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 fine dining spots for a special night out.

Misto Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


Misto is one of those white linen table cloth, tucked in a strip mall kinda places that foodies long to find. Misto means diverse in Italian and while Chef and owner, Jeorge Lanese, is well known for his Italian expertise, he has branched out at...  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

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

South Fort Myers


A farm to table establishment by popular chef Harold Balink, this intimate space only has room for about 30 diners at a time, many of whom are fans of Balink and know each other. Sometimes it feels like your a guest at a special dinner party....  Read More

Il Cielo
Photo courtesy of Il Cielo


Il Cielo means "the sky" and the stars seem to always shine at this Sanibel Island spot. The bar is dimly lit and stocked with unique spirits as well as wines from around the world. The glasses are polished, there are linens on the tables, the...  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, and seeks superior...  Read More

Bonita Springs


You would never guess the treasure found inside of this restaurant situated in a strip mall with no frontage, on the bustling Bonita Beach Road. Serving modern American cuisine with a French twist you'll also find a selection of gluten free and...  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 about a dozen tables, each one has a spectacular view of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. The vibe is cozy, with...  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