes include garlic stir fry pad thai, yellow or massaman curry with scallops. Pineapple fried rice, veggie egg rolls and rice soup are also local favorites. All food is homemade with love and deep attention to flavors. Be sure to check out the chef specials for some truly unique, authentic dishes. Siam Thai Bistro treats customers like family, so when you’re looking for a home-cooked family meal that is sure to please, try Siam Thai Bistro, 5763 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton.
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus is known for its large portions and quick service. Take a trip back to Germany and enjoy wiener schnitzel, brats and sauerkraut or pick one of Chef Armin’s Austrian specials. Vorspeisen (appetizers) include German pretzels, soups and potato pancakes. Specialties include Bavarian pork or beef stroganoff. Desserts range from tortes, puff pastries and strudel, so be sure to save room. Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus is open six days a week and is located on East Bay Drive on Holmes Beach.