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Restaurants and Red Sox: Dining near JetBlue Park



In 2010 the Boston Red Sox moved their Spring Training home from the quant, City of Palms Park in the well populated downtown Fort Myers, to the more rural JetBlue Park. The new facility has more space and better dining options on site, but it's also farther from local restaurants and shopping.

Even so, there are still a number of excellent choices within a five to ten minute radios of the so-called Fenway South, just east of Interstate 75.

About four miles from the park, and just west of I-75, there is a cluster of restaurants ranging from Italian (Two Meatballs in the Kitchen) to Asian (Origami). And if you want a little downhome cookin’ like grits, frog legs and meatloaf, try the comfort cuisine at Fancy’s Southern Cafe.

There are also some spots that may seem like an unlikely choice, such as Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, yet this local shop serves much more than refreshing, gourmet frozen treats.

With a range of atmospheres and menus, one of these 10Best dining spots is sure to satisfy your culinary cravings, both before and after the game. 


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Fort Myers Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


While this is not a traditional restaurant by any means, Fort Myers Brewery offers good eats in the form of popular food trucks. At least one mobile kitchen is on site every day the brewery is open, with a popular food truck rally on Thursdays and once a month on Saturdays. Located in an odd industrial park, Fort Myers Brewing Company is just minutes from the stadium and is a perfect spot for more casual fun. There are TV's to watch sporting events and oversized games like Jenga and the bean bag toss, to keep you company while you sample the award winning brews from the more than 20 taps. Check the brewery's Facebook page for the food truck calendar.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: There is no table service here, rather food trucks, some of the best in the area, and award winning local beer to wash it down.

Gina's expert tip: Look for a Panther Crossing sign on Daniels Parkway as a marker for the turn into this obscure industrial park

Read more about Fort Myers Brewing Company →


Stevie Tomato's Sports Page


With a motto that reads "come for the food, stay for the sports," Stevie Tomato's serves up big plates and big fun. The kitchen also cranks out Chicago-style dishes like gyros, Italian beef sandwiches and Vienna beef hot dogs and award winning pizza. Whether it's a Monday night or a Sunday afternoon, you'll always find some kind of game day wings and beer specials. The bar and restaurant prides itself in their $14 baby back rack and the grouper sandwich. Dine indoors or out while cheering your team to victory. Check the website for the ever changing specials and entertainment schedule.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: This sports bar wins lots of local awards for their food, specials and sportingly good time.

Gina's expert tip: There are locations in Cape Coral and Naples also

Read more about Stevie Tomato's Sports Page →


Artisan Gelato by Norman Love
Photo courtesy of Gina BIrch


One of the closest spots for dining outside of the stadium, don't let the gelato title fool you. Established by award winning chocolatier Norman Love, this eatery not only has spectacular gelato, but also a tasty menu full of savory selections. Here you'll find a wide array of Panini's, soups and salads. Crepes are also served with great care. Fill them with sweets and fruit or cheese and meats for a satisfying lunch. The chef cooks everything in house with the same attention to quality and detail that Love puts into his confections. They are almost too pretty to eat and are also sold here for a one stop shop.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: More than a gelato shop, this spot serves mouthwatering panini's, soups, salads and crepes, close to the stadium

Gina's expert tip: After lunch, stop by the next door chocolate salon.

Read more about Artisan Gelato by Norman Love →


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Boulevard Tavern


The Boulevard Tavern is among the closest places to eat outside of JetBlue Park; it's just east of the stadium. Bearing resemblance to an old world pub inside, the bar is spacious and welcoming with a neighborhood feel. There is also a rather large, covered outdoor space to grab a bite and watch more sports on the many mounted TV screens. The Tavern serves everything from mouth watering Rueben's to Ahi Tuna to Nachos, and almost everything in between. It can get quite packed with residents living in the nearby Gateway community on the weekends, when there is often live music.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: One of the few spots to eat, east of the stadium, where you'll find good food and cold drinks in a pub-style atmosphere.

Gina's expert tip: A good place to pre-game, especially on St Patty's Day.

Read more about Boulevard Tavern →


Two Meatballs In The Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Damian Hanley


Owner Sal Basile has been at the helm of a number of successful Italian restaurants in Fort Myers and definitely has a following. He is known for great, hand tossed pizza and cranks them out at Two Meatballs. The garlic rolls are infamous but save room for your big main course. You'll find almost all of the Italian staples here along with things like grilled chicken topped with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a lemon butter sauce, served with potatoes instead of pasta. This is perhaps Basile's largest Italian restaurant and it's almost always buzzing inside. The bar is trendy and has a great happy hour. Gluten free fans will be glad to know that this restaurant can accommodate you.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: Enjoy fantastic pizzas, Italian staples and a large, fun bar at this Fort Myers favorite, less than ten minutes west of the stadium.

Gina's expert tip: The large bar is a fun place to hangout.

Read more about Two Meatballs In The Kitchen →




Locals laud Origami for its service, authenticity, creativity and quality of the Asian cuisines served here. If sushi is not your thing, try the Korean BBQ, stir fry or Thai dishes. This restaurant was in an unassuming strip mall for some twenty years, but in the summer of 2013 moved to a larger, more ascetically pleasing location a few miles away. There are two large bars right inside the front door; one serves cocktails, the other sushi; perfect for pre or post game. You'll often find live music in this space as well. The dining room can accommodate large parties and the gracious owners welcome baseball fans.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: A local favorite for Asian cuisine and sushi, Origami is in the sweet spot on Daniels Parkway, less than ten minutes from the baseball action.

Gina's expert tip: Not adept with chopsticks? Ask for a pair of "cheaters"

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Fine Folks Pizza
Photo courtesy of Gina BIrch


This inviting, family owned restaurant--just minutes west of the stadium—has an enormous selection of gourmet pizza pies with creative combinations such as broccoli rabe, sausage and chili flakes, sweet corn Bechamel, Philly steak, and cauliflower to name a few. Fine Folks does not limit your size to small and large. They start at personal 10 inch pizzas and go up to 18 inches with many choices in between. If you have sweet tooth, skip the pepperoni and go straight to the cannoli or smores, both popular dessert pizzas. You might expect a pizza place to offer traditional appetizers and pasta dishes but gourmet seafood choices? Yes! These come in both individual and family sizes. Fine Folk has certified pizza acrobats that will perform table side pizza tossing demos.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: This family owned pizza joint makes both traditional and gourmet pies, along with big entrees, seafood, and salads, in a family friendly atmosphere.

Gina's expert tip: Want only a slice? They make 'em big here.

Read more about Fine Folks Pizza →


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


Sometimes in Florida, it can be easy to forget you're still in the South. A trip to Fancy's Southern Cafe will most certainly remind you. "Southern Sophistication" is the name of the game, a theme that includes both food and decor. In fact, the restaurant is worth visiting for its rustic design alone, with clever use of re-purposed doors, windows, bricks and more. But it's the authentic Southern cuisine that keeps people coming back. Entrees include comfort-food favorites like pot roast, shrimp and grits, and the 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." In addition, Fancy's has a wine bar that also serves craft beers.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: Fancy's offers Sophisticated Southern cuisine in a rustic luxury setting close to the Interstate and the ballpark.

Gina's expert tip: Enjoy live music in the wine bar.

Read more about Fancy's Southern Cafe →


Rock'n Sushi Asian Bistro
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


Situated in a business park (five minutes east of the stadium) that bumps up to a golf course, this seems an unlikely spot for a restaurant of any kind. But Rock'n Sushi is just that....rock'n. Not in the rock-n-roll sense, but the sushi sense. Try the Lobster Roll, full of delicious chunks of meat or the Daniels Preserve, baked with spicy crab, salmon and eel. Besides sushi you will find popular Thai dishes, Pho and delicious desserts. You can also choose from a creative selection of sake and sake based cocktails, a perfect accompaniment to the dishes served here. It might take a little effort to find this sushi restaurant but you'll happy you did.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: Located about five minutes from the stadium, this Asian restaurant serves beautiful sushi rolls, spicy Thai food and healthful Japanese dishes.

Gina's expert tip: Try the fried banana's for dessert, they look like taquitos.

Read more about Rock'n Sushi Asian Bistro →


Fat Katz Sports Bistro


Located in an old Starbucks building, just east of I-75 on Daniels Parkway, Fat Katz is a fun, local find for Spring Training ticket holders. A popular place year round to catch a game on TV, the indoor bar can get cramped, the outdoor patio is spacious and provides shelter from the sun. The food is outstanding, with juicy burgers, pierogies, cuban sandwich, spicy gumbo and lots more. Beer lovers enjoy the large selection and are able to taste anything on tap before making a decision. If you are afraid of loosing your beer once you decide, Fat Katz offers lanyards so you can wear your glass around your neck; a liquid tie.

Recommended for Restaurants near JetBlue Park because: Referred to as a sports bistro rather than bar because of the fresh, homemade fare served here, ranging from pierogies to beans and rice.

Gina's expert tip: Opened on Sundays, seasonally

Read more about Fat Katz Sports Bistro →


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Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for more than 20 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. She also writes for a number...  More About Gina

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