Dining in the Heart of Naples' Illustrious Culinary Scene: Downtown Old Naples

Naples’ lofty reputation as a culinary kind of town with out-of-the-mold restaurants and artfully talented chefs to a great extent stems from its downtown Old Naples dining scene. A couple of decades ago, the districts of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South underwent a major renaissance that brought the historic downtown area back to life. And what a life it has become!

Much of the renaissance centered on new and exciting restaurants, many of which spilled out onto patios to create something of a sidewalk café society – a fitting concept for a town that basks in warm sunshine most of the year.

Today the downtown culinary landscape gleams brighter than ever as new restaurants such as the highly hailed Sails Restaurant and The Continental wow everyone from the town’s young professionals and retired snowbird populations to families and vacationing resort visitors. The newcomers join an impressive inventory of well-established restaurants such as Campiello and Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House.

Seafood, of course, scores highly on restaurant menus in Old Naples, but the range of cuisine runs the gamut from steakhouses and fine Italian to European and Persian. Generally considered the high end of Naples dining, downtown is the place to see and be seen any time of day. 

Old Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


This class-act Third Street South restaurant occupies the historic Naples Mercantile Building and a pleasant Rome-reminiscent courtyard to its west. Inside, you will find an inviting dining area, spacious bar area and large, open kitchen...  Read More

Truluck's Seafood, Steak & Crab House - Naples
Photo courtesy of Inn on Fifth


Part of a small, Texas-based chain of restaurants, it is anything but cookie-cutter. The dining room seems oversized at first, but its popularity fills the warm, welcoming space at the back of Inn on Fifth most nights. They come for their fix...  Read More

The French Brasserie Rustique
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


From soupe a l'oignon to the nuts in the apple tarte tatin, everything feels and tastes deliciously francais at this newest addition to the Fifth Avenue South litany of inimitable dining experiences. Chef Vincenzo Betulia, mastermind of two...  Read More



Opened in March 2015, 7th Avenue Social soared to immediate success with its "handcrafted food and drinks," its Southern and Latin accents, and a late night menu available until 2 a.m. Its daytime (3 to 10 p.m.), late night (10 p.m. to 3 a.m.),...  Read More

BHA! BHA! Persian Bistro
Photo courtesy of Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro


The name means "Yum! Yum!" in Iran, Chef Michael Mir's homeland. He fuses his native background with his experience in fine American kitchens to present an intriguing menu that maintains the authenticity and boldness of Middle Eastern cuisine...  Read More

The Continental
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


The Continental is what foodies term a "meatery," a step above standard steakhouses. Its niche is two-fold: name-ranch steaks and craft cocktails. But yet it is multi-faceted, offering also such original concepts as its daily changing fresh fish...  Read More

Osteria Tulia
Photo courtesy of Osteria Tulia


The first dilemma: Sit al fresco and people watch along busy Fifth Avenue South or enter the embrace of "farmhouse chic" indoors, where repurposed barn wood creates warmth and character? Then the food ordering decision! The lunch menu may be...  Read More

HobNob Kitchen & Bar
Photo courtesy of HobNob Kitchen & Bar


A few generations ago, this restaurant location was known as Zoe's, named after local restaurant owner legend Michael Hernandez's daughter. Hernandez is back on the Naples scene with HobNob - a clever name for a perfect place to do just that in...  Read More

Sails Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


"Excellence" describes the new Sails Restaurant from start to finish. From start: Owners meticulously sourced decor items such as a Greek marble bar in the shape of a sail, dish ware, and the finest seafood and steaks to create a modern European...  Read More

Sea Salt-Naples
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton


Chef Fabrizio Aielli comes from a stellar background that covers Italy, the Caribbean and two of his own highly hailed Washington, DC, restaurants. At Sea Salt, he conceived dining centered around the sea. To carry the concept, he stocks...  Read More


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle