One of the best parts of going on vacation is finding really good restaurants to eat at. To most families, a really good restaurant welcomes your family, has delicious food, a fun atmosphere, and reasonable prices. On our last trip to Florida, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs and every single restaurant we visited in Bonita Springs and the neighboring Ft. Myers qualifies as a really good restaurant. I can absolutely guarantee that your family will love every place on this list. Here’s the run down on where to eat in Southwest Florida.
Where to Eat in Southwest Florida for Breakfast
Mel’s is straight up diner food, but they also offer some pretty decadent meals! You can order a plate of banana pancakes, or go for the lobster benedict. If you want to be full for the rest of the day, just order the huevos rancheros. We ate here twice for breakfast at both the Bonita Springs and Ft. Myers locations. Mel’s also has three other locations in the area. This is the only restaurant where we heard the waitress asking the table next to us if they wanted their usual. Yes, this is where the locals go along with the tourists.
The food is delicious and the prices are pretty low. I had a platter of eggs, pancakes, bacon, and sausage for only $7.89 and my youngest had french toast sticks that cost a whole $3.50. The kids menu offered mini pancakes flavored with blueberries, chocolate chips, pecans or bananas. Kids could also order up some eggs or my daughter’s favorite french toast sticks. The adult menu is loaded with so many choices from combo platters, omelets, skillet meals, and benedicts. You will have a hard time deciding what to order, so be like us and go there again! For more information on Mel’s Diner you can visit their website here.
Where to Eat in Southwest Florida for Lunch
Pino’s Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen
One meal that is sure to make the whole family happy is pizza! Sometimes I think we could eat pizza every single day! The top place for pizza in Bonita Springs is Pino’s Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen. You will walk into this place and the wonderful smell of pizza and tomato sauce will make you hungrier than ever! Besides their delicious thin crust pizza, they serve calzones, stromboli, pasta, seafood, chicken, and various salads and appetizers. The price of a 16″ pizza is $13.99 and toppings are $2-$3. Check out their menu for weekday lunch specials for a really good deal!
Pino’s is small, but they do offer delivery and takeout. Don’t come here for lunch on the weekends though, because they don’t open until 4:00. Otherwise they open at 11:00 am on Monday thru Friday. Pino’s is located in a shopping plaza that also has a really nice Publix grocery store. We stocked up on snacks for the room and carried out a large pizza from Pino’s on our first day in town. Here is the link to Pino’s website.
Corkscrew is an outdoor bar and grille that is located at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. If you are lucky enough to be hanging out by the pools at the Hyatt, this is the restaurant that will be delivering food right to your lounge chair. And you’ll be paying for that convenience. Yes, the prices are a little bit high, but the portions are large. And seriously, what mama doesn’t deserve to be served her meal while seated in a lounge chair by the pool? The kids declared the chicken tenders to be really good, and they had a full meal including the fries, fruit, and yogurt. The cost for their meal was $9, so not too bad. The other offerings on the kids menu range from $6-$10 and include grilled chicken breast, pizza, grilled cheese, and a burger.
My husband and I shared the loaded nachos, and it was the largest serving of nachos I’ve ever had put in front of me. The cost was $16, and we were both full and still had leftovers. Corkscrew serves various salads, such as, tropical chicken salad, seared ahi tuna salad, and the classic Caesar salad. The menu also has the usual burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. They serve a blackened grouper sandwich with a spiced lime and cilantro aioli that sounds like quite the flavor combination!
There are plenty of drinks to choose from, such as, all the fruity tropical type drinks that you can imagine. But we recommend ordering a local craft beer to enjoy with your meal. There were six local beers to choose from, and they are good!
Where to Eat in Southwest Florida for Dinner
The Fish House
This is the kind of restaurant that you see as you are driving down the road, and don’t give it a second glance. But since you don’t judge a book by it’s cover, don’t judge the restaurant by it’s exterior. We dined at the Bonita Springs location, and had our best meal of the whole vacation! Yes, this is the food you need to eat when you are in Florida! First there’s seafood grilled, fried, blackened, or broiled to perfection. Then there’s steak that is actually not over done, and they even have hush puppies on the sides menu. But the slice of key lime pie that we shared for dessert, was the best we had ever had. It was perfect.
Their full menu, and the prices, is online here. There’s a lot to choose from and you won’t leave hungry. The kids menu offered fish sticks, spaghetti, chicken, and a few other of the usual choices all priced at $5.99. Plus, the kiddos will be eating their meals off the finest of china (aka a frisbee)!
The Fish House has locations in Ft. Myers Beach and Sanibel Island too.
Doc Fords Rum Bar & Grille
I have to admit that Doc Fords serves one of the best shrimp entrees that I’ve ever had. It’s Yucatan Shrimp, and it’s sooo good! It’s spicy, buttery, and comes with a big hunk of bread to soak up every last drop of the garlic buttery sauce. The shrimp are large, and come with their shells on. Yes, it’s good but also very messy!
Besides the Yucatan shrimp, Doc Fords has a full menu. The portions are large and will probably be tomorrow’s lunch too. The kids menu has all the usual pasta, chicken, burger, pizza, and hot dog meals that are common on kid’s menus. Everything for the kids is priced at $6.95 and all kids meals come with a special dessert. This is a nice touch! The key lime pie is my top pick for dessert though. Theirs has a crust that’s just a little different, and it’s served with a berry sauce. It’s good!
We ate at the Doc Fords on Ft. Myers Beach, but they also have locations on Sanibel Island and Captiva.
Iguana Mia has been voted the best Mexican restaurant in Southwest Florida for the last 27 years. Yes, they can brag, because they are good. Our dinner here, ended up being the kids favorite meal of the trip. It was also a favorite meal of mine because we went there on taco Tuesday, and that meant they serve street tacos for $2.50 each. I ordered two and paid a whole $5 for my dinner!
Iguana Mia has just about every kind of Mexican dish that you imagine on their menu. They also have a lot of combo platters so you can get a sampling of their dishes. The kids menu (everything is $7.25) has some Mexican choices along with the standard chicken tenders, grilled chicken and mini corn dogs. And once again, the kids get a free dessert with their meal. And once again, I maybe had key lime pie for dessert…for the third night in a row. I love being on vacation.
Iguana Mia has locations in Bonita Springs, Ft. Myers, and Cape Coral.
Wow! We had so many delicious meals in Southwest Florida, and I hope your family has the same. Sometimes, the best part of the vacation is the food that you eat!