shrimp cocktail

The Best Seafood Restaurants You Won’t Want to Miss on Your Next Trip to Sanibel

If you’re searching for seafood restaurants in Sanibel Island, look no further! We’ve got your complete guide to the area’s best eateries right here, whether you’re searching for fine dining or casual down-home eats. Not only can you get the freshest seafood at these joints, but they’re also conveniently located just minutes away from our vacation condos in Sanibel.

sanibel island

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille

The flagship location of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille is a must-visit when you’re sampling Sanibel Island seafood restaurants. While Doc Ford himself is fictional, there’s nothing fake about how delicious the food is here! Come in to try a variety of dishes inspired by the flavors of the Caribbean, like Caribbean Jerk Tostados, Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail, Island Style Shrimp and Grits, and more. They also have plenty of sandwiches, raw bar selections, and non-seafood options for you to try, as well as an extensive kids’ menu.

Sanibel Seafood Grille

Looking for family-friendly restaurants in Sanibel Island? Sanibel Seafood Grille is the place to be. Combine a welcoming atmosphere with inviting staff and delicious food, and you’ve got a recipe for success! The lunch and dinner menus here are truly meant for everyone, as they even offer special gluten-free menus for those with dietary restrictions. Try local favorites like tuna nachos, buffalo shrimp, grilled sweet bourbon salmon, and others. From pasta to tapas to tacos and more, there’s a little something to suit every palate.

Sanibel Fish House

When dining in Sanibel, spend a meal at the Sanibel Fish House. They’ve got a fun atmosphere that the whole family is sure to enjoy, and the extensive menu leaves something for anyone, no matter what you’re in the mood for. Start with an appetizer like steamed clams or smoked fish dip, then move on to appetizer selections like the coconut shrimp basket, mussels linguine, and the crunchy grouper platter. Once you visit, you’ll understand what makes this location a favorite for guests and locals alike! 

The Clam Shack

Open 7 days a week, The Clam Shack is bringing authentic New England seafood to the shores of Sanibel. While they do get most of their seafood from right here in the Gulf, they also have shipments sent in from Boston! Some of their most popular dishes include New England-style calamari, fried scallops, and of course, the lobster roll! They do also have house specialties for those craving something unique, as well as land options if someone in your group isn’t in the mood for seafood. Be sure to pair your meal with a bowl of authentic “Clam Chowdah” or lobster bisque!

The Island Cow

When you’re discovering the best places to eat in Sanibel, be sure to stop by The Island Cow. They’ve been voted “Best Lunch” and “Best Family Dining” by Best of the Islands, so you know this is the real deal. You can come to grab any meal of the day, but their dinner menu is where you’ll find all the fresh seafood. Offerings include the gumbo, Grouper Oscar, Montego Bay Mahi, and others. Best of all, this eatery is centrally located near many of the best Sanibel Island things to do, so you can easily stop in for a meal anytime.

Plan Your Visit

These restaurants all serve up some of the area’s best seafood, so be sure to sample at least a couple of them while you’re in town. Best of all, they’re each just minutes away from our rentals! Whether you choose to stay in one of our Sanibel rentals or at our Captiva vacation rentals, you’re sure to have a blast with the ones you love most. Contact us today to start planning!