Where to eat is a question that enters every vacationer’s mind. South West Florida has an abundance of choices to suit every pocketbook. Every kind of cuisine is available to suit your taste buds from Asian fusion, Japanese and southern cuisine. Restaurants in South West Florida have a strong emphasis on locally caught fresh seafood; After a single bite, you can tell the difference.
Here are the highlights of “Where to Eat” from my recent tour of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Fort Myers Beach
With gulf views and adjacent to the pier, Pierside Grill is a perfect spot for a late night dinner and water views. The diverse menu offers excellent seafood dishes, burgers, and appetizers.
Tip: Order the Fish Sandwich – Northern cod is cooked to order – flash fried, seasoned and broiled or blackened.
Located on a sandy side road just off the beach, this tiny, colorful cottage makes mouthwatering biscuits, light and fluffy. Using the same batter they then produce cinnamon rolls and banana bread pudding. Limited seating is available indoors with a few tables outside.
Tip: Everything on the menu is good. If you’re too full after your breakfast biscuit then pickup cinnamon rolls or banana bread pudding to go.
Pinchers is a seafood restaurant that has expanded to 11 locations across Florida. The restaurant offers fabulous views of the Caloosahatchee River and has a large outdoor seating area. No matter where you sit you’re afforded good views of the river. I was partial to the generous portions of the stone crab and conch fritters.
Noteworthy: Nervous Nellie’s – 1131 First St: Pete’s Time Out – 1005 Estero Blvd; Ford’s Garage – 2207 First Street; and Parrot Key Caribbean Grill – 2500 Main St.
Before you begin exploring Sanibel Island stop in at Over Easy Café for a breakfast feast of pancakes, omelets, stuffed french toast, skillets and breakfast sandwiches. The place is well known and consistently busy till closing at 3pm. The décor is sunny and inviting. They are also famous for their “Cinnamon Buns” which are made to order.
Tip: Pets are welcome on the patio – Island Paws next door is owned by the same proprietors.
Noteworthy: Sunset Grill – 6536 Pine Ave; Island Cow Restaurant – 2163 Periwinkle Way; George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille – 2499 Periwinkle Way.
On Andy Rosse Lane, barely a mile from end to end, lies a colorful row of restaurants, grocery store and ice-cream shop. Most famous in this grouping is The Bubble Room.
Colourful from the outside and crazy décor inside, with Christmas displays, period photos from the 30’s and 40’s. While you enjoy a meal, toy trains run from room to room. Dinner entrée’s are sizable, but it’s the massive cake slices that are the big draw besides the decor. Favorites include Orange Crunch Cake, Jamaican Rum Cake, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate cake.
Planning a trip to South West Florida? Then read our article on Island Hopping in Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva.