There are so many great reasons why you might want to visit the Island of Sanibel. Whether you are thinking of going for a shelling holiday, you want to visit the lighthouse, or you just want a relaxing time near the beach, Sanibel really does have it all. Something that is always going to be important on any vacation is finding good places to eat, and luckily there are plenty of Sanibel waterfront restaurants for you to choose between when it comes to that.

Looking for Sanibel Island waterfront restaurants? You’ll find everything from casual dining to elegant restaurants right on the water. Popular waterfront restaurants on Sanibel Island include Sunset Grill, Sea Breeze Cafe, Traditions on the Beach, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill, and Thistle Lodge Restaurant, among many others.

Waterfront dining is popular on Sanibel Island. In this post, we are going to take a look at the Sanibel waterfront restaurants that you might want to consider, why you might want to go there, and how they can add an extra touch of class or enjoyment to your trip to Sanibel Island.

How Many Restaurants are on Sanibel Island?

How Many Restaurants are on Sanibel Island?

Sanibel Island is a small island — only taking up about 33 square miles. Only 17 of these square miles are land; the rest are water. Despite the small size, you’ll find more than 50 restaurants on Sanibel Island according to information from the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce.

The restaurants on Sanibel Island are practically a melting pot of options. This means that no matter your taste or what pleases your palate, you’ll find something to enjoy on the island. Many of Sanibel’s restaurants sit right on the Gulf of Mexico, which means you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with a breathtaking ocean view.

You also might opt to dine off island. There are many Captiva Island restaurants nearby to enjoy!

Sanibel Waterfront Restaurants Offer Elegant Dining

Depending on what kind of food you generally like to eat, you will probably find that Sanibel Island offers plenty that you can make good use of and which you are likely to enjoy. Many people like to eat very well when they are on vacation, and if that is true of you then you will find that Sanibel is going to have plenty to offer. Specifically many of its Sanibel waterfront restaurants offer a fantastic elegant dining experience which anybody is going to enjoy.

Whether or not you generally go for an elegant dining experience, you can be sure that you are going to get it with Sanibel waterfront restaurants, so that is something that you will want to bear in mind. What’s more, many of the restaurants offer such an experience at a very low price, so you don’t have to feel as though you are going to overspend on your vacation just to eat there. In fact, you will just be given the opportunity to be spoiled in this way without your bank balance hurting at all.

So if you are looking for some Sanibel waterfront restaurants which are able to offer you an elegant dining experience, you are not going to be disappointed. This is one of the main reasons that so many people visit Sanibel year after year, and you could be one of them.

Fine Dining on the Water

If you’re looking for elegant fine dining options among Sanibel Island’s waterfront restaurants, consider Thistle Lodge and Traditions on the Beach. Visitors love the romantic ambiance and incredible cuisine at these historic waterfront restaurants.

Thistle Lodge has been a Sanibel Island staple since 1895. In fact, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford traveled to Sanibel from their Fort Myers estates just to dine at the Thistle Lodge. Open for both lunch and dinner, Thistle Lodge has a legacy of serving fine dishes inspired by the flavors of Europe and Asia, with a bit of Florida flair.

Traditions on the Beach is also a rich part of Sanibel Island history.  In fact, guests have been delighted by the dining room here since 1895. Today the experience is quite modern, as the menu includes award-winning  “contemporary cuisine, Sanibel style” as described by Chef Aziz. Diners can enjoy live music throughout the week to add to the island ambiance.

Seafood Menu at Sanibel Waterfront Restaurants

Seafood Menu at Sanibel Waterfront Restaurants

Of course, eating at Sanibel waterfront restaurants, or indeed any waterfront restaurants, there is one thing that you are going to expect every time: amazing seafood. If you are not going to be presented with seafood along the way, then you won’t really feel as though you are eating on an Island or by the waterfront. The good news there is that many of the Sanibel waterfront restaurants do offer an amazing seafood menu, and no matter what it is that you might specifically be after you are probably going to find a great example of it in many of these restaurants. Being able to find decent seafood is often a deal breaker for a lot of people on vacation somewhere like Sanibel Island, so this is something that you will want to think about before you book to make sure. As it happens, it is going to be easy to find delicious seafood at Sanibel, no trouble.

The Sanibel waterfront restaurants that you will find are all going to have wonderful seafood menus. Whether you are in the mood for prawns, or something more extravagant, maybe even crab or lobster, you can find it all at many of these restaurants on the waterfront on the beautiful island of Sanibel.

Waterfront Seafood Restaurants on Sanibel Island

There’s something special about waterfront dining — especially when the cuisine is today’s fresh catch. You’ll find quite a few options for seafood on Sanibel’s beaches.

A favorite destination for fresh seafood is Sanibel Fish House. You’ll find Sanibel Fish House right on Periwinkle Way, near the Sanibel Pier. The menu includes fresh fish like grouper, cod, pompano, hogfish, snapper, and halibut daily. Weekend specials often include tripletail, so true seafood lovers genuinely enjoy the cuisine. You’ll also find scallops, shrimp, and other “fruits of the sea” on the menu.

Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market is just off Tarpon Bay and is another great option when you’re craving seafood fare. Simple preparations and hearty servings make Timbers a favorite option for visitors and locals alike. You’ll find fresh grouper and other Southwest Florida favorites on the menu here. You’ll also find delicacies like Prince Edward Island mussels and oysters on the fish market, too.

Catering to Global Diners

Catering to Global Diners

One thing you can say for Sanibel is that it receives a lot of visitors every year. That is actually good news for you, as it means that you can expect the island to cater well to your needs. This is a place that knows how to look after its guests in the best possible way at all times, so that’s something to be glad for.

A big part of that is ensuring that the guests in question are well fed. With this, Sanibel waterfront restaurants are particularly well-suited, and they know exactly how to ensure that their global diners are catered to well. So no matter where you might be visiting from, you can be sure that you are going to be treated well and catered in a way that you will love.

International Cuisine on Sanibel Island

From sushi to flavors from south of the border, you’ll find all kinds of international cuisine on Sanibel Island.

Waterfront restaurants where you can get a taste from around the globe include Shima Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, located at the Sundial Beach Resort Spa. This easy-going eatery features a fresh sushi bar, hibachi tables for teppanyaki,and other foods inspired by the Far East. You’ll also find vegan choices on the menu, too.

Spectacular Views of Sanibel Waterfront Restaurants

There are many wonderful reasons that you would want to eat at Sanibel waterfront restaurants. Of course, we have seen how good the food can be, how they tend to offer wonderful seafood menus that anyone will love. We have also discussed that these restaurants are generally very good at catering to all kinds of global guests. But it’s also true that Sanibel waterfront restaurants are wonderful places to sit and watch the world go by, if that is your kind of thing to do.

Many people before you have sat at Sanibel waterfront restaurants watching the water itself, the local people, other visitors, come and go – and this is just a part of the whole relaxing vibe that you can expect at all of these amazing restaurants. Feel free to take a seat and just spend as long as you like watching Sanibel life come and go.

Dining at Sanibel Island Waterfront Restaurants

Dining at Sanibel Island Waterfront Restaurants

Fine dining, seafood, and global cuisine are great, but sometimes you just want to relax with a burger or great plate of coconut shrimp. Consider pulling up a chair and catching a fresh Gulf breeze at the following Sanibel Island waterfront restaurants:

  • Gramma Dot’s
  • Sea Breeze Cafe
  • Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill
  • Sunset Grill
  • The Sandbar
  • Turtle’s Tiki Bar
  • Lazy Flamingo

Make Reservations Near Royal Shell Vacation Rentals

Because they have so much to offer, you will of course find that it is necessary to book reservations for these restaurants when you want to visit them. You are otherwise going to run the risk of being disappointed if it turns out that you can’t get a table at one of these wonderful restaurants while you are visiting.

Of course, when you make these reservations, be sure to carefully choose your vacation spot! Browse our vacation rentals on Sanibel Island and let us know which vacation unit you choose. We will see you soon at the shelling capital of the world so you can indulge at our award-winning restaurants!