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Mar 25, 2010 01:08 PM

Best Fish Shacks in Fort Myers Beach?

Heading down there in a couple of weeks. Looking for a good, classic FL fish shack. Doesn't have to be on Fort Myers Beach but nearby. Any suggestions?

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  1. Dixie Fish fits the bill. On the water across the bridge from Fort Myers Beach, located on San Carlos Island, in the shadow of the northern part of the bridge. They have good fresh fish. Nearby Bonita Bills is funky and the ticket if you're in your 70's and older. Then again, if there's any early spring breakers, that could shift to 20's!
    Nearby new glitzy Doc Ford's is new, with average food. It's made for for toursts and their kids, and seats a few hundred folks. It's fine for drinks and buying the kids t-shirts that say I ate at Doc Ford's or similar things. Their Sanibel Doc Ford's is better on food.

    Also authentic, but not on the water is Beach Seafood Market, just a few blocks away. I've had very good meals there in a kinda rustic atmosphere, and their fresh seafood for purchase is very good. Well worth a look.

    Not much else on the water that's a fish shack in looks and prices. Try local grouper, triple tail, pompano, Stone crab claws, etc

    4 Replies
    1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

      I'll just add here that none of these restaurants are actually ON the beach or even the barrier island that is Fort Myers Beach. They are on San Carlos Island and under the bridge on the mainland side.

      Have you eaten at Dixie Fish Ivan? I might have missed your review. I haven't been this season.

      Beach Seafood is as fishy as it gets. You can watch them processing catches as you eat.

      Bonita Bill's food tends to hamburgers. Sometimes edible, mainly not. Still packs the geezers in...wait, I'm getting closer to that age..gotta think of another name <G> LMF

      1. re: LilMsFoodie


        I at at Dixie Fish House there over 2 years ago. I noticed this comment a week ago (Chowhound doesn't always list my threads, I've found...) and was going to eat there again with friends.
        The phone seems to be out of service, with no alternative # on the 'net. They seem to be closed, based on that, whereas if they were closed for just the summer, they'd have a message...

        1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

          no sign of life for quite a while. I haven't been for a long time. Here are some links to the demise:

          here is a clip from Trip Advisor last month:

          Used to be great but the owner no longer cares!”
          The Dixie Fish Company

          1 of 5 stars
          Diplotek 2 contributions

          Jun 3, 2010

          My wife and I used to frequent Dixie Fish Company several times a week and especially enjoyed their beer battered shrimp while watching the pelicans dive and dolphins swim by. A few weeks ago we witnessed the cook throw a major fit when we was told he wasn't getting paid again. Then there would be new staff every time we returned - most would only last a night or two. The food got worse, they were almost always out of several brands of beer, and my wife reported that there appeared to be a webcam in the ladies bathroom!

          Out of curiosity we started to ask questions and found out that the town drunk who was always sitting at the bar eyeballing the waitresses and barmaids in a very unflattering way was the owner!. And last night NBC2 news ran a story about the help not being paid and showed the owner driving off in his car rather than facing the camera and answering questions. Just google "Ken Pool" and "Dixie Fish Company" to see the story online.

          What a waste of prime waterfront real estate!

          1. re: LilMsFoodie

            I'm not surprised. A contractor who I work with and whom lives on the beach mentioned a few weeks ago that he thought this place may be about to go under. He heard the restaurant was not paying anyone, including the suppliers, and all their deliveries were drying up. I think he was asked to do some work on the place & he declined, feeling he wouldn't be paid for his work based on what he'd witnessed whilst on site. Shame as it is a nice spot to sit although I never ate there so couldn't comment on the food. I have been to the Beach Seafood Market & had great fried shrimp there & some delicious snapper simply prepared. Lacks atmosphere but the fish was very good I thought.