Home Run Dining near Hammond Stadium and Minnesota Twins Games

Spring Training is one of the most popular activities in Southwest Florida and fans of baseball love the friendly greetings that they get at Hammond Stadium, where the Minnesota Twins play. The stadium has a fun Beer Garden and has recently undergone some renovations. And while the food options are appropriate for a ballpark, you may want something more substantial either before or after the game.

Sitting just off of the busy Daniels Parkway, Hammond Stadium is reasonably close to almost any kind of atmosphere and/or cuisine you might be craving. A newly built plaza a block north of the stadium,with Whole Foods as an anchor, is home to a number of popular chain restaurants for something quick and easy.

A short drive to the south you'll find the new, locally owned Marlin's Brewhouse where pub food and beer rule. A Chronic Taco's (a California brand) can also be found at the brewhouse.

If you are looking for a place with a little more sophistication, but also a spot where your casual attire will be welcomed head to The Bell Tower Shops where you will find Cru (sophisticated bistro food) and DaRuMa (sushi and teppanyaki.)

These 10Best options are within a five to ten minute drive max from Hammond Stadium. 



The Shrimp Shack serves much more than shrimp. Besides oysters, crabs, fish, calamari and clams, you can also find pork, chicken and steak. This locally owned restaurant gets rave reviews on its New England style seafood, including the chowder. You'll also find a large selection of local seafood on the menu and all at affordable prices. If you like baskets and combos, you'll love the selection here. The atmosphere is casual and the service is welcoming, especially to families. Pack your child's straight A report card and be rewarded with a free meal! If you didn't save room for the homemade desserts, get a slice to go. Find the Shrimp Shack about three miles from the stadium on Metro Parkway.



The owners of Marlins Brewhouse refer to their establishment as the "chamber of commerce" of beer in Southwest Florida. They love local brews and it shows with the large selection on tap. The brewhouse has an outdoor feel with high ceilings and large garage doors that when rolled up welcome a breeze. The food is pub style with burgers, pretzels bigger than your head hanging from hooks, and more. One of the most interesting parts of dining here is the Chronic Taco counter. The California based chain allows you to build your own tacos, breakfast included, then take a seat in the brewhouse to enjoy. Big screens keep the sports coming in this family friendly, laid back space. Ideal for casual dining before or after the game.



Just the smell of European American Baking Company will make you ravenous; fresh baked breads and sweets, made from scratch everyday. This breakfast and lunch spot, three miles from the stadium, is a great choice for gourmet goods before the game. Breakfast specialties include flavorful frittatas, omelets, quiches and sandwiches. Vegetarian options and healthful salads also provide a good base before consuming your favorite ballpark junk food. It's not all about breakfast here, as there are homemade soups, wraps and freshly made panini's. It would be a shame if you didn't save room for some of the beautiful pastries and other sweet treats. There is a bit of Old World Charm in this cafe just off of Daniels Parkway on Metro, a street that is otherwise home to mostly industrial businesses.



Some of the best homestyle Italian cooking can be found at Nino's, with portions big enough to take back to your room for later. Owner Graziano Buccini passed away last year but his reputation of dishing out hot pastas, pizzas and other specialties in Fort Myers for more than twenty years is being carried on. Open for both lunch and dinner, you'll find that an extremely satisfying lunch special will easily cost you under ten dollars. The pizza is thin crust, the pasta comes in everything from a basic garlic and olive oil drizzle, to capellini with chicken in an artichoke, tomato, basil, cream sauce. Nino's also has a full bar to accompany the no nonsense, good Italian food.



This restaurant is just minutes from Hammond Stadium, situated in the corner of a strip mall that sits far enough off of the main road (Daniels Parkway) to make you strain a bit to see. Formerly in Bonita Springs, Thai Star moved to Fort Myers in 2013 and has been extremely well received by local residents. The menu contains everything from basil frogs legs and duck, to thai curries and sautés, to noodle and rice dishes. Patrons rave about the mango sticky rice for desserts. The space is small but there are a few tables outdoors, along the side entrance. The welcome here is always a friendly one.



Owned by two sisters, much of the food in this comfortable Italian restaurant is inspired from the family's 65-year old restaurant in Venezuela. You'll find Loredana in the kitchen cooking up her signature Bolognese and Claudia in the front of the house, when she is not doing the baking. The pasta is cooked perfectly, the lasagna is a hearty house favorite and for appetizers the crispy calamari or fried zucchini strips are a must. Also open for lunch, locals enjoy a selection of panini and smaller portions of some the more popular dinner entrees. The wine list is a pleasing mix of Italian, South American and Californian.

South Fort Myers
Fancy's Southern Cafe
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


Sometimes in Florida, it can be easy to forget you're in the South. A trip to Fancy's Southern Cafe will most certainly remind you. "Southern Sophistication" is the name of the game at Fancy's. Its rustic decor cleverly uses old doors, windows and more. But it's the authentic Southern cuisine that people really come for. Entrees include comfort-food favorites like pot roast, shrimp and grits, and their signature Chicken-n-Waffles, while the appetizers cover classics like fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs and frog legs. Even the traditional salad gets a Southern twist with the addition of "grit croutons." The large portions ensure you'll leave with a full belly, while the warm feeling of a home-cooked meal will ensure your return.

Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


DaRuMa is a more sophisticated spot for dining after the game but perfect for large parties who want the classic entertainment found at hibachi tables. And during Spring Training, casual dress is almost always acceptable. The chefs at DaRuMa are entertaining, making your experience more of a celebration than just an observation of cooking. Though the main emphasis would seem to be the classic hibachi dishes, unlike some similar restaurants, DaRuMa gets sushi and it is just as outstanding as the rest of the food served here. There is a sushi lounge and a good sized bar where you can watch the masters skillfully slice and roll a myriad of ingredients, creating fresh rolls that are almost too pretty to eat. By the way, they taste as good as they look.

CRU Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Gina BIrch


Even though Cru is one of the places to see and be seen in Fort Myers, it does have a casual side. It's really a three-in-one spot with a classy dining room, a hip inside bar with house music and a laid back outdoor space with bar tenders playing everything from classic rock to reggae. From the Twins stadium, a five-minute drive west on Daniels Parkway, you'll find Cru at the popular Bell Tower Shops. Over the years, this has been another local spot frequented by the players looking for great food and a cool vibe. The service is first class and so is the food with selections such as truffled short ribs, grilled venison, seared black bass and their famous spicy crab rolls. Skip the hamburger at the ballpark and try Cru's pressed cheeseburger with truffle fries.

Artisan Eatery
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


A family friendly, casual gourmet spot, Artisan Eatery specializes in classic preparations as well as decadent dishes. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the weekend brunch is also a treat. The menu has a little bit of everything from more traditional breakfast favorites, to truffle eggs Benedict and giant buttermilk pancakes. Lunch and dinner have an array of fresh salads, hot flatbreads, sandwiches and a small selection of adult beverages. Order and pay at the counter, then take a seat and your food will be delivered. You can also get your food to go and picnic before going into the stadium. The desserts are to die for and worth saving room for.


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. 

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