Places to Eat

To the West of Rotonda, there are steak houses and places to eat overlooking the water. Mad Sam’s is always popular. You can eat ‘outside’ and enjoy the passing boats and maybe dolphins at the end of the day and watch the sunsets. In Manasota Key itself, you can find the Gulf View Grill and Crabbie Georges!

Crabby Georges (941) 475-7767
1975 Beach Road, Englewood, FL

Gulf View Grill (941) 475-8838
2095 North Beach Road, Englewood FL 34223
Enjoy a really good menu while looking out over the Gulf of Mexico.

Mad Sam’s (941) 475-9505
1375 Beach Road, Englewood, FL
Every table has a great waterfront view. Eat outside on the veranda overlooking the inter-coastal waterway. Choose Steaks, Seafood, Pastas, Sandwiches or salads. Closed Mondays.

For truly gourmet food, why not visit Gasparilla Island to the South and eat in some of the up-market restaurants such as the Pink Elephant with outside veranda, or Temptations where the locals gather for excellent fish and steaks.
Gasparilla also offers the ‘Loose Caboose’ in the centre of Boca Grande where a basket meal at lunchtime followed by handmade ice cream is a real treat. South Beach on the road out to the Southern most tip of the island is popular and offers a pleasant stop right on the beach.

Jams in Boca Grande (941) 964-2002
Corner of 5th and Railroad in the Railroad Plaza, Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island
Italian American restaurant, open for lunch and dinner. Reservations accepted.

Loose Caboose (941) 964-0440
The Depot Building, Centre of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island. Serves light lunches inside and outside, speciality Grouper and/or Shrimp and/or Chicken basket followed by excellent homemade ice cream. Also serves dinner 7 nights a week, Lamb chops, fresh seafood, Asian Duck, Pasta etc.

Pink Elephant (941) 964- 0100
Bayou Avenue, Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island
Offering excellent food, an almost Austrian style of restaurant where you can eat outside or on the balcony as well as inside. Serves lunch 12 noon – 2.00, Dinner 6.30 – 9.30 and Sunday Brunch 11.30 – 2.00. Closed Mondays. Table reservations essential.

South Beach (941) 964-076
777 Gulf Boulevard (at the south end)
Casual seafood dining on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Music at weekends.

On the 775 to the west heading back towards Gasparilla Island there are plenty of restaurants, including Johnny Leverock’s and behind here you can catch a ferry to Palm Island to enjoy a meal on the island restaurant. The last boat leaves the island at 9 pm so an early meal is recommended! At the most southerly tip of land just before the toll, you will find The Fishery, which is friendly and informal with a good menu.

Fisheries (The) (941) 697-2451
Gasparilla Sound, Placida, Florida (Where the 775 meets the 771 near the Gasparilla Toll
Famous for ‘walk-ins, boat-ins, swim-ins, float-ins – always welcome! A lovely blend of old and new Florida. The windows overlook a tangled area of mangroves teaming with wildlife. Serving really good, fresh produce, particularly fish, well worth a visit.

Jams in Cape Haze (941) 697-2080
8501 Placida Road, Cape Haze
Italian American restaurant, open for lunch and dinner. Reservations accepted.

Johnny Leverock’s (941) 698-6900
7092 Placida Road, Cape Haze
Fish restaurant with the catch phrase, ‘If it’s fresher than Leverock’s, it’s still swimming!’ Also has a Tiki Bar open Friday – Saturday - Sunday

Prime Time (941) 697-7799
5855 Placida Road, Cape Haze. FL
Mix of American and Mexican food with enormous margaritas for the adventurous!

Rum Bay Restaurant (Palm Island) (941) 697-0566
7092 Placida Road, Cape Haze FL 33946
Enjoy a ferryboat ride to this restaurant on Palm Island. Catch the ferry from the jetty behind Johnny Leverock’s. Don’t stay too late; the last ferry leaves quite early.

If you choose to travel east to Port Charlotte you will be spoilt for choice with ‘Chili’s’, the ‘Red Lobster’, the ‘Olive Garden’ the ‘Outback’ and a mass of individual restaurants including some good Italian restaurants.

Carrabba’s (941) 743-5299
1811 North Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Italian Grill where they are passionate about the flavour of their food. Claim to use only the highest quality products available.

Outback Steakhouse (941) 766-7077
1481 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948.
A fast food chain offering a wide selection of dishes, including steaks from Midwestern grain fed beef. Both chicken and fish are fresh, never frozen.

Red Lobster (941) 625-7745
1331 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948.
A fast food chain with the emphasis on seafood. With all these chains, the menu range is wide, but the seafood is their speciality.

Chilis (941) 255-0058
1471 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, Florida
Offers a distinct, fresh, healthy mix of grilled American favourites prepared in their individual style. With burgers, fajitas, steaks and salads, they are a popular choice with children and adults alike. Try the ‘lettuce leaf wraps’ or the ‘awesome blossom’ for something completely different!

Olive Garden (941) 625-8807
1341 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Italian Food served from one of the popular fast food
If you travel a little further than Port Charlotte and take the 41 down to Punta Gorda, there are plenty of good restaurants; two in particular are worth a visit at Fisherman’s Village:

Captains Table (941) 637-1177
Fisherman’s Village, 1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda FL 33950
Fine dining on the 2nd level overlooking Charlotte Harbor, the Captain’s Table offers fine dining with seafood, steaks and unique specialities leading the list of entrees.
Harpoon Harry’s (941) 637-1177
Fisherman’s Village, 1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda FL 33950

If you are out in a boat and looking for somewhere to eat, which can only be reached by boat, two places are worth a visit. Cabbage Key is steeped in history and a ‘must’ for 1st time visitors. More casual and a haunt for local fishermen is Barnacle Phil’s where if you are lucky, you may be paid a visit by the local otters!

Barnacle Phil’s (239) 472-6394
Safety Harbor, North Captiva Island
Reached by water, this is a favourite with local anglers, sightseers and vacationers. There is plenty of dock space and you might even see Florida otters playing near the docks. Indoor dining or outside under the Tiki Hut.

Cabbage Key (239) 283-2278
PO Box 200, Pineland, FL 33945.
This restaurant can be reached by water, helicopter or seaplane. Regular ferries run from Pine Island, Captiva Island and Punta Gorda. Famous for its Dollar Bill bar where first time visitors leave behind a £ bill. Friendly with a good size harbor and serves both lunch and dinner. Look out for Manatee in the Harbor and tortoise on the island.

For lovers of Japanese food, there is an excellent restaurant in Venice where you can sit around in a large square watching the chef in the centre cooking the meal