Sanibel-Captiva & Fort Myers Beach, FL  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Sanibel-Captiva & Fort Myers Beach Area Features

Favorite Food Finds in Sanibel-Captiva

Along the Florida Gulf Coast there are countless chances to try food that is special in this region. The area has many restaurants that serve cuisines from all over the world, but since you're here, why not try some of the foods that residents of the area have perfected? Fresh local seafood combines with straight-from-the-garden produce for exquisite tastes. Here are the some of the best dining "opportunities" you should try while on the islands of Sanibel and Captiva…

Breakfast: Over Easy Cafe

Start your day off right at the Over Easy Cafe. The staff here serves up amazing food including stuffed omelets, Benedicts, breakfast skillets, and pancakes. This breakfast and brunch place also has an array of unique items such as their “sassy eggs” dish and their vegan spicy tofu scramble.

Lunch: Blue Giraffe Island Dining

If the family is hungry, head to Sanibel’s Blue Giraffe Island Dining for really good food and drinks. It’s a funky establishment with seating both indoors and on the patio. The menus are extensive and even at lunch you may want to start with appetizers such as pelican wings or sesame calamari before moving to a surf and turf burger or Thai fish wrap. Afterwards, stick around for a sweet dessert. Breakfast and dinner are also served so you can come back for different offerings!

Family-Friendly Dinner: The Island Cow

This popular eatery is known for excellence. You can visit for a quick bite, but you’ll probably want to relax and enjoy your dinner. Their sandwiches are so full and their salads are so large that it may take a little extra time to finish them! The menu includes quesadillas, fried baskets, bbq, steaks and pastas, so everyone in the family can find a dish they enjoy. We recommend their specialty: the “Hey That Paella” with chicken, sausage and lots of local seafood on rice. Afterwards, step outside for a game of cornhole.

Dessert: Joey’s Custard

Do you have a sweet tooth? Visit Joey’s Custard where only the best ingredients go into their custards, ice creams, sorbets and frozen yogurts. This family-owned business on Sanibel has been making its clientele smile, one scoop at a time. Stop in to try your favorite flavor or sample something you’ve never had before. It’s the perfect place for a frozen treat.

Pizza: Matzaluna

When you’re really in the mood for a great slice of pizza, head to Matzaluna. This Italian restaurant has Sanibel’s only pizzeria with a wood-fired oven and their creations are delicious. Try a classic pepperoni or one of Matzaluna’s specialty pizzas such as the artichoke and five-cheese pizza. The restaurant also serves many popular Italian dishes, gluten-free pasta and pizza options, and adult beverages.

Seafood: Sanibel Fish House

This quaint, brightly colored restaurant has an extensive menu filled to the gills with fresh seafood. Here, hungry diners will find grouper served multiple ways (try the broiled grouper filled with a crab and scallop stuffing), pastas with shellfish, conch fritters, po’ boys, and much, much, more.

While Boating: Gramma Dot's Seaside Saloon

A full day of playing in the sun and surf of southwest Florida can certainly work up an appetite. If you’re out boating and want a remarkable place to dock your boat and grab a bite, head to Gramma Dot's restaurant at Sanibel Marina. You’ll see fishing boats coming and going while you dine on recent catch including grouper and shrimp. Seafood is their specialty but the extensive menu caters to everyone! If you must travel by land, this location has ample parking, but arriving by boat is a great way to make an entrance!

View: Traditions on the Beach

The name doesn’t lie. Traditions on the Beach is directly on the beach and has access to some of the best views while dining on Sanibel. Instead of imagining yourself dining in paradise—sipping a mojito while enjoying fresh oysters or a fabulous grilled entrée—go to Traditions on the Beach at the Island Inn and experience it! Here, the palm trees sway outside and the blue waters of the gulf go on forever. The views are so nice that many couples have chosen to get married on the beach in front of the restaurant.

Romance: Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro

Ahh, Paris! Tastes from the “City of Love” can be found on Sanibel Island at this cozy little bistro. Grab your sweetheart and visit Bleu Rendez-Vous for a fabulous meal. Start by toasting to your love for each other with a glass of wine before sharing tastes of your fantastic meals. Be sure to try their seafood vol-au-vent—c’est magnifique!

Ambiance: The Bubble Room Restaurant

The Bubble Room Restaurant on Captiva is one of the most eclectic restaurants you will encounter while on the islands. The interior is often described as quirky and fun and is filled with toys and photos from yesteryear. There’s even a room devoted to Christmas where Santa and his elves are highlighted throughout the year. Even the waitstaff adds individual eccentricity to this novelty restaurant while dressed in “scout” uniforms covered in patches of their choosing. Save room for cake at this restaurant. They have a variety of tempting, homemade choices!

Happy Hour: The Sanibel Grill

When on island time, every hour is happy! If you’re thirsty (or hungry) and interested in an actual happy hour, head to The Sanibel Grill from 4-6pm and 10pm-close for great deals on food and drinks. Every day at those times, drink specials are offered on draft beer, house wine, and specialty cocktails. Discounted burgers, wings and quesadillas are offered between 4 and 5pm. This locals hot-spot is also a great place to watch the big game!

Entertainment: George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille

Known for being frequented by locals, George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille is definitely a place to relax and unwind. Live music and dancing are available every night, or step into the sports bar to watch a game. While you’re enjoying this social hub, grab a bite! Their extensive menu features fresh and delicious food that can be complemented with any one of their signature cocktails.

Takeout: Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory

Need a quick bite as you go about your day? Step into the Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory and walk out with a specialty sandwich such as their “knuckle sandwich” (a BLT with tuna) or a creation of your choosing. Salads and pizza are also offered and if you don’t have anywhere you need to go, dining in is certainly an option.

Locals Hangout: Rosie’s Cafe & Grill

Welcoming locals and tourists alike and open 7 days a week from 8am-9pm is Rosie’s Cafe & Grill. In addition to serving raved about breakfast, lunch and dinner, Rosie’s is also known for its coffee and homemade ice cream. It’s the perfect place to sit down and chat with some of the locals while digging into a freshly made omelet or a cupcake sundae.
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