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“Great Views; Slow Service;Good Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Gulf Drive Cafe

Gulf Drive Cafe
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Kids, Bar scene, Scenic view
Dining options: Drinks, Late Night, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
University Park, Florida
Level Contributor
87 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great Views; Slow Service;Good Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

My wife and I spend significant time in the Tampa Bay area and while driving around Bradenton asked our smart phone for a good water view café and we followed "her" suggestion and had brunch on the beach.

It was Sunday morning around 11 and the lunch crowd hadn't arrived, but the restaurant was busy and had one table available on the beach. The Gulf was literally 20 yards away, I'm confident the restaurant's insurance is NOT reasonable. the views are extraordinary and if you like waterfront cocktails, our Bloody Mary's were adequate, and dining you should put Gulf Drive Café on your list.

The server, Tommy, took a while to greet us, but our drinks came within 5 minutes. The menu was above average, prices were competitive to other Gulf front establishments, and our ommellets were tasty but not hot. It took a 1/2 hour to receive our order and probably was ready 5 minutes before Tommy picked it up.

If the views weren't so impressive, I would have rated this facility as average or below but the overall experience and relatively prompt drink service was enough to give the Café a very good.

If you opt to sit closer to the bar, the entire facility is without walls and under a thatched roof (VERY INFORMAL) service probably would have been faster.

When we left around 12:15 there was a large line waiting for tables so this a popular spot.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sib715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,033 reviews from our community

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English first
Marion, Virginia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“One of our favorite beachside places @ AMI”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

We really like this place for brunch or lunch- recommend the seafood omelette or the fish tacos.

There's a new outdoor bar with a Tiki theme, and plenty of beachside seating. Still,there is usually a wait for breakfast on the weekends.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruskin, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nice location for casual dining”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

My party of four greatly enjoyed our experience at the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton, FL. We chose the Cafe to have breakfast largely because of its location aside the Gulf in Bradenton, but also for the positive review of the Cafe's breakfast in a notable magazine. We had an outside table just steps from the beach. The day we chose was delightfully sunny and bright. The waves sparkled and the activity on the adjacent beach and entertained us as we ate. A pod of dolphins playfully passing by also enhanced our viewing pleasure.

While the breakfast meals served were delicious enough, we unfortunately found the delivery of the meal not so positive. There was quite a long wait before our meals were served, and, to make it worse, my wife's breakfast was cold. I note however that replenishment of coffee and drinks was quite satisfactory. So it seems that the issue was in the kitchen. We visited late on a Sunday morning, and the restaurant was fairly busy, although we did not have a long wait time to get a table. Really there was no excuse for delays in bringing food.

Prices for the meals were modestly pricey, but the beach location made it worth it. Hence the high rating.

Would I return? I would give it another try for breakfast or lunch. But, if the delivery of food does not improve, it will be our last. We recommend the Cafe as worth trying, largely due to its location, which makes it a wonderful setting to spend time with friends.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank J K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
170 reviews
108 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Awful Service - There are BETTER restaurants nearby!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2013

We decided to give this place ANOTHER try after some bad experiences years ago. Unfortunately, the Gulf Drive Cafe has gotten worse. Service was awful - had to wait forever to get our order of two soft drinks. The waitress disappeared after we received our drinks (I think she forgot about us). After 20 minutes, we got up and left (only leaving money on the table for the drinks). We walked across the street to Maria's Family Place and were served immediately. AND we could still see the beach and the Gulf from our table.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lbklover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport UK
Level Contributor
167 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Food not up to much !”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

Came with friends for lunch.
Alex our server was friendly and attentive.
The restaurant was very busy and we had to wait for ages for our food to arrive so couldn't understand why food was cold?
Tuna melt was cold on a sweaty bun,this was sent back only to be returned having been microwaved! Inedible !
The corned beef hash was burnt the over easy eggs were solid,the toast wasn't toasted and wasn't given butter.
The chicken gyro was ok but wasn't sure if it should have been hot ! It wasn't,it was cold.
The fish and eggs was ok and was eaten because himself was hungry!
Had money knocked off the bill !
No point in expanding if you can't deliver good food.
Quite poor really!

Visited November 2013
Thank jammaster66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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