Dining on the go does not mean a fast-food drive through is the only option

Meal times roll around with relentless regularity, but that doesn’t always mean we want to cook. And that is particularly true on vacation. But a lack of culinary initiative doesn’t mean you must settle for the usual fast-food. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offer a wealth of takeout options that will ensure you eat well. In many cases, you won’t have to travel farther than your door to get it.

Meal times roll around with relentless regularity, but that doesn’t always mean we want to cook. And that is particularly true on vacation.

But a lack of culinary initiative doesn’t mean you must settle for the usual fast-food. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offer a wealth of takeout options that will ensure you eat well. In many cases, you won’t have to travel farther than your door to get it.

Should you desire the food to come to you, download the Bite Squad app to your phone. Plug in your address and it will show you the lineup of restaurants from which it will deliver to your area for a charge of $1.909 to $4.99. This is a great app. Ordering and paying is easy and you can track your order from the time you make it, through when it is picked up and as the driver makes his/her way to your door so that you know exactly when the food will arrive.

Here are some of the many places that offer takeout fare. And, if you don’t see one of your favorites listed, call and ask. A lot of restaurants offer it on request.

 Virtually every pizza parlor, Chinese and Thai joint offers takeout and, in many cases, delivery.  One Italian standout is Nice Guys Pizza & Beer (niceguyspizza.com) in south Cape Coral, which specializes in offbeat pizza (General Tso’s, Green Eggs and Ham, Black Gold) as well as more standard options and craft beers. A word of caution: You may intend to take your pizza out but find the quirky, casual atmosphere so alluring, you’ll wind up sticking around.

Elsewhere in Cape Coral, tasty takeout can be found at:

*Siam Hut (siamhutcapecoral.com) – Owned by the Bangthamai family for 30-plus years, this restaurant serves exceptional, consistent Thai fare, with great tom gai kai soup, Chinese sausage salad, pad Thai, curries and stir fries.

*Two Sisters (twosistersvietnamesecuisine.com) – A newcomer in the middle of Cape Coral, it’s easily accessible from the north or south. In addition to a variety of well-executed pho variations, it serves up noodle and rice dishes, eggrolls, crepes and boba teas.

*The Doner (the-doener.com) – Devotees of ubiquitous German doner shops will find authentic currywurst wraps, pitas and platters at this little outpost in central Cape Coral.

*Kreips & Juices (kreipsandjuices.com) – From a food truck, this place has grown into a storefront in the Cape (with another in the works for Edison Mall in Fort Myers), offering crepes with an American flair, smoothies, acai bowls and other fresh, healthy fare.

*The Beef Guy (beefguycapecoral.com) – Whether it’s Italian beef, a gyro or sausage you crave, the Beef Guy’s got it. Located in the same complex as Kreips & Juices.

*Gusto Cucina (gustocucinaitaliana) – This small family run Italian restaurant just south of Pine Island Road in Cape Coral offers freshly prepared Italian fare. 

In Fort Myers, there’s a lot more pizza – Grimaldi’s (grimaldispizzeria.com) at Bell Tower Shops; Blue Moon (bluemoonpizza.com) on College Parkway; Fine Folk (finefolkpizza.com) on Daniels Parkway; and Downtown Pizza (downtownhouseofpizza.com), an institution in downtown Fort Myers, to name just a few – as well as a variety of other ethnic choices, including:

*Farmer’s Market Restaurant (farmersmarketrestaurant.com) – Since 1952, this restaurant in central Fort Myers has served hearty Southern fare like chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, fried chicken, okra and tomatoes, collards, squash casserole, corn fritters, corn muffins and the like.

            *Ginger Bistro (gingerbistrousa.com) – Hands down, the best Chinese food in the region, it specializes in authentic New York-style fare (don’t look for egg foo yung or chow mein here).

            *Jason’s Deli (jasonsdeli.com) – This cafeteria-style deli has a wealth of options from vegetarian to hearty meat dishes, a salad bar and free ice cream for dessert. There are branches in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Estero.

            *Fabio’s (ristorantefabio) – In North Fort Myers, this family run neighborhood Italian restaurant has been run by the same family for 20 years. It’s in the hands of the second generation now, but still serving great pizza, pasta, veal, chicken and more in bountiful portions.

*El Pollo Rico (elpolloricobokeelia.com) – This little chicken joint in Bokeelia on Pine Island also serves burgers, salads, pulled pork and other Cuban-spiced goodies.

            On the islands, try these:

*Cantina Captiva (captivaislandinn.com) – For a taste of Mexico, try takeout from Cantina Captiva, where you can order up fajitas, tacos, tamales, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, nachos and more.

            *Doc Ford’s (docfords.com) – With locations on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva, this restaurant offers Caribbean-style cuisine with plenty of shrimp, seafood, chicken wings, salads, baby back ribs and more in a themed restaurant named for the hero of local author Randy Wayne White’s best-selling novels.

            *The Pecking Order (thepeckingordersanibel.com) – If it’s fried chicken you’re craving, this Sanibel takeout spot is the place to go. Other goodies include fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, baked beans, collards, cole slaw, mac and cheese, fried okra and the black Betty lava cup for dessert.

            *Schnapper’s Hots (schnappershots.com) – Hot dogs served multiple ways (Chicago dog anyone?) but there’s also Polish sausage, burgers, wings, chicken sandwiches, onion rings, milkshakes and ice cream in a variety of flavors at this popular Sanibel spot.

            On Fort Myers Beach, here are some options:

            *Doc Ford’s – See description above.

            *Heavenly Biscuit (Heavenly Biscuit on Facebook) – The name says it all, although this little cash-only café offers brunch and lunch as well as breakfast fare.

            *Plaka on the Beach (PlakaGreekRestaurant on Facebook) – Right on Times Square with a prime view of the Gulf, Plaka serves classic Greek food – gyros, Greek salads, stuffed grape leaves, baklava – as well as burgers. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is vegetarian friendly.

            *Smokin Oyster Brewery (smokinoyster.com) – Fondly known as SOB, it is not a brewery (although it does have beer) but does serve up lots of seafood. For takeout, hit the seafood market where they sell garlic crabs, clams and oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels, peel and eat shrimp, low country boil and combo buckets.

            In Bonita Springs:

            *DeRomo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant (deromos.com) – Situated in the Promenade at Bonita Bay, DeRomo’s offers a dizzying array of gourmet sandwiches, prepared foods and gourmet-to-go dishes as well as freshly baked goods.

            *Doug’s Seafood (dougsseafood) – A fish market and restaurant, Doug’s is beloved for its bountiful lobster rolls as well as fried shrimp/scallop/haddock or whole belly clam baskets, homemade chowders and a variety of seafood-based sandwiches.

            *Buffalo Chips (buffalochipsrestaurant.tv) – Never mind the name or the somewhat downtrodden exterior, this place has some of the best wings this side of Buffalo.

 

Francesca Donlan

fdonlan@leegov.com