Restaurants on Sanibel Island, Florida

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Visiting Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

We spent 10 days on Sanibel on our honeymoon so we had a chance to try out a number of the islands restaurants. Because we are not big eaters, two restaurant meals a day was plenty for us. Below are some photos of a few of the restaurants we patronized. The first photo is the "fanciest" meal we had--on our wedding night--at the Thistle Lodge in the Casa Ybel resort.

Dinner at the Casa Ybel Restaurant on Sanibel, Florida.

Our breakfast favorites:

Lunch Favorites (we usually did not eat in a restaurant for lunch)

Dinner Favorites

We can't say enough great things about the Over Easy Cafe. If you're tired of restaurants that serve cole slaw and French fries with everything you'll be pleasantly surprised at the offerings here. And their breakfasts are wonderful.

Inside Sanibel's Over Easy Cafe.

Our lunch at the Over Easy Cafe.

The Island Cow is a Sanibel landmark. We thoroughly enjoyed their breakfasts, but their other meals were rather unremarkable considering that there are so many other good restaurants on Sanibel.

A hearty Island Cow breakfast.

We enjoyed our breakfast at the Lighthouse Cafe. I've read some TripAdvisor reviews that complain of slow service and bad food, but we did not experience that at all. The food was quickly prepared and was very tasty. They have homemade strawberry preserves which are very good, but more like syrup than preserves.

Outside the Lighthouse Cafe.

Inside the Lighthouse Cafe the walls are covered with lighthouse photos.

We ate lunch at the Sanibel Cafe one day and found it clean and quiet, and the food was very good. We would go back.

Cabbage Key is always a favorite and you can read about our experience at the restaurant on Cabbage Key.

Jerry's Grocery has a wonderful restaurant where we had dinner twice. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food, the reasonable prices and the excellent service. Next time we're back on Sanibel we'll eat at Jerry's more often.

The Thistle Lodge restaurant was wonderful and was one of the two "high-end" restaurants we enjoyed. It is located at the Casa Ybel Resort, right next door to the Ocean's Reach condos where we were staying. It is a beautiful resort and restaurant. We intended to go back again before we left, but didn't have time.

We only tried one restaurant on Captiva. There was no bike path on Captiva and parking is an issue so we didn't spend much time there. The last night we were on Sanibel we drove up to Blind Pass for the sunset, then to Captiva for dinner. The Green Flash Restaurant sits right on the bay (Pine Island Sound). I was pleasantly surprised at the interesting selections on the menu and at the high quality of the dishes they prepared. The Green Flash will definitely be on our list next trip.

We ate dinner once at the Island Cow and decided that we preferred their breakfasts. This is a fish sandwich I ordered. I don't care for fries and after a couple of days eating in restaurants I was sick of cole slaw.

Sue's Island Cow dinner was a wrap of some kind that came with a basket of potato chips and, what else, cole slaw. After that we just said "no" to Island Cow, except for their excellent breakfast, which we heartily recommend, especially for big appetites.

Inside the Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant.

The photo above was taken inside restaurant on Cabbage Key, as you can probably tell by the dollar bills hanging from the ceiling and plastered all over the walls. I think they said that about $10,000 falls off the walls each year and they donate it to charity. Something like that. We were the first ones to arrive off the Lady Chadwick so we had the whole place to ourselves for about 10 minutes. That was nice. It's not air-conditioned, but there is usually a nice breeze coming through the large screened windows. It's a bit like eating on a big screened back porch.

Copyright: David McRee,