Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Apr 4, 2009 03:20 PM

Fort Myers Restaurants?????what the heck?

we need good food here!
Does anyone know where to go in fort myers?????

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Do you mean Fort Myers or Fort Myers Beach. So many tourists do not know the difference. Plenty of places in Fort Myers, unless you are looking for major metropolitan area gourmet experience or off beat ethnic.

      Fort Myers Beach is another story. Pretty awful there. New restaurant, Bay Front Bistro at the new marina mid-Island is excellent and worth a try. I'll try to write it up soon. I'd like to go again in the next week.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        The posts on the Ft. Myers & Ft. Myers beach area are discouraging me from renting a beachfront condo in the area around Christmas time. We rented a beachfront condo this past Christmas on Marco Island and loved it. We did not have any bad seafood meals. We started the trip out by having lunch at Doc's in Bonita Beach on the beach b4 heading to Marco Island. We had great grouper sandwiches. We've rented beachfront up and down the coast just about every where except Ft. Myers/Ft. Myers Beach. We loved Marco Island. "Beachfront" on Marco Island means a half mile hike to the beach from the condo; you have to haul all your beach gear in a cart & it can make the bathroom situation a little difficult. Beachfront on Anna Maria Island or Bradenton Beach means stepping out of the condo on to the beach - you can run back to the condo easily for bathrooms or to refill your cooler. Marco Island is warmer than AMI/BB around Christmas time b/c it is further south. We're from northeast Ohio and we like both the beach & the culinary experiences that go with our trips. I'm more inclined to go back to Marco Island if there are no good places to eat in Ft. Myers/Ft. Myers Beach.

        1. re: CurryLover

          There are pros and cons about everywhere; you have to choose your priorities. For us, we like golf, so we rent at a country club community and some lunches are convenient and required at the clubhouse. Naples is elegant, but the restaurants and leases are expensive so you pay that premium. Sounds like you love the beach, so rent there and realize that a lot of the places closest to you will be primarily bars serving food that is simple or a second priority. We have found good places -- our favorite in Ft. Myers the last three seasons has been Sasse's for Italian from its woodburning oven. Before that we enjoyed Bistro 41 in the Bell Towers. And I like Bonefish Grill a lot better than the Prawnbroker or some of the independent seafood places -- I don't automatically turn my nose up at a chain that does a really good job. I don't like making the drive down to Naples just for dinner more than once or twice a week, so we make an evening of that or going two-thirds and eating at Wyld's Cafe in Bonita Springs, which is excellent. My mom entertains a lot of out of town guests, so proximity to RSW is helpful, and for me, I like to be able to dash over to the orange juice place across from the Twins' complex!

      2. This is quite a challenge, but if you are willing to be adventurous and try some under the radar places, you may be surprised by what you find. Here are some of my favorite Fort Myers restaurants:

        Crave: located in the shopping center on McGregor btwn Cypress Lakes and College (near anytime fitness and the Chico's call center). This place is completely under the radar. When you walk in, the decoration is extremely sparse... in fact there is really not much in it other than tables, but the food is FANTASTIC. The chef is really talented. They are open for breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner. They make one of the best turkey burgers I have ever had and I love their omelets. Also, dinner is great and they have everything from Shephard's Pie to grilled salmon! Truly a hidden gem!

        Roadhouse Cafe: Another one of those hidden gem type places. Located in the back of a shopping center on San Carlos, almost immediately after the intersection of McGregor, San Carlos, and Gladiolus. They have an extremely eclectic menu... everything from Italian (chicken parm, etc...) to asian stir fry (amazing), but everything that I have ever had has been excellent. They also have jazz music on certain nights of the week.

        Bacchus - located in Bell Tower Shops. Contrary to what a lot of people say, I think this restaurant is really quite good. I love the Spanish influence on the food and Shannon is really a great cook. Its one of the only true trendy restaurants in the area.

        Some others that I find to be decent eats: Cafe Cibo, Bistro 41, The French Connection (downtown), Delicious Things (also downtown).

        Also, as a side note: Shannon (the owner of Bacchus) has now opened Mad Takeout. Its a bit pricey, but the food is EXCELLENT. Great pizza and salads. They also have things like sushi and burgers. You can even order online which is pretty helpful!

        7 Replies
        1. re: NiKoLe1625

          Re: The Roadhouse Cafe: when the owner's father is in town the jazz on Tuesday is great. I'm not as high on the food as you, but it is much better than others and ia managing to stay in business. I think the eclecticism of the menu is a problem and wish they had stuck with a more focused menu. Classic New England roadhouse food: cod, steaks, whatever. Location is off-putting to some being near the Big Lots and resale shops but I guess that is "atmosphere" for Fort Myers.

          I agree with Bacchus. I like it very much and they have toned down the "hip" thing since the crash of Cru.

          I've never eaten dinner at The French Connection and refuse to do lunch there anymore as everything on the uninspired menu tastes like cantaloupe. Delicious things has had how many chef's so far. 5, 6? I've had good meals there but the best was the first one and that time has past. Barolo and porcini fest. It was amazing. They manage to stay open in the dismal downtown area, which is quite the feat.

          I have eaten at Cru a couple of times and the food is excellent. I always eat too much there. They have tried to improve the decor a bit lately but it is still very basic and the wine list is very basic and minor. This would be a great place to take an old relative or child or just a family type meal out.

          Bistro 41 has a loyal clientele and they feed them what they want. Nice wine list, decent service and pretty good classic bistro food.

          1. re: LilMsFoodie

            I agree that Roadhouse's menu lacks focus and you are right, the food is not GREAT, but its better than most other establishments in the area.

            I have never eaten Dinner at French Connection either, but I had a great lunch there about a month ago! But i could definitely see your point on a lack of inspiration.

            1. re: NiKoLe1625

              i love the pizza at mad takeout. Also the protein pack salad (beans, feta, tomatoes) is awesome. If you ever order a salad from there, make sure you ask them to put extra lettuce. My mom got into a fight with them one day because they literally gave her like 2 pieces of lettuce in her salad. it was a bit ridiculous

            2. re: LilMsFoodie

              correct an error above: I meant to write Crush not Cru. I do not go to Cru and the comments there are totally off when it comes to Cru, which has a derivative "hip" decor from the 90's and it not a place to take an older relative or child by any means.

              1. re: LilMsFoodie

                I have really become a fan of Bacchus and probably eat there about 2 to 3 times a month. I havent had a lot of luck with his new concept, Mad Takeout, but I have hope that it will improve.

                1. re: Suzie

                  I tried the spelt pizza at Mad and I didn't like it at all and I was predisposed to like it. Aftertaste was not what I look for in a pizza.

              2. re: NiKoLe1625

                Shannon has left Fort Myers to do whatever. He is no longer affiliated with Bacchus or Mad Takeout. MP

              3. I think all of those places are way too pricey.....

                5 Replies
                1. re: chopslick

                  so what are you looking for? None of those restaurants are extraordinarily expensive. In fact some, like Crave (not Crush as I wrote above) are very inexpensive. I see you liked Ada's and I thought their food was like hospital or cafeteria food, only made with organic or semi-organic ingredients. Zero atmosphere, no service, not that cheap for what it was, that is why they are closed. It was not a Chowhound type of place.

                  Some of the mexican taquerias might be cheap. The French Connection is inexpensive at lunch, and dinner is reasonable if you like their food.

                  If you were looking for cheap, you should say so.

                  1. re: LilMsFoodie

                    Yeah, I know, I am sounding's just that i spend sooo much money out on food that rarely is amazing. Im sick of inconsistent restaurants. I don't really mind paying if I get delicious food.
                    My favs
                    ~Passage to India on Bonita Beach Rd. Hoo boy, good stuff, consistent.
                    ~H2 untill recently, hard a*s bread, undercooked chicken, snotty waitress, strawberry rissotto under my foie gras instead of the menus description cherries and pistachios
                    ~Ada's Fort Myers...definately my favorite. (hospital food?ya think? wow)I agree to disagree, ate there everyday, mouth watering just thinking about it.
                    ~Crave is great, I dig it
                    all the sushi joints kinda disappoint, if I had to choose Id pick Ichiban Downtown

                    1. re: chopslick

                      I think all restaurants are under heavy pressure here and elsewhere. People are dining out less, ordering less, cheaper wines, one cocktail instead of two, eating out once a week instead of 3 or 4 times. For an independent restaurant, this makes survival difficult. There have been articles this week in the Wall Street Journal and NYTimes about the top tier restaurants like Per Se serving small plates at their bars.

                      H2 will survive as a bar. Their food, imo, has gotten poorer and poorer since Harold's closed.

                      I have lived here 14 years and you are the first person I've heard say good things about Ada's. They made huge real estate bets with their health clubs and plans for expansion. They could not compete with Publix for organic groceries. They would often be twice the price or more. I liked them when they were the small place on 41. I hated the larger place and stopped going. I do remember a pretty good carrot cake. <G> LMF

                      1. re: LilMsFoodie

                        I totally agree with you about Ada's...ridiculous owners, terrible businessmen
                        I'm just talking about the food in the deli, amazing Chef ...(Brooke was her name)
                        just such incredible and adventurous food

                        1. re: chopslick

                          Brooke is opening her own cafe.

                          Heres the info from the news press. "She hopes to open Chef Brooke's Natural Cafe on May 1, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. The restaurant is at 1850 Boy Scout Drive, midway between U.S. 41 and Summerlin Road. The 1,800-square-foot space used to be a coffeehouse, she said."

                2. I guess the thing to keep in mind here is that this is a city that keeps voting Perkins as the best breakfast spot in town. The older folks stick with what they know...and that is bland, uninspired food.

                  I enjoyed some amazing meals at Peter's La Cuisine back in the day (before Chef Kurt left and the new guy ran the place into the ground)...but those days are long gone.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: digyourself

                    I went to Peter's many times and don't know who owned it after him. Harold's was much better in its prime that Peter's ever was. What Peter's had was a lock on new cuisine in a sleepy old southern town. There was no competition back then.

                    Your comment regarding Perkins lines up with cities all over the country who routinely vote Olive Garden as their favorite Italian. The vast majority of Americans are not that much in food that they pay attention. They want big portions and a reasonable cost and the big chains deliver. Fort Myers is no different from Indianapolis, Reno, etc. in this regard.

                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      I believe that Peter's was always owned by Peter Schmid. Chef Kurt left and I believe that his Sous Chef was given the Exec. job. This is when things began going downhill.

                      I have never eaten at Harold's. Wish I would have given it a try.