Any time you visit Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, you can expect to find forward-thinking creatives who are doing things “outside the box.”
The Bird Rock Taco Shack is no exception.
Owner and chef David Shiplett has made a name for himself among Bradenton’s locals (and visitors!) for his skills in creating innovative, flavor-forward dishes that will leave you talking about your experience days or even months. The menu here changes daily, depending, in part, on the ingredients Dave has on hand and what he’s feeling inspired to make.
We paid a visit here last week and tried a variety of different tacos including Thai Pork Belly, Cold Water Lobster, Pekin Duck Kung Pao, and even a vegan Brussels Sprouts taco. Everything was mind-blowingly delicious and the flavor combinations were both unexpected and completely perfect.
Some of the other items on the menu that day included a Thai Shrimp and Peanut Burrito, Jamaican Crab Bisque, Lobster Nachos, and “Boracho Pig Queso” made with Negro Modelo beer, chorizo-infused queso, and avocado!
It’s not just Birdrock’s dining experience that’s exciting and unique. The restaurant itself is filled to the brim with interesting things to look at and a variety of comfortable seating options.
Patrons can choose to sit at traditional or high-top tables, chill out on the couches, or head outdoors where they can grab a table on the front porch or hang out on newly-renovated back patio. Since the restaurant is situated at the end of a dead-end street, eating outdoors is generally a quiet experience with very little traffic.
Families with children are always welcome and pets are welcome outdoors.
In addition to awesome food, Birdrock also frequently hosts live music including Saturday afternoon “Porch Parties,” brunches, and occasional nighttime shows. Upcoming events include:
- Richard Smith Live – Friday January 31st at 9:30 pm
- Hillbilly-Gospel Brunch “Sweetheart Edition” (featuring Brown Bag Brass Band) – Sunday, February 9th from 11 am to 2 pm
- GYPSY BLUE REVUE w/J.P Soars, Jason Ricci & Anne Harris – Friday, March 13th at 9 pm
Since the shack is located right behind Motorworks Brewing, there’s also a good chance you’ll be able to catch the live music coming from their stage while dining outside.
According to Chef Dave, the restaurant can accommodate approximately 25 dining guests inside and a total of 80 or more patrons when taking full advantage of the outdoor space. The new back patio is perfect for groups of up to 30 and can accommodate a wide variety of events. Recently, he’s hosted art shows, networking events, and even some fun and creative baby and bridal showers.
Meet Chef Dave
If you’ve been in the Bradenton area for any length of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve had Chef Dave’s cooking before. A “born and raised” native of Bradenton, he’s been involved with some of the area’s best restaurants.
After studying at a French school in California, he returned to the area and worked in several fine dining restaurants on Longboat Key and in Sarasota. He was also the proprietor of the popular restaurant Ezra and the head chef at Soma and Soma Creek Side.
Dave says when he started Birdrock Taco Shack, he really only meant for it to be a fun side project. Eventually, he decided to take a “leap of faith” and go all-in — and the rest is history!
Birdrock Taco Shack is located at 1004 10th Ave West, in the Village of the Arts. (Right behind Motorworks Brewing.)
They’re currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm until 9 pm and are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
You can keep up with their scheduled events and exciting news by following them on Facebook and on Instagram.
When you stop in, ask for Chef Dave and say hello — and don’t forget to tell him you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!