Dining At Tony’s
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant is a small, popular restaurant, and waiting for a table can be common during busy times. Try to visit us between 11am – 1pm, or 3-4pm to avoid the rush.
Often, you may notice that all dining areas are full. If that is the case when you approach the front entry please be patient. And please be aware we are so small that there is no inside waiting area. Our serving staff will advise you how long your wait will be and direct you to the benches we’ve provided in a covered area outside. Tony’s servers are very good at working to get waiting parties in as quickly as possible.
Tony’s is a small establishment that seats a total of 54 patrons, with seating in two dining areas. The main dining room in the front of the building can seat up to 30. The World Championship Dining Room in the rear area holds 24-30. It’s recommended that if you have a large group and plan to dine with Tony’s you should contact a manager as soon as possible. We can accept your reservations well in advance of your scheduled date. In certain cases we may be able to reserve a dining room for you.
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant accepts reservations for parties of 8 or more. Under certain circumstances if you are celebrating a special event and want to secure a table, we will do everything possible to accommodate you. Email us or call the restaurant and speak to a manager. Please be advised that a 22% gratuity will be added to parties of 8 or more even if payment is broken into separate checks.
For Cedar Key Festival Weekends (Arts Festival – April & the Seafood Festival – October ) we are not able to accept reservations. We greatly appreciate your desire to bring your friends and family. It is our intention to serve everyone who would like to dine with us but due to our limited seating capacity we simply cannot take reservations for festival weekends. If you have any questions about our festival seating policy please call us and a manager will be happy to assist you.
Tony’s Restaurant is completely accessible to handicapped patrons. Our restaurant, unlike many others in Cedar Key, is located on the ground floor. Parking is available in the front of the building. Please call ahead if you or anyone in your party requires any special assistance to enter or exit our establishment safely.
At Tony’s the atmosphere is casual dining. Shoes and shirts are required. If you’re cold-natured please bring a sweater. The Hale Building is a very old structure and its air units are difficult to moderate for temperature variations in the dining rooms.
Customer Satisfaction and Quality
At Tony’s we strive each day for total customer satisfaction with your complete dining experience. If there is anything that you are not completely satisfied with please inform your server right away. We will do whatever it takes to make your dining experience only the very best. Our restaurant management staff will gladly visit your table and correct any issues on the spot. We also enjoy your positive feedback on our food and your service while dining at Tony’s.
We provide comment cards at each table and we welcome your compliments and your suggestions. All comment cards are hand delivered each day to our owner.
In addition, we always encourage our valued diners to contact us via our website and share your dining experience with our management staff. For nearly 7 years Tony’s has consistently maintained top notch internet ratings by our customers. We always welcome and appreciate your reviews. If your dining experience with Tony’s fell short of your expectations and you chose not to inform our staff while dining, please contact us via our website before you post a negative review. This gives us the opportunity to research the circumstances and offer suggestions to correct the situation if necessary. Please be informed that the entire property is under audio & video surveillance at all times and the management staff can and will review the recorded footage to determine the facts when a situation arises.
Tony’s is dedicated to only serving the finest seafood available on the market today. WE DO NOT COMPROMISE QUALITY FOR PROFIT. Fresh seafood is expensive and our goal is to only serve the very best. Consuming shellfish, poultry or raw un-cooked meats and seafood’s can be a health risk to those with immune deficiencies and certain health risks. Tony’s follows the guidelines of the state of Florida for cooking all foods. Please govern your consumption. If you are allergic to anything please inform your server prior to ordering.
If you have any additional questions please contact us at info at tonyschowder.com.
Tony’s gift cards make the perfect gift! What could be better than a wonderful fresh seafood meal while visiting the islands of Cedar Key?
Tony’s offers Gift Cards in any denomination, available for purchase at the restaurant during normal business hours, or via phone at 352-543-9143.
Often customers have purchased gift cards as a surprise for friends while staying in Cedar Key. We then make the card available to the diners at their lodging location.
Our gift cards are redeemable for any food and beverage purchase. If you have any questions about gift cards please e-mail us at Info@tonyschowder.com.
The ‘Tony’s Story’
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”.