Dining at Tony’s Cedar Key, Florida
Tony’s Restaurant in Cedar Key is located at 597 2nd street at the corner of SR 24 and 2nd street in the historic downtown district. Tony’s is in the ground floor of the old Hale building- circa 1880 right across the street from the Historical Museum.
Tony’s was named after the owners brother who’s nickname is Tony.
The actual owner of Tony’s and its founder and recipe creator is Chef Eric.
The restaurant began operations on June 2, 2005. Tony’s is casual dining with beer and wine available.
Diners at Tony’s between 2005-2009 encouraged Chef Eric to enter the chowder into the Great Chowder cook-off located in Newport Rhode Island.
In June 2009 Chef Eric took on the best chowders around the world in Newport.
The result was 3 straight clam chowder world championships. In June of 2011 Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder was inducted into the events Hall of Fame and the recipe retired from the competition.
In 2012 Tony’s Chowder was made available in a can for consumers around the world to enjoy.
Today dining at Tony’s is still about the chowder. The Chowder is the star of the show. Recently Chef Eric introduced his newest creation. Tony’s Lobster Bisque.
The Lobster Bisque is available for dine in or take home quarts or 15oz cans.
Tony’s front dining area features some dynamic hand painted murals that honor the history of Cedar Key and the famous chowder.
Reservations for parties of 6 or more are recommended. Call 352-543-0022 to ask for reservations.
Restaurant hours vary. Please check our seasonal hours prior to driving.
Tony’s is a ground floor establishment so accessibility is good. Parking outside on the street or across the street in the city lot.
We do have gift certificates available in house at Tony’s for sale.
597 2nd Street
Cedar Key, Florida 32625
Mon - Fri: 11am - 3pm
Sat & Sun: 11am - 4pm
Seasonal dinner hours may vary. We request that you please call ahead to verify our closing hour.
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”.
Tony’s World Champion Cedar Key Clam Chowder has made bowl-lickers of many fans!
If you’re ready to order yours, or for a gift, click here and let’s get it shipped your way!