We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful Place for a Great Casual Meal” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Starfish Cafe

Starfish Cafe
3228 East Bay Dr., Cortez, Florida, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL 34217
941-778-5018
Improve this listing
Ranked #13 of 34 restaurants in Holmes Beach
Restaurant details
Schwenksville, PA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful Place for a Great Casual Meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

We ate at the Starfish Cafe twice during our six day stay on Anna Maria Island. We went for lunch on Monday and went back for dinner on Tuesday. This is one of those hidden gems. It is located on the water in Cortez - just across the bridge from Bradenton Beach. There is outdoor picnic table dining only but they have umbrellas to provide shade. It is great fun watching the pelicans and other birds while you are waiting for your food. Food is ordered at the window and is brought out in a box. Both times we did not have to wait long for our food. The food is excellent. It is fresh and prepared well. We had the seafood salad sandwich, oyster po boy, fried scallops and crabcake. All were excellent and the prices are extremely reasonable.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

13 reviews from our community

90% Recommend
    8
    4
    0
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Columbus, Indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great place for lunch!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

We ate here while on vacation with our family. The kids loved sitting by the bay watching all the birds come and go. Also liked walking around the property and looking at the fish for sale in the market. We learned the key to this place is to get there early! They start taking orders at 11:30 for lunch. The line at the window to place order usually starts at 11:15. We went early, found a nice shady table. Only waited 15 minutes for food after we placed order. Food was good. We'll go back.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“2 hours for food!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

Okay, the food was good. But, not great. Outside seating if you can snag a table. You order and pay for your food, then wait a LONG time for your order. We had shrimp, grouper sandwich, hot dog, grilled cheese and the Cortez combo. Everything tasted good. But, waiting that long was ridiculous. Since you've already paid, you're stuck. Yes. There is a bar, but they don't really tend it. 3 employees were way overtaxed and their attitude showed it. Not a very welcoming place.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Authentically local and fresh”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Someone we ran in to on the beach our first morning on Anna Maria Island recommended Starfish Café here in Cortez (across the causeway from Holmes Beach - take Cortez east over the causeway, then turn right on 123rd Street and you'll run right in to this tucked away fish haven). We ended up eating here twice - one foggy Tuesday evening not long before closing time (which coincidentally avoided the usual long lines) and again for lunch a couple of days later. You just go up to the order window, order your food, wait for them to bring it out to one of the tables / picnic tables that are right there overlooking the commercial fishing docks. This place is the real deal...it's all about the fresh local seafood. They might make a little too big a deal about customers needing to be patient, but I guess that's just part of their shtick.

For dinner we enjoyed fried oysters and a fish selection that was a special that day. I've eaten a lot of oysters in my day, and I can faithfully say I've never had better. VERY lightly battered, these babies were succulent and tasted like they had just jumped right out of the boat, which they probably did earlier that day. For lunch, we shared a blackened grouper sandwich and a crab cake sandwich. The grouper was excellent; the crab cake just OK. Fries were OK; I've tasted better, but they aren't the focus of the meal regardless. Beer is cheap.

You'll love the authenticness of the working dock, and will undoubtedly enjoy all the Pelicans close up and personal. Highly recommended!

Helpful Hint - Captain Kathe offers fishing trips and 2-hour tours of the immediately surrounding area, which we enjoyed one cool morning. Fun way to get a feel for the entire area, and your kids will enjoy getting out on the open water.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Starfish Cafe also viewed

Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
 
Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria, Anna Maria Island
 

Been to Starfish Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Starfish Cafe, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.