3 Sanibel, Florida Restaurants With a View

By: Susan Finch

With over half the island made up of wildlife refuges, Sanibel, Florida is home to some of the best shelling in the world along its beautiful shores. It can feel hard to tear yourself away from the water after a day of shelling and watersports fun. Instead of heading inland, savor the views from one of Sanibel’s best waterfront restaurants serving fresh local fare and inspired cocktails. Here’s where to get started. 

Must Do Visitor Guides 3 Sanibel Restaurants with a view.
Photo courtesy Thistle Lodge

Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant

Situated on the Casa Ybel Resort in Sanibel, the Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant offers beachside dining at its best. The team blends a Floridian and European culinary experience in an elegant setting that has served the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Browse a selection of creative signature cocktails like the Banana Cream Pie and Peartini. Entrees include seared yellowtail snapper, Gulf lobster tails and seafood Provencal. Brunch and holiday meals like Christmas Day and Thanksgiving are also popular at Thistle Lodge, so make your reservations in advance.

Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant Sanibel Florida waterfront dining.
Photo courtesy Thistle Lodge

Traditions on the Beach

For nightly music and dancing, join the fun at Traditions on the Beach for contemporary cuisine with a Sanibel Island style twist. Chefs prepare cuisine with fresh, local ingredients like the signature Angry Lobster in Tuscan Pomodoro sauce and tossed with spaghettini. Come for an early sunset menu available Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for a prix-fixe three-course dinner featuring fare like organic greens Caprese, pepper steak and frites or pasta dishes and mouth-watering Florida Key Lime pie.

The Mad Hatter

Cozy up inside Sanibel’s colorful Mad Hatter for new American cuisine prepared from scratch with the freshest ingredients. Literary lovers and kids at heart will love the Alice in Wonderland Theme while nibbling on crab cakes and bouillabaisse topped with a lobster tail. Although the inside is whimsical, guests are still dazzled with Gulfside views. Top it all off with a cocktail or slice of cheesecake that will keep you coming back for more. 

Explore more places to dine in Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers, Florida

Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Written by: Susan Finch | Author Website

Susan Finch is a travel writer and content marketer for the tourism industry who spends her time obsessing over the latest travel trends, wrangling her small kids, and planning her family's next big adventure.

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