Everyone who’s spent time on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel will tell you that the area possesses a quirky nature. If you’re interested in experiencing these signature eateries then these three restaurants are the best places to start.
Even from the outside, it’s easy to see that this iconic Captiva restaurant is anything but run of the mill. The building’s exterior walls are adorned with clashing pastels, while every window is topped with a rainbow-striped awning. So, if the loud paint job isn’t enough of a giveaway, the large cutout of Santa and his reindeer displayed on the roof – even in the thick of summer – should give you an idea of the mind-boggling scene inside.
Once you cross the threshold, you’re immersed in an upbeat overture of swing music from the 20s and 30s and surrounded by walls covered in decorations. Established in 1979, the Bubble Room began as a family-run restaurant with a small collection of antique toys. Over the years, the family’s collection expanded exponentially into the massive display of antiques and artwork seen today.
It should also be mentioned that most of the cuisine here is just as curious as the decorations. Many of The Bubble Room’s original menu items such as Socra cheese, Bubble Bread and Carolina Moons have been served there since the very beginning. After you’ve enjoyed your meal, be sure to top the experience off with one of the restaurant’s famously oversized deserts.
At the southern bend of Sanibel Island you’ll find another locally beloved restaurant. The Island Cow, much like The Bubble Room, has distinguished itself with some unique décor decisions. Here, you’ll find shelves and booths lined with countless figurines
These quirky decorations pair perfectly with the fun and welcoming “at-moo-sphere” (their word, not ours.) It isn’t just the ornamentation that sets this place apart, the menu comprises some unusual options, like their delicious signature muffins. Yet despite their quirky way of doing things, The Island Cow has received plenty of accolades. It’s been voted the island’s best lunch and family dining experience for more than ten years in a row.
For another memorable meal, rev up your appetite and head to Ford’s Garage. Named after the infamous innovator that once frequented the area, this auto-themed eatery combines the look of a 1920s garage with a modern-day burger and craft beer joint. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see a life-sized Ford Model T suspended above the bar.
The Ford’s Garage chefs share in their namesake’s spirit of innovation and attention to fine detail. Every burger here is carefully hand-crafted and made with top-quality USDA Black Angus beef, American Kobe beef or open-range bison. Pair that with one of their carefully curated craft beers and you’ve got yourself an all-American meal that would make Ford proud.
Want more quirkiness? Book a reservation at The Heavenly Biscuit (photo below) or the Cabbage Key Restaurant (photo below).
Now that you’re good and hungry, take a deeper look into the unique dining experiences on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.
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