10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Southwest Florida

Posted by on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 9:42am


Our slice of paradise in the Sunshine State is known for many things: pristine beaches, art galleries, upscale shopping centers and some of the best fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida. Whether you plan on driving or cruising in your boat to one of these eateries, you can’t go wrong with any of these 10 fine dining choices. 

This list of fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida stretches from Naples to Bokeelia. You’ll have no problem finding great dining options, whether you’re looking for upscale seafood dishes, Italian cuisine, an incredible steak, or anything in between. These fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida are established, offer excellent service and thoughtful menus full of entrées that will make your mouth water. Grab your loved ones and enjoy some food and wine and take in the dining scene of Southwest Florida.

Here are some of our favorite fine dining restaurants:

  1. Bayfront Bistro

  2. Chops City Grill 

  3. Cielo Restaurant 

  4. Miso Asian Grill and Sushi Bar 

  5. Roadhouse Café 

  6. Sweet Melissa’s Café 

  7. Tarpon Lodge Restaurant 

  8. The Bay House 

  9. The Veranda

Bayfront Bistro

Bayfront Bistro is one of Fort Myers Beach’s premier waterfront dining restaurants. It’s located within the Snook Bight Yacht Club and Marina. Whether you arrive by land or boat, you can enjoy some of the freshest seafood around and beautiful views of the sunset. You’ll love the lobster melt served with the delicious signature tomato parmesan bisque. Happy Hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. and weekend brunch is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit the Bayfront Bistro at 4761 Estero Boulevard or call 239.463.3663.

Chops City Grill


If you’re craving a nice, juicy steak, we recommend Chops City Grill in Bonita Springs. It also has a sister restaurant in Naples. One thing that sets their entrees a part is that Chops dry ages its beef in-house until it reaches peak quality. It specializes in stir fries and hand-rolled sushi, too. Chops also uses fresh ingredients and sources its seafood and vegetables from local vendors. The wine list has hundreds of selections, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something to go with your meal. One of their most popular dishes is the tuna chop from the raw bar menu. Sushi-grade tuna, jumbo lump red crab and avocado are mixed tableside with soy and yuzu. You can’t go wrong with a perfectly cooked filet mignon, either. The braised short ribs are another mouthwatering option. They’re slow-cooked for three hours and glazed with a sweet chili barbeque sauce. To try these dishes or anything else from their delicious menu, visit Chops City Grill at 8200 Health Center Boulevard, Bonita Springs or call 239.992.4677.

Cielo Restaurant

Formally known as Il Cielo, Cielo Restaurant is a Sanibel Island staple and one of the best fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida. Its menu features some of the freshest salad ingredients. The artisan green salad is a combination of flavors such as goat cheese, pear and toasted almonds in a ginger white balsamic vinaigrette. If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll love the grouper topped with blue fin crab meat. It’s served with a chili sauce or mussels with fennel in broth. The service is as great as the food. The dining room is what you’d expect from a fine dining restaurant. It’s classy and quiet and perfect for an intimate dinner with your loved ones. Visit Cielo Restaurant at 1244 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel or call 239-472-5555.

DeRomo’s Restaurant & Gourmet Market 


If you’re looking for an authentic Italian meal, you have to visit DeRomo’s Restaurant in The Promenade at Bonita Bay! They even have a market if you’re looking for a quick quality meal to-go. The ambience is as sophisticated outside as it is on the inside. All entrees are served with fresh seafood, produce and other ingredients straight from the gourmet market. DeRomos is Italian thru and thru. It covers everything from classic Italian dishes to New York-style Italian fare. It also throws in some creations of its own. DeRomo’s meatballs and pasta are highly recommended. The seafood risotto is another excellent option. If you’re staying for dessert, we suggest the cannolis. Buon appetite!

Misto Bar and Grill

Misto Bar and Grill is a hidden Cape Coral gem. It’s tucked away in a strip mall, but don’t judge a book by its cover. The menu is diverse so you may have trouble deciding what to get, in a good way! Inside you’ll find white linen tablecloths and a dark and quiet dining room. Misto is best known for its Italian and seafood dishes. Some popular options include the seafood Napoleon; blue crab-stuffed shrimp wrapped in smoked bacon with a hoisin orange and Thai chili sauce over rice, and diver scallops. The risotto cakes layered with pesto and mozzarella over veal ragu are also really popular. When you're done eating, you can explore all of the great things Cape Coral has to offer. From a lively downtown strip, community-centric feel, local business friendly community and impressive array of places to take the boat, there are countless reasons why Cape Coral is a great place to retire. Visit Misto Bar and Grill at 231 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral or call 239.673.9799.

Roadhouse Café

Roadhouse Café is the best of both worlds. It’s great for dining and dancing. There is a world-class jazz bar and an impeccable menu. What more do you need? If you’re having a romantic dinner or you’d just like a little more privacy for a special event, there are two private dining rooms you can use. There is also the semi-private wine room that can accommodate 18-20 people. The "cave" private dining room features a traditional chef's table near the kitchen. It can seat up to six people. Everything on Roadhouse Café’s menu is outstanding. They are known for their steaks and fresh seafood dishes. Visit Roadhouse Café at 15660 San Carlos Boulevard, Suite 280, Fort Myers or call 239.415.4375 to see why they’re one of the best fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida.

Sweet Melissa’s Café


Sweet Melissa’s Café is another Sanibel Island favorite. Chef Melissa Talmage is known for her bold flavor combinations. For example, she takes the traditional shrimp and grits to another level. You’ll get her five-star grits paired with a blackened redfish fillet, brown-butter sauce with pecans and sauerkraut-style collard greens. And that's just one dish. You’ll love the fine dining atmosphere and the food is so amazing, you’ll want to try everything on the menu. Visit 1625 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel or call 239.472.1956.

Tarpon Lodge Restaurant

Tarpon Lodge Restaurant is tucked away in a 1926 lodge building in Bokeelia. You can get there by boat or by car. If you decide to take your boat out, it’s a great excuse for a fun day trip. The building is an Old Florida treasure and when you dine here, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. They frequently add specials to the menu to reflect the catch of the day, so you know the food is fresh. Even getting to the northwest tip of Pine Island is an adventure. You’ll pass by Matlacha’s galleries and colorful buildings. It’s impossible not to be in a good mood after seeing the bright, Key West-style structures. When you get to the restaurant, you’ll feel at ease as you watch the palms sway back and forth in the breeze and take in the views of the water. The menu changes a few times a year, but always focuses on seafood. Tarpon Lodge’s crab and corn chowder is beloved by both locals and visitors. The recipe has never changed, so you know it has to be good! It is a rich and creamy treat everyone should try at least once. Visit 13771 Waterfront Drive, Bokeelia or call 239.283.3999.

The Bay House

One of our favorite things to do in Naples is visiting Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. There are some truly amazing, world-renowned restaurants in this part of town. Another favorite Southwest Florida past time is waterfront dining. The Bay House Restaurant in Naples is located directly on the Cocohatchee River and offers waterfront dining and unparalleled views of the wildlife preserve. You can dine outside, on the riverfront deck or around the fire pit on the front patio. If you’re craving southern-style meals, fresh seafood or neighborhood bistro-style dishes, The Bay House is a place you must try! They make it a point to include locally-grown and locally-sourced ingredients. The dining room has a coastal feel and the wooden boats hanging from the ceiling paired with the views of the surrounding waterway add a special type of ambience. The food is the icing on the cake. There is also live music in the bar Wednesday through Saturday. Visit the Bay House at 799 Walkerbilt Road, Naples or call 239.591.38237.

The Veranda


This award-winning restaurant is located in downtown Fort Myers and it’s been a local tradition since 1978. Located in two turn-of-the-century homes, The Veranda has everything a fine dining restaurant in Southwest Florida needs: excellent service, a big wine list, southern regional cuisine and an ambience that’s perfect for special events or intimate dinners. The courtyard is one of the most romantic dining settings in Fort Myers and when that couples with an extraordinary menu, you can’t go wrong. Visit The Veranda at 2122 Second Street, Fort Myers or call 239.332.2065.

Vacation in Style with Royal Shell

One of the best things about living here is having access to some of the best fine dining restaurants in Southwest Florida. Whether you come by boat or car, your meal will be just as delicious. This list covers many of our favorite fine dining options in all parts of Southwest Florida. If you’ve already been to some of these places, we encourage you to visit and try something new! We hope some of these options will become your new favorites.  

Buy and Sell with Royal Shell

Royal Shell can also help you buy and sell your home. If you’re thinking about moving to Southwest Florida, any of our real estate agents are happy to help you look for your next dream, or help you sell your existing home so you can start looking for your next home sweet home. If you’re thinking about purchasing property in Southwest Florida to use as an investment home, Royal Shell is also a rental management company. We can fill your home with renters, manage payments, and handle emergencies and general maintenance. All we need from you is to sit back and relax. If this sounds like something you’re looking for, contact us today to et started.

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