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Locally Sourced, Healthy Eating

Food in Bradenton Area, FL 

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Enjoy the taste of Eating right

I’m always looking for health-conscious places to eat when I’m traveling, and I love that it’s getting easier and easier to do so. There’s nothing worse than getting home from vacation and feeling like you need to do a cleanse afterward to detox from all the fried food you ate! So since I know I’m going to do a lot of eating out on my trip, I like to plan ahead.


The Bradenton Area is filled with some amazing restaurants that are farm-to-table, healthy and locally sourced. I was impressed to see so many places with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.


And I was determined to cross them all off of my list.


One of my favorites was Happy Soul, a vegan comfort food restaurant. All of their dishes are meant to fuel your body and soul, and that was my experience. They have BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, veggie burgers and vegan meatloaf, with your choice of delicious sides like brussels sprouts and mac and cheese. They also serve healthy drinks like hibiscus lavender tea. I loved seeing them share the health benefits of many of their foods like pineapple – which apparently helps reduce inflammation among other things.

Local Fishing Village

Another favorite of mine was Sage Biscuit Café, an awesome breakfast spot that combines healthy options with some more decadent ones. They call their menu naughty and nice because they serve so many gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian items, as well as indulgent dishes like biscuits and gravy. You can get something nutritious and delicious like the Southwestern Quinoa scramble, or let loose a little with the Banana-Caramel-Walnut Brioche French Toast. Hey, you’re still on vacation.

And since Bradenton is right next to Cortez, one of the last remaining fishing villages on the Gulf coast, locally sourced fish is a big deal. Many restaurants are all about supporting local fishermen. Cortez Kitchen is one of them. They sponsor the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, an event that supports keeping the spirit of “Old Florida” alive. Sitting outside, I enjoyed watching the fisherman haul nets around and clean their fish right on the dock. It made eating soft shell crabs even more appetizing because it reminded me how fresh they were.

Cortez Fishing Village_cmyk_l (1) - Copi


I found many spots that were farm-to-table and focused on sustainability, too. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Downtown Bradenton is committed to antibiotic-free, sustainable ingredients sourced from small family farms. They get many of their meats from companies like FreeBird and Niman Ranch, where the animals are sustainably and humanely raised. So whether you order the sushi roll or the lamb, you know it’s coming from somewhere you can trust.


After I got my food fix, I decided to wet my palate a bit at Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery. I was so impressed by how focused they are on being an environmentally responsible winery. Their “steel buildings” are all recyclable, and the wine cave within one of their buildings is made solely from damaged trees from their land. They are very focused on conserving energy, recycling all wine bottles and using corks that are all natural. Oh, and maybe I should mention that the wine is delicious.


What was the best part of the trip? Probably the fact that I did not need to do a juice cleanse afterwards. Thanks, Bradenton Area. I’ll definitely be coming back to cross more spots off my list.

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