May 6, 2021

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Cooking is a hobby

Best restaurants for takeout around Bradenton

Amid the endless and often bland days of COVID-19, good food is a fantastic comfort. A takeout order from a favorite restaurant can provide a little bit (or a big bite) of joy and, what’s more, a momentary escape from our troubles.

And if you need yet another excuse to hit the order button, just remember that local businesses can use all the support they can get in these trying times.

You may very well have a favorite spot for takeout already. But every so often, it’s fun to try some new eats to-go, whether it be an unfamiliar cuisine, the latest (con)tender in the chicken sandwich wars, or, dare we say it, a different style of pizza. (Chicago, New York and California pies, you’re all equals in our eyes; we would sooner turn to dust than shun a good pizza based on its crust.)

But where to start your dining adventure?

With food on the mind and rumbling bellies, we asked members of our Facebook group, “Manatee Eats,” for some gourmet guidance. As usual, they didn’t disappoint.

Here are their recommendations for stellar takeout in Manatee County, including restaurants from Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria Island, Ellenton, Lakewood Ranch and Parrish.

Apollonia Grill

Offering: Mediterranean goodness for lunch and dinner. Takeout and third-party delivery available.

Try this: Apollonia Grill has got you covered from avgolemono to tzatziki, but reviewers really, really love the lamb chops and the flatbreads.

Find them: 8235 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park (941-359-4816) and 4956 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941-927-2270). apolloniagrill.com.

The Barnyard

Offering: Some fierce and local competition for all those corporate chicken sandwich places. Also, lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: Aside from the must-try chicken sandwich, wings, chicken-loaded nachos and wraps also beckon. Then there are the sweet potato cinnamon fries.

Find it: 5108 15th St. E., Bradenton (inside Oneco Farmer’s Market). 941-896-8760. barnyardbetty.com.

Basil’s Chicken & Ribs

Offering: Flame-broiled fixin’s for lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Chicken by the bucket and ribs by the slab are the specialty here. Get the best of both worlds with a rib and chicken dinner combo. The menu also has Greek favorites like gyros, pita bread and baklava.

Find them: 5917 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton (941-794-5222), 5210 E. S.R. 64, Bradenton (941-747-1605) and 4300 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota (941-377-5474). basilschicken.com.

Bradenton Truck Yard

Offering: This is a one-stop shop for food truck lovers. The Bradenton Truck Yard is a new food truck venue that hosts a revolving assortment of mobile eateries; two or more food trucks are typically parked in the lot, and there’s outdoor seating for hanging out and relaxing. Takeout available.

Try this: With multiple food truck menus to pick from, you can try something different every visit.

Find it: 611 Ninth St. E., Bradenton. Check facebook.com/bradentontruckyard for food truck schedules.

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The Breakfast Company, a family owned and operated restaurant, opened in Twelve Oaks Plaza, 7246 55th Ave. E. in early October and serves breakfast and lunch. provided photo

The Breakfast Company

Offering: But wait! It’s not just breakfast—there’s lunch, too. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The menu is a breakfast lover’s paradise full of omelets, skillets, quiche, biscuits and more (even vegan substitutions), but something about the Florida french toast stands out. It’s made with cereal-crusted brioche bread, fresh fruit, whipped cream and a citrus glaze. For lunch, choose from soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, gyros and more.

Find it: 7246 55th Ave. E., Bradenton. 941-201-6002. thebreakfastcompanyfl.com.

Casa Di Pizza

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Reviewers marvel over the authenticity of the Buffalo wings and pizza.

Find it: 4658 S.R. 64, Bradenton. 941-748-0700. casadipizzafl.com.

Danny’s Pizzeria

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Open since 1989, Danny’s has earned a reputation as one of the best around for New York-style pizza, and don’t forget those garlic knots. Stay simple with a margarita (sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil) or spice it up with the barbecue chicken pie.

Find it: 7220 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. 941-795-1111. dannyspizzaflorida.com.

Ferraro’s Italian Grille

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The pizza and the pasta both get high marks from diners, and there are many styles to choose from on the menu.

Find it: 8348 U.S. 301, Parrish. 941-723-1111. ferrarositaliangrille.com.

First Watch

Offering: Lots of millennial vibes. Also, breakfast, brunch and lunch. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: If you’re not into avocado toast, give the lemon ricotta pancakes or one of the hashbrown breakfast bowls a try.

Find it: 7118 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton (941-792-6071), 4324 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton (941-932-4507), 8306 Market St., Bradenton (941-907-6657).

Flavors of India

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: Wonderfully-flavored meats are on display in dishes like the House Special Masala, according to diners, and an extensive vegetarian menu includes options like Dal Tadka, a dish of slow-cooked and richly-seasoned lentils.

Find it: 6103 14th St. W., Bradenton. 941-756-9200.

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: You can’t go wrong with a burger at Gecko’s. Alternatively, try a flatbread, sandwich or wrap.

Find it: 4310 FL-64 E, Bradenton (941-744-2664), 7228 55th Ave E, Bradenton (941-727-8988) and four locations in Sarasota. geckosgrill.com.

Joey D’s Chicago Style Eatery & Pizzeria

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Aside from the namesake Chicago deep dish (and thin) pizzas, diners also recommend the cheese steaks.

Find it: 6401 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton (941-753-8900) and 945 10th St. E., Palmetto (941-417-2106). joeydschicagostyleeatery.com.

Lamantini Trattoria

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The antipasto, pizza and sandwiches get top marks from diners.

Find it: 1830 59th St. W., Bradenton. 941-896-7496. lamantinitrattoria.com.

Lobster Pound

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: New England-style seafood fare, including lobster rolls and clam chowder, are a favorite.

Find it: 8740 E. S.R. 70, Bradenton. 941-755-3474. lwrlobsterpound.com.

Michael John’s

Offering: Gourmet dinners to-go . Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Take home steak, seafood and even a nice bottle of wine for a romantic evening in.

Find it: 1040 Carlton Arms Blvd., Bradenton. 941-747-8032. michaeljohnsrestaurant.com.

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2/15/2021–Mila’s on the Manatee, 965 Riverside Drive, Palmetto, has an all-new interior. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. James A. Jones Jr. [email protected]

Mila’s on the Manatee

Offering: Riverfront views. Also, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: On a menu with comfort food and casual fare aplenty, crab cake sliders, shrimp and grits, salads and burgers are a few enticing options.

Find it: 965 Riverside Drive, Palmetto. 941-212-6006. milasonthemanatee.com.

O’Bricks Irish Pub & Martini Bar

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: Make a meal of a few of the elegant appetizers and add a salad or flatbread to the order for good measure.

Find it: 427 12th St. W., Bradenton. 941-896-8860. obricks.com.

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Emmanel and Popi Ameres, co-owners of Popi’s Place. James A. Jones Jr. [email protected]

Popi’s Place Family Restaurants

Offering: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Popi’s “Famous Chicken Biscuit Breakfast” features a fried chicken breast atop a homemade biscuit that’s dressed in sausage gravy and cheddar jack cheese. It’s served with a side for $12.

Find them: Locations at 815 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto (941-721-9525); 10508 U.S. 41, Palmetto (941-729-0753); 3911 U.S. 301, Ellenton (941-722-1205); 6409 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton (941-761-7674) and 3232 17th St., Sarasota (941-312-5991). popisplace.com.

RJ Gator’s

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: The “Havana Banana Chicken” comes with jerk-seasoned rice and beans and sweet plantains glazed in a sesame orange sauce, key lime sour cream and tortilla strips, and the protein can be upgraded to shrimps, scallops or mahi mahi.

Find it: 6100 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton. 941-795-6633. rjgatorsbradenton.com.

Rodney’s Jamaican Grill

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The jerk chicken, ox tail and curry dishes get high praise from diners.

Find it: 814 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto. 941-981-3214. facebook.com/rodneysjamaicangrill.

Scarpino’s Family Restaurant

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Grab a sandwich or burger during lunchtime hours, or, for dinner, snag a pizza or one of the restaurant’s other authentic Italian eats.

Find it: 6152 14th St. W., Bradenton. 941-756-8100. scarpinosfamilyrestaurant.com.

COVID family business MY photo 1.jpg
Owners of Scott’s Deli on Anna Maria Island have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, but not in a direct sense. Their story is an example of how far-reaching the pandemic can be, even if you are a business who survived the uncertainty and initial closings. Mark Young [email protected]

Scott’s Deli

Offering: A breakfast and lunch sandwich haven near the sands of Anna Maria Island. Takeout available.

Try this: Any sandwich you can think of is probably on the menu, and, if that isn’t enough, you can create your own.

Find it: 5350 Gulf Dr Holmes Beach. (Soon to move to a nearby location.) 941-778-3000. scottsdeliannamaria.com.

Shake Station

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: On a menu of diner favorites, many love the burgers and shakes.

Find it: 4219 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton. 941-722-7866. shakestation.com.

Siam Thai Bistro

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: Just about everything on the menu gets rave reviews from customers, from the pineapple fried rice to the chicken teriyaki.

Find it: 5763 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. 941-243-3095. siamthaibistro.com.

S.O.B. Burgers

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: On a menu stacked with one decadent burger after another, it’s hard to choose a favorite. We cant’s either, so we recommend trying them all. Aside from Angus, there are turkey and bison burger offerings, as well as two non-meat offerings.

Find it: 5866 14th St. W., Bradenton. 941-755-1998. facebook.com/SOB2burgers.

Speaks Clam House

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Shellfish and lobster dishes are go-tos here, and there’s also a generous offering of Italian-American dishes.

Find it: 8764 E. S.R. 70, Lakewood Ranch (941-232-7646) and 29 N. Blvd. of the Presidents, Sarasota (941-232-7633). speaksclambar.com.

Stone Bowl Pan-Asian Kitchen and Sushi

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The restaurant’s many bento box meals are popular with the to-go crowd, as is the sushi. There are even rolls named after Bradenton and Sarasota to try.

Find it: 5516 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. 941-761-8899. stonebowl.menu.

Taste of China

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: This menu includes plenty of Chinese-American favorites. The egg foo young and lo mein get high marks from diners.

Find it: 1783 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton. 941-750-8833.

Thai Wasabi

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: The pad thai and the sushi get high marks from diners at this Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant.

Find it: 5250 E. S.R. 64, Bradenton. 941-896-7803. thaiwasabi.com.

Urban Taco

Offering: Lunch and dinner. Takeout available.

Try this: The “build-you-own” option on Urban Taco’s menu lets you design your tacos, burritos, quesadillas or nachos just how you like them.

Find it: 11161 S.R. 70 E. #103, Bradenton. 941-253-0911. urbantacofl.com.

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Lasagna is one of the traditional Italian favorites served at the family owned-and-operated Villa Italia Cafe, 2808 10th St. W., Palmetto. James A. Jones Jr. [email protected]

Villa Italia Cafe

Offering: Dinner. Takeout and delivery available.

Try this: Reviewers recommend the chicken marsala and eggplant parm sub. If you’re looking for something different, try the eggplant parm pizza.

Find it: 2808 10th St. W., Palmetto. 941-304-3272. villaitalia.takeout7.com.

Suggestions from Sarasota

Drunken Poet Cafe, 1572 Main St., Sarasota. Thai food and sushi. 941-955-8404.

Kam’s Bubble Tea & Sushi, 1813 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. Sushi, smoothies and bubble tea. 941-960-1610.

Nellie’s Deli, Market and Catering, 15 S. Beneva Rd. #23, Sarasota. Breakfast, sandwiches, soups and fresh-baked goods. 941-924-2705.

Sahara Cafe & Mediterranean Foods, 1121 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. 941-954-1423.

Ryan Ballogg is a news reporter and features writer at the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for features, art and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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