Enjoy a Delicious Meal at The Porch Restaurant in Anna Maria Island

While there are many fun and exciting things to do in Anna Maria Island, ranking right up there are the many excellent Anna Maria Island restaurants to dine at.

One you won’t want to miss is The Porch Restaurant, an eatery with a long local history and one that presents an unforgettable dining experience, from signature and seasonal dishes to an extensive selection of beer and wine that perfectly complements the appetizers and entrees you’ll find on the menu.

Conveniently located near many Anna Maria Island rentals, The Porch is a great place to stop in for lunch or to finish off a long day of beach fun or after visiting the area’s best attractions, including museums, parks, shops, and boutiques.

crab dip appetizer
Photo from Shutterstock

About & History

From popular rental cottages to a local daycare, the site of The Porch Restaurant at 9707 Gulf Drive has a long history that traces back to the early 1900s. It was one of the first houses built on the island!

Most memorably, is the time that this antique house served as the home of Sign of the Mermaid in Anna Maria Island, a casual restaurant known for its local seafood dishes, top-notch service, and appealing décor. For 30 years until it closed in 2019, the Sign of the Mermaid brought breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus to locals and visitors alike.

Continuing on the tradition of fresh, in-house cooking with exemplary service, The Porch Restaurant brings the restored house to all-new life with their signature dishes and seasonal entrees. There’s no wonder that Yelp called the establishment a “new favorite Anna Maria Island restaurant” and ranked it second on a list of Best New Restaurants in Anna Maria Island. It’s also garnered 14 Excellent reviews (out of 16) on TripAdvisor. 

The Menu

Usually, upscale and casual don’t go together. In The Porch’s relaxed setting, you’ll find food with the best, freshest ingredients and prepared with the “finest cooking methods,” as the restaurant states. 

Who could resist appetizers like the shrimp and Cajun crab dip or the coastal calamari (tossed in The Porch’s ginger sesame sauce with sweet chili peppers)? Then it’s on to salad if desired: Caesar, house, harvest, or The Porch’s COBB salad (mixed greens, boiled egg, carrot, grilled corn, bacon, avocado, and blue cheese with chipotle ranch).

Main dishes offer something for everyone: steak, fish, Italian, or pork or lamb chops. Choose from selections such as the mouthwatering Tamari Maple Glazed Salmon (served with a wild rice and ferro blend), the delectable balsamic glazed chicken, or the compelling pork chop entrée covered in maple cinnamon apples. There’s also a Fresh Catch entrée, so you’re assured of the best locally caught fish available.

Sides include garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, garlic mushroom, seasoned asparagus, or hand-cut fries. One or two sides are offered depending on which entrée you choose.

You can select from the same appetizers and salads on The Porch’s lunch menu, where entrees consist of fish n’ chips, burgers, a Fresh Catch and Mahi sandwiches on potato buns, a vegetarian beet burger, and a shaved ribeye sandwich on a baguette with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Kids will love the choices on their menus, ranging from mac & cheese and chicken strips (choice of dipping sauce!) to sliders and beef tips. 

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, save room for dessert! In addition to key lime pie and chocolate mousse cake, there’s a Burnt Basque Cheesecake that the restaurant assures is “unlike any cheesecake you’re familiar with”: custardy, light, and caramelized.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until last, seating at 2:45 p.m. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. and is served until 9 p.m. The restaurant operates seven days per week.

Plan Your Stay

At Lizzie Lu’s, you’ll find well-stocked homes, tropical landscaping, a provided beach wagon, ample parking, and garages. Extra-charge services include bike rentals, GEM car rentals, and even baby item rentals, so you don’t have to pack as much when you’re vacationing with little ones.

Drink Menu

You can choose from various bottled and draft beers and several specialty wine drinks, such as spritzes, mimosas, and sangria, when it comes to drinks.

Bottled Michelob Ultra, Budlight, Budweiser Zero, Corona Extra, and Corona Light are among the bottled beers you can enjoy with your entrée. Or, select draft beers such as Darwin Marron – Brown Ale, 3 Daughters Bleach Blonde Ale, and Copper Tail Free Drive (hoppy with a crisp malt backbone). Like citrus? There’s the Motorworks – Pulp Friction with a freshly squeezed grapefruit aroma in a golden-orange brew and even hints of caramel and pine, or a Strawberry Orange Mimosa Ale with Florida Orange juice mixed in the brewing process, added to a strawberry and champagne flavor.

For a few dollars more, head over to the specialty drink menu, where you’ll enjoy flavors such as grapefruit soda, blueberry, rose syrup, raspberry, and blackberry from among The Porch’s spritzes and red and white sangrias. The mimosa is a blend of sparkling wine with your choice of fresh juice, and the Bellini is your choice of fresh puree blend with sparkling wine.

There’s something to go along perfectly with whatever entrée you’ve chosen from The Porch’s diverse drink menu!

mimosa with an orange slice garnish
Photo from Pexels

Directions to The Porch Restaurant

By now, all you might be asking about The Porch Restaurant is, “How do I get there?”

Located near the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, you’ll travel north from almost any location nearby to reach The Porch.

If you’re staying at Anna Maria Island vacation rentals in Holmes Beach, you’re approximately three miles from this charming restaurant. Just head north on Gulf Drive and turn right on Marina Drive; after less than a mile, you’ll continue onto Palm Drive. Once you merge onto Gulf Drive, which is the main road through Anna Maria Island, you’ll find The Porch just a half-mile up on your right.

Book Your Anna Maria Island Rental

Whether you’re looking for a quaint, 1-2 bedroom cottage or require a larger 3-4 bedroom home that sleeps up to eight, you’ll find the accommodations to fit your needs at Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat. You can also consider a five-bedroom option facing the Gulf with two balconies, a private heated pool with a rock waterfall, unique beach-style décor, and an elevator! If you’re bringing the entire family, including the fur babies, know that some of Lizzie Lu’s Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are pet-friendly.

Open concepts, fully-equipped kitchens, balconies, laundry rooms, king- and queen-sized beds, and spacious main living areas are just some of the features you’ll enjoy inside your vacation destination, depending on which rental you choose. Outside, you might find a heated pool, Weber grill, outdoor shower, and beach items such as umbrellas and chairs included. Linens, towels, and even beach towels are part of the amenities at many of these attractive rentals.

So now you have your accommodations and where you’ll have at least one dinner and lunch on your next Anna Maria Island vacation. Just pick the week, make a call, and head on down for great food, lots of sun, and a comfortable stay.