FloridaFood

15 Best Restaurants in Fort Myers, FL 2023: Savor the Flavor

Best Restaurants in Fort Myers

Fort Myers, that charming enclave of Southwest Florida, has a talent for keeping your senses engaged, particularly your palate.

It’s more than just another city to quench your travel thirst – it’s a gastronomic journey to embark on.

With the tangy ocean air in your locks and the soft sand cradling your feet, you’ll quickly discover that the beachside existence harmonizes flawlessly with its fresh marine delicacies.

However, Fort Myers isn’t solely about lobster and clams.

It’s a locale where you can plunge into a myriad of tastes, each narrating its own tale.

The seasonings and dishes here surpass anticipations, crafting culinary adventures you’ll undoubtedly yearn for.

After savoring my way through this metropolis, I’ve curated a selection of the finest eateries in Fort Myers for your pleasure.

Do yourself a kindness, and give them a visit.

Top 15 Restaurants

1. Harold’s

Harold-

Harold’s is a relaxed farm-to-table eatery nestled in Plymouth & Regal Plaza, boasting a tantalizing menu that changes weekly.

Varied menu: This restaurant offers a creative and innovative take on American cuisine with a menu that changes weekly. Quality ingredients: It uses top-notch, fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. Cons

Pricing and menu enhancements: It’s pricey, and the menu could use some enhancements. Not very child-friendly: There are no high chairs or children’s menus available.

Why It Made The List

Admirers of classic American dishes will find this spot among the top dinner destinations in Fort Myers due to its unique spins on favorites like scallops served with a cauliflower risotto or a King Salmon crusted with mustard.

Popular Dishes to Try

Embrace the American spirit with a wholesome plate of Roasted Cauliflower “Buffalo Style” as your appetizer.

Follow it up with any of the fantastic seafood dishes on the menu, like the Grilled Ahi Tuna served with an irresistible Lobster Risotto.

2. Osteria Celli

Osteria Celli restaurant

Osteria Celli is a local Italian eatery with an open-kitchen ambiance and a menu inspired by traditional Italian music.

Authentic Italian cuisine: You can savor both authentic and modern Italian dishes, like homemade pasta, sauces, and desserts. Alcoholic beverages: It offers a vast selection of quality wines and beers. Cons

Space: The dining area is small and can feel crowded. Reservation difficulties: Making reservations might be challenging.

Why It Made The List

Italian cuisine enthusiasts will undoubtedly relish a meal at this authentic restaurant, helmed by a chef born and raised in Milan.

Moreover, it’s one of the top birthday restaurants in Fort Myers due to its cool open-kitchen concept.

You’re in for a treat when you perch on a barstool and watch Chef Marco prepare your delectable meals.

Popular Dishes to Try

The best way to savor your visit is to order a full course, from appetizer to dessert.

Begin with the delicious Bruschetta and pair it with a pasta dish, like the mouth-watering Linguine al Granchio featuring Snow Crab and shrimp.

End your meal on a sweet note with the Tiramisu.

3. Cape Cod Fish Company

 

Cape Cod Fish Company is a counter-service restaurant renowned for its New England-style dishes.

Seafood quality: The restaurant serves fresh and tasty seafood in New England style. Ambiance: It has a casual and friendly atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. Cons

Wait times: Long wait times and occasionally running out of popular items can be an issue. Noise and parking: Noise and limited parking space can be problematic.

Why It Made The List

The ultimate food lover seeking top casual spots to enjoy delicious local specials will appreciate this restaurant’s straightforward, counter-serve style.

The blue and white checkered paper on which the food is served adds to the laid-back atmosphere.

Popular Dishes to Try

While the Fish and Chips is a crowd favorite, you shouldn’t miss this restaurant’s excellent Clam Chowder.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Residence Inn Fort Myers Sanibel

4. Gusto Cucina Italiana — Cape Coral

Gusto Cucina Italiana is a modern restaurant known for its Italian and Sicilian dishes in Cape Coral, just an 11-minute drive from Fort Myers.

Why It Made The List

If you’re seeking the most popular restaurants near you, this chic place is a top choice for Cape Coral and Fort Myers dining.

Not only do they serve incredible seafood, but they do it with a delightful Mediterranean twist.

Popular Dishes to Try

The Shrimp Parmigiano is a simple yet memorable dish you’ll enjoy.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Dolphin Key Resort – Cape Coral

5. Masala Mantra Indian Bistro — Cape Coral

Masala Mantra Indian Bistro is the first Indian restaurant in Cape Coral, just a 16-minute drive from Fort Myers.

Why It Made The List

Opening at noon, this unique restaurant is perfectly timed to serve dishes for the best lunch in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

Unlike the usual local fare, which is more grilled, smoked, or seared seafood, you get to enjoy authentic Indian cuisine cooked with a plethora of spices and blends that are truly distinctive.

Popular Dishes to Try

Definitely order the Naan bread.

For first-timers, go for the plain one and savor the experience.

To make the most of your visit, order the Masala Mantra Special Grill, which serves a combination of the house’s tandoori dishes.

6. Wisteria Tea Room & Cafe

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Nestled in the heart of downtown Fort Myers, Wisteria Tea Room & Cafe is a charming tea room situated in a repurposed bungalow.

Why It Made The List

For those seeking delightful breakfast and brunch options, this enchanting tearoom with its homely Southern charm is a must-visit. It’s a top pick among downtown restaurants for those seeking a tranquil retreat.

Popular Dishes to Try

Indulge in the cafe’s Royal Tea for the ultimate experience. Alongside unlimited English tea, you’ll be treated to a variety of mini desserts and a fresh scone – perfect for leisurely afternoons.

7. KJ’s Steakhouse

 

 
 
 
 
 
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KJ’s Steakhouse, a locally-owned casual steakhouse, specializes in steaks, seafood, and cocktails. It’s located at 10950 S Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33907. You can reach them at (239) 275-4745 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

This steakhouse is a top choice for the best places to eat in Fort Myers when you’re with friends. Its relaxed atmosphere, mouthwatering aged steaks, and a selection of draft beer, wine, or signature cocktails make it an excellent hang-out spot.

Popular Dishes to Try

If you’re not in the mood for the usual meaty dishes, you can still savor the smoky flavor of a traditional steak when you order the seared hickory-flavored Cauliflower Steak.

8. Salty Papa’s Shrimp House

Salty Papa’s Shrimp House is a laid-back Southern-style seafood restaurant with a dog-friendly area. It’s located at 15271 McGregor Boulevard, Suite 1, Fort Myers, FL 33908. You can reach them at (239) 482-7272 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

If you’re looking for pet-friendly dining in Fort Myers, this is the place to be. While your dog enjoys the cool breeze out on the patio, you’ll be able to relax and savor the freshest local seafood in town.

Popular Dishes to Try

A must-try when you visit is at least one seafood dish, like the simple yet tasty Atlantic Cod ‘Fish and Chips’. But another special you might want to try is the Wicked Dolphin cocktail (made from rum).

9. Roadhouse Cafe

Roadhouse Cafe is an upscale restaurant offering American cuisine amidst live jazz music. It’s located at 15660 San Carlos Boulevard, Suite 280, Fort Myers, FL 33908. You can reach them at (239) 415-4375 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

Dinner dates and special occasions will feel extra special when you dine in this premier pick for the best-rated restaurants in Fort Myers. The dim lighting and relaxing jazz music will absolutely make you feel at ease while enjoying an outstanding meal.

Popular Dishes to Try

It’s hard to go wrong with the delectable aged meats and fresh seafood, so if you can’t choose, you might as well get the Beef and Seafood Combination. And if you’d prefer to just stick to either of the two, try the Steak Au Poivre for the meat entree and the Pan Seared Scallops with Risotto for the seafood.

10. La Trattoria Cafe Napoli

Also known as Gloria’s, La Trattoria Cafe Napoli is a casual bistro that serves modern takes on Italian, Spanish, and Mediterranean dishes. It’s located at 12377 S Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33907. You can reach them at (239) 931-0050 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

The friendly atmosphere paired with fine European cuisine makes it no surprise that this restaurant is among the top Fort Myers restaurants today. You’ll absolutely feel right at home with its warm ambiance, thanks to its light design and friendly staff.

Popular Dishes to Try

Before choosing your main dish like the tasty Carpaccio de Salmon (smoke-cured salmon with tomatoes, eggs, and capers), go for the refreshing Trattoria Signature Caesar Chicken Salad and pair it with the Wine of the Day.

11. Twisted Lobster

Twisted Lobster, located at 1341 Del Prado Blvd S #1, Cape Coral, FL 33990, has been serving classic seafood dishes since 2017. You can reach them at (239) 800-2879 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

Twisted Lobster has a casual and friendly atmosphere, with a boat hanging from the ceiling that adds some charm. The menu has something for everyone, from lobster rolls and fried clams to ribs and burgers. Twisted Lobster is a must-visit for seafood lovers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious meal after exploring the city’s attractions.

Popular Dishes to Try

Their soft-shell crab is a standout dish at this restaurant. The crab is lightly fried and drizzled with garlic butter, creating a crunchy and salty delight.

12. Veranda

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Veranda is an upmarket restaurant at the heart of historic downtown serving Southern cuisine amid a piano bar and courtyard. It’s located at 2122 Second Street (at Broadway), Fort Myers, FL 33901. You can reach them at (239) 332-2065 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

Nothing screams romance than dining in a garden courtyard or inside a turn-of-the-century house. Couple that with an extensive wine menu and flavorsome dishes, and you’ve got yourself the perfect place for fine dining in Fort Myers.

Popular Dishes to Try

To experience the most out of your visit, get the Veranda Specialty which comes with a salad, muffin, and main entree. The Southern Sampler is an absolute delight as it gives you more choices, such as fresh fish, shrimp, and scallops done in a creamy sauce.

13. Lighthouse Restaurant

Lighthouse Restaurant is a waterfront restaurant that serves seafood dishes near a woodsy area. It’s located at 14301 Port Comfort Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908. You can reach them at (239) 489-0770 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

It’s one of the good restaurants in Fort Myers and Sanibel since you can eat fresh seafood while enjoying beautiful views of the waters and live music. Definitely an awesome hang-out spot for relaxing meals.

Popular Dishes to Try

The seafood choices here are on-point, but for a guaranteed good time, try the shrimp and scallops.

14. University Grill

University Grill is a laid-back restaurant with a full bar, known for its seafood and American fare. It’s located at 7790 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33907. You can reach them at (239) 437-4377 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

Foodies who prefer a relaxing and intimate atmosphere while eating some of the best food in Fort Myers will find the chilled but refined ambiance of this restaurant perfect.

Popular Dishes to Try

Want to try something unique and new? Go for the Coconut Fried Shrimp.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers

15. Cibo

Cibo is a modern, posh restaurant in Bridge Plaza serving classic Italian meals and different choices of wine. It’s located at 12901 McGregor Boulevard, Suite 16, Fort Myers, FL 33919. You can reach them at (239) 454-3700 or visit their website for more information.

Why It Made The List

Chic travelers are sure to love the contemporary ambiance of this elegant restaurant. The relaxed but sophisticated ambiance makes it one of the best restaurants in Fort Myers. Its authentic Italian meals are elevated even further when paired with the Italian and Californian wine varietals served here.

Popular Dishes to Try

This restaurant is known for its seasonal specials such as the Corvina (Little Neck Clams with tomatoes and potatoes), so make sure to try one from that menu if you can. But you should start your meals here with delicious appetizers like the Vongole or Capusante Risotto.

Which One Is Right For You?

As a culinary aficionado, each of these dining establishments delighted my palate and fulfilled my food desires, while providing distinct experiences.

Harold’s, a charming and sophisticated venue, offers dishes sourced directly from the farm and prepared with a Southern flair. Their fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits were a delight to my taste buds. The service was amiable and diligent.

Osteria Celli, an Italian restaurant run by a family, takes pride in preparing everything from scratch. Their homemade pasta, pizza, and tiramisu were a joy to consume. The atmosphere was welcoming and cozy.

Cape Cod Fish Company, a vibrant and laid-back establishment, serves fresh seafood and specialties from New England. I found their clam chowder and lobster roll to be both tasty and fulfilling. The staff was accommodating and exuded positivity.

FAQ

What types of cuisine can I find?

Fort Myers offers a wide range of cuisines. You can find American, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Cuban, and Southern food among others. There are also many seafood restaurants due to the city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

Are there any waterfront restaurants in Fort Myers, FL?

Yes, there are several waterfront restaurants in Fort Myers. One of them is the Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar, which offers a fantastic view and freshly caught seafood.

What are some of the best seafood restaurants?

Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster Bar and Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar are among the best seafood restaurants in Fort Myers. They source their seafood from local fishermen, ensuring each dish is fresh and delicious.

Are there any vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Fort Myers, FL?

Yes, many restaurants in Fort Myers offer vegetarian options. For instance, Ford’s Garage offers veggie burger options, as well as salads, sandwiches, and various comfort foods.

What are some of the best places for steak?

Connors Steak and Seafood and University Grill are known for their excellent steaks. They offer a variety of cuts and preparation methods to suit different tastes.

Are there any unique dining experiences in Fort Myers, FL?

Yes, there are several unique dining experiences in Fort Myers. For instance, Wisteria Tea Room and Cafe offers a high tea experience in a beautifully decorated bungalow. Cristof’s on McGregor is located in a beautifully restored vintage home and offers a unique blend of American and Mediterranean cuisine.

What are some of the best places for dessert?

Many restaurants in Fort Myers offer delicious desserts. For example, Ford’s Garage offers classic flavored milkshakes, key lime pie, brownie sundaes, and cookie skillets.

Are there any family-friendly restaurants in Fort Myers, FL?

Yes, many restaurants in Fort Myers are family-friendly. Mel’s Diner, for instance, is a 1950’s style diner that offers a menu of classic American favorites suitable for the whole family.

Are there any fine dining establishments?

Yes, there are several fine dining establishments in Fort Myers. The Veranda, for instance, is a popular fine dining establishment located in the heart of historic Downtown Fort Myers. It serves delicious southern cuisine and features a romantic piano bar and an intimate garden courtyard.

Final Words

In conclusion, Fort Myers is a culinary paradise that caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a fan of Southern comfort food, authentic Italian cuisine, or fresh seafood, there’s a restaurant in Fort Myers that will satisfy your cravings.

Each of these establishments not only offers delicious food but also provides a unique dining experience that enhances the overall enjoyment of your meal. So, the next time you find yourself in Fort Myers, don’t miss the chance to embark on a gastronomic journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you yearning for more.

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