Chickee bars are a signature form of the Naples area party scene, and at Snook Inn the open-air thatched roof structure also draws a lunch crowd looking for eye candy with their meal. The chickee at Snook Inn overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and hosts live island music daily. You can also dine indoors – a popular summer option – with a view of local boat traffic on the so-called Marco River. That's where the restaurant's salad bar resides – a throwback to old-school lunching with a huge pickle barrel at one end. Sandwiches and seafood entrees dominate the lunch and dinner menus. Specialty items include oyster po'boy, shrimp tacos, seafood combo and stuffed grouper.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Families like the salad bar, aquarium, outdoor seating and extensive kids menu.
Chelle's expert tip: Go early for a waterside seat and watch the dolphins and pelicans.
Rodes began as a rickety roadside stand and has grown into a fish, produce and gourmet market and restaurant complex now in business for more than 25 years. Purists go for the steamed clams and shrimp, mussels, stone crab and other raw bar items. And they know full well to leave room for the key lime pie. If you're more interested in the "fancy" part of the equation, order shrimp stuffed tilapia or chargrilled Chilean sea bass basted with key lime butter. The "fresh" part weighs heavier on the menu, which specializes in Old Florida style fried seafood and fresh fish with your choice of preparation.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: It welcomes families with a unstuffy atmosphere and a kids menu.
Chelle's expert tip: Start your meal with something from the raw bar and end with some of the best key lime pie around.
This Midwest chain opened its first Florida restaurant in Naples summer 2014. It offers one of those menus that makes you wonder how the kitchen can possibly cover so many bases with any proficiency. It seems to succeed, nonetheless, in creating all the American favorites from wings and hand-pattied burgers to pizza, meatloaf and steak and ale with great attention to freshness and detail. With vast dining areas indoors and out, it exudes a happy bar-fly atmosphere, where the game is on everywhere you look. Like so many restaurants these days, it touts its selection of craft beers, plus pours nearly 20 drafts, including a local Ft. Myers Brewing beer.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: It has lots of kid items - including gluten-free - and an array of TVs to watch.
Chelle's expert tip: The menu weighs heavy, but for something light and delicious, try the Asian tuna wrap.
This laid-back Old Naples lunch and dinner destination has, as you would expect, a definite tropical theme. A prototype for the chain, it was the first Tommy Bahama restaurant to open. The Caribbean decor is bright, marked by all sorts of tropical plants and artwork. Outdoor seating is especially popular, particularly when there is live music. Tommy Bahama's serves a hybrid of slightly spicy American and island cuisine, including Cuban sandwich and fish tacos. Many patrons fall in love with this place and end up spending a good part of their day sipping the Tommy's Bungalow Brew. Located beside the restaurant are men's and women's retail shops that sell tropical apparel bearing Tommy Bahama's name.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Families can sit outdoors, where the kids can get up and move around a bit.
Chelle's expert tip: Tommy's claims its coconut shrimp is world famous. Give it a whirl.
As its name suggests, this is an old-school kind of place that still does a salad bar and throws back to the classic comedy series "Spanky and Our Gang." It has been a Naples fixture since the '80s. Happily, the prices are a bit of a throwback as well, thanks to its location well east of downtown and the beach. Serving all-American specialties, Spanky's offers an extensive menu of burgers, cold sandwiches, wings and a nice selection of salads at lunch. Dinner adds steaks, ribs, seafood, pasta and chicken to the menu. There are a few tables on the back porch overlooking a canal, but most take to the cool dining room decorated with memorabilia.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: It is affordable and casual with lots of kid-pleasing selections on the Just for Kids and regular menus.
Chelle's expert tip: Spanky's prides itself on its juicy prime rib in sizes from 12 to 16 ounces.
Located at "Tin City," Riverwalk offers diners a salty and casual waterfront dining experience. The restaurant was designed with a nautical theme in mind, and waterside tables are available. Seafood rules in the kitchen. You can customize your own seafood special, choosing from tilapia, mahi mahi, salmon, ahi tuna, sea bass and grouper. Then select the preparation: grilled, blackened or fried. You get six choices of sauce from tartar to coconut beurre blanc and 10 side dish options. Other dishes take their cues from tropical destinations such as Key West, New Orleans, Mexico and the Caribbean. Wash it all down with something rum- or tequila-laced.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Watching boat traffic chug by and eating fish 'n' chips keep kids happy.
Chelle's expert tip: When in Naples, eat Naples seafood. Go for the shrimp, grouper and stone crab dishes.
On the water and occupying a cheerfully painted old Florida-style house, this place could not be more inviting. Showcases and tables hold sandwiches, soups, salads, pasta, bakery goods and hot dishes made from scratch fresh daily. The goodness starts at breakfast with a selection of egg dishes, oatmeal, pastries and an unusual breakfast salad with hard boiled eggs, spinach and veggies. At lunch, diners browse the different stations for fresh made pastas such as wild boar or broccoli rabe and sausage ravioli, grilled vegetable pannini with fresh mozzarella, tomato pie, blueberry and goat cheese pie and limoncello mascarpone cake. It offers a remarkable wine list along with beers and coffee drinks.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kids get to "shop" for their meals, hand selecting what looks good - fast and fun.
Chelle's expert tip: Three60 Market is known for its meatballs - made from beef the staff grounds by hand.
Now this is what a beach restaurant should look, feel like and charge like. You will find a number of resort restaurants that overlook the beach, but to get the real thing, travel north to Bonita Beach where you can walk right off the beach and into this beer-and-burger joint for a break from the sun. Sit out back, right on the beach, if you can't bring yourself to drag your toes out of the sand. Or sit inside, where there's shade. If you're looking for air-conditioning on a hot summer day, head upstairs to order your breakfast, lunch or dinner and watch the game. The kitchen is famous for its Chicago-style pizzas, served after 4 p.m. Day-long there's seafood, burgers and key lime pie.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Families can sit on the beach or indoors just steps from the public access.
Chelle's expert tip: Sit outside and order a bucket of beer with lunch. Or come for dinner to watch the sunset.
The Dock at Crayton Cove has been around since the mid-70s - a slump of a seafood shack marina-side cooled by sea breezes. It is the epitome of Old Naples pre-gentrification. Not much has changed through the decades. There's still fried seafood specials, raw oysters and a lively bar scene. The menu has progressed through the years to inject exotic Caribbean flavor into the menu. Think blackened grouper on Cuban bread, key lime grouper with citrus butter sauce, Jamaican Red Stripe ribs with guava BBQ sauce and paella. Rivaling its reputation for food and casual fun, the Dock hosts its annual Great Dock Canoe Race, a wacky parade of decorated paddle craft the second Saturday in May. Started in 1976, it today draws thousands to cheer and jeer.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: A casual open-air waterfront atmosphere and eight-item kids menu recommend it to families.
Chelle's expert tip: Start your meal with rock shrimp nachos - a fishy twist on same-old.
The essence of the Everglades, it serves the requisite fried froglegs, alligator tail, stone crab claws and other seafood in addition to its namesake dish. Try the sauteed gator nuggets appetizer with chips and homemade pico de gallo, fried oysters or the signature house grouper and the key lime pie. Or bring in your own (fileted) catch for your choice of preparation. Taxidermy-preserved black bears, bobcats, wild turkeys, deer and a rattlesnake stare down at chunky wood tables. Some have a view of the bay across the street, but you'll likely be distracted with all the pictures, slogans, clippings, license plates and murals that claim space on the wood-panel walls. To walk off lunch, take the boardwalk next door to the bay or climb the observation tower for an Everglades overview.
Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kids will love the wild Everglades theme and eating gator!
Chelle's expert tip: If you're planning to do an Everglades boat or kayak tour, stop here for lunch; it's right across the road from the visitors center.