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Go by Boat, Dine with a View: Waterfront dining at Matanzas on the Bay

Mar 09, 2021 07:27PM ● By KATHY MONTGOMERY
Go by Boat, Dine with a View: Waterfront dining at Matanzas on the Bay [11 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

A scenic view can take a delicious meal to the next level.

At Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach, a sizzling batch of coconut shrimp, a tender mahi filet and a decadent slice of homemade Key lime pie are somehow even more delicious with waterfront views overlooking Matanzas Pass.

Matanzas on the Bay has been a staple of the Fort Myers Beach community for 35 years, best known for fresh seafood and live music. Guests can enjoy bayside views from inside on the main level or head outdoors to the waterfront patio, which seats more than 110. Upstairs, Petey’s Upper Deck offers aerial views of sailboats nestled peacefully along the water.

Established by owners with a passion for beach history, the restaurant maintains the essence of Old Florida that pays tribute to Fort Myers Beach. While the 3,600-square-foot restaurant has undergone several expansions over the years, the contemporary, coastal-casual setting remains rooted in its history.

“We recently completed a renovation in honor of our 35th anniversary, introducing refreshed décor, new flooring and a revitalized outdoor deck overlooking the water,” says general manager Tony Coppolino. “But you’ll still see countless pictures on display that date back to our site’s earlier days as a seafood processor and marina.”

Open for lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant gives guests a true taste of Southwest Florida. On the menu, you will find fresh, locally sourced ingredients with seafood from Blue Star Seafood Company, produce from Pair-A-Dice Produce and draft beer from Fort Myers Brewing Company.

“Executive Chef Dave Chetwin has been serving up delicious food for 35 years, creating popular dishes that delight our fellow foodies,” Coppolino says.

Must-try dishes include Coconut Shrimp, rum- and coconut-dipped with a side of red pepper cherry jam. Another favorite is Crunchy Grouper, which features locally caught fish crusted with seasoned corn flakes, flash-fried and served with a zesty orange dipping sauce.

Other popular items include the ever-popular Dave’s Dockside Pizza, named the best on Fort Myers Beach; and for dessert, Key lime pie, tart, tangy and made from scratch with an Oreo cookie crust and topped with whipped cream, a drizzle of Key lime sauce and a lime wheel.

Whether you’re searching for an intimate setting for a romantic date night, a casual lunch after the beach or happy hour with friends to celebrate the end of a workweek, Matanzas on the Bay offers an idyllic destination for any age—visitors and locals alike.

While the restaurant is easily reached by car with free parking, it is also a popular spot for boaters after a day out on the water. With boat dockage and a marina with deep-sea access just steps away, hungry guests can go right from their boats to the restaurant.

“Those who want to stay and play will find that daily live music, happy hour and our restaurant's adjacent 28-room inn—all just steps from the heart of Fort Myers Beach—make it easy,” Coppolino adds.



Matanzas on the Bay
416 Crescent Street,
Fort Myers Beach;call 239-463-3838

Free parking and boat dockage are available for guests traveling by land or sea.


Kathy Montgomery has been writing for more than 30 years about Southwest Florida and the interesting people who live in the region.