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Dec 15, 2009 09:49 AM

In Need of Ft. Myers Beach Help

Will be in Ft. Myers Beach for New Years and beyond with my chef hubby. We'll be on the island without a car for a week and looking for great eats that we can access by trolley, bus, and if its really worth it, by taxi.

We're both picky about quality, but it doesn't have to be fancy... We'll be just as happy with a divey raw bar that's got the freshest oysters around, as we will be with a nice brunch spot or dinner out.

Would also welcome rec's for great happy hour deals too!

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  1. Oh NO... Maybe I change that to the best option available for buying fresh seafood and produce, wine. Anyone?

    5 Replies
    1. re: xtian

      Sandy Butler is good for ingredients. They also carry Kobe beef and a good veal (sometimes). There is a restaurant there that gets good reviews but I haven't eaten there for a year or so. I do not like their carryout. It seems dumbed down to me, not long on flavor but high on looks.

      Fresh seafood abounds amid the shrimp fleets. I like Beach Seafood myself or Mark Townley's Sanibel Seafood. They are not on the barrier island but over the bridge. Turn right at the base of the bridge on Main St. and you will see Beach Seafood down a bit.

      Bayfront Bistro is good. If you google you should find some good reviews. Flippers is fun and on the water. Gulf front restaurants on Ft Myers Beach mainly are dismal, especially the tourist ground zero of Times Square.

      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        Thanks, LilMs, for the helpful advice!

        1. re: xtian

          Try Dixie Fish which is tucked under the bridge. It is an old fish house that has been rehabbed into a bar/restaurant. It looks like a fantasy fish shack to me. I haven't been for a few months and it was closed during the off season for a month or two. (this is just smart business for many restaurants here, not a sign of impending doom).

          1. re: LilMsFoodie

            I agree with LMF, Off the Island, by a little bit is Sandy Butler which has a good variety of gourmet foods and various wines, I've not eaten there in a year-pricier and good then, but they have since changed chefs.

            I have enjoyed cooking seafood I buy, and also eating it on site at funky Beach Seafood
            it's indoors and worth a visit for fresh seafood and local color. Google it to find it!, as it's on a side street off Main.

            Dixie Fish, in the shadow of the big bridge on the next island north, has fresh fish at decent prices, and looks 50 years old. I've bought and cooked their fresh fish. It's open air, and this is the time of the year to visit. They have music and I believe live bands some nights. Very old Florida-funky-grab a beer, oysters and enjoy!

            Pass on tourist haven Doc Ford's nearby. They have two locations, and the Sanibel one is the original, better one to go to if you want to try one.

            Actually on Ft. Myers Beach itself is a funky family run spot that's is very good on quality and prices are happily less than most tourist traps. It's V & J Bistro. See report at:

            Flippers, just South of Fort Myers Beach, is a medium priced spot that's right on the wwater-you can pull up a boat.

            I avoid most of the other spots on Ft Myers Beach-tourist traps for the most part.- I'm not sure about produce on the island-I get mine at Fresh Market, Whole Foods and best of all, at various Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings.

            Get a copy of Florida Weekly or go online ( two weeks old) to see what's going on in the area. The local newspapers otherwise aren't up on things as they used to be... Make friends with a couple with a car , cover drinks and gas, and go explore live music at Yabo at West side of Ft Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Naples to Eveglades City or whatever, go kayaking, rent a boat on the island and cruise the backwaters with a picnic lunch...there's not too much on Ft Myers Beach Island after a while...

            1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

              Friday mornings there is a farmer's market under the bridge, island side, on Fort Myers Beach. Not as nice as some of the others, but all the mainstays are there...just no exotic produce.

              The back bay areas of Fort Myers Beach are great for kayaking. Renting a small boat and going up to Pine Island Sound for the day is also a wonderful trip. You can do Cabbage Key and Cayo Costa.

    2. I love everyone's suggestions. I can't wait to report back!