Location: 12306 46th Ave W, Cortez, FL
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In the historic fishing village of Cortez sits a seafood market called Starfish Company that has been around for decades. It also happens to be one of Sarasota’s most unique, affordable and delicious seafood eateries.
It’s very casual and laid back; the food is served in white bait boxes on outdoor picnic tables under umbrellas right on the water. Don’t let the casualness fool you though, the seafood at this Anna Maria Island restaurant is as fresh, expertly prepared and delectable as it gets.
A cornerstone of the Cortez fishing community
Starfish Company has been around since the 1920s and has played an integral role in the development of the local Cortez fishing community. Fishing has always been at the center of the economy here, and Starfish Company employs several locals as one of the biggest seafood distributors in the area.
They are one of the biggest national suppliers of bait, shipping around 2 million pounds of it throughout the United States every year. Other fish that are distributed here include mullet, stone crab claws, and Florida grouper. Almost all of the seafood here is caught by local commercial fishermen, also helping to keep that industry going.
A select menu with several intriguing seafood items
You’ve probably seen many of the seafood items on the menu at the Starfish Company and perhaps a few new ones as well. Popular choices include the soft shell or grouper crab sandwiches, stone crab claws, mullet, Mahi and Gulf shrimp, all of which are locally caught of course.
Oysters and clams are also available, along with a honey pecan chicken or a wild Alaskan salmon specialty entrée. Hamburgers, a signature “Sea” hot dog, seafood salad, or Po’boy sandwiches are also available for order.
For appetizers and side dishes there aren’t too many choices, but they’re all sure to be satisfying including shrimp, calamari, clams, fish chowder, salad, grits, cole slaw and fries.
Support a local business and enjoy the fresh seafood
Choosing to dine at Starfish Company isn’t just an interesting dining experience in a historic fishing community, it’s also a vote to support an ideal example of a local business that truly gives back to the community.
So, try to stop by at least once during your Anna Maria Island family vacation and let your friends know about the experience. Chances are that you’ll love your seafood meal and the waterfront dining and will want to come back as much as possible! It’s located right across the Cortez Bridge so don’t miss it!