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our history

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant opened its doors in June of 2005 on the small island city of Cedar Key, three miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring fresh gulf seafood, Tony’s 54-seat eatery in the historic downtown area of Cedar Key first introduced its famous clam chowder after being open just one month.

Chef Eric, Tony’s founder and owner, created the amazing recipe right in Tony’s tiny little kitchen while working on a variety of other new dishes. Eric lived in the New England area for 12 years back in the ‘80s and sampled chowders all over the Northeast region. Thus was created what soon would become a clam chowder icon and the greatest champion of the international clam chowder championship.

Folks constantly try to guess the ingredients and frequently request the recipe. The secret formula is not available and only Chef Eric knows it’s true identity. Even Bon Appetite magazine’s request for the recipe was politely rejected back in 2007.

The popularity of the chowder grew as more diners took note. Eventually Tony’s customers asked for take home quarts and gallons. Many chowder lovers asked Tony’s to consider taking it to the Great Chowder Cook-off held in June each year in Newport, Rhode Island.

In September 2008, Tony’s launched its website to sell chowder online. Soon it added a fully functional concession trailer to take the chowder all over Florida to festivals and events. Media from far and wide took note of this up and coming phenomenon, even Dan DeWitt of the St. Petersburg Times noted that it was the “best bowl of clam chowder I ever dipped a spoon into…Even adding a few grains of pepper would be defacing a masterpiece.”

In late 2008, the Great Chowder Cook-off made a formal invitation for Tony’s to complete on a world stage with its signature chowder. In early 2009, Chef Eric accepted the challenge and began preparations to compete for the clam chowder world championship.

On Saturday June 6, 2009 Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder won the 28th Annual Great Chowder Cook-off and claimed the title, Clam Chowder World Champion.

Back for another title hunt in New England, Tony’s took to the field again on June 5, 2010 and for the second consecutive year won the 29th Annual Great Chowder Cook-off claiming another Clam Chowder World Championship.

At stake on June 4, 2011 was a third title and a chance for the recipe to be retired into the Cook-Off Hall of Fame. Not even a Grand Champion Chowder from New Jersey could deny Tony’s from a third world championship. For the third year in a row Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder captured the title and did so with impressive style in another landslide victory.

With Tony’s third title in three years and the recipe retired into the Great Chowder Cook-off Hall of Fame, the future is still bright for what many fans call the “King of Chowder”.

 

 

Tony's Seafood Restaurant

597 2nd Street
Cedar Key, Florida 32625
352.543.0022

Tony's Corporate Office
352.543.9143

Hours:

Sunday - Thursday 11:00A-8P

Friday - Saturday 11:00A-9P


Seasonal dinner hours may vary. We request that you please call ahead to verify our closing hour.

testimonials

"WE HAVE ENJOYED GREAT CHOWDER ALL OVER NEW ENGLAND AND IN IRELAND AND THIS CHOWDER IS CERTAINLY DESERVING OF THE HALL OF FAME. IF GOD SERVES CLAM CHOWDER IN HEAVEN, WE ARE QUITE SURE HE USES THE RECIPE FROM TONY'S".
Bob, FL

"WHILE IN CEDAR KEY, BROUGHT HOME CHOWDER AS GIFTS. THEY ARE BEGING FOR MORE!" BEST CHOWDER IN THE UNIVERSE!".
Janet, FL

"GALLON OF CHOWDER ORDERED AS A GIFT AND DELIVERED RIGHT TO OUR DOOR. CHOWDER IS MY 89-YEAR-OLD DAD'S FAVORITE. HE'S HAD IT FROM ALL OVER. HE'S HOOKED AS I AM. FANTASTIC! WE WILL ORDER SOON AND OFTEN".
Debbie, FL

"NOT ONLY IS THE CHOWDER THE MOST AMAZING YOU HAVE EVER EATEN, BUT IT COMES FROM THE MOST AMAZING PEOPLE. CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ITS FINEST! THANK YOU GUYS FOR MAKING CHRISTMAS SO EASY!"
Elizabeth, SC

"AMAZING CHOWDER SERVED WITH LOVE! THE MOST WONDERFUL CHOWDER FROM THE NICEST PEOPLE! MY WHOLE FAMILY LOVES TONY'S!"
Jennifer, WV

"THE WHOLE DINING EXPERIENCE IS SPECTACULAR. I'M A FAN!"
Jeff, Florida

"I WAS AT THE CAPE CORAL ART FESTIVAL AND TASTED THE FREE SAMPLE OF YOUR CHOWDER, AND I WAS HOOKED. IT WAS THE BEST CHOWDER I HAVE EVER TASTED."
Mark, Florida

"THANK YOU FOR A TASTY MEAL IN A CLEAN AND FRIENDLY SETTING. THE CHOWDER WAS WELL WORTH THE DRIVE AND WE HAD A LOVELY DAY, DUE LARGELY TO YOUR GOOD FOOD. BY CHANCE WE CHOSE TONY’S; BY DESIGN WE WILL CHOOSE IT NEXT TIME. THE HYPE ABOUT THE CHOWDER IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. WE'LL RECOMMEND YOUR PLACE WITHOUT HESITATION."
Betty

"BEST CLAM CHOWDER IN THE WORLD"
P.C. Longwood, Florida

"TOOK HOME A QUART FROM THE FESTIVAL, IT WAS GONE QUICKLY. MY HUSBAND AND I THOUGHT IT WAS THE BEST CHOWDER WE EVER HAD".

Michelle, Cape Coral

"AWWWESOMMMMME CLAM CHOWDER"
D.P., Marietta, Georgia

"BEST BOWL OF CLAM CHOWDER I EVER DIPPED A SPOON INTO"
"EVEN ADDING A FEW GRAINS OF PEPPER WOULD BE DEFACING A MASTERPIECE".
Dan Dewitt, St. Petersburg Times

"BEST CLAM CHOWDER WE HAVE EVER HAD"
M.L., Crystal River, Florida

"ONE OF THE BEST SEAFOOD MEALS MY WIFE AND I HAVE EVER ENJOYED"
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

"WE WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL IF YOU WOULD SEND US YOUR RECIPE FOR CLAM CHOWDER"
Bon Appetit Magazine

"HONESTLY, THE BEST SEAFOOD IN CEDAR KEY"
"MY HUSBAND DOES NOT LIKE CLAM CHOWDER, BUT HE ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE CHOWDER AT TONYS"
Joy, Sarasota, Florida

"CHOWDER JUST ARRIVED BY FEDEX. WHAT GREAT PACKAGING. THANKS FOR SUCH GREAT SERVICE AND "THE BEST CHOWDER IN THE WORLD!""

Maggie Ryan, Peoria, Illinois
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