Sanibel Island's Hoppin' with Family-Friendly Dining Options

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Fort Myers area is Sanibel Island. A relaxing family friendly island with lots of outdoor activities and sparkling beaches. Sanibel is also known for having outstanding dining.

If you have a large family or a restless one, dining at one of the many high-end establishments might not be ideal. Thankfully, the island has a plethora of restaurants that not only welcome, but also cater to the kids.

The Island Cow provides a comfortable atmosphere and has a menu that looks like a newspaper, full of almost any type of dish you can imagine and selections that will accommodate even the most hard to please member of your family.

At the Lazy Flamingo, kids meals come in flying disks, a perfect keepsake to use for entertainment on the beach later. And at the neighboring Bennett's Fresh Roast, a summer reading program rewards kids who pick up a book while they dine in.

While the Bubble Room is actually on Captiva. It is one of the area’s best known, themed restaurants with more memorabilia on the walls and in the shadow box tables than you could possible see in one visit.

Island casual is a common theme on Sanibel and at all of these 10Best family friendly restaurants. 

Grandma Dot's Seaside Saloon
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


At a place called Grandma Dot's, you almost expect friendly service and delicious homemade food with that extra little touch of something special; you get it here. Owners call it a Seaside Saloon at the Sanibel Marina; locals call it...  Read More



Traders set their standard high for great food, an appealing environment and professional service. The casual atmosphere coupled with gourmet food has made this a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Enjoy dining on everything from...  Read More



There are three Doc Ford's in Southwest Florida, but Sanibel is home to the original. After more than 13 years in the same location, the restaurant moved to a beautiful new space in the fall of 2016. The restaurant's fame is not only found in...  Read More

Sanibel Island
Blue Giraffe
Photo courtesy of Blue Giraffe


Located in the popular shopping destination of Periwinkle Place, Blue Giraffe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Diners young and old love the colorful tables, hand painted by local artists. Kids especially, are taken in by...  Read More

Sanibel Island
Lighthouse Café
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


The Lighthouse Café has been in business since the 60's, serving generations of families with fresh, feel good dishes. Photos of lighthouse from all over the world cover every inch of wall in this cozy den of a diner. It's not unusual to see...  Read More



The Lazy Flamingo has been a popular place for locals for more than two decades. This mostly seafood restaurant can also be found on Captiva, Pine Island and Fort Myers proper. Regardless of which location you visit, you'll find the same level...  Read More



First opening on Sanibel Island in the mid 80's, the popularity of this vintage burger joint has skyrocketed. Speakers at Cheeburger Cheeburger greet you with classic tunes from the 50's and 60's. It has an old fashioned, soda fountain vibe with...  Read More

Bennett's Fresh Roast Sanibel
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


Owned by a longtime, local radio personality C. David Bennett, islanders looking for a caffeine fix from these freshly roasted beans can't get enough. Bennett's donuts gained international attention on the Cooking Channel's Donut Showdown and...  Read More

Sanibel Island


With a slogan of "Udderly Great Food" how can you go wrong? When you drive up to "The Cow" as locals call it, it feels and looks like you're arriving at a friend's house for coffee, Starbucks; that's the brand they brew. The Cow is light and...  Read More



If you're a kid at heart or have one yourself, the Bubble Room on Captiva Island shouldn't be missed. The 1940's Hollywood motif offers one of the area's most unique dining experiences. The menu carries out the theme with options like prime rib...  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