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From Beachy Brunching to Bayside Bars — Where the Locals Eat in Naples, Florida

From Beachy Brunching to Bayside Bars — Where the Locals Eat in Naples, Florida

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Located right off the Gulf of Mexico, Naples, Florida is home to some world-class establishments, and with its easy access to the beach, extensive upscale shopping options, local boutiques and artisanal markets, this little city truly has it all. And that’s not even counting the weather, which attracts people from all over the country looking to warm their bones in style.

While Naples used to be considered an upscale winter destination for frozen out-of-towners, in recent years the year-round population has grown, paving the way for an unparalleled dining scene. Naples’ city-wide commitment to beachside luxury has done great things for local eateries. From bars and brunch to our wide array of dinner spots both hip and romantic, we’ll show you how to eat like a local in Florida’s beautiful gulf-side city.

 At USS Nemo, we’re on the pulse of what’s happening in the local dining scene. Whether you’re a long-time local or just passing through, we’ve put together a guide to the best restaurants in Naples — from lunch, brunch and dinner to your morning cup of coffee and post-beach evening cocktail. Where are the best places to eat in Naples? We’ve got you covered.

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No matter what part of the country you live in, finding the right coffee shop is key. Whether you’re just passing through or are a year-round Naples native, a great local coffeeshop represents the cornerstone of the community, provides a place to chat with neighbors or read the paper and wake up at your own pace. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite local places to relax with a big cup of joe.

Kunjani Craft & Coffee

Kunjani Craft & Coffee gets its name from the colloquial Zulu greeting, meaning “How are you?”  Equal parts coffeehouse and international craft store, Kunjani is the best place in town to both grab a coffee and peruse the fair-trade artisan wares. Boasting an excellent selection of unique African crafts, Kunjani supports a different non-profit every month, donating a portion of their sales to a number of charities. As if that weren’t enough, Kunjani provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, which truly makes it stand out in a sea of generic coffee shop chains. Have a seat outdoors beneath one of their big umbrellas, bring your dog and just relax — you’re sure to feel right at home here.

Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café

 It’s all about cycling and healthy, easy bites to eat. This hip and vibrant coffee shop is all inclusive, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options available to easily grab and go for your next big ride. Fit & Fuel provides both a friendly and warm local coffee shop environment, featuring locally roasted Panther Coffee, as well as a literal opportunity to get “fit.” Fuel in the front and fit in the back, this café doubles as a fitting room for state of the art bicycles. Grab a cup a joe and some tasty pasties, and then get yourself outfitted and on the road to explore Naples on two wheels. Additionally, this café is does more than just serve up your morning coffee and fruit smoothie fix — they’ve got a great happy hour featuring a variety of craft brews, as well as some hearty sandwiches for a perfect casual date night.

The Brick Coffee & Bar

This locally-owned and operated Naples coffee shop is just the kind of place you can pop by for a super-sized serving of caffeine, as well as a glass of wine or a beer to unwind after a long day of swimming, shopping and taking in the local flavor. This versatile atmosphere works equally well for mobile workers with laptops in tow, as well as those there to catch up with friends. Grab a latte and head outside to kick back and relax on their beautiful brick patio — you’re sure to love it whether you opt to bring along a good book, or just feel like settling in for a nice people-watching session.

Food & Thought

Much more than a coffee place, Food & Thought is part grocery store, part café, part community resource, and it’s a favorite among the Naples community for a reason. Boasting plenty of healthy vegan and allergy-friendly fare, this is the perfect spot to stop by for a quick caffeine fix or a healthy meal before hitting the beach. Everything here is homemade and certified organic, so you’ll be sure to get the highest quality. Grab a coffee, some sprouted pancakes and perhaps a shot of wheatgrass, and start the day outside in the store’s outdoor seating area. It’s a great place to people watch and take in the local sights and sounds. You may even get some shopping done after.

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 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and perhaps the most delicious, and Naples has what it takes to get you fueled up for a long day at the beach, whether that’s swimming, boating or even just lounging in the sun. Here are a few of our favorite places to start the day — from the healthy and fruity to the classic bacon and eggs, we’ve found something to suit every preference.

 The Bowl

Keeping Naples in tip-top shape, The Bowl serves up your fruit smoothie fix by way of both cup or bowl. These colorful bowls are a healthy trend that’s been taking the nation by storm as of late. Sure, it seems simple, but these straw-less smoothies are topped with a variety of superfood toppers from the fruity — mangoes, berries, bananas — to the savory — granola, hemp hearts — They’re even substantial enough to keep you powered through the day. Try the any of their delicious takes on the acai bowl, such as the beach bowl or the AB&J — almond butter and jelly — or cool off with a kombucha or cold brew straight from the tap.

 Cove Inn Coffee Shoppe

Though somewhat unassuming — and the best breakfast places always are — the Cove Inn Coffee Shoppe is a long-term institution and an absolute favorite amongst the locals. Southwest Florida natives will even drive here just for an order of their buttery signature pancakes. But even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, there’s plenty of breakfast fare that’s sure to be right up your alley. They’ve got fantastic breakfast sandwiches, as well as a nice selection of omelets. We recommend the “Ragin’ Cajun” — it’s got a nice kick and is topped off with a generous helping of Creole sauce and Muenster cheese. With its fast and friendly service, this no-frills hidden gem is cash only, but we can guarantee it’s definitely worth an extra trip to the ATM.

 The Café

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 The Café, located in downtown Naples on busy, bustling Fifth Avenue South, features high-quality breakfast and lunch dishes that feel as though they were prepared at home — baked goods and
all. Inconspicuously named but oh so tasty, The Café does it all, and does it all well — European-inspired dishes with a distinctly American flair really shine here. Health conscious, with lots of raw and locally grown offerings, they’ve got a variety of options that are sure to please everyone from the vegans and the Paleo folks to those who are looking for a classic American breakfast. They’ve got a solid lineup of eggs, and few Paleo options too. On-trend smoothie bowls provide a lighter alternative, which is well-suited to the beachy way of life we hold so dear in Naples. Catch up with old friends on the outdoor patio, and relax and enjoy the kind of food you grew up with, or something a little better for the waistline — either way, you won’t be disappointed.

 Patric’s Breakfast and Lunch

 With its myriad menu options and wide range of breakfast skillets — as varied as kielbasa, pot roast and more — Patric’s Breakfast and Lunch is the perfect place to start the day early and set the tone for what’s to come. With unexpected offerings like the Jerk Chicken Omelet and the Smoked Salmon Benedict, you’ll definitely break out of your plain bacon and eggs rut. But, if you’d rather stick with the tried and true, they’ve got plenty of classic breakfast options too, from loaded omelets and waffles to Paleo-friendly offerings made with plenty of meat and gluten-free breads.

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 For when that inevitable midday hunger strikes and you just can’t settle on a suitable lunchtime solution, we’ve helped narrow down the options. Here’s some of our favorite spots around town that both the snowbirds and the locals can definitely agree on.

 Campiello

 Located on bustling 3rd St., Campiello is one of Naples’ great Italian restaurants and the perfect spot to stop in for a classy, midday meal. Pop on by for a Caesar salad or try one of their wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas — we like the Imported Italian Speck. If you’re in the mood for something lighter that showcases the local flavor, try the Sautéed Florida Snapper Piccata or the Baked Gulf Shrimp. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed — last year, this rustic, contemporary Italian spot won both the Open Table Diners Choice Award and was voted Best Italian Restaurant in Naples by Naples Illustrated. Suffice it to say, 2015 was a good year for Campiello.

Café Normandie

This little French place is the perfect place to stop by for quick lunchtime bite to eat. With simple yet delicious offerings like a variety of crepes, Croque Monsieur, Nicoise Salad and a solid list of croissant sandwiches, Café Normandie brings a taste of France to Naples, Florida, and we’re happy to have them! If you’re up for a more decadent lunch dish, try one of their signature homemade quiches. Don’t worry about making a decision — we think all four varieties are superb.

EJ’s Bayfront Café and Bar

 This small, dog-friendly hidden gem is situated right along the waterfront and features an extensive menu of good old-fashioned American cuisine. This self-proclaimed purveyor of Naples’ best breakfast, lunch and brunch serves up simple favorites that hit all the right spots after a long morning of swimming, biking or checking out the local sights. Fuel up with a smoothie if you’re craving something on the lighter side or try a panini or a grilled cheese if you’re looking for a home-style kind of lunch.

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 If there’s one thing Naples does fantastically, its seafood. Located right off the gulf, there’s an abundance of fresh seafood, and as a result, the local flavor is fresh caught. In any case, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite dinnertime dining establishments, which work just as well for both first dates or fiftieth anniversaries.

USS Nemo Restaurant

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 Okay, we might be just a touch biased, but USS Nemo Restaurant stands out in a sea of Naples’ seafood-centric fine dining establishments. With its tasteful underwater-themed décor and fresh seafood flavors, USS Nemo serves up a number of unique dishes with hint of international flair — Asian-inspired Miso Broiled Sea Bass is a long-time local favorite, as is the Branzino, which should satisfy any cravings for something with a more Mediterranean flavor. Not one to shy away from variety, USS Nemo has it all, from land to sea, as well as solid options for the vegetarian crowd. Though we’re known primarily for our seafood, our meat dishes are definitely worth a try — taste our Grilled Colorado Lamb Porterhouse or our Braised Florida Wagyu Beef Brisket if you’re looking for a hearty plate of perfectly seasoned meat.

 Fuse Global Cuisine

With their thoughtfully sourced ingredients and unique meat and seafood-centric dishes, this Naples favorite has fusion cuisine down pat. You won’t want to skimp on the appetizers, with exciting and somewhat experimental flavors, the starters alone feature such fun options as the Double Duck Pastrami, Crispy Pig Ear & Octopus, and a whole host of other enticing options. The entrees offer more in the way of a culinary adventure, featuring gulf-coast bread and butter dishes like the Grilled Lobster and the Togarashi Seared Tuna, as well as more adventurous options like the Veal Chop Poutine or the Wild Boar Chop.

 T-Michaels Steak and Lobster House

You really can’t beat waterfront dining on picturesque Venetian Bay. T-Michaels serves up the best surf and turf in town, as well as the best atmosphere around. In true Naples fashion, this upscale, relaxing escape features a rotating list of freshly caught specials, as well as classic steak and lobster fare. Bonus points if you’re a wine aficionado, since T-Michaels features an evolving wine list featuring high-end bottles from all around the world.

 Caffe dell’Amore

Cloaked in decadent red velvet tapestries with tables adorned with warm-colored roses, don’t let the throwback décor fool you. Caffe dell’Amore looks the part of a classic Italian restaurant, and it is, but the focus on locally sourced ingredients and high-quality free range meat makes this place truly stand out in the crowded Naples restaurant scene. Being in Naples, you’ll of course want to go with something from the sea — try the Lobster and Ziti al Forno or the Amalfi-style Snapper. They’ve also got the usual comfort foods like lasagna, gnocchi and ravioli if you’re looking for something hearty and soul-satisfying.

 Mediterrano

With its soothing, beachy décor, this upscale Mediterranean food has a distinctly Naples twist. From land to sea and everything in between, Mediterrrano is a must-try for locals and tourists alike. This delicious spot is uniquely European, featuring specialty dishes from coastal Greece, Spain, Italy and Morocco. From Paella to the Chicken Kebob, Mediterrano is truly all things Mediterranean. We know from experience that atmosphere is everything, and Mediterrano doesn’t disappoint, decorated in minimal fresh blues and whites with gorgeous colorful dishes standing out against the understated backdrop. You won’t regret this amazing dining experience right in the heart of Naples’ Historic Downtown District.

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Though there’s plenty of outdoor activity to wear you out during the day, Naples is no stranger to a vibrant nightlife. Things start to get going around here well before the sun goes down, due to the warm weather and easy, breezy beach vibes. And, since Naples is home to some world-class drinking establishments, be prepared for a night out complete with craft cocktails, live music and impeccable service. Here are a few of our favorite local watering holes you’re sure to enjoy as much as we do.

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C-Level Bistro and Bar

This local hotspot, located in nearby Bonita Springs, is an unexpected find to say the least. Contemporary and sleek with a wine list that runs deep and solid lineup of small bites, the C-Level isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find in an unassuming strip mall. Decked out in blue — everything from the lights and the tiles to the walls and water feature — this cool spot plays live concert videos on the big screen and features an extensive wine list from a variety of producers both big and small.

Edgewater Beach Hotel Pool Bar

Not just any old pool bar, this upscale bar is located in one of Florida’s top luxury hotels. The Pool Bar features the quintessential lineup of irresistible tropical drinks from Mai Tais to Pina Coladas, as well as more bare bones beverages like beer and wine. Enjoy a cool beverage poolside while looking out at a sprawling seven miles of beach. And if all that lounging is making you hungry, the nearby Coast kitchen can whip up an al fresco that’s sure to hit the spot.

 Sunset Beach Bar

 This aptly named Floridian hotspot was voted “best place in Southwest Florida to catch the sunset,” by the Travel Channel, and we agree. Featuring live local entertainment from Wednesday through Saturday nights, this is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of taking in the sun. Hang out on the sprawling back deck, look out at the ocean and enjoy your favorite drink. Plus, if you get happen to get hungry, Sunset Beach Bar has an open-air grill and a late-night menu, serving up classic American fare like burgers and sandwiches cooked to perfection.

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Still asking yourself “Where should I eat in Naples?” Look no further than USS Nemo. We’ve got something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an upscale lunch or something unexpected for dinner. “Almost worth the trip to Naples in and of itself,” according to the New York Times, our award-winning, seafood-centric cuisine is sure to please all diners whether you opt to taste your way through land or sea.

From our won-taco starters starters to steaks, scallops and sweet desserts, get ready to take your palette on an unforgettable culinary journey. Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’d love to have you there.

Check out our full lunch and dinner menus, and then make a reservation by calling us at 844-329-3678 or booking online.

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