Just a few (OK, more than a few) of our favorite foods in Southwest Florida.
New York-style fold-over slices
Chicago-style cracker crust
The Crust (Naples, thecrustpizza.net)
Henning’s Chicago Kitchen (original location is closed; reopening in Naples this fall)
Chicago-style deep dish
Pies going beyond tomato sauce and mozzarella
Upscale restaurants with authentic wood-fired pies
Individual pizzas (including gluten-free crusts)
When you look forward to brunching more than any other meal, chances are you seek out brûléed bananas foster syrup or knowing a culinary school grad had a hand in your crabmeat benni—and these won’t disappoint.
Joe’s Diner (Naples, joesdiners.com): It’s old-school in look and feel, but modern in a focus on the freshest ingredients. Frosted Flakes French toast and an insane sausage gravy dish appropriately named “The Challenge” are highlights.
Poached (Naples/Bonita Springs, breakfastnaples.com): The daily specials are always a treat, whether you try a Black Forest pancake or corned beef hash omelet.
Crave (Fort Myers, cravemenu.com): A cozy upscale diner is home to a chef who cures his own meats and isn’t afraid to experiment with a pulled turkey breakfast tostada.
Jane’s Garden Café (Naples, janesgardencafe.com): A lobster, shrimp, crab and Havarti omelet cheekily named “The One Percenter” sits alongside a hearty British breakfast and Nutella crepes, but the biggest draw perhaps is the beautiful courtyard and koi pond setting.
If food takes equal footing to cocktails, breeze into Naples for Baleen’s bottomless mimosas (and more) on the beach and Ridgway Bar & Grill’s brunch cocktail list on weekends.
Eggs ’Round the Clock
In the mood for a Western omelet at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday—or 2 p.m. on a Thursday? There’s a place in every nook and cranny of the Gulfshore: Trail Café (Naples), The Coupe (Naples), Sunburst (Naples), EJ’s (Naples), Patric’s (Naples), Bill’s Café (Naples), Skillets (multiple locations), The Golden Fork Café (Fort Myers), Flat Top Larry’s (Fort Myers), Hart & Soul Café (Cape Coral), Over Easy Café (Sanibel), Key Lime Bistro (Captiva), The Go-Go Diner (North Fort Myers)
Match the quarter-pounder to your food personality.
Jimmy P’s (Naples, jimmypsbutchershop.com): Nothing but heritage breeds here—stay a while in the handsome dining room or eat on the fly at the deli.
Harold’s Place (Naples, naplesharoldsplace.com): A chickee hut with arguably the single best classic concoction in Naples.
Combo king or queen
Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs (Naples, brooksburgers.com): Endless permutations to choose from at this joint; a second is coming soon in North Naples.
Ford’s Garage (multiple locations, fordsgarageusa.com): A full page of how to fashion your perfect bite includes “bling” such as fried eggs and grilled shrimp.
Fat Katz (Fort Myers, fatkatzsportsbistro.com): Flat-screens aplenty make the killer burgers taste even better.
Al fresco or bust
Old Naples Pub (Naples, naplespubs.com): A juicy charbroiled Angus blend is best savored on the beautiful patio lined with vines and twinkle lights.
Nevermind (Cape Coral, nevermindcapecoral.com): The dark, grungy, hipster resto-bar open till the wee hours makes mean patty melts.
Mopping up sauce from your face with paper towels is the M.O. at joints focused on baby backs and brisket, from Naples’ Michelbob’s to Reuben’s Smokehouse in Fort Myers and Rib City everywhere.
We’re short on—but not devoid of—quality bakers. Check out Colleoni’s in Fort Myers, DeRomo’s in Bonita Springs and Mikkelsen’s in Naples.
Find a shop by how you shop.
Concierge (door-to-door service): Naples Wine Collection
Small batch (boutique): Decanted
Albariño to Zinfandel (labyrinthine): Paradise Wine