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Sep 1, 2009 12:16 PM

BBQ Naples-Ft Myers Area

Looking for good BBQ in the Naples-Ft Myers FL area -- preferably not a chain restaurant. Prefer joints and dives!

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  1. My wife grew up in fort Myers and whenever we go back we go to Sonny's, she loves it.

    5980 Winkler Road, Ft. Myers, FL 33919
    Store Number: 239-481-0090

    I've always enjoyed it, well priced and delicious. It is a chain, albeit a mini regional chain... I think. Way better than what we find here in CA (though I guess that doesn't say much).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chaat Cafe

      Thanks. I've been to Sonny's in other areas, and it's OK. You live in Northern California. Here in Southern California there are a number of very good BBQ places. If you ever venture down here, I can give you suggestions.

    2. Haven't been there in a little while, but used to visit Naples area frequently and enjoyed Michelbob's on Airport Road. It's local and has good ribs and sliced pork sandwichs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: floridan

        yes Michelbob's is the local favorite.

      2. We are not huge fans of chains either. However we have kids so BBQ is always good for us. We were taken to Rib City a few years ago and everytime we run over to Ft Meyers Beach for a weekend getaway we go back. THere is nothing exciting about the menu, but the meat is tender with a good smoke flavor, the cole slaw is good and the beer cold, so it makes for a good meal

        1. For all of you searching for good bbq in Florida - forget it. I grew up in NC. husband in TN and our son lives in SC. Put this in your memory bank: There are no good bbq places in Florida. Period.

          4 Replies
          1. re: yayajac

            The problem in Florida is that all the bbq I have found is cooked to mush. People rave about fall off the bone ribs. That is just meat jello. To get that quality you need to either boil the ribs first, wrap them in foil while cooking, or just plain overcook them. The areas that are considered the bbq capitals are Kansas City, Memphis, and the Carolinas. I don't mention Texas because their bbq is mostly beef, as opposed to pork. I've never had bbq in Carolina but ribs in Memphis and KC are cooked low and slow and the meat has some fight to it. Even in Texas, spare ribs are not fall off the bone. Another problem I've found is that the sauce tends to be very sweet down here-after all, it is the south and they sure love their sugar. In my opinion, if you want to sample truly divine ribs, buy yourself a smoker, such as the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, and a good book like "Low & Slow-Mastering the Art of BBQ in 5 easy lessons", and do it yourself.

            1. re: yayajac

              There's a man on MLK in Fort Myers who smokes St. Louis-style ribs and makes his own sauce in a little lean-to on the side of his house, you can stand there and eat or take it home, he doesn't seem to care one way or the other. He's on the North side of the road as you are getting toward downtown. I felt the same as you until I went there.

              1. re: purpledude

                He's on the corner of MLK and Cranford. He has ribs and chicken smoked over a wood fire. It's cooked to the Florida falling-off-the-bone style that ReverendAndy describes above. We thoroughly enjoyed our order of chicken (3 thighs and legs) and 1/2 rack of ribs. Nice smoked flavor. He uses a rub and his tomato based sauce is excellent.

              2. re: yayajac

                For the record, the BBQ scene in southern FL is a bit sketchy, but northern FL is a different story, especially in the panhandle. There is also a great place over in Coco Beach that I cannot remember the name of. When in Florida just remember, the south is the north, and the north is the south, and everyone knows you can't grow good BBQ in the north.

              3. Is it a rib shack with a name? I will check it out when I return to Florida.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RevrendAndy

                  BBQ lovers are not impressed with Michelbobs. Michelbobs advertising is impressed with Michelbobs, and they constantly tout some "award" they allegedly won-truth is, that was many, many years ago.

                  I like a funky little spot called Brown Bag BBQ on Golden Gate Parkway. They've been in the same spot for 24 years, and don't have to attract tourists with advertising, just good food.

                  It's not classic BBQ-there's no pink smoke line, It wont' hold up to national competition, however it is good. the owners have their own style, and it's worth a visit, as it's a local family institution.

                  See it at:

                  Bumstead and purpledude, What days and times is the guy at MLK open?