Madeira Beach has picked up a reputation as one of the must-visit vacation destinations in Central Florida. The beaches, nature, and sporting all make it one of the prime locations in the state.
Particularly for those looking for an alternative to the hustle and hassle of amusement parks and tourist traps.
Instead, Madiera Beach has both the atmosphere of a quaint seaside town and the attractions and nightlife of a major city. And of course, some of the best places to eat in Florida.
After spending a day out strolling the beach, enjoying thrilling tropical sports, or relaxing with the family, here are some of the best places to go in town.
1. Boardwalk Grill
St. John’s Pass Village is the prime shopping district in Madeira Beach. It’s home to over 50 shops full of unique novelties and souvenirs, and the nearby Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center is a fun-for-all-ages attraction.
Naturally, St. John’s Pass Village also has a full range of food offerings, including quick bites like pizzas and hotdogs for the shopper-the-go. But if you want some of the best fresh seafood on the gulf coast, there is no substitute for the Boardwalk Grill.
The Boardwalk Grill had humble beginnings. Founded in 2007 as a simple ice cream shop and cafe, it has grown into a local institution.
Menu offerings include classic seafood dishes, including fish tacos and an Authentic New England Lobster Roll, and their famous Boardwalk Fries. And in an homage to their beginnings as an ice cream parlor, they boast 30 flavors of Hershey’s Ice Cream, sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Located right on the waterfront and with both indoor and outdoor dining, you can enjoy your meal with a picturesque view of the seas and beaches.
2. Mangos Restaurant and Tiki Bar
If you prefer a more exotic atmosphere, then look no further than Mangos Restaurant and Tiki Bar. With its extensive menu of tiki drinks, it’s a favorite watering hole for travelers and locals alike. Though it’s hosted by the DoubleTree Beach Resort, this establishment is proudly locally owned and operated.
Of course, the drinks are among its main attractions. If you pine for the glory days of bars like Trader Vic’s and Beach Comber Bill’s, then Mangos will give you the chance to step back in time to that bygone era.
But that’s not to say that drinks are all they offer. Their tiki hut bar is only a stone’s throw from the white sands of North Redington Beach. Being so near to the shore, it’s one of the best places to kick back and enjoy the sunset at the end of the day.
You can even get into the tiki spirit by joining them for their nightly ritual lighting of the tiki torches. And from March to October, they host a weekly Friday Night Cookout. Weather-permitting, the event includes live entertainment and an “All-YOU-CAN Eat” Buffet that includes peel & eat shrimp, chef’s choice entrees, sides, salads, and steaks made to order.
For those who can’t stand to miss a sporting event, their Copper Cove bar is a prime place to watch the game or enjoy a happy hour special.
Mangos serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with favorites including steaks, fresh seafood, and their famous Lump Blue Crab Cakes.
3. Gator’s Cafe and Saloon
If a dedicated sports bar is more to your taste, then Gator’s Cafe and Saloon is the premier location for the area. Though it’s hard to verify their claim that they have the world’s longest waterfront bar, we can confirm that they offer full-liquor service and an adjacent tasting room where craft beer enthusiasts can sample some of the best brews from around Florida.
As the name suggests, the bar is a local outpost for Gators fans. But don’t worry, sports fans of all stripes will find a watering hole as friendly as it is lively. And with over 50 TVs, you’re sure to find the game you’re looking for.
Alternatively, you can dine outdoors for yet another scenic view of the water. Wherever you choose to take your seat, you can enjoy their four-hour-long happy hour Monday through Friday. And their varied menu is sure to have something for everyone.
On the weekends, patrons can enjoy live entertainment from local musicians, and they offer special events throughout the year. With a huge bar, diverse menu, and plenty to keep guests coming back, Gator’s is one of the best all-around places to go in Madeira Beach.
4. Salt Rock Grill
For a more relaxed, upscaled experience, Salt Rock Grill is one of the best choices for an intimate date night or tasteful night on the town.
Founded in 1997, Salt Rock Grill soon established itself as the premier fine-dining location in Madeira Beach. They partner with local fishermen to ensure a ready supply of fresh fish caught daily, including some fine selections from their raw bar. And they age their steaks in-house for four to six weeks before grilling them over their natural oak and citrus wood pit fire to produce sublime tenderness and flavor.
But one of their greatest assets is their award-winning wine selection. They view wine as an integral part of any dining experience and thus strive to maintain a wide selection of popular choices, rare vintages, and eclectic options for the adventurous partaker.
For the discerning gourmand, you find few places in Florida of the same caliber as Salt Rock Grill.
5. Caddy’s Waterfront
Caddy’s is a local chain with a collection of seaside venues around the area. You’ll find one at St. John’s Pass and at Madeira Beach proper. Whichever location you choose, you’ll find a great place to take a delicious breakfast, complete with bottomless mimosas.
Alas, they’re not only great for breakfast but one of the best places to spend an evening out. Patrons can start the night by enjoying a tropical cocktail in the late afternoon. Then as the sun begins to fade, their renowned Sunset Sessions will show you that live music is best-enjoyed on a white sand beach.
Caddy’s Waterfront locations are open from 11 am until 10 pm every weekday, and stay open an extra hour on weeknights.
6. Daiquiri Shak
If you want to not only dine but dance the night away, Daiquiri Shak is your one-stop shop. They’ve been a landmark in Madeira Beach for over 20 years now, serving up cold drinks, hot music, and divine food.
It’s a casual venue, so no need to worry about dressing in your finest evening wear. On the contrary, they pride themselves on creating a relaxed atmosphere that encourages their guests to cut loose and enjoy themselves.
As the name would imply, their focus is on their signature daiquiris. And Ernest Hemingway himself would have to raise a class to the skill of their bar staff.
As for food offerings, they have one of the best raw bars on the beach. But don’t worry if oysters aren’t to your liking. They also boast some of the freshest grouper you’ll ever find, hand-tossed pizzas, burgers, and salads, among other options. Their blackened chicken wings, in particular, are a local favorite.
To get the party started in the evenings, Daiquiri Shak hosts local, regional, and touring musicians from around the country. And best of all, they stay open until 3 am on weekends. So if you just don’t want your night to end, they’ll be more than happy to welcome you well into the wee hours.
7. Bamboo Beach Bar and Grill
Finally, we come to the most venerable spot on our list, the Bambo Beach Bar and Grill. Known to the locals as “The Boo”, this venue started life as the Bamboo Beer Garden way back in 1947. Besides changing its name, it’s grown over the years into one of the Suncoast’s most famous and beloved establishments.
Locals, snowbirds, and international travelers alike all flock to The Boo for fine food and good cheer. The menu includes beachfront classics like fish tacos and fish spread, as well as burgers, pulled pork, and Philly cheese steaks. Their house-made eggplant fries are a particularly well-loved classic.
They also host live music daily and stay open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and until 1 am on the weekends, making it a great place to enjoy some dancing with your dinner. And with their daily drink specials, you need never worry about going thirsty.
The tasty beach fare, cold drinks, and late-night entertainment would be enough to recommend Bambo Beach Bar and Grill. But beyond that, it’s an opportunity to enjoy a surviving slice of the Suncoast’s rich history.
Maderia Beach Boasts More Than Just Places to Eat
Madeira Beach is emerging as a prime Florida vacation destination. Besides boasting some of the best places to eat in the state, you’ll find so many more places to go and things to do.
All that remains is for you to make your vacation plans. Located in the heart of Madeira Beach, John’s Pass Condos offers you beautiful ocean views and easy access to shops, dining, and attractions. To secure your vacation rental, reach out to us today.