There are few things more relaxing than dining on fresh seafood, in the warm sunshine, with a beautiful view of the ocean. If you’re down for a quick 20-minute drive, we’ve created a list of cozy outdoor dining locations in Cortez, a historic fishing village just nine miles from Bradenton. Founded in the 1880s, Cortez is one of the last commercial fishing villages in Florida. These five restaurants are fun, casual spots with a standard dress code. 

1. Cortez Kitchen
4528 119th St. W., Cortez; 941-798-9404;
This restaurant is a favorite amongst locals! Located right in the center of the historic waterfront, popular dishes at Cortez Kitchen include the buffalo grouper bites, seafood platter, and blackened mahi sandwich.

2. Annie’s Bait and Tackle
4334 127th St. W., Cortez; 941-794-3580
This bait shop doubles as a great place to dine on fresh seafood by the Cortez Bridge, which overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. Their menu features a “Famous Grouper Sandwich” and “Almost Authentic Cuban Sandwich”. One of their most popular entrees is shrimp and scallops.

3. Star Fish Company
12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez; 941-794-1243;
This is one of the most famous restaurants in Manatee County, and for good reason! Star Fish Company places diners right on the docks, under the stars, where you can enjoy a delicious meal on the water. The most recommended way to experience Star Fish Company is to order the combination platter “highliner” which contains shrimp, oysters, sea scallops, grouper, cheese grits, slaw, and hush puppies.

4. Seafood Shack
4110 127th St. W., Cortez; 941-794-1235;
Seafood Shack is another spot that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway! Popular items include the Fish Tacos with blackened fresh local catch, the Shack burger, and the Gulf Shrimp Dinner.

5. Swordfish Grill
4628 119th St. W., Cortez, 941-798-2035;
This restaurant has a beautiful waterfront patio with tables, a tiki bar, and a covered stage right on Sarasota Bay. Popular menu items include the seafood platter, lobster mac and cheese, and shrimp and grits!