Looking for the best restaurants in Englewood FL?
Hidden along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is a little oasis called Englewood, FL. Located about ½ way between Tampa and Fort Myers, Englewood is easy to find and even harder to leave.
Located on Lemon Bay and split between Charlotte and Sarasota Counties, Englewood has around 15,000 full-time residents. Englewood boasts a number of great, locally owned shops for food and drinks. Very few national chains are found in the area, giving Englewood a unique flavor of its own. The following list is 20 of the best restaurants in Englewood.
20 Best restaurants in Englewood FL You Can’t-Miss!
Placida Road Restaurants
1. Ricaltini’s Bar & Grill
This Englewood favorite has an Italian name but a diverse menu. For over 14 years, residents and visitors have flocked to this Placida Road eatery for some of their favorite dishes.
Ricaltini’s has amazing onion rings, which are made from thick cut sweet onions coated in a heavily seasoned breading. Weekly specials include Taco Tuesdays, Fish Fry Fridays and Prime Rib on Saturday nights. Don’t miss the amazing desserts made by Connie, including key lime pie.
Ricaltini’s is open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday. Both indoor and outdoor seating options are available, but most people choose to be served on the covered outdoor patio, where diners can be entertained by live music from local bands most nights of the week.
2. Lighthouse Grill at Stump Pass
This beautiful waterside dining location is right next to a marina, making it accessible from both land and sea. All dining at Lighthouse Grill is outdoors, and the majority of it is covered to protect diners from the elements.
Lighthouse Grill specializes in seafood entrees such as peel and eats shrimp, crab cakes, grouper Reuben, and flash fried whole snapper. Seafood is supplied by small, family-owned operations throughout Southwest Florida.
The recently opened tiki bar area is available for those who just want to drop by for a drink or two. There’s even a separate dog-friendly area for those with four-legged friends. The lighthouse is a decorative structure on the dock next to the restaurant, making it very easy to locate from the water.
3. Ken and Barb’s Grove City Kitchen
Newly opened in 2020, Ken and Barb’s is waterside dining Englewood style. The restaurant may be a recent addition to Englewood, but it has quickly become a favorite dining destination for many.
You can sit on the open air patio and enjoy the views of Oyster Creek as it creeps inland from Lemon Bay. The food served here is made from scratch and tailored to the Florida vibe.
At Ken and Barb’s you can find delicious dishes on their pub menu like fish and chips, baked brie, and amazing burgers. The dinner menu includes entrée items such as Braised Lamb Shank, Chicken Marsala, and Shrimp & Grits.
A special treat for those diners who are concerned about gluten, the restaurant uses only gluten free frying. They also fresh cut their French fries in house. On Sundays, live music is available on the outdoor waterfront patio.
One of the best waterfront restaurants in Englewood.
4. Sassy Tarts Bakery
This adorable European style bakery can be found near the Rotonda just south of Englewood. The family owned and operated facility specializes in croissants, quiches, danish, and tarts.
Serving individual portions and entire pies, you can enjoy classics such as crème Brulee and berries and cream. They don’t just have sweet treats, they make all the bread in the house and serve pizza topped with focaccia and pot pies, too.
There is space to eat in or carry it out to take home and share with your friends and family. Be sure to grab a cup of coffee from their daily brewed selections to enjoy your selections. You can also place special orders ahead of time to ensure they have your favorite flavors when you arrive.
Highlights of Highway 776
5. Farlow’s on the Water
This Englewood favorite is located on the North side of 776 on the edge of Ainger Creek. People love to sit waterside and look at the views of the creek.
This restaurant is known for its Caribbean specialties with a Southern twist. An especially unique menu item is the Goat Tacos, made with pieces of marinated and slow roasted goat tenderloin. The make all of their items fresh daily using herbs they have grown in their garden.
Vegetarians will delight in the variety of meat-free and unique menu options available, including The Bad Hunter – a cauliflower steak with potatoes served with grilled asparagus. Farlow’s can be very crowded at times, so it is best if you have a reservation and give yourself a few minutes to circle the parking lot.
6. Mama’s Italian Restaurant
Just across the street from Farlow’s is a wonderful place to stop for Italian food and pizza. Mama’s is a local Italian favorite where they feature afternoon $1 drafts during happy hour.
If you are not in the mood for hand tossed pizza or spaghetti, you can dine on a hoagie, stromboli, or a wrap. You’ll often find locals grabbing a beer at the bar while waiting to take their delicious meals to the beach or back home.
Check the website for early bird and lunch specials. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available, including a cauliflower crust pizza made with your choice of toppings. There is plenty of free, on-site parking at Mama’s, making it a great place to meet up with friends for a meal.
7. End Zone Sports Grille
This sports bar has all the favorites – pizza, wings, and burgers. The best place to hang out is on the patio under the tiki hut, however indoor seating is available for those who want it.
You can always count on them for cold beer, good food, and live music on occasion. They have a great happy hour from 12-6 Monday – Friday.
On Fridays, they have all you can eat fish and chips while you watch one of the more than 40 TV’s they have all over the indoor and outdoor dining areas. The adjacent parking lot has plenty of spaces available at no charge to customers.
8. Spinnaker Café
Spinnaker Café is a small diner style eatery located in a strip mall on 776. Don’t let the throw back décor and exterior fool you.
This place serves a down home breakfast or lunch that will keep you going all day. They make all their baked goods and pastries in house. Be sure to try the house made eclairs, which they serve alongside an extra scoop of the delicious filling.
They have great service and will keep your coffee cup filled and hot. You might have to wait for a table here, but it is worth the wait. Many regular visitors to Englewood look forward all year long to the opportunity to return to Spinnaker for some of their amazing food.
9. Nicola’s Italian Kitchen
Known for it’s Italian delights, this small red, white, and green building packs in the customers. It has been voted the best Italian food in the area since it opened. An Italian born couple started this restaurant in CT and moved it to Charlotte County in 1990.
You will notice right away the traditional sauces and flavors of Italy in all the dishes. Some of the favorites here are Spaghetti Nicolino, Manicotti, and the amazing Tiramisu. This place has a wonderful wine list, even serving their own private label, and the staff is willing to offer suggestions.
You can also take some of the favorite dishes from their kitchen home with you. They sell their sauce in jars and you can order dishes fresh or frozen to take away. This is a popular place, so be sure to make a reservation.
10. Libee’s Sports Bar
After being closed for extensive remodeling, Libee’s Sports Bar is back open for enjoyment. While they claim sports bar in their name, the space is warm and inviting and is friendly to non-sports fans too.
The menu is diverse and not what you would expect from a typical sports bar. There are tostones, Rueben eggrolls, and fried cheese curds on the appetizer menu.
The hand toss bar pies (wood fired Neapolitan style pizza) and the burgers are the focus but they do have several main dishes to choose from. Be sure to try the meatloaf or the southern fried chicken when you aren’t in the mood for a burger or ‘za.
The indoor space is plentiful, but many people opt to wait so they can dine in one of the covered patio spaces out front.
By the Beach
11. Magnolia’s on the Bay
Magnolia’s is situated on the bay side of Manasota Key. The view from the patio is Florida at its finest. You can enjoy amazing dishes prepared in the open kitchen while watching the boats float by. The patio itself is inviting and spacious.
On a chilly day or evening, you can Dine at one of the high-top tables and enjoy a gas fire experience. For lunch, the beet and burrata salad is worth a try. All of the dough for the flatbreads and pizzas is made in house.
The marscapone porcini cream sauce is a must if you are creating your own pizza. Be sure to stop by for breakfast and be treated to a specialty latte or mornin’ mocktail. Or make plans to splurge or celebrate something special and come here for dinner.
The dinner menu changes often and entrees run between $30-55 dollars but are well worth it. Magnolias also sells items like chicken salad by the quart, so it can be easily taken over to the beach and enjoyed later. Parking by the beach can be quite competitive, so Magnolias offers a free valet service to their customers.
12. The Waverly Restaurant
Located right across from Englewood Beach on Manasota Key is a great place for outdoor dining or watching the sunset from a window table on the second floor.
Parking can be tight at the beach but the restaurant does have a small parking lot available on site. This seafood focused restaurant offers everything from grouper to surf and turf.
The lobster rolls and the orange glazed sea bass are both crowd favorite menu items. Live music is on hand several times a week to add to the festive atmosphere. Reservations are recommended during the busy season, and are available by calling the Waverly direct.
13. Lock ‘n Key Restaurant & Pub
The newly renovated Lock and Key restaurant is just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico, and is an extremely popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
This casual, beachside restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and has both indoor and outdoor seating options. Lock ‘n Key boasts that they have the best Happy Hour in Englewood, which goes from 11am-6pm every day of the week.
For a unique spin on happy hour pricing, the bar offers patrons a pull tab style ticket with each drink order. When the tab is removed, the price of the drink is revealed – which could be full price, ½ price, or even as low as 50 cents!
Favorite menu items are the Boom Boom Shrimp – drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce – the fried Grouper Fingers, and the Ahi Tuna Nachos. Reservations are not accepted, so arrive early and expect to wait during the busy winter months.
Dining on Downtown Dearborn
14. Vino Loco Wine Bar & Tapas
Located in the heart of Old Englewood Village, Vino Loco is the best place in the city to drop in for a glass of wine. Their selection of international and domestic wines is hand picked by the owners to complement their tapas menu.
Vino Loco uses organic and natural ingredients in all their menu items, many of which are changed out seasonally. The menu is heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine, and features items such as artisanal meats and cheeses, marinated olives, and lemon chicken.
There is always a sandwich and panini of the day on the menu. Several dessert items are also produced in-house, most of which are gluten-free, and all of them are delicious. In addition to the expansive wine menu, the restaurant offers a small selection of hand-picked brews for those who prefer beer over wine, but it does not have a full liquor license.
They also have a retail wine shop attached to the restaurant so you can take home a bottle of your new favorite varietal. Vino Loco is open for lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends, along with their dinner service.
15. Joe Maxx Coffee
For those who need a caffeinated start to their mornings, look no further than Joe Maxx Coffee on Dearborn Street. This small but inviting space offers high quality coffee, fresh pastries and sandwiches every day of the week from 7 am-3 pm.
The patio area is an extremely popular place for many visitors and locals to gather and prepare themselves for the rest of their day.
Joe Maxx uses their own brand of roasted beans for both drip coffee and espresso drinks, and even sells the beans by the pound for those who want to take some home. Some of their more unique drink offerings are a Black and Tan – a mocha made with peanut butter; and the Spiked Lemonade – a mixture of espresso and fresh lemonade poured over ice.
16. Blue Pineapple Bistro
Just down Dearborn Street from Vino Loco is the Blue Pineapple Bistro. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu has typical American favorites infused with flavors of the Gulf. Possibly the most impressive items on the menu are the Bloody Marys, which can be a meal unto themselves.
Along with the usual accompaniments like celery, olives and pickles, these also include your choice of cheeseburger sliders, grilled cheese, various fried foods, & antipasto.
Those diners who need to avoid wheat will be glad to see that Blue Pineapple’s kitchen makes a great gluten-free pizza option in addition to their standard flatbreads. Parking can be tight, but plenty of shaded seating is available on their outdoor dining deck.
17. Englewood’s on Dearborn
This restaurant has amazing space and offers fantastic live Blues music every night of the week they are open. Currently Englewood’s is closed Sunday & Monday, and most holidays.
The food here is outstanding as well and features a variety of steak and seafood entrees. You can grab a drink on the front patio, sit inside in the spacious dining room, or nosh and listen to the various musicians from all around the country on the outdoor patio.
When you step into the courtyard you are transported to a tropical paradise surrounded by dense plants and festive hanging lights. Once you are done eating, feel free to get up and dance on one of their two dance floors. Be sure to check their website or Facebook page for the list of upcoming artists.
Sometimes there is a cover charge depending on the entertainment. A small parking lot can be found behind the restaurant, and lots of street parking is available on Dearborn Street.
18. La Stanza Ristorante
La Stanza is a great local place for pasta, steaks, seafood and veal. You can’t miss seeing this expansive, white restaurant building with green trim as you drive down Dearborn.
Each dish is prepared to order and made from top ingredients. The clams stuffed and broiled in white wine, lemon and butter is the perfect way to begin any meal. The crab stuffed mushrooms can’t be beat and the linguine carbonara is everything you’d hope it would be.
No matter what your preference, you’ll be able to find something delicious on this menu. The service here is fantastic as most of the wait staff have been working there for a while. They even recognize us when we come in. La Stanza has a large parking lot located behind the building to accommodate the crowds that show up during the busy season.
19. Bobarino’s Pizza
Right off Dearborn St. is Bobarino’s Pizzeria on Magnolia Ave. They have much more than just pizzas, including hot and cold subs, pasta dishes, calzones, strombolis, filled rolls, and stuffed pizzas. Bobarino’s also offers gluten-free pastas as an option for those who need to avoid wheat.
Many of the dishes are Italian favorites made with love featuring homemade sauce (they call it gravy). People go crazy for their fresh, hot garlic knots, which can come plain or covered with any of their pizza toppings. Bobarino’s features Italian wines from different regions by the glass and in bottles.
Like many restaurants in Englewood, they have a beer and wine license which means any cocktails they served are made with wine based liquors.
The restaurant interior is quite cozy, but they offer all of their pizzas and entrees available to-go so they can be enjoyed at home if preferred. Free parking is available right across the street from the restaurant in their spacious lot.
20. Comadres Restaurant
This a great casual spot for Mexican food right on Dearborn St. You can find all the standard favorites here from burritos to tacos.
The staff here are always friendly and welcoming. The front patio is a great place to dine and watch the action drive by. The tables and chairs on the patio are adorned with turquoise agave plants. After enjoying chips and salsa be sure to try the sour cream chicken enchiladas.
Everything we’ve tried has been terrific. It’s always fresh, fast, plentiful and delicious. You can’t go wrong by pairing any of their entrees with a classic house specialty margarita or cerveza. Comadres doesn’t have a parking lot of its own, but plenty of street spots on Dearborn are available.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of restaurants in and around the Englewood area. With so many to choose from, there is sure to be something available to please almost any appetite. In fact, the hardest thing about dining in Englewood is deciding which of the amazing restaurants you are going to try next!
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Sunday 1st of January 2023
Coffee & Friends on placida road (used to be the Egg and I) is the most popular breakfast place on town! WHY not on the list?
Friday 9th of December 2022
I’m surprised you didn’t mention Coffee & Friends on Placida Road! It's the BEST and most clean place in Town!
Friday 16th of December 2022
@Kevin H., I agree 100%!!
Tuesday 5th of April 2022
I'm surprised you didn't mention Cafe 776 as it is one of the best for fried fish and oysters!! Very friendly and always packed when the snowbirds are here.
Friday 9th of December 2022
@Kathy, well if you like greasy food, THAT's your place to go....
Wednesday 7th of December 2022
@Shirley Clark, Cafe 776 is our first restaurant stop when we get to Florida !
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
@marsha S, NOBODY cares marsha!!
Friday 10th of June 2022
@Florida Vacation Expert,
776 is very small very crowded and food was very greasy
Florida Vacation Expert
Tuesday 5th of April 2022
Thanks Sharon for letting us know about Cafe 776. Sounds delicious!