The Lower Gulf Coast Restaurants

In this part of Florida, fresh seafood reigns supreme. Succulent native stone-crab claws, a particularly tasty treat, in season from mid-October through mid-May, are usually served hot with drawn butter or chilled with tangy mustard sauce. Supplies are typically steady, since claws regenerate in time for the next season. Other seafood specialties include fried grouper sandwiches and Sanibel pink shrimp. In Naples's highly hailed restaurants and sidewalk cafés, mingle with locals, winter visitors, and other travelers, and catch up on the latest culinary trends.

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  • 1. Angelina's Ristorante

    $$$$ | Italian

    Here it's all about the experience—one of the most indulgent, pampered meals you'll ever eat. Formally trained waitstaff attend to your every...Read More

  • 2. Arturo's

    $$$ | Italian

    This place is huge, with expansive Romanesque dining rooms and more seating on the patio. Still, it fills up year-round with a strong well-dressed...Read More

  • 3. Old Captiva House

    $$$$ | Seafood

    Just across the street from the beach, this wonderfully historic and newly renovated restaurant is casual, comfortable, and considered by many...Read More

  • 4. Osteria Tulia

    $$$ | Italian

    An ancestral air pervades at this intimate yet lively restaurant on 5th Avenue, where the Sicilian-born chef (and part-owner) drives an authentic...Read More

  • 5. Sea Salt

    $$$$ | Mediterranean

    The city's hottest upscale restaurant draws a crowd of connoisseurs to a modern, coral-stone dining room that spills out onto the sidewalk....Read More

  • 6. Sweet Melissa's Cafe

    $$$ | Modern American

    You've seen them before, those people who take photos of their food: you'll become one of them when you eat here. Choose from full portions...Read More

  • 7. The Local

    $$ | Contemporary

    You'll find an epicurean take on healthy eating at this farm-and-sea-to-table bistro that, as the name declares, looks almost exclusively to...Read More

  • 8. The Silver King Ocean Brasserie

    $$$$ | Seafood

    A newcomer to downtown Fort Myers, the signature restaurant of the trendy Luminary Hotel & Co. shines every bit as its name implies, offering...Read More

  • 9. Thistle Lodge Restaurant

    $$$$ | Contemporary

    Now this is romance: the lodge was built as a wedding gift from a husband to his wife and is now a gift to those lucky enough to dine here....Read More

  • 10. Traders Store & Café

    $$$ | American

    In the midst of a warehouse-size store, this bistro, accented with stunning Florida photography from Alan Maltz, is a favorite of locals. The...Read More

  • 11. USS Nemo

    $$$ | Seafood

    Don't be fooled by the cheesy glowing sign from the highway: most Neapolitans swear this is the place for seafood in town, which is why you...Read More

  • 12. Baleen

    $$$$ | Seafood

    The mood cast in this well-appointed dining room and the romantic Gulf-view patio that spills onto the sand feels like the perfect Florida restaurant...Read More

  • 13. Barbatella

    $$ | Italian

    This popular trattoria has three dining spaces to suit any whim: the sleek wine bar has a communal table, green ceiling medallions, crystal...Read More

  • 14. Bert's Bar & Grill

    $ | American

    Looking to hang out with the locals of Pine Island? Here you'll find cheap eats, live entertainment, a pool table, and a water view to boot...Read More

  • 15. Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro

    $$$ | Middle Eastern

    Long considered one of Naples's best Persian restaurants, loyal fans of Bha! Bha! flock to bustling 5th Avenue South year in and year out to...Read More

  • 16. Bistro 41

    $$$ | American

    Amid brightly painted, textured walls and a display kitchen, shoppers and businesspeople meet here for some of the town's most dependable and...Read More

  • 17. Blue Water Bistro

    $$$ | Seafood

    For the convenience of shoppers at Coconut Point, several excellent restaurants cluster in the midst of the shopping center. This one, although...Read More

  • 18. Bubble Room

    $$$ | American

    This lively, kitschy visitors' favorite is fun for families and nostalgic types with fat wallets. Servers wear scout uniforms and funny headgear...Read More

  • 19. Café de Marco

    $$$ | Eclectic

    This cozy little bistro with cheery pastel walls and stained-glass windows has served expertly prepared local fish since 1983. The jumbo prawns...Read More

  • 20. Chops City Grill

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Count on high-quality cuisine that fuses Asian cuisine and steak-house mainstays. It's sophisticated and popular, yet resort-wear casual, drawing...Read More

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