Food in the Area

HERO image of Bistro

Feeling Hungry? We’ve got Food!

The bay area has what you crave, from street food to the finest dining, and from the most exotic to the quaintly nostalgic. We’ve created a list of must-eat places near Colony Cove to satisfy whatever taste you have.

Use the links on the left to navigate to the different topics covered on this page. Each link goes to the beginning of a section.

Casual Dining Near Colony Cove

To us at Integrity, casual means a great price and an even greater time. You might be predisposed to think casual means a Chili’s or some other big chain brand, but Ellenton is more than your run-of-the-mill dot on a map. Here around Colony Cove we have great food with local roots that cost less than the normal boring big-name chains.

The Shake Station

Shake Station logo, consisting of a stylized burger and top of a shake - implied white whipped cream, cherry, and checkered straw, under which is the company name in round red letters with a black background.

As the name implies, this place knows shakes and ice cream. The Shake Station uses the same Florida-made ice cream served in the White House. This place is styled as a 1950s diner and is packed with 1950s Americana and imagery.

Want something more than sweets? The Shake Station has hearty burgers, killer salads, and even true vegetarian options (they have Impossible burgers and cheesesteaks). The menu is truly huge, with cubans, reubens, wraps, seafood, and more. If you’re a local you have to stop by their site and give their menu a look!

Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Logo of Anna Maria Oyster Bar, consisting of a dolphin jumping from a wave under which is the restaurant name in blue stylized text.

It wouldn’t be Florida without waterfront seafood joints with a rich history and great group of regulars. Anna Maria Oyster Bar is a local chain of amazing seafood restaurants with a waterfront location in Ellenton.

If calamari, gulf shrimp, all-you-can-eat fish and chips, and of course oysters all for the cost of a drive-thru meal sounds like your thing then you’re in for a treat, and this is just the lunch menu! The dinner menu has a lot more options and a lot more hearty dishes, including king crab, lobster tail, and an oyster stew made from a family recipe.

Woody’s River Roo Pub and Grill

Logo of Woody's River Roo Pub and Grill, which depicts a mildly intoxicated cartoon kangaroo giving approval of an assumed party atmosphere.

Hot food, live music, cold drinks, and all right on the Manatee River. Woody’s River Roo Pub and Grill has more of a local beach party vibe than the other restaurants on this list, but that’s exactly why we included this awesome place!

One thing’s clear, don’t come here planning to stay on a diet! Woody’s is like if all the options of an established restaurant chain were available at a block party that the whole town was invited to. Check out their menu below and give this place a visit!

Specialty Food for Specific Diets

We respect people’s dietary needs and know that sometimes it’s hard to live in an area that lacks certain accommodations. Instead of going to a place and hoping to find a vegetarian dish, lest you find yourself eating a bland and hastily-prepared salad, browse our list of places that meet different dietary requirements.

Our scope will be a little broader and we’ll include the diets that the restaurants conform to at the top of every section.

The Shake Station

No, we’re not putting them here because technically ice cream is vegetarian. The Shake Station serves Impossible burgers and an impossible cheesesteak among other salad and plant-based options. We can’t guarantee they have vegan cheese so we’re only giving the Shake Station a vegetarian tag.

Woody’s River Roo Pub and Grill

The vegetarian options here are much the same as at the Shake Station as they have Impossible burgers. However, Woody’s goes a little beyond the Shake Station by offering a black bean burger too, with both burgers served on a gluten-free bun (gluten free bun is also an upgrade offered for $2.00 on all other sandwiches). We don’t know if they have any true vegan options so we’ve excluded that tag.

The Mellow Mushroom

This pizza chain is one of the best and offers some really mouth-watering options for vegans. This isn’t just some meat substitute standing in, they do their best to prevent cross-contamination so the food should be guaranteed to have nothing you don’t want in it.

Something Fancy

Image showing nondescript restaurant with a table in the foreground to represent fine dining around Bradenton and Sarasota Florida

The Bay Area is rich with history and varying cultures coming together to offer you an experience available nowhere else. Here on the gulf coast Spanish, Cuban, traditional southern cooking, and international culinary specialties come together in a special way.

Do you find yourself wanting something special? Maybe a date night or a celebration? Luckily Ellenton is right in the middle of everything! Want to eat at the oldest Spanish restaurant in the United States? It’s right across the bay! Sarasota is a short drive away and offers many fine dining options from steakhouses to ritzy bars.

Harry’s Continental Kitchens

Harry’s is a well-established fine eatery on Longboat Key, just south of Bradenton Beach. This restaurant offers a deli, bakery, catering, gourmet take-out, and every meal of the day. Don’t let the convenience fool you, this is a top-tier establishment and certainly worthy of a special occasion. Unlike many restaurants of this caliber, Harry’s offers breakfast and lunch so you can have a special outing without all the pomp and circumstance of a dinner out.

Visit Harry’s Continental Kitchens’ site here to check out their wonderful food.

Café L’Europe

Picture of the dining room in Café L’Europe in Sarasota showing bright, beautiful windows and well-set tables draped with white tablecloth.

Café L’Europe is one of Sarasota’s finest restaurants; the atmosphere is warm and sophisticated, and the elegance of the 1920s architecture will enhance any occasion. The menu consists of European specialties of the highest quality and surely won’t disappoint. Café L’Europe has live music on Fridays and Saturdays in their piano room and offers private events and special dinners from December through March where wine is paired with select dishes.

To culturally enlighten yourself for an evening, go here to learn more.

The Columbia Restaurant

Dining room of the historic Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City / Tampa, FL. The room is rich with dark carved wood, stonework, and fine Spanish tiles. Wrought iron chandeliers provide a warm light overhead.

The Columbia is a must-go location if you ever visit the Bay Area. Located about an hour away from Colony Cove in the historic district of Ybor City (pronounced as EE-bor), this dining establishment is the oldest Spanish restaurant in the United States and oldest continuously-operated restaurant in Florida. Founded in 1905, the Columbia is as much a part of Florida history as St. Augustine, the Pan Am clippers of Miami, or the cigars that built Tampa.

Spend an evening in Ybor, buy some hand-rolled cigars, as souvenirs, of course :), and see the old heart of Tampa. Finally, finish with a dinner at a piece of exquisite living history and be transported back to an age of class and adventure in the Columbia. You can visit their website here!

Oh, also, they have a location in Sarasota right next to Café L’Europe! According to the Columbia Restaurant, while the Ybor location is the most historic, the Sarasota is their most beautiful location. Go here for more info on the Sarasota spot.