Looking for the best Restaurants on Captiva Island?
Captiva Island, right next to Sanibel Island, is a beautiful destination, with its 5 mile stretch of coastline chalk full of activities and eateries located close to its white sand beaches, and stunning views.
The island boasts 230 bird species, 250 shell species, and over 50 eateries. So, if you’re looking for a great place to eat in Captiva, have no fear, because your options are plentiful! In this list, we have narrowed it down to the top 14 best lowkey, lush Captiva Island eateries still in action. With thousands of 4 and 5 star reviews, it’s easy to tell Captiva knows how to do wining and dining right!
Please note, many of these establishments were unfortunately impacted by hurricane Ian, according to First Watch Resteraunt Group- to the tune of 85 restaurants were impacted by the natural disaster.
On review sites you will find many of the restaurants listed are indeed still out of service. So, if you plan to visit, please be patient and keep that in mind. But in Captiva, there are so many wonderful dishes and locations to explore! And with such wide varieties in theme and menu that deserve our attention, visits, and time. So without further ado, let’s get started!
15 Best Restaurants on Captiva Island You Must Try!
Captiva Island Pizza
Kicking things off is Captiva Island Pizza, with glowing reviews praising their sauce flavor and crust. Photo reviews show a woman floating on a pizza slice floatie in the pool, as well as a beautifully lit white wicker porch, and deliciously melty pepperoni and cheese pizza.
The establishment has almost every pizza flavor on the menu, from classics to Hawaiian (love it or hate it). Eat inside or outside on a neon-lighted porch, or dine poolside, and to wrap up your meal consider ordering a savory and popular slice of key lime pie! Captiva Island Pizza boasts 1 classic pizza, 6 specialty pizza options, 1 appetizer, 1 dessert, and 3 beverage options.
The Old Captiva House
Second location to totally check out is The Old Captiva House, which is known for its selection of fine wine and fish! The Old Captiva House has actually won several awards, including TWO Crow’s Taste of The Island Awards.
The establishment won first place in the Taste of the Taste category, as well as Best Seafood Category! You can dine indoors with a clean white aesthetic (with teal accents), or outdoors with a stunning Gulf-view! Additionally, reviews rave about the restaurant’s large open windows, and are flush with food photos bound to make you starve to visit. Don’t forget to try the award winning Cioppino!
The Old Captiva House currently has a Thanksgiving menu boasting 4 cold displays, 4 seafood displays, 3 carving station options, and 11 buffet options.
The Christmas menu has 5 cold display options, 5 seafood display options,10 buffet options, and 3 carving display options, with assorted dessert options. These are a total steal with $80 per person pricing, and children paying only $23!
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Cafe Latte Da
Looking to cool things down? Why not consider Cafe Latte Da for a quick bite of ice cream by the water? Reviews praise the coffee and low prices, as well as non-ice cream items such as breakfast sandwiches. Cafe Latte Da prides itself on its everyday freshly made pastry, as it should! Inside the shop you can sit and admire the walls adorned with signs and mugs and plenty else to ponder.
The photo reviews as well as the food photography on their website is beyond professional. Stunning slices of cake and dripps of ganache are enough to win any patron over! The homey atmosphere coupled with Queenies Homemade ice cream makes for a fun and delicious trip any time of the day! Don’t forget to try Cafe Latte Da’s award winning salads! One review claims “absolutely everything is amazing,” so you really can’t go wrong!
Cafe Latte Da boasts 4 hot beverages, 7 cold beverages, 7 espresso beverages, 11 other beverages, 6 breakfast specialties, 9 omelets, 7 breakfast sandwiches, 27 breakfast sides, 3 kids breakfast options, 8 pastry options, 10 specialty sandwiches, 5 burgers, 8 salads, 4 wraps, 4 soup/salad options, 2 chicken tenders, 2 quesadillas, 5 children options, and 7 sides and apps!
See more: Best restaurants in Sanibel Island
Captiva Island Inn
Captiva Island Inn is next up on our list, with free wifi, free parking, an outdoor pool, and AC, it has already got a lot to offer. And that is not even mentioning the food and drink. Captiva Island Inn reviews praise a great vibe, friendly staff, and even better food.
Another review mentions you can walk on the beach, or to the next-mentioned Mucky Duck if you would like. On all sites, the Inn boasts nearly 5 stars. The menu for the Inn is via Keylime Bistro, a sweet little spot with live music and a seat on the patio, with a slice of pie.
The tropical theme and unique dishes makes this spot a must-see. Reviews cite great service and amazing atmosphere as top reasons to visit. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Keylime Bistro is your destination for great food and rocking vibes.
Grass huts, beach umbrellas, eggs benedict or dessert- it is all here! Keylime Bistro boasts 41 drinks, 14 breakfast/brunch options, 6 sides, 14 appetizers, 1 soup, 7 salads, 12 lunch options, 10 seafood options, 11 pasta options, 4 beef/chicken options, 2 risotto options, 8 beverages, and 11 dessert options!
The Mucky Duck
Spicing things up on the list, we have The Mucky Duck, with modest origins as a teahouse before shooting up to one of the most popular spots to eat on the island!
Located at the center of Captiva, review photos are fit to have you itching to visit. And if that is not enough, the beach in the background tells you all you need to know about the atmosphere. Patrons love the menu, vibe, and service, as well as competitive prices. The photo gallery is amazing.
It features close ups of fish and chips that had this writer absolutely salivating! Palm trees, a bar fully stocked with glass bottles, and lovely outdoor seating make this location an amazing attraction. Additionally, drinks seem to be a very popular selling point for the restaurant.
The Mucky Duck boasts 3 soups, 5 salads, 12 appetizers, and 8 desserts. Good thing the original Inn was moved back 300 feet to keep it from going underwater! Don’t forget to check out the live feed of the beach cam on The Mucky Duck’s website!
The Green Flash Waterfront Restaurant
Can you not get enough of the waterfront views? Well do we have the location for you! May I present to you, The Green Flash Waterfront Restaurant. Situated directly on the waterfront the establishment boasts scenic dockside dining, and reviews note excellent seafood, and a polished retro interior. Inside, orchids sit on the tables and outside fans perch around the porches.
There is a clean aesthetic with the tables having white tablecloths and the high backed chairs looking comfortable and inviting. Interesting art prints are on the walls inside, and puffy blue clouds and waters greet you outside.
The photo gallery hosts pictures of fabulous sunsets you can view if you dine in the late afternoon. Slabs of succulent fish and angel hair pasta are enough to make anyone want to visit. Either way, the menu and atmosphere are sure to please!
The Green Flash Waterfront Restaurant boasts a whopping 85 wine options, 15 appetizers, 3 soups, 5 salads, 22 entrees, and 11 desserts. The green flash also has a live webcam of its stunning views!
Doc Fords Rum Bar and Grille
If you are looking to relax, have we got the spot for you! Doc Fords Rum Bar and Grille offers food and drink with a pleasant Caribbean flare. The New York Times referred to the establishment as a “vacation on a plate.” Patron reviews note the rum, reasonable pricing, and music.
The establishment’s website boasts the finest, freshest seafood possible, and the photo gallery is certainly a testament to this!
The Ft. Myers Beach location is situated on the waterfront, the indoor and outdoor seating surrounded by dark wood and green lights will have you feeling like you stepped into Oz!
The menu has a grand total of 14 appetizers, 67 drink options (including a childrens charity section), 4 desserts, and even a gluten free menu! You aren’t limited at all by location, since Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille has 4 locations on Sanibel Island.
Sunshine Seafood Restaurant
Up next is the Sunshine Seafood Restaurant, which won the 2021 Wine Spectator Award for its selection of fine wines, and was voted the island’s “Best Kept Secret” by Glufshore Life Magazine. If you’re a fan of surf n turf, this is definitely the spot for you.
When you visit, don’t forget to try the mandarin orange salad with a citrus vinaigrette, or the wood grilled filet mignon! Goat cheese is another unique ingredient that graces Sunshine Seafood’s menu. Currently, owner Sandy Stillwell notes Sunshine Seafood sustained some damages from hurricane Ian and asks for patience in their grand re-opening.
However, when it does reopen it will have 6 family menu options, 3 port wines, 2 Sunshine coffee options, and one espresso and cappuccino options respectively. There are seven dessert options, 10 entree options, 7 soup and salad options, and 9 appetizers.
The surf and turf menu coupled with the fine dining, indoor and outdoor seating, bar, and art gallery (including art for sale), places Sunshine Seafood #3 for best Captiva Island Restaraunts on Tripadvisor.
If you are looking to literally spice things up, then you will love Cantina Captiva! Known for its funky interior where dollars line the walls and ceiling, there are chill vibes at this establishment any time you visit. Cantina Captiva has indoor, outdoor, and takeout options available.
With its Mexican and Southwestern theme, freshly homemade guacamole is a must try at Cantina Captiva, as well as its stuffed cheese jalapeno peppers and enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas. The walls are fluttering with bills, dia de los muerto skulls and fans, and sombreros! The photo gallery simply teems with photos of beautiful rice, nachos, grilled veggies and burritos!
Photo reviews show delicious plates piled with rice, tortillas, carne, and glasses full of slushy drinks.
Cantina Captiva boasts 7 appetizers, 2 salad options, 2 wrap choices, 6 quesadillas, 3 tamale options, 5 draft beers, 21 bottled beers, 1 sangria option, and 3 margarita options, 7 wine choices, 8 beverages, 3 tacos, 4 burritos, 6 enchiladas, 7 fajita options, 7 chef specialties, 3 “gringo” options, 6 kids options, and 12 sides.
RC Otters is next up, known for its reviews raving about best service and seafood quesadillas, RC Otters is the place to be if you are looking to relax and have a good meal. The indoor-outdoor cafe with live music also has dine in and takeout, with gorgeous palm trees adorning its outsides, you can see a good view while tucking into sizzling fajitas or breakfast.
Photo galleries for the restaurant feature beautiful pancakes topped with whipped cream, and a patron with a pet eating on the outdoor patio! With light wooden chairs and tables, beautiful sunny skies, palm trees galore, and a plate full of oysters, shrimp, or whatever you order, you’re sure to have a great time at RC Otters!
Don’t forget dessert- one patron ordered the brownie with ice cream, and her plate was piled absolutely sky high!
RC Otters has a ton to offer, and is an especially great spot to take and dine the whole family! There is an option for every craving and time of day.
RC Otters boasts 16 breakfast options, 6 kids breakfast options, 12 breakfast sides, 9 appetizer options, 7 soup and salad options, 8 seafood options, 2 steak and rib options, 8 award-winning quesadilla and fajitas, 8 seafood sandwich options, 9 classic sandwich options, 4 raw and steamed options, 4 fried baskets, 2 pasta options, 7 dinner sides, 7 kids entrees, 10 beverages, and 6 desserts.
Over The Waterfront
Another destination with chill vibes can be found at Over The Waterfront, where panoramic views of the water can be found. The quaint establishment sits on a dock, reminiscent of a fishing shack, here you can eat while staring out at the waves! One patron photographed some sea otters swimming up for a pet! Intimate indoor dining can help you relax as you eat delicious seafood or pasta.
Plates are always full in the photo reviews, and balanced graciously with steamed veggies as well.
Over The Waterfronts understated menu lists 6 appetizers, and 16 entrees on the dinner menu. The wooden walls and chairs give the feeling that you are out at sea while you eat. Photo reviews show gorgeous ice cream sundaes, shrimp, french fries, teal crystal blue waters, and even a disco ball, and young fishermen!
Mango’s Cafe and Grill
Mango’s Cafe and Grill boasts 4.5 stars by 170 patrons, an impressive score for an even more impressive location. Reviews praise the bartender, atmosphere, food, and a joke that we should all keep it a secret! But it is no secret that the outdoor seating is gorgeous, with yellow beach umbrellas and wicker chairs on wood and tile floors.
There is a pool bar, and plenty of people who enjoy the slushies and ice cream as well! Photo reviews show plates piled high with french fries, a pool, and even sea lions swimming around the Mango’s Cafe and Grill dock. It seems some patrons even pull up dockside in their boats to come chow down.
Overall, the Mango’s Cafe and Grill is a perfect destination if you’re looking to sit back, relax, cool down, and grab a bite to eat. Mango’s Cafe and Grill boasts 7 appetizers, 4 breakfast menu options, 1 pizza option, and 15 dinner options.
The Mad Hatter Restaurant
Up next on this competitive list is The Mad Hatter Restaurant with one patron review claming it is the best on the entire island! Another review states the plating at The Mad Hatter would “stun Gordon Ramsey” and the establishment claims 4.5 stars, with steak seeming to be a crowd pleaser.
The indoor atmosphere is expensive, with folded white tablecloths, polished silverware, comfortable seating, white plates, and wall decor to boot. The stained glass windows in the front give a welcoming vibe, and beautiful flowers adorn several plates in the photo review sections. Seafood, wine, and salads all are gorgeously photographed in positive reviews.
The Mad Hatter Resteraunt boasts 6 starters, 6 salads (including a watermelon salad), 12 entrees (including florida snapper), 8 desserts, 5 dessert wines, and 5 portos, plus assorted coffees and teas.
The Mad Hatter is one restaurant that has undergone more than its fair share of trauma this year, including the loss of Executive Chef Sarah Wagner, which left a space in the heart of the community. This was before hurricane Ian, which unfortunately took its toll on the establishment.
The Mad Hatter asks for grace during this time, so it can get back to delivering some of the finest meals on the island! One of the best Restaurants on Captiva Island for sure.
Second to last on our list is The Boathouse, which is dine-in only, and boasts an impressive 4 stars. Photo reviews show succulent seafood piled high on white china, and the interior is dark wood with white folded fabric napkins.
One patron noted the intimate nature of the restaurant could make things a bit noisy, but otherwise patrons seem happy with The Boathouse. The Boathouse boasts 5 starters, 5 sides, 6 entrees, 2 kids options, 9 red wine options, 7 white wine options, 4 cocktails, and 8 beer options.
Bubble Room Emporium
Last but certainly not least on the list is the Bubble Room Emporium, with its interiors currently being decked out for the holidays! We saved this one for last due to the immense detail spent on the interior design of the establishment. There are elves with santa hats on, and the rest of the year there is certainly just as much to look at.
This is one destination where in-store shopping opportunities are available, and there really is so much to ponder while eating! The walls are lined with old photographs, and colored bubblegum pink among many other shades of bright fluorescents. With red carpeted floors and polished dark wooden ceilings, you catch a vibe right away when you step through the door.
There are various figurines and statues at every turn, a Bubble Room Emporium gift shop, and even a jukebox! The Bubble Room Emporium reviews call the spot cool, kid friendly, and praise the service and seafood. The Bubble Room Emporium boasts 7 appetizers, 7 “from the sea” options, 7 “from the land” options, 5 “from the garden” options, 10 dessert options (including orange crunch cake), and all entrees come with bubble bread and the option of a house salad.
The menu tells the story of The Bubble Room Emporium, and is elaborately designed with clowns and other vintage collage, which makes sense since The Bubble Room Emporium was inspired by “Christmas, nostalgic toys, and The Golden Age of Hollywood.”
Whenever you decide to visit Captiva Island, now you know just what lays in store for you. Many of the options discussed above are located in such a way that you can walk from one place to another. After a long day hittin’ the beach and swimming your worries away, you’re bound to be starving.
But whether it is lunch time or dinnertime, we’ve got you covered with our list. You can enjoy steak, lobster, crab, shrimp, snapper, wine, beer, dessert, and even breakfast here on Captiva Island. You will literally never have to cook! And isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be while you are on vacation?
We care about these destinations and all those involved in the cooking, serving, and upkeep of these wonderful, creative, and award winning establishments.
We recognize the impact of hurricane Ian, and take a moment to adknowledge the economic and emotional toll this natural disaster had on Captiva Island. Best wishes to recovery and well wishes to all the grand reopenings this year! Thanks so much for reading and we hope wherever you go, you have a great trip!