National Taco Day – Best Anna Maria Island Mexican Food!

Today is National Taco Day, a perfect day for filling up on free tacos, buying supersized bottles of salsa and saying YES to extra guac! If your living out your taco dreams on Anna Maria Island then make sure to enjoy what makes island taco’s rank above the rest-options…with such a diversity within such a small radius the variations of this traditional latin meal is deliciously available at the majority of local restaurants from Caribbean versions to a Santa Francisco spin inspired by west coast Mexican street food.

Below we have our top 3 area choices to celebrate or if your staying in keep reading for a fun recipe and visit Publix on the island for supplies for the occasion!


1. Poppo’s Taqueria 

The undisputed taco champion of Anna Maria Island, Poppo’s is a relative new comer to the island who within the last decade has expanded to a revered local franchise in the Manatee and Sarasota area with numerous locations! All of their locations have a laid back atmosphere with a Chipolte’ style bar to order and a very instagrammable shabby chic interior. Set in the middle of Pine it’s your pick if your looking  for a casual bite on Anna Maria’s main street in the breezy air and sunshine! THE TACOS: Bringing California street food flare to the island, they offer Ancho Chicken, Spicy Beef, Carnitas, Wild Boar Chorizo or Organic Tempeh for a vegetarian version taco.  Their traditional Mexican inspired recipes are even better with one of their craft beers or have one of their friendly staff members pair a brew with your burrito if you’re not familiar with your IPA’s.

2. The Waterfront

While this place was probably already on your dining list-you need to go for the taco’s and what could be a better occasion?! The restaurant is another highly rated Anna Maria Island staple but is more of a sit down place so throw on your fancy flip flops for this one. Their outdoor seating offers a great water view of the Skyway Bridge arching over the Tampa Bay and the interior has a elegantly vintage coastal-cottage appeal. THE TACOS: Offering organic and gluten free options you can celebrate with their CARNITAS MICHOACAN (tender pork shoulder braised in orange juice and traditional seasonings. Served on flour tortillas with queso, avocado, chimichurri, and lime) or GROUPER TACOS (GFO) (fresh premium black Gulf grouper seasoned and lightly seared in flour tortillas with cheddar jack, jicama slaw, and freshly chopped pico de gallo). They also offer an extensive cocktail menu with delicious gourmet libations.

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3. Wicked Cantina

This relatively new eatery has spiced up Bradenton Beach and is now a soon to be hit when they open their new location in downtown Sarasota as well! An enjoyable walk from Bridge Street, Wicked Cantina is just across from the beach where you’ll spot their yellow umbrellas atop an open and airy patio. Enjoy your fiesta with a great view of the Gulf or enjoy their south west’esque inside dining!  THE TACOS: Tex Mex at it’s best-their menu is too extensive to fully list (click here), they are the third on our list which makes all 3 suggestions places that offer LOCALLY SOURCED ingredients! Wicked Cantina prepares theirs meals daily and is the only one listed that offers Latin breakfast food. Also notable is their on theme libations like their cilantro lime margarita or Texas mule.


Sometimes the best celebration is in your own backyard! Pick up some spicy party decor at the Anna Maria Island Dollar Tree and deck out your digs before whipping up these awesome pink taco’s (naturally colored), then it’s time to shamelessly dip into the sour cream and salsa the night away!

TO DYE THEM PINK: Juice 2 cups of beets or buy beet juice (PUBLIX), soak the tortillas for about 5 minutes or until they are visibly the pink hue of your liking (careful beat juice dyes EVERYTHING). If you want to make your own tortillas we found this fabulously easy recipe here on

DON’T LIKE GROUPER? Not a big deal, the protein is pretty interchangeable so substitute them with anything (shrimp, shredded chicken and pulled pork are all very popular on the island)

Seared Grouper Tacos
Serves 2
1/2 cup shredded jicama
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp capers
1 tsp minced shallots
1 tsp pickle relish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz black grouper fillets, cut into 6 pieces
Blackening seasoning, to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 6-inch tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Fresh pico de gallo for serving
Combine the jicama, cabbage, mayonnaise, capers, shallots, and pickle relish in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Dust the the grouper with blackening seasoning. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the grouper on each side until they’re nicely browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Top each tortilla with cheese, followed by grouper, and topped with jicama slaw. Serve with pico de gallo on the side.


CLICK HERE if you’re looking to successfully open a taqueria or your own? Talk to us about available space at one of our many Anna Maria Island plaza’s or get in contact about our new leasing opportunities in downtown Bradenton Beach!

WANT TO VISIT THE AREA FOR LEISURE? CLICK HERE to check out our beautiful water front leasing options walking distance to downtown!



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