Best Restaurants in Bonita Springs and Estero

With award-winning wine lists, farm-focused menus, lauded chefs and global inspirations, these stylish restaurants are places to go for unforgettable meals in Bonita Springs and Estero.  


1. A Table Apart 

Samantha and Jarrod Davis took the reins at this local institution several years ago. While classic favorites remain, Jarrod put his culinary stamp on the cuisine, playing fast and loose with traditional French techniques (à la Cordon Bleu) by incorporating global flavors, mainly from India and Japan. The scratch kitchen preps dressings, condiments and salads daily, and most organic ingredients (the majority of which are organic) are sourced from nearby small vendors. 


2. Angelina’s Ristorante

While the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence selection of 4,000-plus bottles is a major draw at Angelina’s (as is the centerpiece, 30-foot-tall wine tower that houses them), the decadent Italian dishes are what keep diners coming back. Most nights, you’ll find a live pianist setting the mood for diners, who commune in intimate dining rooms, around the backlit bar or in curtain-framed, chandelier-lit booths.


3. The Bohemian 

The chef-driven kitchen at The Bohemian centers around shareable small plates with global influences (think tiger’s milk ceviche and plantain-and-black bean fritters). The menu changes frequently to account for the bounty from neighboring farms, fishers and the restaurant’s rooftop garden. And, while the food and decor (most of the maximalist furnishings and objects were thrifted locally) honor Florida, the restaurant delivers an unexpected, Rococo twist on the local-centric ethos. 


4. C Level Bistro & Wine Bar

There’s an undeniable sophistication to the railroad-car-thin C Level Bistro & Wine Bar (one that is belied by its perch in a humdrum strip mall on Bonita Beach Road). The ample wine list pairs perfectly with the classic fine-dining menu of steak au poivre and grouper, with a textbook sear and a drizzle of lemon and olive oil. Have kids in tow? Not to worry—the chefs put extra love into its grilled cheese sandwiches, cheeseburger sliders and small filets for little ones. 


5. Chops City Grill 

Recently, Skip Quillen, founder and owner of Chops’ parent company, Culinary Concepts, implemented a “no-expenses-spared,” floor-to-ceiling renovation to his Bonita restaurant, which opened in 2001. The team reimagined the interiors with crushed velvet upholstery and ornate Venetian tassel curtains for a sultrier setting. All the better to accompany their white-tablecloth fare, including sushi, oysters and a stellar steak program—not to mention the clever cocktails and more than 100 whiskeys.



6. El Basque Vin & Pintxo Bar 

With 10 tables and four counter seats, El Basque brings one of the world’s most lauded culinary regions—Basque Country in northern Spain—to Bonita. The intimate dining room serves up pintxos, or tapas, like wine-infused figs with drunken goat cheese, blood sausage with pimento-onion slaw, and garlic-chili shrimp with bacon. There’s also charcuterie that spans French and Spanish territory (patés, acorn-fed jámon ibérico), and fabulous wines from both countries.


7. El Gaucho Inca

Honoring the husband-wife owners’ roots, this Estero restaurant (which also has a Fort Myers locale) draws from three countries: Peru, Argentina and Italy (a prominent influence in Argentina). Buenos Aires-born chef Mariano Maldonado grew up cooking with his parents, and he puts all that multigenerational know-how into appetizers and entrees, like ceviches swimming in lime juice, lightly fried empanadas, pillowy gnocchi and hearty parrilladas (mixed grill with skirt steak, sausage and short ribs).


8. Harvest & Wisdom at Shangri-La Springs 

This health-centric, veggie-driven restaurant opened in 2019 at the century-old Shangri-La Springs. The lunch-only restaurant’s modern veneer meshes with its circa-1920 digs. Staff—often the chefs—describe the dishes like poetry. The small plates flaunt what is grown in the onsite organic garden or sourced from Circle C Farm and other local purveyors. Save room for the raw-vegan key lime pie that effectively tricks the palate with avocado, cashews and a little magic.


9. Jimmy P’s Charred Bistro 

The fam behind Jimmy P’s Butcher Shop & Deli already has a butcher shop, a first-rate steakhouse (Jimmy P’s Charred) and a more laid-back joint (Jimmy P’s Burger & More). With the Bistro, they blend the best of all worlds: wagyu hot dogs and pastrami sandwiches for lunch; Berkshire pork belly, bleu cheese-crusted ribeye, and lobster tails for dinner. Go à la carte with your steak and family-style for indulgent sides, like charred corn with Andouille sausage and honey-butter Brussels. 


10. Petar’s

Chef Petar Al Kurdi’s tiny restaurant is hidden in plain sight in a shopping plaza off Bonita Beach Road. A single candle crowns each of the dozen or so tables, and garden-fresh plates stream from the small kitchen. Servers—many of which have worked at Petar’s for years—guide you through the selection of traditional continental fare, prepared right in front of you in the entirely open kitchen. Opt for a bar seat for direct access to the chef. 


11. Roy’s

Tokyo-born Roy Yamaguchi’s Pacific Rim-inspired cuisine is largely influenced by his time visiting grandparents and tasting fresh-off-the-boat seafood in Maui. His first fusion restaurant opened more than 30 years ago in Honolulu, and he’s extended his concept to Bonita Springs. Expect a seafood-heavy menu of fish served in various ways, from sushi to blackened to bathed in spicy soy mustard butter sauce. 

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