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

    $$$$

    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 need in this...Read More

  • 2. Old Captiva House

    $$$$

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

  • 3. Osteria Tulia

    $$$

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

  • 4. Sea Salt

    $$$$

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

  • 5. Sweet Melissa's Cafe

    $$$

    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

  • 6. The Local

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    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 local suppliers to stock...Read More

  • 7. The Silver King Ocean Brasserie

    $$$$

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

  • 8. Thistle Lodge Restaurant

    $$$$

    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...Read More

  • 9. Traders Store & Café

    $$$

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

  • 10. USS Nemo

    $$$

    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...Read More

  • 11. Baleen

    $$$$

    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 experience....Read More

  • 12. Barbatella

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

  • 13. Bert's Bar & Grill

    $

    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...Read More

  • 14. Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro

    $$$

    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

  • 15. Bubble Room

    $$$

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

  • 16. Café de Marco

    $$$

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

  • 17. Chops City Grill

    $$$$

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

  • 18. Cibo

    $$$

    Its flavor-bursting Italian food and its propensity for fresh, quality ingredients keep Cibo (pronounced chee-bo) at the head of the class for local Italian restaurants....Read More

  • 19. Côte d'Azur

    $$$$

    Capturing the essence of the French Riviera, Côte d'Azur offers a blend of country fare, exotic ingredients, and slow-cooked goodness with a menu that executes...Read More

  • 20. Crazy Flamingo

    $

    Burgers, conch fritters, and chicken wings draw mostly locals to this neighborhood bar. Order at the counter, and take a seat indoors or outdoors on...Read More

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