Not only does Sanibel Island have some of the best views, beaches and shelling in the world, it’s also known for its food. It’s one thing to vacation in paradise, but when the breakfast and lunch options on the island are so good, you just have to explore them all! This is your guide to some of the best breakfast and lunch restaurants on Sanibel Island. Enjoy!

In no particular order, the best breakfast and lunch restaurants on Sanibel Island are:

  1. The Island Cow
  2. Sea Breeze Café at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
  3. Over Easy Café
  4. Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon
  5. Lighthouse Café
  6. Blue Giraffe Restaurant
  7. Cheeburger Cheeburger
  8. The Clam Shack
  9. Lazy Flamingo
  10. Schnapper’s Hots
  11. Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream

Best Breakfast Restaurants on Sanibel

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and many people’s favorite. If you’re staying on the island, treat yourself to one of the best breakfast restaurants on Sanibel. After you’ve tried them all, let us know your favorite in the comment section!

The Island Cow

The Island Cow has been on the island for more than 15 years, and it’s practically a way of life. Kids will love its fun cow-themed décor, and The Island Cow’s breakfast is some of the best on Sanibel. Some people visit for the homemade muffins alone. When the weather is nice (and it is most of the year!), you can sit outside and take in the island’s sights and sounds.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • For many people who visit the island, biking to and from The Island Cow for a mouthwatering breakfast or lunch is the highlight of their morning. The Island Cow has a whimsical atmosphere that matches the pulse of Sanibel. The prices are good and the portions are hearty. There are also lots of choices, making it easy for everyone in your group to find something they’ll love.

What to Order:

  • The island pancakes are excellent. They’re the kind of pancakes you go to a breakfast restaurant hoping to get. The loaded seafood omelet is divine, and perfect to get you in the island spirit! Reviewers on Yelp also praised the grouper sandwich and conch fritters. One TripAdvisor reviewer called the grouper tacos the best fish tacos he’d ever had.

Visit The Island Cow at 2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Sea Breeze Café

If you want a breakfast with a view, we recommend Sea Breeze Caféat the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. It has the best view on the island and food is served buffet-style.

Why Plan a Visit:

What to Order:

  • Choose from breads and pastries, grains and fruit, a waffle and omelet station.

Visit Sea Breeze Café at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive Sanibel, Florida, 33957. It’s located in the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

Over Easy Café

When you think about breakfast on Sanibel, this is one of the places that should instantly come to mind. Locals love it. Tourists love it, too. The food is always good and there’s usually a smile on everyone’s face. When you find a good, consistent breakfast place, it’s a keeper.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Located in the Old Sanibel Shoppes, you visit the Over Easy Café when you want to start your day off right. Good service, hearty meals and reasonable prices. What else do you need? The interior is colorful and homey. The decor is farm and country-themed and complements the island vibe well. You can also sit outside under a covered patio where pets are always welcomed.

What to Order:

  • The Sanibel Shrimp Benedict is divine. The grilled shrimp on an English muffin comes with two poached eggs and perfectly made Hollandaise sauce. Reviewers also praised the pancakes, especially the blueberry ones. Don’t miss out on the cinnamon rolls either!

Visit the Over Easy Café at 630 Tarpon Bay Road, No. 1, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Lighthouse Cafe

The sign in front says “World’s Best Breakfast,” and many people on Sanibel Island would agree. The inside is simple and charming decorated with artwork of lighthouses from around the world, and the food is delicious. You can even purchase the Lighthouse Café’s world-famous strawberry preserves and blueberry sauce. There is also a collection of Sanibel Lighthouse photos to look at to inspire you to take a trip to the Lighthouse yourself!

Why Plan a Visit:

  • According to reviewers on TripAdvisor, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad meal here. Breakfast is hearty and the prices are reasonable. The Lighthouse Café is also one of the few quaint and charming locales left on the island. You know, where you pay at a cash register at the counter; the way restaurants were before Sanibel ballooned into a popular vacation spot.

What to Order:

  • One TripAdvisor reviewer called the French toast the best he’d ever had on the island. Another praised the Lighthouse Café’s eggs benedict and blueberry pancakes with a warm blueberry compote.

Visit Lighthouse Café at 362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Blue Giraffe Restaurant

The restaurant was recently purchased, but the name stayed the same. The new owners have a penchant for serving delectable breakfast, and they want the whole island to know it. The interior has also been redone, so everything inside is brand spanking new.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Locals love it and it’s a fun place to go to relax and enjoy a good meal. The patio is pet-friendly, so you can feel free to bring Fido, too. It also has a relaxing garden atmosphere, which is a favorite for everyone.

What to Order:

  • Reviewers praised the cinnamon French toast, chicken and biscuits and the Strawberry Fields, French toast stuffed with strawberry cream and covered in strawberry sauce and fresh sliced strawberries.

Visit the Blue Giraffe Restaurant at 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Best Lunch Restaurants on Sanibel Island

It’s not a secret some of the best breakfast restaurants are on Sanibel, but one could argue that some of the best lunch restaurants are on Sanibel, too. If you love fresh seafood with a view, you can’t resist some of these places. Others are island staples you just have to try!

Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon

This gem is located in the Sanibel Marina near the Lighthouse. It’s always packed, and with good reason. We highly recommend calling ahead for reservations, or getting there early. You can also pull up here on your boat and enjoy a homemade meal like the kind your grandparents would make. Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon is nostalgia at its best.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • If you miss your grandmother’s homemade cooking, Gramma Dot’s is a close second. The views of the marina are also dreamy and serene. This is where you come for a good, old-fashioned meal with views to match.

What to Order:

  • Almost everyone on TripAdvisor raved about the homemade chips. If these come with your meal, we highly recommend indulging in them. Reviewers also praised the fish, especially the grouper. One said Gramma Dot’s specialized in fried clams. Many people even called Gramma Dot’s key lime pie the best they’d ever had.

Visit Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon at 634 North Yachtsman Drive, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Cheeburger Cheeburger

This fun burger restaurant chain began on Sanibel Island, and you can still visit and dine at the location where it all began. The 1950s theme and décor is playful and packed full of attitude. In addition to burgers and fries, Cheeburger Cheeburger also serves up some mean shakes. You can even leave with cool shirts from the gift shop for the kiddos.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • As if good old-fashioned nostalgia and a juicy burger aren’t enough reasons to visit Cheeburger Cheeburger? Enjoy the atmosphere and top it off with a delicious milkshake. Plus, Cheeburger Cheeburger is a Sanibel Island staple.

What to Order:

  • Reviewers recommended the Portobello mushroom sandwich, and pretty much any other burger on the menu. The onion rings got high marks and reviewers also praised the restaurant’s service.

Visit Cheeburger Cheeburger at 1975 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

The Clam Shack

This family-owned restaurant serves up fresh seafood in a New England style. Think clam cakes, lobster rolls and wicked good food. The décor gives off a Cape Cod and nautical vibe. Locals from New England, as well as visitors vacationing from the area, will feel at home here.

Why Plan a Visit:

This is a great place for lunch or dinner if you love a place with a great atmosphere, you’re from New England and/or you love seafood. It’s also an excellent locale to unwind with friends and family, whether you want to sit outside on the patio and have some drinks, or celebrate a special occasion with some delicious seafood dishes. It’s a nice change from some of the other more high-end restaurants on the island.

What to Order:

A reviewer from The Fort Myers News-Press praised the shrimp and the clam cakes. Yelp reviewers also raved about the lobster roll. After all, this is a New England establishment.

Visit The Clam Shack on Sanibel at 2407 Periwinkle Way, No. 5, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Lazy Flamingo

This casual dining locale offers seafood and mouthwatering wings. It’s also become somewhat of a Sanibel Island tradition. It’s not fancy, but it does have its own style. The seven large TVs make the Lazy Flamingo a great place to watch a big sports game.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Locals and tourists alike visit the Lazy Flamingo for its laid back, dive bar vibe. It’s one of those places you go to feel like a local and get on island time. And if you have a craving for wings or oysters, or need somewhere to go to watch the big game, this is the go-to-spot on Sanibel.

What to Order:

  • Reviewers on Yelp and TripAdvisor praised the Lazy Flamingo’s wings, shrimp and oysters. A lot of patrons also raved about the grouper. Another thing that makes the Lazy Flamingo unique is diners have the chance to cook their own fresh catch. If you’re an avid fisherman, this is a great perk.

Visit the Lazy Flamingo at 1036 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Schnapper’s Hots

Schnapper’s is where you go when you’re craving a good hotdog. But, they’re not just any hotdog. They are old-fashioned butcher hotdogs with a natural casing. Tradition and the way they prepare their food sets Schnapper’s apart. After you try it, you’ll know what we mean!

Why Plan a Visit:

  • There’s no other place like it on the island! Going to Schnapper’s is all about the experience and everyone should experience it at least once.

What to Order:

  • The homemade toppings and fries make any kind of hotdog meal taste amazing. You really can’t go wrong here. Order whatever you want! It’s all good.

Visit Schnapper’s Hots at 1528 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

A Special Treat after Lunch

This isn’t one of the best breakfast restaurants on Sanibel, or one of the best lunch restaurants on Sanibel. However, it is one of the best ice cream places in Southwest Florida. Enjoy any one of Pinocchio’s delicious flavors after breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream

This is one of the best places to go for ice cream on the island. Many would argue that nothing else compares to Pinocchio’s. Besides, who doesn’t love homemade ice cream? Some of the flavors are inspired by the beaches and Southwest Florida. Each treat also comes with a cute animal cracker. If it doesn’t have the animal on top, it’s not from Pinocchio’s.

Why Plan a Visit:

  • Visit if you love ice cream! Pinocchio’s is also near the beach, and who doesn’t love a good cup or cone of ice cream after a fun-filled day in the sun? There are lots of chairs to sit in on the front porch so you can enjoy your bounty, and the service is always quick. Young or old, everyone loves Pinocchio’s!

What to Order:

  • Multiple reviewers on TripAdvisor praised the Dirty Sand Dollar and Sanibel Crunch flavors.

Visit Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream at 362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957.

Royal Shell Vacation Rentals near the Best Breakfast and Lunch Restaurants on Sanibel

The great thing about Sanibel is that it’s a smaller island, which means you’re just a quick car ride or short bike ride away from some of the best breakfast and lunch eateries and other Sanibel Island restaurants. We also have the best restaurants on Captiva Island for you to enjoy.

Create lasting memories with friends and families and top it off with some delicious meals from our local island favorites. Check out Royal Shell’s Sanibel vacation rentals and let any of our agents know if you see a home or condo you’re interested in learning more about. And let us know what you think of some of the best breakfast and lunch restaurants on Sanibel in the comments!