Best Places to Eat
Welcome to Sanibel Island! We hope you’ve had plenty of fun and adventures, but no vacation would be complete without trying some of these Sanibel places to eat! Here is our top list of restaurants that visitors and locals love. These restaurants offer features like waterfront views, great food, live music and games for the kids. Bring your appetite and dig into fresh seafood, cocktails, and dessert on Sanibel Island!
DOC FORD’S RUM BAR & GRILLE is a sports bar and restaurant sometimes called the local joint. It’s been serving good food along with premium rums and tropical drinks for over 15 years. It’s named after the author Randy Wayne White’s rough and tumble hero, Doc Ford. They serve both lunch and dinner daily from 11 AM to 10 PM daily with such local favorites as Yucatan Shrimp, fish tacos and fresh local seafood dishes. Service can be inside or outside. The atmosphere is casual and family friendly. And there is valet parking. There are two island locations.
The Sanibel Restaurant Location: 2500 Island Inn Road – across from Baileys Shopping Center.
Phone: 239 472 8311
The Captiva Location: 5400 South Seas Plantation Road
Phone: 239 312 4275
THE ISLAND COW is a family run, award winning restaurant conveniently located mid-island on Periwinkle Way. It’s a fun place with a “cow” décor that’s “udderly” charming and very family friendly. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with good local food – and an emphasis on seafood. They have been serving the island for 15 years. For 11 of those years they have received the award for family dining by Best of the Island. Their menu is humongous – probably the biggest on the island – so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. The attentive wait staff will serve you either inside or outside. Pets are welcome as long as you eat outside. There are games that you can play with the kids outside while waiting for your meal. The Island Cow is good time. It’s open every day from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. There is live music every night – not Jimmy Buffet but nice listening.
Location: 2163 Periwinkle Way – just down the road from the Periwinkle Place shopping area.
Phone: 239 472 0606
Captiva Island Restaurants
THE BUBBLE ROOM is a one-of-a-kind themed restaurant that opened 40 years ago as a couple of tables and chairs on the front porch of an old house on Captiva. Over the years it has expanded into the iconic, world famous restaurant that – once experienced – you’ll never forget. It is in a renovated three-story house decorated with old Hollywood memorabilia from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. It’s on the walls with pictures, posters, electric trains and Christmas lights. It’s in the tables – shadow box tables with period toys and dolls. And it’s with the wait staff who are in boy and girl scout uniforms. It sounds kooky but it’s fun. And the kids love it. But don’t let the Hollywood stuff overshadow the food. This is a serious family-style restaurant with a broad menu of American foods and a professional staff to serve you. The portions are large. But save yourself for the restaurants specialty – their desserts, particularly their cakes. Whether you eat inside or outside you will have a memorable time, a good meal and probably take left-overs home with you.
Location: 15001 Captiva Drive – the only major road on Captiva Island. You can’t miss it.
Hours: They’re open from 11 AM to 9 PM.
Phone: 239 472 5558