It is one of the 47 dining spots in the nation, and one of the four in Florida, that made the 2024 USA TODAY Restaurants of the Year list.

Star Fish is a place for “ultra-casual outdoor dining” in the old fishing village of Cortez on the north side of Sarasota Bay in Manatee County. It is owned by Karen Bell, a third-generation Cortezian who is committed to preserving her family’s fishing legacy.

“I’m almost speechless,” Bell said. “I know we have great seafood, but we’re such a small place in this little village; it’s amazing to be noticed. Most people have no idea Cortez exists. I’m proud of us and the wonderful people I work with and the quality seafood we offer. I’m just very happy and grateful.”

Find the best restaurant near you: See USA TODAY’s 2024 Restaurants of the Year.

10 best restaurants in Sarasota area that we wish were on USA TODAY’s Restaurants of the Year list.

How USA TODAY chose the Restaurants of the Year 2024The criteria for selecting the best restaurants.


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