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The Best Places to Dine Outdoors

What better way to enjoy the endless summer of the Bradenton Area than by dining al fresco. Many local restaurants and drink outposts have ample outdoor dining options, providing patrons with an enjoyable ambiance and appropriate social distancing. In need of some outdoor dining inspiration with a little space? We’ve got you covered!

C’est La Vie

Tucked away in the bustling UTC area is where you’ll find C’est La Vie, a French restaurant and bakery. Take a break from shopping to enjoy freshly prepared meals, from French-roasted coffee and sweet crepes to red wine and boeuf bourguignon. The shaded outdoor dining space allows for ample separation from other diners, and a chance to enjoy the cooling effects of the afternoon sea breeze. Be sure to have your smartphone handy to take your picture next to the towering Eiffel Tower sculpture!

Floirdays Woodfire Bar & Grill

Imagine stepping back into time to visit a beach-themed Florida restaurant from the 1960s, full of charm and just the right amount of whimsy. You’ve just pictured Floridays Woodfire Bar & Grill, which features a gigantic, outdoor palm-thatched hut overlooking the serene intercoastal waterway. The open-air environment is perfect for enjoying the balmy Florida breeze and taking in the spectacular vistas of yachts traversing Tampa Bay. But this place isn’t just for sightseeing, the food is just as spectacular, especially the wood-grilled fare. You’ll leave with a full tummy, and probably a smartphone full of sunset photos.

Main Street Trattoria

If you have a craving for an Italian dinner, look no further than Main Street Trattoria on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. To make room for proper social distancing, the street was closed to cars and converted to outdoor dining space. This unique dining perspective pairs perfect with the delicious Italian cuisine. Complete with traditional favorites and family-style meals, you’ll find that dining under the stars with family in friends is an unforgettable experience. 

Shore Longboat Key

You’ll immediately notice the contemporary architecture upon arrival, which is reminiscent of the 1950s in Florida. Shore restaurant is the perfect expression of a mid-century, al-fresco coastal eatery. Specializing in creative recipes and local favorites, all served in the open-air dining space. From your first sip of a signature cocktail to your last bite of the Key West shrimp and Scallop Risotto, the entire Shore experience is nothing short of a beach day makeover, with cool vibes and delicious eats.

The Ugly Grouper

If you’re looking for some entertainment to pair with your outdoor dining, the Ugly Grouper is the place to be. With an open-air bar and restaurant seating, it’s the perfect place to enjoy live music, outdoor games, and delicious seafood, like grouper sandwiches. This place is popular with island locals and visitors, and for good reason: the fresh, tasty food. Kids—and kids at heart—will enjoy playing ring-toss and live music as their house-made meals are being prepared. Yep, there’s an Instagrammable sculpture here, too—of a giant ‘ugly’ grouper.

The Waterfront Restaurant

When combining bay-front dining with a chef-inspired cuisine, you’ll get The Waterfront Restaurant. Whether you’re a seasoned culinary connoisseur or simply a foodie with a taste for adventure, you’ll appreciate a menu based on locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients and a bar that features unique cocktails and rare finds. In addition to the fresh flavors of Anna Maria Island, you can take in the gulf breeze on their expansive open-air patio. This is the perfect place to make pace with the island life by slowing down and relaxing in the tropical setting of this island staple. 

Woody’s River Roo

Ideally situated on the lazy Manatee River, Woody’s River Roo provides abundant outdoor dining with an Old Florida feel. Come by car or boat and take a seat at one of their many, socially-distanced  outdoor seating options. Whether dining under a thatched palapa on ‘the island’ or under a dockside umbrella, you’re destined to take in the view—and the spectacular pub fare. Besides the sights, the live music calendar is what makes place a hangout for locals and visitors alike. You’ll probably enjoy this place enough to purchase a Woody’s t-shirt from the bar!

C'est La Vie: 8527 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park, FL 34201
The Ugly Grouper: 5704 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Floirdays Woodfire Bar & Grill: 12332 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34209
Woody’s River Roo: 5717 18th St. E, Ellenton, FL 34222
Main Street Trattoria: 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
The Waterfront Restaurant: 111 S Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, FL 34216
Shore Longboat Key: 800 Broadway St., Longboat Key, FL 34228