One of the best aspects of life on Sanibel is the food! There are plenty of options for fine dining here on Sanibel, and when you combine good food with sea breezes and beautiful gulf views, you get a recipe for paradise.

We’re a bit spoiled for choice here on Sanibel, so to get you started, here are a few of our favorite Sanibel restaurants.

Ann & John’s Favorite Sanibel Restaurants

Cip’s PlaceA  comfortable place to relax, enjoy good food and good times while being reminded of the old days on Sanibel. Named after long time Islander Jimmy Cipriani, Cips offers indoor and outdoor dining in a casual atmosphere. Recently named a “Hidden Gem” by News Press food critic Jean Le Bouef

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille– This is one of our go-to restaurants for excellent seafood and ambiance. Brimming with Sanibel charm, Doc Ford’s is a place where locals go to relax and enjoy an evening with friends. Menu items include lobster rolls, shrimp tacos, ribs, and salads.

Jerry’s Foods: Before you do your grocery shopping, sit down and have some lunch at the in-store café! Jerry’s famous grouper sandwich followed by the amazing key lime pie will hit the spot – and if you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, John recommends Jerry’s always-great soup of the day.

Normandie Seaside Café: The restaurant at the renowned West Wind Inn is open to anyone, and you won’t want to miss it! Any time of day, you can enjoy a delicious meal while basking in the cool breezes and taking in the spectacular ocean view. At dinner, ask your server to help you choose the perfect wine from their extensive list.

Over Easy Café: This is the place to go if you’re in the mood for a great breakfast or lunch. They have a large menu with plenty of options for people with dietary restrictions, including lots of gluten-free meals. The service is always friendly here, and the deli sandwiches at lunchtime can’t be beat.

Traders: For a dining experience that’s a little more upscale but still has that relaxed Sanibel vibe, this is the go-to spot for dinner. You’ll have a hard time deciding which delicious dish to enjoy along with one of their signature cocktails. Seafood lovers will be pleased with the variety of dishes to choose from, and there are many options for landlubbers and vegetarians as well. They even feature live music three nights a week to enhance the experience even more.

rice bowl

TripAdvisor Top Picks For Sanibel Restaurants

Don’t just take our word! Thanks to TripAdvisor, we have literally thousands of reviews from visitors to our beautiful islands. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Sanibel and Captiva have the perfect fit! Here are some of the top reviewed island restaurants:

Fine Dining

  • Il Cielo – IL Cielo offers a dynamic culinary experience in a friendly environment featuring creative American cuisine with internationally inspired specials.
  • Bleu Rendesvous Steaks, seafood and classic dishes served with a French accent.
  • The Mad Hatter Inspired and eclectic menu choices evolve with the season, always fresh and prepared from scratch.


  • Over Easy CaféTry their egg Reuben sandwich or smoked salmon benedict! They also make delicious homemade pancakes, omelets, stuffed French toast, skillets, and more.
  • The Clam Shack A casual family-owned restaurant serving up the best and most fresh New England seafood you can get!
  • The Sandbar Comfortable seafood spot with crab cakes, oysters & steaks in a warm, modern space with a happy hour.

Cheap Eats

  • Pinocchio’s – A Sanibel Island staple since 1980. All of their ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and Italian custards are handcrafted daily in small batches onsite from the finest and freshest ingredients.
  • The Great White Grill – Voted best lunch on Sanibel two years in a row with a huge selection of salads and gourmet pizzas.
  • Huxters Market & Deli – Famous for their fresh sandwiches and southern fried chicken — which is a local favorite!

Island food

The John Gee Team Loves Island Life

After living here for nearly 40 years, the team at John Gee Realty knows Sanibel Island inside and out. Whether you’re new to the island or have been here for years, we’d love to help you find a new place to call home – and while we’re at it, we’ll share our tips for living your best island life, including the fine dining options that abound here on Sanibel. Give us a call anytime and we’ll be happy to help you get started on finding a terrific place to live. We can be reached at (239) 850-0979, or you can send a message through our website.