Fort Myers has no shortage of beautiful beaches with sections that extend well into the water. Even though this is one of its main attractions, the city also has a rich history, with fish trading going back to the 1920s.
Additionally, it is very well developed and touristy in some places. There are numerous opportunities to indulge in watersports and boat rentals if you want to get out on the water and catch a sunset.
Several conservancies protect large portions of the islands and native mangrove systems if you’re into nature. Add to this the numerous trails that are ripe for exploration in these places.
Best Waterfront Restaurants in Fort Myers
- Dixie Fish Co.
- Fresh Catch Bistro
- Bayfront Bistro
- Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille Ft. Myers Beach
- Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant
- Bimini Bait Shack
- Izzy’s Fish & Oyster
- Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki
- Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant
These features bring a large influx of tourists, who bring their hungry stomachs with them. Therefore, the restaurant scene is well developed, and in this article, we will look at some of the best waterfront restaurants in Fort Myers.
Dixie Fish Co.
714 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
Located on Fisherman’s Wharf, Dixie Fish Co. looks like the owner pulled right out of your history textbook, and rightfully so.
There is a rich history surrounding this restaurant as it got established in 1973 as a place for fishermen to buy and sell the day’s catch. The owners decided to maintain the building’s original facade while renovating and modernizing the inside.
It is usually busy in the evenings, but I was lucky to catch a vacant seat right by the water as I enjoyed my fish tacos.
Their drinks menu is extensive, featuring everything from craft beer to some very creative cocktails for the younger crowd.
The open-air style and calming water make for a beautiful private dining experience, especially at night.
Fresh Catch Bistro
3040 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
The folks at Fresh Catch Bistro swear by the breathtaking views that their diners get to enjoy. I would highly recommend getting outside seating as you watch the sun go down over the gulf.
Be warned, however, that this is their most popular hour, and you may need to make a reservation in advance.
The chef is very creative with the dishes, so their seafood specials burst with flavor. Be sure to try the Grouper Caprese, pair it with a good wine, and enjoy the ambiance.
The quality of service is also worth mentioning. The staff were very attentive and always close by when we needed anything.
5848 Cape Harbour Dr, Cape Coral, FL 33914
One recurring theme in most waterfront restaurants is fantastic views, and Rumrunners is no exception. While it’s a little on the expensive side, you will undoubtedly get your money’s worth with Chef Todd. He makes sure only the most delectable dishes leave his kitchen.
There is ample parking outside for larger parties, and bookings for private dining are a regular occurrence here.
If you get a table by the water, the boats slowly passing by evoke a sense of true tranquility. You can also spot dolphins playing in the area if you’re lucky.
4761 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
Located next to Snook Bight Yacht Club and Marina and behind Publix Supermarket, Bayfront Bistro & Bar is a large but well-managed space with upscale finishings.
It feels decidedly posh, especially compared to other restaurants in the area. Our lobster tail and tilefish orders were perfectly prepared, with impeccable service to boot.
There are two stories, so you have the option of upstairs or downstairs seating. The upstairs option is better because the views are undeniably better, and there’s an “upstairs area happy hour” that runs from 3 to 6 pm every day.
Skippers will also be happy to know that there is a docking space for several mid-size boats.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille Ft. Myers Beach
708 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
While all the establishments on this list primarily serve seafood, this does not necessarily imply monotony. Each of them competes at a high level, and as such, they have to go to great lengths to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille does this by infusing South American and Caribbean styles with their menu offerings. The Yucatan shrimp is a must-try!
The outside area is incredibly charming at night and very extensive. Most of the seating available at Doc Ford’s is external. They even have a dedicated space for private parties and events called Doc’s House.
Evenings are the busiest, and our wait time stretched a little, but I was more than happy to be distracted from that by the band playing live music.
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant
14301 Port Comfort Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33908
My friends and I enjoyed the fully stocked, island-style bar at this restaurant. The bartender serves from the middle, so you won’t have that feeling that they’re too far away like you sometimes do at places where the bar is a long strip.
Our group opted for cocktails and a few servings of their delicious quarter-pound tenderloin bites.
The management here has a diverse roster of live performers who perform on the main stage, and it’s always a new musician every day, which is refreshing. If you want a private event, they offer plated or buffet banquet menus in a unique setting.
Bimini Bait Shack
17501 Harbour Pointe Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33908
Bimini Bait Shack is an impressively spacious tiki-themed restaurant that you’ll come upon just before the entrance to the Sanibel Causeway. It feels like you’re on a tiny remote island but in a good way.
There is copious repurposing of objects found in nature, like giant shells converted into washbasins. The bar is also a fully functioning fish tank!
They have a live band playing in the evenings, making the space come alive. Diners can inquire about the catch of the day and have fresh fish prepared as they wait. The terrace has great views, and the open style makes it more airy and comfortable.
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster
2282 First St, Fort Myers, FL 33901
Izzy’s is one of the more elegant seafood restaurants in Fort Myers. The well-selected decor looks incredible with its beautiful hues of white and blue. It is definitely on the fancier side, which also shows in the menu prices.
We were happy to indulge in the happy hour two-dollar oysters and got a second drink free for each drink purchased.
Their lobster roll is one of the most frequently requested items off the menu, and the staff is very attentive. Although the outside seating is well situated, the foot traffic may be too much for some at certain times because it takes away their privacy.
Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki
3440 Marinatown Ln, North Fort Myers, FL 33903
Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki is a small bar and grill in the Marinatown Yacht Harbor. It usually has a live band playing, and the food is something special!
I was in a group of five, and between us, we had cajun shrimp, seafood salad, and fish tacos. Everyone enjoyed their meals.
There are a lot of boats docked right outside, and we even flirted with the idea of renting one, but that did not work out.
Some diners felt that the band was too loud for the tiny space, but that is easy to handle by the management.
The decor in this restaurant is somewhat playful. It’s fun to see all the random but nautical-themed inflatables they have hanging from the roof.
The families I saw with toddlers at their table had a hard time getting the little ones to focus on their food, which was funny.
Their slogan is “You can’t fake fresh,” which rings true with their menu offerings. Taking cues from their logo, I ordered the crab legs, and boy, were they fresh!
The staff seated my party at a table by the water, so the views were a welcome plus. The dining experience was a ten out of ten!
Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant
13021 N Cleveland Ave, North Fort Myers, FL 33903
As one of the best restaurants in Lee County, Three Fishermen is just off North Cleveland. It’s large, airy, and closest to the water, compared to other eateries in Fort Myers.
Their portions are undeniably generous. I had the fried oysters while my partner tried their stuffed flounder and blue cheese salad. They prepared both options very well.
After dinner, we felt adventurous and decided to explore the big dock right by the restaurant.
It was very intimate and a perfect way to cap our time there. If you know where to look, you can see dolphins in the water. We got lucky and saw some by the main wall, which was a treat.
My time in the Fort Myers area was exceptional. There are so many different ways to get to these beautiful dining establishments.
You may choose to walk along the beautiful marinas enjoying the various sights or dock your boat and step right off it into a restaurant.
Our selections for this article also work for different times of the day. The daytime affords you views of dreamy blue waters.
Go in the evening, and the sunsets are spectacular. And at night, the cool breeze pairs perfectly with the sound of waves crashing.
However you choose to plan your visits, you will not be disappointed.
If you would like to explore other Fort Myers dining destinations, check out this list for more options!Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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