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Aug 10, 2009 06:23 PM

Foodies in Naples for 5 weeks with 7 Month Old!

I could use your help compiling a list of must go to places while I'm in Naples for 5 weeks (leaving this weekend). My husband and I are completely open to any type of cuisine. We would love to try non-chain places, and are adventurous eaters. I assume that there must be tons of great seafood too so we're excited by that! We do have a 7 month old and take him most places. Of course, fine dining establishments are probably out for dinner. Thank you in advance, and I really look forward to your recs!!!

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  1. If you check my previous posts you will see many of my favorites.

    1. Lotus,

      First, realize that Naples is very large and sprawling. I live in the downtown of the city where there are a concentration of restaurants but there are some good ones out in the county as well. I'll just list my recommendations. For the most part, I prefer to patronize locally owned businesses. Naples is pretty casual in general so feel welcome to bring the baby along to any of the places I list here. i am a local and am telling you the places where I eat regularly.

      Yabba Grill - 5th Ave S - casual Caribbean, about $30 per person with app and a drink
      Pazzo Cucina - 5th Ave S - very reasonable, great wood fired pizza, good seafood dishes about $20 pp
      Bamboo Grill - 8th St S & 12th Ave S, French and Moroccan style semi-casual but owners Lisa & Phillipe often have their daughter there who falls asleep on the settee in the bar area. Recommend for foodies! About $25 pp
      Cafe Amore- Gulfshore Blvd N at Banyan Blvd - if you go early you should be fine. Great French fare. About $35 pp
      Bleu Provence - 8th St S & 12th Ave S (opposite Bamboo Grill) - authentic French. Check to see if they have their early dining special which is 3 course and wine for $24 pp
      Dock at Crayton Cove - an old style Naples restaurant with lots of good seafood, family friendly and low prices. About $20 pp
      Ridgway Bar & Grill - 13th Ave S just north of 3rd St S - while it looks under patronized, this is a very good restaurant. Again, early specials are a real value.
      Campiello - owned out of Minneapolis but I would be wrong not to mention, on 3rd St S but only go for early dining as it is wonderful and undervalued for what you get
      Tommy Bahamas - 3rd St S originated in Naples so I will include it. Love the Grilled Cheese with Gulf shrimp and other rather good dishes. If you don't mind going for lunch you can be assured of not waiting and no pressure with a baby.
      If you want good breakfast spots, try The Cove Inn (locals only!), Janes Cafe on 3rd St S or 3rd Ave N and although a chain, First Watch near Cafe Amore is really good!

      Outside the city
      Amigo's Mexican on US 41 East is very good and generally only known by locals
      Taco Ardiente on Pine Ridge Road is a great value for a cheap and way casual meal
      Fernandez the Bull on Airport at David Blvd is outstanding for authentic Cuban
      The Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach Road is great waterfront seafood
      Flemings (IMHO) is the best steak in town
      And the new Whole Foods Market in North Naples is a great place when you can't decide where to go so each can have whatever they want!



      8 Replies
      1. re: naplese39

        I really, really appreciate the suggestions. I'm looking forward to trying many of these places! What are your thoughts on Randy's Fish House? And where in Naples is it located? Thank you in advance!

        1. re: Lotus7

          As I recall, Randy's is located up on north US 41 near Whole Foods but I can't place it just now. I don't have any info to share on it however it does bring to mind another place up that way called the Bayhouse that we went to a year ago and it was very, very good.

          1. re: Lotus7

            Also, in the shopping plaza on the corner of Vanderbilt and 41N is a Persian place called Bha Bha which is good and an interesting change from the usual.

            1. re: Lotus7

              Two more (gosh, we eat out a lot!). You must go to Naples Tomato. It is up on US 41 N above Immokalee Road, almost in Lee county. The other is Bonefish Grill which has really surprised me. It is downtown in Naples Bay Resort and is remarkably good and reasonably priced. Hope you have a good time.

              1. re: naplese39

                Randy's is perfect! The food is amazing, the service is great, yet it's ultra-casual so kids are welcome. We were in Naples for four days without kids and ate their twice. I won't be surprised if you get hooked, too.

                1. re: Rona Gindin

                  thx everyone for these terrific suggestions! I'm excited to try these places--will start w/ non-chain places and go from there. looks like there are plenty of options. Happy to see ethnic restaurants in the mix too to keep things interesting! Thanks again!

                  1. re: Lotus7

                    Hi everyone--i just wanted to report that we ate at Bistro 821, Randy's, and Taco Ardiente---all were just GREAT!!! we were happy with all our meals. I also checked out the MASSIVE Whole Foods--so amazing. Unfortunately by the time we got there for dinner, everything was dry and cold : ( I'l have to go back earlier next time. Thanks for the suggestions, and I look forward to trying your other suggestions. P.S. Noticed Sea Salt--it looks nice, and menu looks interesting...

              2. re: Lotus7

                on Tamiami Trail across from Whole foods, just a bit north

            2. Since you have time, here is the best blog reviewing restaurants and food and wine-related news primarily in Naples but also stretching up to Ft. Myers:


              1 Reply
              1. re: nosh

                Hi there, just wanted to update you that i had an absolutely fantastic meal at Inca's Kitchen! Started w/ the Ceviche Special which was spectacular, and had the seafood stew for my entree. Also had a great meal at Naples Tomato. I'm dying for Indian food and am hesitant to try Saffron bc of all the bad reviews. Any other Indian near by? I already hit the Whole Foods for a pseudo Indian food fix : )

              2. Passage to India, in Bonita Springs, has some very good Indian food, however, as with any restaurant, some dishes shine, while others don't work.

                Things I really enjoyed were papadoms, chicken tikka, sag punir, different varieties of nan bread, yellow dal, chicken tikka masala, chana sag(chick peas), and grouper tikka masala. Tandoori chicken was very dry.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RevrendAndy

                  Thanks for the tip. Any chance of any South Indian restaurants (Dosa, idli) in the area?

                2. agree with many of the suggestions. skip Bonefish--its a chain and you can do better.

                  my brother-in law just took his 10 wk old twins with another couple and their kids ages 2, 5, 10 to Bleu Provence for the early bird special and it cost them 60 for 2 with some wine.

                  Bricktops--my favorite bistro. in Waterside mall (the kind of mall that has Cartier, Gucci, DeBeers, LV, Hermes')--you get my drift. Brios across the way is more of a scene but the food is ok.

                  Randy's FM is on 41 between Vanderbilt and Immokalee.
                  some of my friends think this is the best fish place around for the money.

                  The Mercato is the new hot spot for food and entertainment. i'm sure you'll skip the English Pub and Blue Martini but check out the Italian pizza bistro (its a chain but its from Italy).

                  Sea Salt--has not been the break-away success it was suppose to be. the chef came from DC via Galileo (under super chef Roberto Donna) and then had his own place called Goldini's which was also a Washingtonian favorite. i only had one meal there so far and it was very good but the waiter forgot to "fire-up" our entree order so we ended up waiting an hr between appet and main course. even with a free dessert or 2 it left me with a bad taste.
                  forget Handsome Harry's--started off great but success ruined it as it doubled in size in a yr and the food and service has suffered.
                  campiello's is always good and consistent as is Naples Tomato, which has a lot of special deals on 1/2 priced meals and discounts on their great wine selection.
                  for breakfast and/or lunch try Sunburst--you won't find it advertised anywhere. its a local hangout by way of a very intrepid couple from Boston that have carved out a niche here Naples. it will take you back to coffee house of your college days but this time with great food.
                  Jane's cafe is similar to Sunburst and she has several scattered about. she has one hidden off 3rd st if you can find it.