This is a list of the best Bradenton restaurants on the water.
They all offer outdoor seating, seafood and have a great view.
Let’s dive right in.
Here are best waterfront dining options that we’ll talk about:
- Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant
- Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina
- Swordfish Grill
- PIER 22
- Woody’s River Roo
- The Seafood Shack Marina, Bar & Grill
- Riviera Dunes Dockside
- Floridays Woodfire Grill & Bar
- Oak & Stone – Downtown Bradenton
- Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill – Manatee River
- Caddy’s Bradenton
- Cortez Kitchen
Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant
995 Riverside Dr, Palmetto, FL
The Riverhouse waterfront restaurant offers a truly unique experience. After parking, you can walk to the restaurant on the pier or take their complimentary golf cart shuttle service. It’s located across the Manatee River that separates downtown Bradenton from Palmetto.
They offer 3 waterfront dining options.
- The Snook Deck is a wooden deck overlooking the Manatee River.
- The Reef & Grill is considered one the best bars on the water in Bradenton, FL.
- The “Second Floor” is an upscale seafood restaurant on the water.
Their popular menu items are mouth watering butterfish, signature lobster pot pie, ribs, Hawaiian chicken, fish and chips, grouper tacos and shrimp tacos. This restaurant takes waterfront dining to the next level.
Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina
12507 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL
Tide Tables Restaurant is a seafood waterfront restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway. Imagine picnic tables a few feet away from the water, fish tacos and a tiki bar. People come here for the laid back atmosphere and have a bite to eat with a beautiful view.
The most popular menu items are the mahi mahi fish tacos, bacon beans, blackened corvina, ribs, black bean soup, grouper sandwich and shrimp po-boy. Everyone stays for a slice of their key lime pie.
Tide Tables is one of the most popular Bradenton restaurants on the water. It’s also the last place to eat before the Cortez bridge to Anna Maria Island.
4628 119th St W, Cortez, FL
Known for local seafood, live music and a great view of the water. Swordfish Grill is a waterfront restaurant with a beautiful deck overlooking Sarasota Bay. If you’re coming for the live music, make sure to check their entertainment schedule first.
Their popular menu items are bacon wrapped scallops, loaded shrimp nachos, coconut shrimp, clam chowder and stone crab. Since they are a seafood restaurant, they’re known for fresh fish.
Imagine tall bar height chairs and tables right by the water. The “Old Florida” atmosphere can’t be beat. It’s one of the only seafood restaurants in Cortez Village, right before the Cortez bridge to Anna Maria Island. It’s one the best restaurants on the water for outdoor dining.
1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, FL
With tables 1-2 feet from the edge of Manatee River, Pier 22 is considered one of the best waterfront restaurants in downtown Bradenton. There’s outdoor seating with dozens of dining tables and wicker chairs. It’s one of the only Riverwalk restaurants with a great view of Manatee River.
Their popular menu items are raw oysters, sushi, grouper piccata, corned beef reuben sandwich and corn risotto. They’re also known for their great happy hour specials.
To avoid a waiting for a table, make a reservation online. If you don’t want to sit outside, they also offer indoor seating with air conditioning.
Woody’s River Roo
5717 18th St E, Ellenton, FL
Woody’s River Roo is a really fun place with live music right on Manatee River. It’s one of the only “Old Florida” style restaurants in the Bradenton area. Check out their music schedule if you’re coming for the live band.
Popular menu items are grouper bites, shrimp basket, grouper sandwich, BBQ pork sandwich, cuban sandwich, grouper tacos and the Woody burger. They have a great lunch menu and a kids menu that parents love.
Like other Bradenton restaurants on the water, Woody’s has a strong laid back vibe. Come for the great atmosphere, stay for the food.
The Seafood Shack Marina, Bar & Grill
4110 127th St W, Cortez, FL
The Seafood Shack is a waterfront restaurant on the Intercoastal Waterway. It’s located in Cortez Village just before you cross the bridge to Anna Maria Island. Since it is on the marina, you’ll get to watch boats come and go. They also have a dock in case you want to come by boat.
Outdoor seating is available right on the docks. However, there’s not enough shade to keep you comfortable. If you want to sit outside by the water, arrive at 11:30am or 30-60 minutes before sunset. If you come for after 12pm, we recommend you sit inside.
The most popular menu items are fish and chips, clam chowder, shrimp dinner, cole slaw and definitely their key lime pie. They also have a great shack burger and Impossible burger. If you’re heading that direction, check our list of waterfront restaurants in Anna Maria Island.
It’s definitely our favorite seafood restaurant near the water.
Riviera Dunes Dockside
102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto, FL
Riviera Dunes Dockside is a yacht/boat themed restaurant with a great view. It’s located across the Manatee River from Bradenton, FL. They have an outdoor dining patio with live music on Wednesday to Saturday. Though the tables have there own umbrellas, there’s indoor seating with air conditioning if it’s too hot.
From their lunch menu, we would highly recommend you try Caribbean chicken flatbread, coconut shrimp, grilled asparagus, mahi mahi sandwich, scallops and Voodoo pork chops. Call ahead about their happy hour menu.
Since it’s a dockside restaurant on Riviera Dunes Marina, you can expect a view of various boats and yachts. The tables, chairs and decor all match the colors usually seen on yachts. If you’re into boats, this place is for you. Especially if you love watching boats come and go.
Floridays Woodfire Grill & Bar
12332 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL
Floridays Woodfire Grill is one of the newest (2020) Bradenton restaurants on the water. If you love a casual, hip and trendy place to eat, this is it. It’s next door to the Compass Hotel by Margaritaville.
Their indoor seating screams Margaritaville with its beach, island and fish theme. Imagine island decor, fishing bobbers (or “floaters” for you fishermen), wood planks and sea themed decor.
For outdoor seating, they have a large covered porch with a tiki bar. The tiki deck offers a great view overlooking the water. On hot summer days, they turn on the fans and you also get a nice breeze from the water.
Must have menu items are the shrimp burger, collard greens, gazpacho, cole slaw, fresh grouper sandwiches, crab cakes (almost no filling) and hush puppies. For dessert, we would recommend the pecan pie with bourbon ice cream and half baked cookie.
Oak & Stone Downtown Bradenton
102 Old Main St, Bradenton, FL
Oak & Stone offers rooftop dining with excellent water views of Manatee River. It’s a waterfront restaurant in Bradenton, FL that opened in 2019. After your visit, you can walk around downtown Bradenton or the Riverwalk and let your food settle.
Random fact: A simple 10 minute walk helps your body digest food.
They’re known for their wall of self-service draft beers. They will give you a wristband with which you can pour yourself any beer you’d like. No bartender needed. Their draft beer selection is phenomenal. They charge per ounce, so you can try as many as you’d like.
Their popular rooftop menu items are tuna poke, spinach dip, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and baked chicken wings. However, what they’re really known for are the stone-fired pizza’s. The pizza dough only uses triple filtered water and is fermented for 36 hours.
They don’t take restaurant reservations, but the wait is very short.
Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill – Manatee River
5313 19th St E, Ellenton, FL
Whiskey Joe’s stands out with its many types of outdoor seating options. All the tables and chairs are modern and match yacht deck colors. It’s also one of the newest restaurants on the water near Bradenton, FL (2020).
On the beach, you’ll find
- Modern dining tables with stainless steel chairs
- Lounge chairs surrounding fire pits
- Picnic tables with private tiki hut umbrellas
- Bar high tables with stainless steel chairs
- Tiki hut bar seating
On the deck, you’ll find
- Modern tables with stainless steel chairs
- Long tables to accommodate larger groups
- Dark fabric covering for extra shade
- Fans to help keep air moving
No matter where you sit, you’ll have the best views of Manatee River. When it comes to great views, this is one of the best Bradenton waterfront restaurants. They also have indoor seating if you’ve been out in the sun all day. Since they have docks, you can also come by boat.
You have to try their pepperoni pizza, shrimp tacos, grouper tacos and grouper sandwich. Skip the jerk chicken sandwich, because it’s too tough to chew. Considering it’s a super fun place, you have order one of their margaritas.
801 Riverside Dr E, Bradenton, FL
Caddy’s is another Bradenton restaurant on the Manatee river. It’s got a nice atmosphere, live music and a beach for the kids to play on. If you’re coming for the live entertainment, check out their live music schedule.
They’re one of the closest restaurants on the water to Bradenton. So the emphasis is on the location, atmosphere and drinks. Not the food. If you’re hungry, order the grouper sandwich.
However, they do have great happy hour drinks and their beers are cold. If you have kids, this is the perfect place to go. Order a grouper sandwich, cold beer and let the kids play in the sand.
4528 119th St W, Cortez, FL
Cortez Kitchen is a little restaurant off the beaten path. Located on a canal next to a fish market, bait shop and marina. If you love the smell of fresh fish and saltwater, you’ll love this place. It’s got a rustic feel, not pretentious and offers ice cold beers on hot days.
We recommend ordering a basket of red shrimp and whatever fresh fish sandwich they’re serving that day. During stone crab season, this is the place to go.
They have a full bar that was made for outdoor drinking. If you’re looking for laid back bars on the water, this is as “old Florida” as it gets. Stop by a cold beer and order some appetizers.
Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille Bradenton
101 Riverfront Blvd Ste 120, Bradenton, FL
Although commonly listed as one of Bradenton restaurants on the water, it’s not. Your view is of the parking lot, skate park and trees. So while it is one the closest restaurants to the water, it’s not a waterfront restaurant. If you’re into live music, check out their music calendar.
Like the Mattison’s Sarasota location, the food is excellent. We would highly recommend coming for a great evening in their outdoor seating area. They’re also very well known for Sunday brunch and their great happy hour specials.
Their popular menu items are clam chowder, pork ribeye, grouper piccata over risotto, fish and chips and a burger with sweet potato fries. Since it’s only a 1-2 minute walk to the Riverwalk, you’l have something to do after you eat.
While we reviewed Mattison’s downtown Bradenton location, it didn’t make our list of Bradenton restaurants on the water. However, it’s a great place near the water.