Dining at Its Finest in Fort Myers

Fort Myers is a coastal community, full of casual dining. Sports jackets and cocktail dresses are rarely required and you may be disappointed to see jeans and even shorts worn at the bars of some of the so-called ‘classy’ restaurants. This doesn’t mean you won't get top-notch service, thoughtfully prepared dishes and all of the other elements that fit the fine dining definition for most people.

While the Fort Myers area is happy to host high-end and well established corporate restaurants like Roy’s and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, where you’re sure to find great service and quality, this 10Best list highlights the locally owned dining gems that hold their own next to these big boys.

Angelina’s is one of the few spots that does have a dress code. You won't be turned away if your attire is not suitable, instead you’ll be seated in the bar area where dining is just as good.

You’ll also find well-heeled clientele and remarkable attention to detail at the historic Veranda in downtown Fort Myers, one of the area’s oldest, most highly regarded fine dining establishments.

Do keep in mind that hours tend to change in the slower summer season. Suit up and head out to these 10Best find dining spots for a special night out.

CRU Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Gina BIrch

Cru is a local favorite to see and be seen in Fort Myers, with a popular bar scene. But on the other side of the bar, the dining room takes on a life of its own. The tables are always properly dressed while the servers are on their A game,...  Read More

In the middle of Estero Island, Bayfront Bistro has great views of the mangroves in what locals call the 'back bay,' where it is quite common to see dolphins at play. Almost every seat has a view of the water and the breezy, outdoor terrace is...  Read More

South Fort Myers
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch

Don't let the simple name ("food" in Italian) and unassuming location of Cibo fool you. Serving up some of the most exquisite Italian food in Fort Myers, the restaurant's chic interior will make you quickly forget you're in a strip mall. Open...  Read More

Sanibel Island
Sweet Melissa's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Sweet Melissa's

This unique Sanibel restaurant is where foodies go while on the island. Award winning Chef Melissa Talmadge sources local ingredients year-round, for a seasonal menu that leans toward small plates. Her creations are innovative and consistently...  Read More

Don't expect spaghetti and meatballs at this Italian establishment; in fact don't even ask for them. This classy restaurant focuses on the skill of Michael Fattah, a chef whose attention to detail and pursuit of excellence has not gone...  Read More

South Fort Myers

From the moment you step into the Roadhouse Cafe, you'll forget you're in a small strip mall in Fort Myers. You might instead think you've been transported to a big city jazz and dinner club, offering something special every night of the week....  Read More

Bonita Springs
Chops City Grill
Photo courtesy of Chops City Grill

This local restaurant is serious about its steaks. Chops dry ages its beef in house until it reaches the pinnacle of quality. Besides its great cuts of meat, this steakhouse sources its vegetables and seafood locally, using superior ingredients...  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

Angelina's Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Angelina's Ristorante

Angelina's screams elegance from the moment you pull up to the restaurant and hand your keys to the valet. The dining room is large but still intimate and the polished servers know exactly how to navigate it. You may want to ask for direction...  Read More


This downtown Fort Myers dining icon occupies two old homes dating back to 1902. For decades the Veranda has provided an atmosphere of southern sophistication, consistently good cuisine and impeccable service. Many of the staff have been here...  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

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