Finding Florida,  Tips & Tricks

Eating Guide to Southwest Florida: Fort Myers Edition

Updated: August 25, 2020

Living in Southwest Florida has plenty of perks! There are beaches, bars, shopping, and lots and lots of food! I like to think of Southwest Florida in three sections. The northern most part being Fort Myers, the middle being Estero/Bonita Springs, and the southern most part being Naples/Marco Island. Kyle and I gathered a list of our favorite places to eat in each area whether you live here in town or not! This list covers our favorite places in the Fort Myers area!

First Up Breakfast/Brunch Spots!

The Standard: Located in downtown Fort Myers. Perfect for casual breakfast or a celebratory brunch! They are also home to Drag Queen Karaoke & Church on Saturday and Sundays starting at about 10:30AM. If you want in for these events, you need a reservation to ensure good seats!

Dress code: casual 

Fancy’s Southern Cafe: Located off of Daniels Parkway near I-75. True southern cooking that requires a BIG appetite (or to-go boxes hehe!). You HAVE TO get the Homemade Donuts! My favorite is the Pancake and Eggs and Kyle has liked everything he has tried.  Be sure to make a reservation to get a seat! This is Kyle’s favorite Brunch spot in all of Southwest Florida!

Dress code: casual 

Mimi’s Cafe: Located at Bell Tower Shops. Great breakfast with good specials on drinks and food! The menu is also large so everyone can get something different!

Dress code: casual 

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe: Located at the corner of Six Mile Cypress and Daniels Parkway. Another small chain with good food at a good price! What I would call a modern dinner, classy but gives you a sense of a home-cooked meal.

Dress code: casual

Bonita Brunch: Located off of Tamiami Trail North. We have recently discovered this restaurant and LOVE it! They have a huge selection for breakfast and lunch! We have tried something different every time and love it all! Four of our friends have also loved their choices as well so I would say the menu is perfect with great drink deals!

Dress code: casual

Don’t Forget Lunch/Dinner!

Fancy’s Southern Cafe: Located off of Daniels Parkway near I-75. True southern cooking with slightly smaller portions than breakfast but will still require a doggy bag most likely. You also have to try the desserts! All desserts are homemade by “grandma” or her own recipe and we even saw her bringing the cakes in the last time we ate there! Be sure to make reservations!

Dress code: casual or dress up date night (Dinner only) 

Ford’s Garage: Located in downtown Fort Myers. They have a great variety of food with great drinks! The burgers are to die for as well as their mac and cheese! We have been on countless occasions and the food is always good!

Dress code: casual 

The Lodge: Located in downtown Fort Myers. We have been for lunch and dinner and loved it! The burnt ends make a great app and the sweet potato fries and macaroni and cheese are the perfect side dishes! They also have a wall with various “pour your own” beers on tap (this may have changed with coronavirus).

Dress code: casual 

10 Twenty Five: Located in downtown Fort Myers. We LOVE going here with all our friends! The macaroni and cheese sriracha balls are fantastic and I love the pulled pork sandwich! My friends also swear by the PB&J chicken tenders!

Dress code: casual 

GinZa: Located off of Cleveland Ave, GinZa is incredible! This Japanese Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with the option for take out! The bonus?!?! The restaurant is all you can eat style! For one price, you can order whatever you want off the many and as much as you want! Kyle got sushi rolls and loved them! In addition to that, we also tried the pot stickers and I tried the fried rice, chicken and veggie. I also got the tempura vegetables. All of the items were delicious and portioned nicely so you did not get too much of one item, leaving no room for others. The one thing to warn against is that carry-out boxes do cost extra when you eat in (people were taking advantage so they had to start charging) so do not plan to order tons of food at the end just to take home for free! Be sure to get there early as I am not sure if they take reservations and the wait can be awhile!

Dress code: casual

The Veranda: Located in downtown Fort Myers. This restaurant is the perfect for any big celebrations. Their formal dining rooms are tucked in a beautiful old home right near 1st street. The decor is slightly different in every room making each trip to the restaurant different. If you are a seafood lover, this a great option for a more formal meal.

Dress code: Semi-formal; sport coats were not usual for men

Mission BBQ: Located off of Tamiami near Bell Tower Shops. We love Barbecue and this place is great! They honor all styles of barbecue so there is no arguing here over which is best!

Dress code: casual 

Cabo’s Cantina Taco and Tequilla Bar: Located in downtown Fort Myers. We went here for a friend’s birthday and loved it! Great drinks and every single person loved their entrees (there were about 12 of us so that is saying something in my book!)

Dress code: casual

Izzy’s Fish and Oyster: Located in downtown Fort Myers. This is the place to go for all things seafood! They also have great happy hour specials including $1/shuck oyster and 2 for 1 drinks! If you do not eat seafood, they are also very accommodating and were willing to make chicken and shrimp alfredo with the shrimp on the side for me!

Dress code: casual or dress up date night

Two Meatballs in the Kitchen: Located next to Fancy’s building as a stand alone restaurant. Great Italian restaurant with a lot of variety at a good price. I love Sal’s Favorite and get it every time!

Dress code: casual or dress up date night

Fat Katz Sports Bistro: Located on the East side of I-75 off of Daniels Parkway next to Cracker Barrel. This is a little bit of a hole-in-the-wall place but delicious. I love their burgers and they are famous for their tenderloin. They also have a great beer selection.

Dress code: casual

Bahama Breeze: Located at the corner of US 41 (Tamiami) and where Six Mile Cypress becomes Gladiolus. Although this is a chain, we love the tropical vibes! It’s a fun place with good food! It is always busy when we drive by so I recommend a reservation or call ahead. They also have a plush variety of tropical drinks!

Dress code: casual

LYNQ: Located at the corner of Gladiolus and Bass Road. My coworkers and I love this restaurant. They have a great selection of food items. Their fried chicken is perfectly breaded and delicious but we think the real winner are Poke Bowls! This along with their sushi is a perfect lunch between morning and afternoon clinic!

Dress code: casual to dressed-up date night

Society: Located at Bell Tower Shops. This is a restaurant and a bar/nightclub. I have only been to dinner once and it was very good. I would say it is a very chic restaurant that is instagram worthy.

Dress code: semi-casual to night out on the town

Connor’s Steak & Seafood: Located in Gulf Coast Town Center. Fantastic steak and seafood restaurant! All the sides are delicious as well, especially the macaroni and cheese! The desert selection does not disappoint either! We loved the strawberry shortcake!

Dress code: Dressed-up date night

Pincher’s: Located in Gulf Coast Town Center (and many other locations). We love taking our out of town guests here to get great seafood at a great price! Plus the bucket of tools for crab legs is too fun! They do have options for non-seafood eaters like myself.

Dress code: casual

University Grill: At the corner of Cypress Lake and Summerlin Road. More of a “dinner club” feel but with a more casual vibe! The food is great but if you are looking for a trendy take on chicken or fish, this is not the place for it. They do amazing traditional menu items such as prime rib.

Dress code: casual to fancy

Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza: Located in downtown Fort Myers. With old school mobster decor, you can’t help but be transported to a different time while eating pizza! This is another place that is commonly busy!

Dress Code: casual 

Cantina Laredo: Located at Bell Tower Shops. Authentic Mexican food with great margaritas! It is a little bit more expensive than your typical Mexican restaurants, but they also make you fresh guacamole table side so take the increased cost with a grain of salt?

Dress code: casual to dressed-up date night

Special Mentions:

Fort Myers Brewery: Located out in Golden Gate. Although you can find their beer at several restaurants around town, they are also open throughout the week with food trucks on property! Thursday night is their most popular night by far with their food truck rally! They typically have four to five trucks with a variety of food choices! An ice cream truck also makes an appearance on occasion!

Check out their calendar for all their upcoming events! 

Palm City Brewing Company: Located in the corporate park near Daniels Parkway and Ben Hill Griffin. Another smaller brewery with great beer! They have food trucks throughout the week as well as a trivia night we have done before! If you are looking for a smaller crowd, check them out! 

Love Boat Ice Cream: Located on San Carlos Blvd (as well as other locations). One of the best local ice cream places in town! Everyone loves Love Boat! 

Bennett’s Fresh Roast: Located on Bayside Parkway. My family LOVES donuts and these bad boys are the BEST! They are huge and can easily be shared but you will definitely want your own! Get there early for the best selection!

While this list may seem complete, we are far from the end! There are countless places we have not been to and cannot wait to try! We will be sure to continue to update this list as well as our others as we continue to explore our home! 


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