In case you haven’t heard, the city of Cape Coral—known to locals as “The Cape”—is exploding these days. A restaurant renaissance started a few years ago, and, most recently, the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village underwent $15 million renovation, shining a spotlight on Lee County’s biggest metropolis. With all the growth and good news, it’s an ideal time to plan a day trip or staycation to Cape Coral—complete with a meal (or several) at these top-tier restaurants.
In Cape Harbour, a luxury marina development, this restaurant with sleek, sea-inspired décor offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking gasp-worthy yachts. Handcrafted pizza headlines the extensive lunch-and-dinner menu, which also includes plates like Korean-barbecue-style ribs, Caribbean jerk shrimp and firecracker calamari.
From the same owners at Fathoms, Gather is among the shops at the Westin fronting a marina. The space is welcoming and homey with tables set by the bar, sofas, library shelves and an outdoor deck. The menu takes a modern approach to American and Mediterranean cuisine, from lamb meatloaf to house-made pasta.
Jungle Bird expresses Florida themes in a tropical vein. The lush courtyard garden is flanked by indoor dining spaces with a touch of whimsy befitting its mission to create a modern version of a 60s tiki bar. Cocktails are remastered versions of tiki standards, such as the Mai Tai and its namesake rum concoction. The simple, from-scratch menu complements the bar program with shareable plates like coconut-chorizo flatbread and Asian-inspired seafood and meat dishes.
During a staycation at the Westin’s gorgeous harbor property, you need only to jump on the elevator to get its waterfront dining options. The flagship restaurant, elegant Marker 92, and its alfresco harborside companion, Nauti-Mermaid, have reinvented their menus to celebrate the resort’s recent renovations. The emphasis is on local ingredients, like scrumptious Sanibel pink shrimp.
The craft cocktails and comfort food made this an instant hit when it opened a few years ago on busy Del Prado Blvd. Flawless service and memorable meals have helped Point 57 maintain its popularity. From the dominating bar and exhibition kitchen, order signatures such as the Owl Be Damned cocktail for two, crispy pork shank and cioppino. In summer, patio seating is covered and air-conditioned, but most opt for the super hip, airy dining room.
Cape Coral slides into Big Easy mode at this hidden gem. Live jazz sets the stage for a chorus of authentic crab-and-corn beignets, gumbo, crawfish etouffee and Cajun bouillabaisse. Sunday brunch is especially popular; try the Champagne benedict with goat cheese, spinach, tomato and hollandaise on a croissant. Wash it down with a traditional brandy milk punch.