Dining in Cortez Fishing Village
The Historic Fishing Village of Cortez is one of the few remaining ‘working waterfronts’ on Florida’s West Coast, which means that THIS is the place for the freshest seafood around. Perfectly protected by the barrier islands and positioned along the calm intercoastal waterway, fishing boats have safe refuge and access to the deep, bountiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The rich maritime heritage of Cortez is apparent everywhere, especially in the mouth-watering cuisine served at the local restaurants.
Star Fish Company
With dockside seating, Star Fish Company offers a laid-back dining experience and a remarkable view of Sarasota Bay. The seafood here is unbelievably fresh, and their preparations are unquestionably delicious. You’ll find local seafood prepared in the simplest of ways: fried, grilled, blackened or sautéed. The sides are simple, but just as appetizing. All of this is served in an unpretentious white box, which allows for the food to be the highlight of your experience. Also, make sure to bring some cash because they are a cash only restaurant! Bask in the shade as you enjoy your lunch, or stop by for an unforgettable sunset dinner. And trust us when we say order more than one hush puppy!
A restaurant with a navigational marker as an address, Tide Tables delivers nothing but fresh, off-the-boat seafood. Arrive by car or boat—look for marker 48!—and take a seat at one of the many shared picnic tables, and prepare yourself for an authentic Florida meal. This small waterside restaurant offers food that is simple and fresh, typically caught the same day. Besides the amazing food, the ambiance makes this place special: antique maritime memorabilia, boats sailing by, and the spectacular orange glow of the sun dipping below the horizon in the evening.
A new addition to Cortez, Slicker’s Eatery is a welcome new concept with food that is sure to have you coming back for more. Unlike the more “seadog” restaurants on Cortez’s shores, Slickers Eatery is an upscale approach to pub food with a strong connection to the Bradenton Area’s local food sources. Slicker’s places an emphasis on sourcing from fresh, never frozen ingredients and it shows in the quality of their food. Fan favorites range from the Shrimp and Octopus Ceviche to house Cubano (a Cuban sandwich with a special Slicker’s twist), and of course you won’t want to miss the market catch of the day sandwich, fresh from the nearby Cortez fishing docks. And be sure to try one of their fantastic craft cocktails while you’re there!
This family-friendly restaurant is a local favorite for its laid-back Florida feel and the live music. Cortez Kitchen takes its deliveries of seafood at their docks, so you’re guaranteed fresh seafood. Their outdoor dining area is the perfect place to savor the flavors of the local cuisine, especially as you watch the fishing boats come and go. If you’re in town for the weekend, be sure to stop by the ‘Kitchen’ to enjoy some live music by popular, local musicians.
Tyler’s Ice Cream
This family-owned ice cream shop is the perfect stop when leaving the island after an all-day beach outing. Tyler’s Ice Cream boasts homemade ice cream that is made in small, five-gallon batches. This place has churned out over three-hundred flavors in the past 30 years, with new creations being served regularly. The broad selection of ice cream, sundaes, and milkshakes are sure to please everyone, including the vanilla-lovers and more adventurous ice cream enthusiasts alike. Believe us when we say that there’s nothing more refreshing than cooling down from the warm Florida sun with a scoop (or two!) of Tyler’s famous ice cream!