Unique Eats in the Bradenton Area
The Bradenton Area boasts many flavors of restaurants that appeal to any craving, including the unique and quirky. Looking for something a little off the beaten path, or somewhere that you can sample different types of food? Look no further! We’ve created a list of some of the most delightfully peculiar places to enjoy a local meal.
Star Fish Company Dockside Restaurant
As soon as you park you’ll notice something is different about this place—there are large boats and fishermen everywhere. That’s because you’re in the historic fishing village of Cortez, one of the few ‘working’ waterfronts in Florida. It’s also where you will find some of the best seafood in the area. The Star Fish Company Restaurant is dockside, so you have a spectacular view of the intercoastal waterway and can watch the fishing boats unload the catch of the day. The atmosphere is laid back and preparations are simple: fried, grilled, or blackened. Why? Because it allows you to taste how incredibly fresh your meal is—usually caught the same day! And trust us when we recommend that you order the hush puppies.
Ginny’s and Jane E’s
Part café, part art and antiques store, Ginny’s & Jane E’s is one of the most colorful and eclectic places in the Bradenton Area. Housed in the old IGA store, it provides the perfect backdrop for the original art, handmade jewelry, and other beach-themed décor for sale. Our recommendation is to visit the café first, because their gigantic (and delicious!) handmade cinnamon rolls are known to sell out early. You will see locals lined up to order their favorite breakfast or lunch before settling in to one of the assorted dining room tables and chairs to enjoy their meal.
You know that you’re in the right place when you spot the gigantic, pastel-pink pig welcoming you from the highway. Don’t let this unassuming location fool you, Hickory Hollow is a family-owned restaurant that has served up some of the finest North Carolina-style barbeque for over 35 years. Besides the rustic décor and canopy of old oak trees shading the property, the real attraction is the slow-cooked meat and massive selection of vegetables (over 25 or more!) served on a daily basis. Be sure to check out all of the interesting bottled beer you can enjoy with your home-cooked meal. Leave your credit card at home, this place is cash only—but be sure to bring your appetite!
Linger Lodge Restaurant
Linger Lodge embraces being named by Forbes.com as one of the ‘Most Unusual Restaurants in the World.’ Opened in 1945, this place represents all things old Florida, including the rural location out east along the Braden River. Besides the laid-back location, you’ll find taxidermized animals covering every wall of the dining room, complete with a 16-foot alligator. Besides the amusingly bizarre interior, the food is the real star of the show. Feeling adventurous? Order the frog legs, alligator, or fried green tomatoes, or sample their fork-tender beef brisket that’s been smoking for hours. Don’t forget to have one of their decadently outrageous Bloody Marys—like the Cheeseburger Bloody Mary, the Mary-Tizer, or the Deluxe Shrimpy Mary!
More Dining Options
There are so many more unique (and delicious!) dining options in the Bradenton area, so be sure to add them to your itinerary!