Beach Dining Morning, Noon and/or Night in Fort Myers

The Fort Myers area has beautiful beaches and phenomenal sunsets creating a most desirable backdrop for dining. Just because it can get sandy and sweaty on the islands doesn’t mean diners can’t get a little, shall we say, “fancy” when it comes time to go out.

Some of the most popular establishments serving great grub like the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, welcomes flip flips and tank tops, offers live acoustic music and the best seafood steamers you’ll find on Fort Myers Beach. While the S.O.B., as locals call it, isn't right on the water, it's just a block inland in the heart of shopping and entertainment section of the beach.

But if you want a place with a higher-end vibe, Bayfront Bistro has you covered with dim lighting, waterfront views and an impeccable wine list. The historic Thistle Lodge on Sanibel is another one of those places, romantic and charming to boot. 

While not all of these are not directly on the beach sand, its access is almost always within walking distance, and well worth the find.

A recent remodeling of Cabana's at Diamond Head Resort and Spa on Fort Myers Beach, added more beachside seating than just under the tiki bar. Don't want to rinse the sand off of your feet? No worries, as beach attire is standard here. The...  Read More

Bonita Springs

A Bonita Springs legend if ever there was one, Doc's has been an immensely popular place to grab breakfast, lunch and dinner for longer than most locals can recall. The location, certainly helps. After all, when a place sits on water and is...  Read More

Smokin Oyster Brewery, SOB
Photo courtesy of Smokin Oyster Bar

Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay on Fort Myers Beach, the Smokin' Oyster Brewery or S.O.B. has been shucking oysters since 1997. The beach cottage has live entertainment on the recently expanded front porch; the inside is...  Read More

The Gulfshore Grill is one restaurant with two great vibes. The indoor portion provides quiet, the comfort of air conditioning and views of the Gulf of Mexico from every seat. The outside deck, known as The Cottage, serves the same menu,...  Read More

Heavenly Biscuit
Photo courtesy of GIna Birch

Set in an unpretentious, colorful beach cottage with low ceilings and uneven floors, this darling café dishes up mouthwatering fare that is both affordable and delectable. "Charming" may be the operative word, applicable to every aspect of the...  Read More

Sanibel Island
Thistle Lodge

Serving Florida cuisine with a littler touch of Asian here and some European there, the Thistle Lodge is a mix of elegance and 'Old Florida' charm. Found at the popular Casa Ybel Resort, the elevated restaurant gives diners a great view of the...  Read More

Once a grocery store, this space in Santini Marina Plaza (at the south end of Fort Myers Beach) now houses the South Beach Grille, a restaurant that recalls the stylish, neighborhood eateries you'd find on the side streets along Lincoln Avenue...  Read More

If you're looking for a waterfrong dining experience that truly has it all, put Bayfront Bistro on your list. Facing the so-called back bay of Fort Myers Beach, this award winning local spot has dock space for boaters and plenty of parking for...  Read More

Flippers on the Bay
Photo courtesy of Lovers Key Resort

Part of Lovers Key Resort, Flippers On The Bay is a hidden gem between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs. The dining is alfresco and more upscale than one might imagine after taking a gander at restaurant on stilts. Sitting on the Estero Bay,...  Read More

Sanibel Island
Mad Hatter
Photo courtesy of The Mad Hatter

This beach side dining spot has been an island favorite for the perfect combination of food and ambiance, for three decades. With only about a dozen tables, each one has a spectacular view of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. The vibe is cozy,...  Read More


Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for 22 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. 

Besides brandishing a microphone, Gina...  More About Gina