Eating out is often considered a major budget killer…especially while on vacation!

But, there’s something fun about going out, being served food you didn’t have to cook yourself on plates you won’t have to clean up later. That said… we’re all looking for ways to save a little money and still enjoy a fabulous vacation.

Consider Takeout. Many restaurants offer carry-out and this is definitely something to take advantage of. You don’t have to tip a waitress and you can have your beverage of choice at a great location…like on the BEACH at sunset! You can call ahead and order from their menu (which you can find on their website) and they will tell you the time to come pick-up your meal. They even include your silverware.

Make an appetizer your meal. Appetizers cost less than a regular meal and don’t include unnecessary extras that you don’t want. Order several to share like tapas!

Go out for breakfast or lunch. The cheapest meal is breakfast… followed by lunch. Prices go up for dinner and if you have a kitchen in your vacation unit, schedule a few nights in.

Early Bird Dining

If you go to eat just a little bit earlier, you can beat the crowds and still take advantage of less expensive dining options. Some restaurants offer “happy hour” or “Early Bird” specials (these are typically served between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.). Many times, these specials include half price menu items.

Anna Maria Island Deals:

Breakfast/lunch or dinner you can’t go wrong with Café on the Beach at Manatee Beach. If you don’t mind plastic and Styrofoam they serve all you can eat pancakes and sausage every weekend with sandwiches, burgers & dogs all day. Depending on the night of the week, they offer buffet style fish and chips, Italian, Tacos and Fajitas.

Publix Grocery Store in Holmes Beach offers a great selection of picnic foods to take to the beach like fried chicken, salads, sandwiches, subs and more.

Bridge Street Bistro has great happy hour appetizers and early-bird specials with outdoor seating and views of our spectacular sunsets.


Pier 22 has great early bird specials with five dollar apps that are quite delicious… especially the ribs.

Across from Riverwalk Park is Mattison’s City Grill featuring a great selection of tapas items.  The Shrimp Rangoon with Thai chili sauce and sweet soy drizzle is to die for!

Sans the ambiance and a few blocks from Pier 22 is Fav’s Italian Restaurant featuring budget friendly offerings and nightly specials under 10 dollars.

Cody’s Original Roadhouse, at 895 Cortez Rd. W. has excellent ten dollar early bird steaks and a two for one happy hour.

The Thai Palace is rated the best in the area as is Mr. Tequila for Mexican cuisine.