Sanibel Island Restaurants

There are more restaurants near Sanibel Island than you will likely be able to sample, but here are a few examples of the variety and delicious ingredients you will find waiting for you.

Sweet Melissa’s

Named USA Today’s “10 Best Restaurants in South Florida” and a James Beard nominee for best chef in the southern United States, the dinner menu offers entrees in full portions or small plates to enjoy multiple dishes in one visit. Don’t miss the fish stew. This former specialty dish is now a regular menu item in response to diner demand.

Mad Hatter

Inspired and eclectic menu choices evolve with the season, always fresh and prepared from scratch. Chefs Kurt and Michelle Jarvis bring new life to this cozy, romantic restaurant on the beach with its well-deserved reputation and unbeatable sunsets. World-class dining at its finest.

Doc Fords

Doc Ford’s is different. It’s a sports bar with gourmet food. It’s also a place for book signings, meeting sports heroes, fishing guides, and world travelers. Just as Randy Wayne White’s novels are inspired by these islands, the spirit of their sports bar was inspired by Randy’s main character.


An Island favorite since 1998! Traders Restaurant has been so successful that in 2018, they opened Traders 2, also on Periwinkle Way. Traders serve delicious coastal-inspired meals, along with signature cocktails, wine, and draft beer. Traders even have a gift shop next door, for a Sanibel treasure.

The Sandbar

Since opening in 2013, The Sandbar has become known for its incredibly fresh seafood and choice cuts of beef and pork. They take great pride in having the best service staff on the islands. Check out the reviews or go find out for yourself!

George and Wendy’s

Open lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch with late night and kids menus also available. Fabulous fresh seafood, steaks, salads, sandwiches, wings, and more. Full bar. Live entertainment. Banquet room available. George & Wendy look forward to providing you with a high-quality dining experience.

Gramma Dot’s

Looking for a fun stop on Sanibel Island’s East End? Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon may be your perfect destination – come by land or by sea. This seven-time winner of the people’s choice award Sanibel restaurant is located at the Sanibel Marina. This is the only dockside dining you will find on Sanibel and what a beautiful location they have.

Il Cielo

Widely considered one of the best restaurants on Sanibel Island, II Cielo offers warm and inviting dining areas with a separate bar/lounge. Piano music Tuesday through Sunday from 6:00 pm evenings. Daily Happy Hour from 4:30-6:00 pm in the Lounge. The menu features daily specials, sustainably caught local fish, grass-fed beef, lamb, and free-range chicken. The Chefs bring in fresh from Florida locally grown and organic produce every day. They are happy to cater to their vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friends.

Lighthouse Café

Another East End favorite – the Café staff boldly states that they serve the World’s Best Breakfast and they mean it. Next time you are vacationing or visiting Sanibel Island, stop in and see for yourself! Breakfast 7am – 3pm; Lunch 11am – 3pm; Dinner 5pm – 9pm (in season.)


Located on the East End near our Sanibel Island condo rentals – we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their wood-fired pizza, piccata, or saltimbocca. Some of Sandalfoot’s guests come from smaller towns that don’t have good Italian food. Matzaluna is surely one of the best Sanibel Island Italian restaurants.


Traditions on the Beach. Just saying the name evokes images of fine dining. Sanibel’s first dining room has been delighting its guests since 1895. Offering “Contemporary Cuisine, Sanibel Style,” they provide the highest level of service in a relaxed, beachfront setting. Their tapas menu, served in the Sunset Lounge, as well as their full dining room menu, capture the sun-soaked flavors of the Gulf.

Thistle Lodge

Chef John Wolff brings to the Thistle Lodge nearly a decade of knowledge and creativity from his previous positions with upscale luxury resorts. He has a talent for improving the quality and consistency of the various lunch, dinner, and brunch selections served, as well as a special event and catered selections while remaining true to the food people have cherished for years.


The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market has amazing specials every day of the week! Join them Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights for delicious sushi and sashimi or dive into their famous Oyster Bar! The market offers the largest selection of fresh fin and shellfish on the Islands, hand-cut steaks, as well as their own prepared sauces, spreads, and accouterments to enhance your fresh seafood purchases. 



Sign up for updates!

Sandalfoot Condo Logo
Logo and ‘Sandalfoot’ are Service Marks of:
Sandalfoot Condominium Association, Inc.
Sandalfoot on Trip Advisor
Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce member