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26 Aug 2020
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Sanibel FareSanibel Outdoors

As we approach autumn, we look forward to quieter, more comfortable days and nights in Southwest Florida.  Cooler breezes will be upon us and we want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, including lunch or dinner.

Recently, we were asked which restaurants offered outdoor dining? Some simply want to experience dining al fresco, while others have concerns about socially distancing (Currently, Sanibel restaurants are open at 50% indoor capacity and 100% outdoor capacity.).  Here are some of our recommendations, starting along Periwinkle Way:

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille has outdoor covered seating at both their Sanibel and Captiva locations (not to mention on the harbor in Fort Myers Beach).

George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grill features outdoor patio seating which is also pet-friendly.

The Island Cow has outdoor seating available (flaps close when needed, such as weather issues) that is also pet-friendly.  They also have outdoor games in the back, cornhole, bimini ring toss, (almost) free beer, and live music (could be) provided by (but probably not) Jimmy Buffett!

The Over Easy Café features outdoor seating with shade (sunrise protection) for your breakfast and lunch enjoyment.  Just don’t feed the alligator in the lagoon (Seriously, don’t.).

The Clam Shack has some outdoor dining to make you feel like you’re on a pier in Cape Cod featuring some of the best New England seafood south of Rhode Island, including their wicked awesome steamed clams (“steemahs”), cold-water Maine lobster (“lobstah”) and classic Lobstah Rolls, and their incredible Maine Melt (grilled cheese with lobstah).

The Blue Giraffe is the food gem of Periwinkle Place, featuring family dining inside and outdoors to watch people shopping and kids playing in the grass and playground.

Cip’s Place is a favorite of ours, with indoor and outdoor seating and an atmosphere that reflects the history of old Sanibel (pre-Causeway) and great seafood.  It’s so good that our receptionist, Taitum (who does not eat seafood), is a big fan of their coconut grouper bites!

MudBugs Cajun Kitchen is one of Sanibel’s newest dining spots, having rebuilt from the ground up to two floors of fun and food just the way you’d expect in New Orleans.  There is some bar and dining seats outside in the front, but also ground-floor outdoor dining in the back that is pet-friendly.

The Lazy Flamingo (II) on Periwinkle Way (next to Dairy Queen) features covered outdoor seating in addition to its ship-like interior, with a big selection of hot sandwiches and raw bar items.

Gramma Dot’s is Sanibel’s only pierside restaurant where you can enjoy lunch or dinner watching boats and yachts coming and going.  Limited indoor seating, but expanding and enjoyable outdoor seating.

Along the Gulf Coast, the Sundial Beach Resort features several restaurants open to the public, but Sea Breeze Café has outdoor seating overlooking the pool deck and the Gulf beach for breakfast lunch and dinner.  Turtle’s Pool & Beach Bar is also a great place to enjoy lunch while overlooking the fun and games all around.

The Thistle Lodge at the Casa Ybel Resort has historic Florida-style indoor and outdoor dining.  The Resort also features Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill.

The Upper Deck Pool Bar at the West Wind Inn is another of the few locations to overlook the Gulf of Mexico while enjoying a snack, lunch, or a cool beverage.  Plus live music!

We’ve often said you could be here for weeks and not enjoy the same great restaurant twice.  So be sure to plan a long stay with Sanibel Holiday (or a bunch of short ones).  Book Direct and Save!