Fort Myers, located on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, has a lovely and colorful history. When people arrived after the war to start new lives, it became renowned as a cow town, where cattlemen drove their herds through the streets to the harbor.
The area’s gorgeous coastline beauty and climate were other important draws. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, two of America’s greatest inventors, picked Fort Myers as their winter residences. Others came to farm, operate riverboat lines, construct railroads, or establish general shops and other small enterprises. Fort Myers has several historic structures, each with a tale to tell, thanks to these early settlers and entrepreneurs with a dream. But, the eateries in downtown Fort Myers are a tale in and of themselves.
Several of its eateries actively reflect and appreciate the interesting culture, history, and tradition of Fort Myers. This simply adds to the uniqueness of visiting, exploring, and eating here. Every tourist will find lots of locations to mix their favorite view with their favorite meals, whether it’s basking in the atmosphere of its magnificent pier or savoring a lunch in a 70-year-old renowned diner.
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The Top 8 Restaurants in Downtown Fort Myers
Restaurant at the Farmers Market
239-334-1687, 2736 Edison Avenue
Nothing like good ol’ southern cooking for a hearty meal. Farmers Market has been providing homestyle southern foods in Fort Myers for almost 70 years! If you do the arithmetic, this implies they first opened their doors in 1952.
Monday through Friday, breakfast and lunch are served, as well as supper on Friday and Saturday. We came here for breakfast, and I’d like to start with a gastronomic recommendation. The servings here are enormous, so consider sharing. If you don’t, you’ll almost certainly be missing lunch. I couldn’t pass up the Blueberry Pancakes, which were practically layered with fresh berries. The ideal companion was a side of sausage patties.
Classic farm-fresh egg dishes, corned beef hash, biscuits & gravy, a southern breakfast skillet, and a plethora of other delectable breakfast mainstays are also available. In addition, daily specials are available on the breakfast and lunch menus.
Farmers Market is the place to go if you want history, comfort cuisine, and charming service (two sisters have worked here for 55 years).
The phone number is (239) 332-36732, and the address is 207 First Street.
I don’t normally feature chain restaurants in my culinary roundups, but this delightful gourmet brand’s first location debuted in Ft. Myers in 2012. The restaurant pays tribute to automaker Henry Ford, whose vacation house is about a mile away, with antique Ford automobiles, petrol stations, and other automotive accessories. The intriguing bar is built with prohibition-style components such as aged brick, rich wood, and a hand-hammered copper top.
Fords specializes on gourmet burgers and American craft beer, in line with the All-American motif. Burgers of renown honor local celebrities and community leaders. Homemade meatloaf, BBQ pig ribs, macaroni and cheese, and other famous American comfort foods are also available.
Fords Garage is available for lunch, supper, Sunday brunch, and a happy hour Monday through Friday.
If you want feel-good meals surrounded by American history and nostalgia, Fords Garage is the place to go. It’s no surprise that it made our list of eateries in downtown Fort Myers.
Ft. Myers Oxbow
239-314-38561300 Hendry St.
An oxbow is a steep bend or twist in a river, so the name of this stunning yet informal beachfront café with views of the Caloosahatchee River is perfect. Boaters may dock nearby and go to the restaurant for lunch, supper, or Sunday brunch. Locals and tourists alike like this nautical-themed establishment.
Blue Point Oysters and Oxbow Smoked Chicken Wings are excellent appetizers to share. Salads and portable pleasures are also available on the menu. The Berry & Goat Cheese Salad with Swiss chard, goat cheese crumbles, strawberry, blackberry, candied walnut, and a delicious maple balsamic vinaigrette is a must-order. Each of Oxbow’s salads may be customized with chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, or strip steak.
The breathtaking river and marina vistas, as well as the delectable culinary selections, are unrivaled.
239-332-20652122 2nd Street (at Broadway)
If you’re searching for a special occasion or romantic restaurant that’s rich in history and charm, The Veranda is the place to go. It’s also one of the greatest downtown Ft. Myers restaurants right now. It has been a Fort Myers fine dining institution since 1978, and it is constantly recognized as one of the area’s most award-winning restaurants.
The Veranda is housed in two stunning turn-of-the-century Antebellum mansions. This period piece establishment’s staple is, unsurprisingly, Southern Regional Cuisine. Appetizers include southern favorites like Southern Grit Cakes and Blue Crab Cakes. A Mixed Grill of Fresh Fish, Gulf Shrimp & Sea Scallops with Prosciutto Cream Fettuccine and a traditional Chateaubriand for two are also available for supper.
Save some place in your stomach for dessert, even if it’s sharing one of Veranda’s devilishly delectable treats. Go no farther than the Three Layer Chocolate Pt with Raspberry Coulis, the ideal ending to a memorable dining experience.
The Veranda, with its vast wine selection and first-rate service, is a fantastic option for a wonderful romantic evening out.
The Ella Maes Diner
833-618-1512200 Edwards Drive
This corner cafe is named after Dr. Ella Mae Piper, a Fort Myers African-American medical practitioner, visionary, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Ella Maes, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and supper, combines traditional southern dishes with a contemporary touch and a retro throwback atmosphere. Here’s why it’s one of the top restaurants in downtown Fort Myers.
I was so happy with the food and service here that I came for breakfast and then returned for lunch a few days later. Let us now discuss their excellent cuisine. Ella Mae staples including traditional Buttermilk Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, Corned Beef Hash and Potatoes, and Yogurt Parfaits are available for breakfast. Their Avocado Toast is incredible!
I love crab soup, and Ella Maes does not disappoint. If it’s on their soup d’jour menu, don’t hesitate. It’s creamy and savory, and it’s loaded with lump crab, corn, and potatoes. It’s soup-y paradise!
Salads, sandwiches, and hearty lunch plates are available in the restaurant for lunch. I made my Pine Island Salad with mixed greens and spinach, sliced mango and papaya, candied walnuts, red onion, feta cheese, and poppy seed dressing. I added shrimp to my order and was pleasantly delighted by the six enormous grilled prawns that topped the salad.
In addition to all of the other aspects that contribute to this being a fantastic location to eat, the costs are fairly affordable considering the meal quality. Ella Maes is a must-visit if you like dining, excellent service, and delicious cuisine. It’s one of the top restaurants in downtown Fort Myers.
The Good Luck Screw
Hendry Street (239) 334-4441527 Hendry Street
Every municipality needs a place to relax and have a good time after a long day at work. Fort Myers is the location of the Lucky Screw. It’s a favorite lunch and supper spot for locals, and with good reason.
The two-story informal yet kitschy pub features an amazing happy hour that runs everyday from 4pm to 9pm. The number of tapas and shareables here was excellent for a bunch of foodies. We shared charcuterie and cheese platters at our table. Popular major dinners included the Shrimp Scampi and Margherita Flatbreads, however salads, sandwiches, main entrees, and fish specials are also available.
Nevertheless, don’t leave too early since each evening has live music and really entertaining karaoke.
The Lucky Screw should be on your radar if you want a more lively pub-like ambiance with fantastic meals and an exciting mood. That is why it is on our list of the finest restaurants in downtown Fort Myers.
Izzy’s Fish and Oyster House
First Street, (239) 337-49992282
Seafood enthusiasts never forget their origins or seaside background. Izzys Fish & Oyster was inspired by childhood memories of growing up on the beaches of Cape Cod and the Islands, when summers were filled with sunny days, warm evenings, sandy toes, and tummies full of the best New England seafood. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the greatest restaurants in downtown Fort Myers.
Fortunately for both residents and guests, this charming cafe provides a lot of fish. Yet, their lobster rolls are distinctive among local restaurants, and who doesn’t like a genuine New England lobster roll? These are incredible! These delectable delicacies, eaten hot or cold, are packed with bits of lobster and topped with waffle fries and coleslaw.
Daily specialties, chowders, delectable appetizers, grilled and fried seafood sandwiches and platters are very popular for lunch and supper. If you like seafood, you’ll adore happy hour, which has $2 awwww shucks oysters.
If you like southern seafood yet want a typical New England seafood flavor, Izzys is the place to appreciate the sea’s bounty.
Downtown Pizza House
(1520 Hendry Street) (239) 337-2467
Every community has a nice pizza place, and Fort Myers offers the Downtown House of Pizza, where cooks have been crafting traditional pies in an open kitchen since 2005.
Customers may choose a single slice or one of 14 speciality pizzas. Or, you may create your own using a variety of components. There are also vegetarian and vegan choices available. But it’s not only the pizza that’s fantastic at this place. Hot and cold sandwiches, calzones, strombolis, and salads are also available at House of Pizza.
The pizzeria is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays through Tuesdays, and until 2 a.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays.
When you’re in Fort Myers and want a tasty pizza, Downtown House of Pizza is here to accept your order.
Restaurants in Downtown Fort Myers Finish Up
We eat while we travel. And how reassuring to know that we have gourmet options like these in the historic town of Fort Myers, so that we may gain a greater sense of the rich culture of this lovely Gulf Coast jewel.