Matanzas on the Bay in Fort Myers Beach: Fresh Seafood With a View


Matanzas Restaurant Fort Myers Beach waterfront

The spectacular view from Petey’s Upper Deck at Matanzas in Fort Myers Beach. Photo by Paula Bendfedt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Fort Myers Beach has lots of options when it comes to dining but few of them offer the beautiful view of the bay that you get at Matanzas on the Bay. Close to the beach yet far from the crowds Matanzas on the Bay is the perfect place for lunch with the family or friends, a great romantic spot or the ideal place to relax and unwind after a work day.

The restaurant has a rustic and cozy old Florida beach ambiance and some of the best waterfront views. You have the option to sit outside, right next to the water or inside where you can watch the boats come and go through the floor to ceiling windows while enjoying the cool air conditioning.  Upstairs on Petey’s Upper Deck there is a more laid back atmosphere, a bar menu that includes great pizzas and live music on most nights. There is plenty of parking and amble space for docking your boat.

Matanzas Restaurant Fort Myers

Matanzas on the Bay, the best place to eat if you are looking for great food and waterfront dining in Fort Myers Beach.  Photo by Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

When my husband and I arrived on Friday evening we had to wait a couple of minutes, which is common at any good restaurant during this time of the year. So if you will be visiting in high season I would recommend making reservations, specially if you are a large party. We were seated outside and the server arrived promptly, explained the menu and took our drink orders.

The views, the breeze blowing from the bay and the beautiful live music soon transported us to a happy and carefree place.  It’s funny but although we live in Southwest Florida we often get caught up in the daily grind and forget how beautiful it is and why so many people choose to visit.  As we sat under the shade of a big orange umbrella and took in the sights, sounds and smells of the bay it all quickly came back and we felt really lucky to live so close to a real piece of paradise.

Coconut shrimp Matanzas waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach

Drunken coconut shrimp crispy on the outside and cooked to perfection on the inside. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

We started off with the drunken coconut shrimp which arrived quickly and where quite good, this coming from someone who prides on making what my husband assures me are the best coconut shrimp.  These where fresh, crunchy and the batter was just perfect.  I might have to ask for the recipe.

shrimp and basil crusted lobster Matanzas waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach

Shrimp and basil crusted lobster at Matanzas on the Bay in Fort Myers Beach. Photo by Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

I had the spiny Florida lobster topped with a crust of shrimp, basil and bread crumbs .  I was impressed at how fresh the lobster was and the shrimp and basil curst was full of flavor but without overpowering the lobster.  My husband had the surf and turf: a  juicy and tender New York Strip steak topped with garlic mushrooms and onion frizzles accompanied by a gulf shrimp skewer. I love that the menu gives you the flexibility to play around with different options both for the seafood and the surf and turf and also gives you a choice of two sides or one premium side.

surf and turf Matanzas waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach

Surf and turf: New York strip steak and gulf shrimp skewer. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

The portions where big but we where glad that we left  some room for dessert.  We shared a key lime pie which had just the right balance of sweet and tangy and it was light enough that we did not feel too full, even after a great meal.

After dinner we went upstairs to the Petey’s Upper Deck bar where the bartender where just as friendly and attentive as our server downstairs.  Petey’s Upper Deck boasts the best pizza in Fort Myers Beach and although in this occasion we did not have the chance to try it as we where full after our delightful dinner we will be coming back to try it soon.  The atmosphere at the bar was perfect for having a few drinks while enjoying the spectacular view or for watching a game with friends.

Matanzas restaurant Fort Myers beach key lime pie

The key lime pie at Matanzas, the right balance of sweet and tangy combined with the perfect texture!  Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.


Providing some of the best Matanzas Pass Harbor views, fresh seafood, friendly service and great live music Matanzas on the Bay is our new favorite place to eat in Fort Myers Beach.  It was the perfect date night spot but we can’t wait to come back with the kids as there is ample space for them to run around on the deck and they would love to watch the boats and maybe even catch a glimpse of the playful dolphins and shy manatees that often visit.

live music Matanzas waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach

Enjoying live jazz music at Matanzas on the Bay waterfront restaurant in Fort Myers Beach. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Happy hour is celebrated daily from 3:00pm to 6:00pm and on Fridays you can enjoy live music on the restaurant.  There is music on most night at the the Upper Deck bar.   On this particular night we where treated to the sweet voice and mellow jazz sounds of Father Al and the Jazz Congregation.  lobster and surf ant turf Matanzas waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach

Fresh Florida spiny lobster and surf & turf at Matanzas on the Bay waterfront restaurant Fort Myers Beach. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

For more information and complete menus check out the Matanzas on the Bay website or like Matanzas on the Bay on Facebook to stay informed about their events and specials.

Follow 365 Things to Do In Southwest Florida on Facebook for the best travel ideas, events and attractions for the whole family.


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About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula is a freelance writer, translator & marketer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on subjects ranging from travel and food to parenting and bilingualism. She enjoys traveling, good food and is always in search of new things to do and in Southwest Florida.

1 comment

  1. Bohemian Babushka (@BBabushka)

    Que rico!! But honestly, you had me at “cool air conditioning”. ; ) BB2U

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