NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Visit one of the last coastal fishing villages in Florida near Anna Maria Island

Posted at 4:58 AM, Aug 27, 2021

ANNA MARIA, Fla. — Welcome to Cortez, one of the last coastal fishing villages in Florida right next to Anna Maria Island.

A memorial is placed for fishermen who worked tirelessly to catch the product that kept this town alive, some of whom were portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster "The Perfect Storm."

Another highlight, the Star Fish Company. A tiny, cash-only restaurant that during tourist season serves nearly 800 people a day.

James Gowett, Manager of the Starfish Company says, "It’s all 90% word of mouth."

It's so popular that Yahoo called the owners recently letting them know that the Star Fish Company was the second most searched phrase in a single month.

“You don’t have to have world-class cuisine, just as long as every time they are coming here they are getting the same thing," explains Gowett.

We got a sneak peek into the kitchen just before lunch. Fresh Grouper, Snapper, Mahi and the trademark of Cortez, Mullet.

“It was always their food source, their moneymaker, that’s why it was always a big part of Cortez," says Gowett.