Manatee County could be called a seafood lover’s paradise.
The coastal communities of Cortez and Anna Maria Island offer tasty and thoughtfully prepared seafood dishes that make the most of Florida’s bounty, and there’s more to choose from further inland.
Options range from homey to upscale and traditional to nuanced. And if you’ve got to have it fresh, there are several restaurants that exclusively serve locally caught seafood.
We asked members of our Facebook group “Manatee Eats” where to get the best seafood in Manatee County.
Blue Marlin Seafood
Blue Marlin Grill is a great spot for relaxing on Anna Maria Island. Located on historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, the restaurant has cozy nautical decor, a covered deck and a courtyard with live music on the weekends.
The menu promises only fresh, locally caught fish and offers dishes such as Cortez Chowder (fresh grouper cheeks and shrimp in a tomato saffron broth), a grouper sandwich topped with fried green tomato and clam linguine.
The restaurant also offers an entree of fish of your choice prepared one of three ways: Thai, pecan-encrusted or Fulford (egg washed and sauteed with lemon butter, then finished with garlic Parmesan breadcrumbs).
Blue Marlin Grill is at 121 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach.