I received a handful of requests for a blog post dedicated to Sanibel Island restaurant recommendations and heeeere ya go! My grandma has visited the island nearly every February for more than 25 years with family and friends and I’ve been fortunate enough to tag along and visit Sanibel a bunch of times!
Some of my favorite activities include shelling on the beach (Sanibel’s beach is packed with some of the most amazing shells in the world), exploring the island by bike and dining out at local restaurants.
Below you will find my favorite restaurants on the island for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This place is also a fun lunch spot, but it is well known for its phenomenal breakfast dishes. The décor is eccentric, bright and cow-themed, making it a fun and entertaining place to visit with children and family.
My recap: The Island Cow
If you like simple, delicious breakfast food, the Over Easy Café is a great spot! Dine outside with your dog and a hot cup of coffee served in one of their adorable mugs. For those looking for healthy breakfast fare, the Over Easy Café offers veggie-packed omelets and fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits.
My recap: Over Easy Café
A comfortable, cozy restaurant, The Lighthouse Café has an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming and perfectly “Sanibel” with lots of pictures of the island’s lighthouse hung on the restaurant’s walls. Along with typical breakfast fare, The Lighthouse Café also offers many seafood-themed dishes, including seafood benedict and a seafood frittata. A must try: The whole wheat blueberry hotcakes!
My recap: The Lighthouse Café
Gramma Dot’s is located on the Sanibel Island marina and is a fun place to dine since you’re surrounded by boats! The clam chowder is unreal and the homemade chips that come with nearly every dish are sprinkled with the most delicious seasonings. Though seafood is the way to go when you visit Gramma Dot’s, their menu also includes burgers and chicken sandwiches if seafood isn’t your thing.
My recap: Gramma Dot’s
I recommended this place above for breakfast, but it’s a wonderful lunch spot, too! Fabulous dishes include the ultimate steamer, Uncle John’s moolicious muscles and the sesame seared tuna salad.
If you love seafood and a casual, lively atmosphere, The Lazy Flamingo will be right up your alley. Shellfish and peel-and-eat shrimp are a staple here! I always order “The Pot” packed with clams and oysters that are steamed in beer and special spices.
My recap: The Lazy Flamingo
If you’re looking for an upscale or romantic dining experience, The Mad Hatter is the place to go! Make sure to make reservations so you’re able to see the sunset while you dine because the view is breathtaking. I highly recommend the spiced watermelon salad and seafood trio.
My recap: The Mad Hatter
If you plan a trip to Sanibel Island you have to visit The Bubble Room. This place is decorated with the most ridiculous Christmas-themed toys and knickknacks and simply must be seen. While I wouldn’t really recommend visiting The Bubble Room for dinner, popping in for dessert is a must! (We typically get a few pieces of cake to go.) You can’t go wrong with any of The Bubble Room’s ginormous slices of cake (one piece is plenty for two people) and my family’s favorites include the orange crunch cake and the coconut cake.
My recap post: The Bubble Room
If you’re an ice cream fanatic like me, Pinocchio’s is the place for you. The ice cream is homemade and features a bunch of original flavors. Though long lines are typical outside of Pinocchio’s, they move fast and soon enough you’ll have a generous portion of ice cream topped with a signature animal cracker to enjoy! I highly recommend the chocolate caramel sea salt gelato. My family and I also adore the Sanibel Krunch which features creamy vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut, delicious chocolate and crunchy mixed nuts, along with other “secret” ingredients.
My recap: Pinocchio’s
More recommended restaurants that I have not personally visited, but have heard wonderful things about from family, friends and blog readers:
Question of the Afternoon
- If you were to type up a dining guide for somewhere you’ve lived or a special place you’ve visited multiple times, where would it be?
I think Sanibel is the only vacation location I’ve been to multiple times, but since I lived in Orlando for several years, I always have a bunch of dining recommendations for those visiting my former hometown!