Eating / Dining Sanibel

It’s important to understand that life on Sanibel is very relaxed.  Most people visit the restaurants in shorts and flip-flops, turning up smart casual is almost the equivalent of wearing a dinner suit.  So the majority of the restaurants are set up to fit this mood.  Great seafood and steak is available in plenty of restaurants and there are a number of higher quality restaurants.  You can eat well in a straightforward manner.  We’ve listed a selection of restaurants with our description including the selection of more upmarket, fancier places. 
(There are plenty of other places too, these are the ones we know best).

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American Seafood, Steak and Homemade Burgers

Sanibel Grill – lively restaurant and bar, our favourite of this group
Doc Fords – very popular and features in the book series by Randy Wayne White
Gramma Dots – beautiful setting at the Marina, in our top three
George & Wendys – lively bar, large range of draught ales (only place with draught Guinness) and restaurant
Island Cow – bouncy restaurant with the largest menu on the island, popular with families

Crossover Restaurants – plenty of seafood and steak, perhaps quality burgers too but with a better menu

Traders – cut above the seafood and steak places, the chocolate fantasia is unbelievable

Timbers - restaurant and a fish market, next door to the Sanibel Grill

Mad Hatter – the only independent restaurant with a gulf view 

Top End Restaurants

Il Cielo – probably the best of this group, usually wins the local awards
Sweet Melissa’s – pushes Il Cielo close as an up market restaurant
CIPS Place – good quality interesting menu
Il Tessoro – a more upmarket Italian

American Breakfast

Over Easy – an island institution for breakfast
Blue Giraffe – our breakfast favourite, in Periwinkle Place shops
The Lighthouse Restaurant – off the beaten track, but a quality breakfast



Two large local supermarkets, Baileys and Jerrys, which provide everything you need if you plan to cook in or barbecue.  You can order before arrival and it will be in your fridge and cupboards when you get there!

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to talk to us about Sanibel to help decide whether it's for you.