Romance as an Entree – not a Side – in Fort Myers

A fantastic way to begin a night of romance is with a great meal. Not just mouthwatering food, but also an enticing atmosphere to ignite all of the senses. Perhaps romance to you includes historical settings or dimly lit spaces. Maybe it's linen table cloths and impeccable service; mellow music or water views. The Fort Myers dining scene offers all of this and more.

If vintage charm is your cup of tea, then the Veranda offers the right dose of romance. One of the most established and best known restaurants in downtown Fort Myers, this historic old home also has an inviting courtyard for dining under the stars. The Veranda has a long history of great service; a special occasion kind of place.

Waterside dining is always romantic, especially at sunset and definitely at the Mad Hatter. This beachside gem on the border of Sanibel and Captiva Islands is cozy and quant, offering some of the best service in the area. Although the menu changes often the quality never wavers.

Whether you're on a first date, celebrating a big anniversary or somewhere in between, check out these 10Best for the most romantic dining options in the Fort Myers area. 

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. The tables are covered in linen, the atmosphere is inviting and warm, and it has that 'feeling' of...  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

Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant


Tarpon Lodge is a winding drive through Pine Island, getting there is part of the fun. Dining here gives you a glimpse into the so-called "old Florida," days gone by, where time slows down and superb service takes over. Bronzed Gulf shrimp,...  Read More

Bonita Springs


Twinkling tree lights, tiki torches and a lovely wine cellar greet your arrival to Tarpon Bay, the fine dining restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero. Even though it's fine dining, the atmosphere is casual with Old Key West...  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

Flippers on the Bay
Photo courtesy of Lovers Key Resort


Part of Lovers Key Resort, Flippers On The Bay is a hidden gem between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs. The dining is alfresco and more upscale than one might imagine after taking a gander at restaurant on stilts. As the sun goes down, the...  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

Angelina's Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Angelina's Ristorante


Angelina's screams elegance from the moment you pull up to the building. It has plenty of parking but you're on a date, use the valet. If you are dressed beach casual, you may find yourself excluded from eating in the dinning room since there is...  Read More



Occupying two old homes dating back to 1902 (they were joined by Peter Pulitzer for his long-time fishing buddy, Fingers O'Bannon, in the early 1970s), the Veranda provides a charming atmosphere and classic cuisine. Specializing in regional...  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 romance, 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


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