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Best Restaurants in Bradenton area?

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Looking for the best new and existing restaurants in the Bradenton Florida area. I am also interested in Italian in this area.

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  1. Bradenton is lacking in quality restaurants in comparison to Sarasota (imho). Ezra's on Manatee Ave. is very good...higher end, very diverse menu. East Bradenton has some new places...McAllister's in Lakewood Ranch is good...good mix of seafood, pasta, sandwiches. In Bradenton it's hard to beat Carrabba's for Italian (unfortunately). Primo's (on 41 near the airport) is fairly good Italian, although it can be hit or miss (a bit inconsistent). The ambiance is just Ok as the building appears to be quite old and often has a funky smell inside...not too charming unfortunately. A diamond in the rough is Hickory Hollow in Palmetto...outstanding pork/chicken barbeque...and a surprisingly good grilled tilapia entree for a bbque joint.

    1. Folks always eat Carrabba's for Italian.

      There is a fun place called Gecko's off of SR 70 in the Publix shopping center, it's always packed. Good food.

      http://www.geckosgrill.com/

      1. Best restaurant in Bradenton (hands down) is Ezra's. Amazing food, great atmosphere, always interesting menu. Not Italian, but I live in St. Petersburg and still make the 45 minute drive down for it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: laboheme

          I'm unfamiliar with Ezra's: what does it do so well that it is worth your drive, and where is it? Thanks.

          1. re: laboheme

            >> I'm unfamiliar with Ezra's: what does it do so well
            >> that it is worth your drive, and where is it? Thanks.

            It's at 5629 Manatee Ave W (as I'm sure you know from the address, west of town on Manatee around 55th St).

            They have a website where you can view their menus, at
            www.ezrafinefoods.com

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Thanks nsxtasy, I read the menus and I'll give it a try soon.

          2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Beach Bistro. It is in Holmes Beach, on Anna Maria Island, just west of Bradenton. It is absolutely wonderful, with delicious contemporary American cuisine. I believe it has won numerous awards as one of the best restaurants in the entire state. I loved it when I went there. www.beachbistro.com

            1. The local italian is a throw-away. I'm way too spoiled from having lived in NYC, New Haven, and Boston.
              May I suggest a fairly new Peruvian restaurant. El Warike on 26 st west, 2 blocks north of Manatee Ave, on the left. I have enjoyed the shrimp ceviche, pescado a lo macho (seafood with a mild creamy sweet pepper sauce). I inquired on my first visit why empanadas were not on the menu, and they promptly fixed me a plate of nicely spiced salmon empanadas. Small spot but a pleasant experience. I hope they make it.
              If you like budget mexican food, Maria's in the red barn flea market has tamales and quesadillas, with wonderful side sauces, as good as any I've had in Mexico. She recently opened a restaurant elsewhere in Bradenton, but I don't recall its location.
              If you like fish or stone crabs, get acquainted with Bell Fish, off 123 and Cortez.
              For serious eating, you have to go to Sarasota or cross the Sunshine Skyway bridge.