If you travel with me, you’ll quickly discover that I love Google Maps. I create a new map for every vacation and use it to get my bearings and to geographically keep tabs on all of my pre-trip research. If I’m unfamiliar with the destination, I’ll ask friends for recommendations and kick-start my own research with visits to websites like Zagat (I subscribe online), Chowhound, Roadfood & Yelp.
Here’s my Google Map from our trip to Naples:
View Naples FL in a larger map
The Bay House Restaurant
This restaurant has a lovely view of the Cocohatchee Wildlife Preserve, so go for lunch/brunch (or an early dinner) when you can appreciate the riverfront location. The next day we returned and went kayaking right by the dining room! Reservations are available on Open Table
There is a shaded outdoor lounge by the front entrance (left). I must be back in the South! There’s pickled okra in my bloody mary (right)
Main Dining Room
BBQ Shrimp and Grits
Wild caught American shrimp, Anson Mills grits, Andouille sausage & horseradish cream.
Lobster, pink shrimp & lump crab salad with aioli, Apple-smoked bacon, fresh corn and fried green tomatoes
If you’re an adventurous eater, you will be rewarded with the tapas selection at this restaurant hidden in a quiet strip mall. The small plates are a great way to sample many different Spanish flavors.
Clearly Nemo is a local favorite, well-known and well-loved. If you’re dining any night of the week during high season, you’ll need to call for a reservation. If you like the seafood-studded Asian fusion menu at Roy’s, you’ll find yourself at home at Nemo. There’s also a sake menu to complement your meal. This restaurant was absolutely jammed, even during our Monday night dinner at 8:30 PM.
Dock at Crayton Cove
I’m always ready to check out a seafood shack by the water and this open-air restaurant/bar is perched alongside the Naples docks (right). With no reservation on a Saunday morning, we lucked out with a waterfront table, but unfortunately I found the food just average and a bit overpriced. Regardless, I would still go back for drinks and a light bite because the relaxed atmosphere and bygone feel is a pleasant contrast to the more “polished” image of Naples. It reminds me of some of the spots we visited in the Keys. At the Dock we were introduced to the “build your own bloody mary” concept. Your server brings only a rimmed glass with the vodka component and it’s up to you to get your bloody just right. Options include tomato juice, clamato, bloody mary mix, horseradish, Worcestershire, lemons, limes, olives, pickled okra and green beans.
View of the restaurant from the docks.
Can you see D waiting for our check?
Pelican Larry’s Raw Bar & Grill
After we overpaid for oysters at Dock at Crayton Cove, our server kindly turned us on to Pelican Larry’s while D settled up with the bill. Pelican Larry’s looks like a local dive, the sort of place I wouldn’t risk ordering from a raw bar, but on his recommendation (and the fact that one location was so close to our hotel) we sat down at the outside bar for a dozen oysters (only $11!). If you’re looking for an affordable oyster fix, this is your spot. Remember this is a bar and not family-friendly OR the place to eat your main meal (according to on online reviews).
There are numerous national chain restaurants in Naples, I tried a few:
Roy’s Downtown Naples (there is another location in Bonita Springs)
I have a soft spot for Roy Yamaguchi. His first restaurant in opened in Hawaii Kai and was one of my first dining experiences back in the early 90s. This is a pleasant spot near the water and we ate off the pre-fixe menu which is a good deal: 3 courses for $35.95. Things get even better on Mondays when the price remains the same, but you can choose from any appetizer, entree or dessert on the menu!
Flemings Prime Steakhouse
Flemings is one of D’s favorites from past trips to Newport Beach in California. I’m not a steakhouse kind of gal, but after a long day, Flemings served up a nice cut of red meat and great service, both in the restaurant and at the bar. Reservations are available on Open Table
Brio Tuscan Grille
If you’re looking for some sustenance while browsing the swanky stores at the Waterside Shops, there are a few options. A sales person at Lululemon recommended the cafe inside Nordstrom’s, but the interior seemed so dark I beat it back to the sunshine and installed myself at the bright and airy outdoor bar at Brio. As I looked around, all the portions seemed to be huge and it’s better than your average “mall” food. It was bustling for a Monday lunch, so get there early or grab a seat at the bar.
In Everglades City:
Camellia Street Grill
There are numerous waterfront shacks serving up seafood in Everglades City. After finishing our our airboat ride we found ourselves between meals. We opted for the restaurant with the best outdoor patio. At Camellia Street we sampled alligator, frogs legs and stone crab claws.
Waterfront view (left). Charming, but kitschy interior (right).
I was filled with dread at very the thought eating alligator, but it was all in my head. This ‘gator appetizer had no strong or gamey taste and the ginger flavor was a nice touch.
Stone Crab Claws
That’s all for this 5 day trip! I wish I had photos for every meal, but often dinner dining rooms were very dark, as you can see from the photo taken at Roy’s.