* Some of our favorites on Sanibel Island

We have dined in many Sanibel Island restaurants either while on Captiva at a vacation rental or living in Fort Myers.  The * shows restaurants we've eaten at multiple times and particularly enjoy and recommend.

Sanibel Restaurants

Sunset Grill*


From your vacation rental on Captiva or Sanibel Island this restaurant is worth heading to!

Beautiful waterfront dining serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Located in the Santiva Section on Sanibel just before the Captiva Bridge.  Food is great!


Mad Hatter*


An American Cuisine


"The food is divine, the view is spectacular and the experience 
​is unforgettable."

Are you celebrating a special occasion while at your vacation rental?  This is a Sanibel Island restaurant to consider.

Inspired and eclectic menu choices evolve with the season, always fresh and prepared from scratch. Chef Kurt and Michelle Jarvis bring new life to this cozy, romantic restaurant on the beach with its well-deserved reputation and unbeatable sunsets. Come enjoy world class dining at its finest.




The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market on Sanibel Island has amazing specials everyday of the week! They are known for their fresh fish but the steaks are great, too!   Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights they offer delicious Sushi & Sashimi or dive into their famous Oyster Bar!


Don't cook in your vacation rental...relax! After all you are on vacation!!



Even if you are enjoying your vacation rental....relax and go out to enjoy this Sanibel Island restaurant offering a unique dining experience with Coastal-Inspired dishes and signature cocktails.  


Traders 2*


Restaurant opened by the owners of Traders, T2 offers new delicious dishes, like trendy tacos and savory flatbreads, in addition to coastal-inspired classics. All dishes are executed with the detail and talent of Executive Chef Mike Patnode. A full bar with mixology cocktails such as Sanibel Sunset and Elderflower Bloom, a rotating Florida craft and draft beer selection, and a wine list to envy  all add to the unique and lively Floridian decor. 

Located on Sanibel Island in the Village Shop. If you are out shopping or just want to leave your vacation rental for a good lunch or dinner, try T2.


Blue Giraffe*


Located in the Periwinkle Place shopping center. It is great while shopping.  This is a good Sanibel Island restaurant if you are shopping away from your vacation rental.

Committed to providing a unique culinary experience enjoy delicious, island-inspired cuisine while sitting inside a newly-remodeled dining room, take in the luscious garden atmosphere of our pet-friendly outdoor dining area or relax with a tropical cocktail at our full bar, featuring great Happy Hour specials 4-6 PM daily. 

Family-owned and operated, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring succulent seafood, island-renowned chowders, custom sandwiches and burgers, refreshing salads, mouth-watering steaks and numerous vegetarian options, all made fresh daily in our scratch kitchen!


Island Cow*


In the Mooo-d for Udderly Great Food?

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.  Live music. Our whimsical, island-style environment is perfect for adults and kids of all ages. At the Island Cow, you’re family.


This Sanibel Island restaurant is worth leaving your vacation rental for!

Sweet Melissa's*


While on Sanibel or Captiva in a vacation rental: Experience the award-winning Sweet Melissa’s Cafe, Sanibel Island. Serving lunch and dinner, this is a culinary journey of epic proportions! Executive Chef Melissa Talmage challenges your taste buds to explore a creative menu with a wide array of different tastes, textures and eclectic ingredients.

Named “Best Dining in Lee County” by Gulf Shore Life and placed on USA TODAY’S “10 Best Restaurants in South Florida,” the dinner menu offers entrees in full portions or “small plates” giving diners the ability to enjoy multiple dishes in one visit.


Cip's Place*


Offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner entrees as well as appetizers, desserts and children’s menu. Lunch & Dinner Specials Daily.


This is a good Sanibel Island restaurant to get you out of your vacation rental's kitchen!



Some decent Italian options reasonably priced.  If you are in the mood for Italian of all the Sanibel Island restaurants, count on Matzaluna to serve the greatest combination of Florida craft beer, pasta & pizza Sanibel Island has to offer.  They have  wood fired pizza.


George & Wendy's Seafood Grille


Corner of Periwinkle and Tarpon Bay Road 

Sanibel Island restaurant that offers  outstanding service, atmosphere, and cuisine. Serves lunch, dinner, late night menu, and daily changing specials. The focus of all  menus is fresh, local, and fun.  Have a full bar with an extensive wine list, 20 beers on tap, a lot of local, domestic and craft beer bottles, and some fun and fresh, handcrafted signature drinks on our list including mojitos, martinis, and lots of other tropical craft cocktail favorites.


Gramma Dots


Gramma Dots is a Sanibel Island restaurant  with a pretty  marina location with good food and service.   Great mesquite grilled grouper!  Burgers and fried shrimp were very good, too.  Moderate pricing. No AC

"Sanibel's only Seaside Saloon" where you can leisurely dine dockside at the Sanibel Marina. Menu features
full line of "ONLY FRESH" seafood, salads, sandwiches and more.


It's worth boating, driving, cycling or waling from your vacation rental to enjoy this restaurant.

Cheeburger Cheeburger


Cheeburgers, fries and shakes are great at this franchised restaurant.  You can order to go on line or go to the restaurant.  There is one on Sanibel Island and also at the Sanibel Outlets in Fort Myers right before the causeway.  Either location would be close to your vacation rental if you want a quick and good burger with all the accompaniments.




This Sanibel Island Restaurant is located at Casa Ybel Resort between the jade colored waters of the Gulf of Mexico and their Olympic pool.  Open for breakfast, lunch and sumptuous frozen cocktails each and every delightful day.   Entertainment is sometimes available. 


Thistle Lodge*


Sanibel Island Beachfront dining - The award winning Thistle Lodge serves up a delightful Floridian and European culinary experience on par with the distinguished elegance that only Casa Ybel Resort’s unparalleled culinary team can offer.  Enjoy the award-winning gastronomic masterpieces in Sanibel’s most historic upscale restaurant that once played host to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.


Il Cielo


Menu features Daily Specials, sustainably caught local fish, grass-finished beef, lamb and free-range chicken. Chef’s bring in fresh from Florida locally grown and organic produce everyday. Can cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.

Lounge features signature small plates, appetizers and half priced house wines, domestic beers and well drinks or select from our carefully curated wine list or enjoy a local craft beer.  Enjoy live Piano music by Scott  McDonald Tuesday through Sunday nights beginning at 6pm.


Don't want to cook in your vacation rental?  Here's a Sanibel Island restaurant to try!

Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen


New Sanibel Island restaurant "bringing Bourbon Street to the beach."

Located at 1473 Periwinkle Way

Website to follow.

Try it if you crave cajun food instead of cooking in your vacation rental.

Lazy Flamingo


Located in 2 Sanibel Island locations The Lazy Flamingo restaurants offer casual atmosphere and fresh food including mesquite grilled options.  
One of the locations would be close to your vacation rental.

One location is close to the causeway on Periwinkle and the other is just off the Captiva bridge.


Contact Us - Toni Hullstrung - 941-677-3745 - captivavip1@gmail.com

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Toni Hullstrung

Captiva Vacations In Paradise

(941) 677-3745