3 Ridiculous & Unique Places To Eat Around Anna Maria Island

Are you sick of eating at the same kinds of places when you go on vacation? Are you just craving a bizarre, ridiculous, and totally unique environment as you chow down on some local-specific meals you really couldn’t find anywhere else?

No other Anna Maria Island restaurant on this list is like the other. Below are the top three most ridiculous and unique places to eat while exploring the beach sides of Anna Maria.

Ginny and Jane E’s Café

Certainly, one of the more eccentric and unique Anna Maria Island restaurants, Ginny and Jane E’s Café is a long-standing establishment inside a quirky shop that has a long history as the former IGA grocery store on the island.

Sit in the café and a enjoy a quick reasonably priced meal amidst shark replicas, bikes and fish models strung up from the ceiling. And you might be surprised to find that the food here is exceptional, ranging from freshly baked cinnamon rolls to quiche, muffins, scones, cookies, Danish, and pies made daily. On top of that, there’s a full breakfast menu with egg and veggie skillets, wraps, sandwiches, soups and more from fresh, local ingredients.

Stopping here is a must to also explore the unique (many locally made) gifts ranging from maritime décor, t-shirts, jewelry, art, photo frames, paintings, furniture and crafts, all arranged in a sort of random way that gives this gift shop and café its one-of-a-kind charm.

club sandwich from anna maria island cafe
Photo from Shutterstock

The Ugly Grouper

The Ugly Grouper in Holmes Beach may have a weird name, but it’s a cozy and comfortable little seafood getaway that aims to be the fun place on AMI.

The restaurant’s signature is the huge metal “Ugly Grouper” sculpture sitting right in the outdoor seating area – you can’t miss it.

Guests can sit at tables in the sand, and live music is performed every day. There are also televisions for watching live sports and a dance area in the sand.

The outdoor area has a human-sized Jenga game and other fun outdoor activities like ring toss, cornhole, and ring on a string. The décor highlights fishing and beach culture at this fun spot.

Don’t forget to take a picture next to the signature Ugly Grouper and enjoy some great prices on drinks with a huge range of cocktails, craft beers, wine and more.

This Holmes Beach outdoor hangout is delightfully unique and charming. It is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Starfish Company

Starfish Company is located right off the island in the Village of Cortez and is a throwback to another time when local fishing was the main industry in the area.

Starfish Company keeps it simple. Order seafood from the bar and have it brought to you in little disposable boxes. This famous seafood eatery only accepts cash but there is an ATM on site for your convenience.

Small bites include shrimp, calamari, conch and clams. Other options include mullet, grouper, gulf shrimp, oysters, sea scallops, crab cakes, clam strips, stone crab claws, pompano and a variety of seafood sandwiches. Choose how you want your meal prepared: fried, grilled, blackened or sautéed and pick a side of coleslaw, cheese grits, and French fries, or hush puppies.

It really doesn’t get any easier than that! What makes the place so unique and popular is how fresh all the food truly is.

You get a rotating door of whatever local fishermen happened to snatch for the afternoon on the water. The menu changes a bit with seasonal local fresh seafood specialties, and everything is provided in a cozy little scenic waterside package.

It is one of the most popular local spots to go for a seafood lunch. Get there right when they open, or you may have to wait up to an hour….. but it’s always worth it!

Fortunately, you can always sit right up next to the water on the dock, with an amazing view of the water, birds and boats going in and out.

These three unique and fun places to eat in Anna Maria are the perfect starting point for exploring locally owned dining destinations that you won’t forget anytime soon, once you get here of course!

These are just a few of the fun places to eat near your Anna Maria vacation rental. But there are even more unique options to explore throughout the area.

Plan Your Visit

Contact Us at 941-782-8152 for a little help with planning your trip to Anna Maria Island to make it one to remember and filled with some of these amazing and ridiculous places to eat!