Our Favorite Sanibel Restaurants

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While many people come to Sanibel Island for its beaches, there’s plenty more to see and explore in this Southwest Florida locale. This includes dining in some of our favorite Sanibel Island restaurants. From fresh seafood and sandwiches to inventive small plates, cocktails and desserts, the narrow island is home to some incredible restaurant options.

Mad Hatter

Once such location you won’t want to miss on your next trip to Sanibel is Mad Hatter. Promoting a “Wonderland” of cuisine, Mad Hatter serves up one of the most eclectic menus on the island.

The beach restaurant delivers fresh food made from scratch, with a romantic and cozy setting. It just so happens that Mad Hatter is in a superb location to catch a sunset while you’re dining, too. When you go keep and mind reservations are accepted at Mad Hatter, but not necessarily needed.

Sweet Melissa’s Café

If you’re in the mood for collard greens or shrimp and grits, make time to check out Sweet Melissa’s Café, also on Sanibel. Known for serving up a unique selection of lunch, dinner and dessert items, you’ll find everything from a salmon burger to small plates and specialty cocktails.

Sweet Melissa’s Café thrives on using local suppliers to feed its patrons, but keep in mind it’s not open on Sundays or Mondays so be sure to plan ahead.

II Cielo

Last, but certainly not least, is II Cielo. While its name may be unique, its food is simply extraordinary. From lobster stuffed ravioli to rack of lamb or a grilled filet, fine dining is certainly possible at this island location.

The ever-changing menu at II Cielo is part of the appeal of dining at this restaurant. While temporarily closed for some remodeling, expect to dine again soon in the elegant location later this fall.