With the explosive growth in the South Fort Myers area in recent years, its not surprising to see a new restaurant being built or moving into a new shopping center space. And while there are dozens of worthy entries to consider, locals have their own favorites, and for good reason.

Let’s take a look at five of the most intriguing, unique, and tasty restaurants, starting at Page Field Commons at the corner of U.S. Highway 41, also called Cleveland Avenue, and Fowler Street and head south. We’ll look at different styles of cuisine, offering a little something for everyone, depending on what you’re craving.

The Standard at Page Field Commons

The tradition set by their first location in downtown Fort Myers continues at this innovative restaurant’s new location in South Fort Myers.

The atmosphere here is part hip and trendy and part down-home. All of the food is fresh and made from scratch, and the style of the dishes are cutting-edge delicious. Their brunch, lunch and dinner menus are packed with creativity and taste like home cooking.

Appetizers like their Black & Blue Beef Tips and Poutine Fries are favorites, and a few of their best entrees include the Cajun Shrimp Polenta and Cilantro Lime Mahi.

The Standard also makes some of the best pizza in the area. If you’re in the mood for a burger unlike any other, The Standard Burger can be customized with several add-ons like egg, avocado and bacon.

The Standard
5301 S. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Fancy’s Southern Café

True southern food with a gourmet touch is the best way to describe this South Fort Myers favorite, with a menu stacked with comfort food classics prepared with flair and attention to detail.

Fancy’s has been featured on The Food Network’s Extra Mile show, and has received numerous awards and accolades from local and national food writers and critics – and all for good reason.

Fancy’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and patrons always come back multiple times to try the new items added regularly. You may choose to start off with their Deep Fried Cheese Grits served with jalapeno ranch or the one-of-a-kind deviled eggs, unlike any you’ve ever had.

For dinner, locals love the unbelievable Chicken & Waffles or the melt in your mouth, house-made Pot Roast, which even your own mother would find impressive.

Fancy’s Southern Café is also known for their side dishes like the zesty Spicy Coleslaw and Sweet Potato Souffle. The ambience here is comforting and unique, with a lot of attention paid to the design and décor of the restaurant.

Fancy’s Southern Café
8890 Salrose Ln. #101
Fort Myers, FL 33912

Fine Folks Pizza

We all know that feeling when only pizza will satisfy your hunger, and if you’re tired of the traditional style of pie, you’ll need to check out Fine Folks Pizza located off Daniel’s Parkway about a mile east of I-75.

This is pizza for the culinary adventurer and their efforts have been honored with numerous awards like the Caputo Cup Champions competition for the “Best Non-Traditional Pizza in the Country,” which they have won twice.

Open your horizons beyond a pepperoni and sausage pie and try the Last Samurai, adorned with

sesame ginger sauce, mozzarella, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese, chicken, red pepper flakes, roasted red bell peppers, broccoli, and topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Or you may opt for another of their most popular pies with the Arugula & Prosciutto, with their signature fresh roasted garlic oil, pine nuts, mozzarella, arugula, blue cheese crumbles, prosciutto, extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper and fresh lemon juice.

Of course, this is not to say that Fine Folks cannot create some of the most impressive, more traditional pies, like their crowd-pleasing Goodfella, with mozzarella, pepperoni, ricotta, banana peppers, and their homemade marinara drizzled on top.

You can also create your own pizza with any of your favorite toppings, and they offer a full array of vegetarian and vegan pizzas, too.

Pizza aficionados know that gourmet pizza is a very real thing, and this place definitely fills the bill.

Fine Folks Pizza
11300 Lindbergh Blvd #114
Fort Myers, FL 33913

Ember Korean Steakhouse

For a special night out or a lunch that takes you away from the typical sandwich or salad, Ember Korean Steakhouse at the corner of College Parkway and U.S 41 is the place to be.

The atmosphere is upscale and inviting, with an interior décor befitting a fine steakhouse. The food is creative, inspired, and delectable, and first timers are mesmerized by the tantalizing offerings.

And although they may have “steakhouse” in their name, rest assured the Korean influence here is quite apparent, and very tasty.

Start off with some Gogi Tacos, created with shaved brisket, cilantro, pickled cabbage, and guajillo salsa. Another popular starter here are the Mandu (dumplings), which are hand-made with your choice of chicken or beef and served either pan-fried or steamed.

Ember prepares entrees either ala carte for 1 or as a feast that can feed 2, 4 or 6 guests. Some of the most popular are the Marinated Boneless Short Ribs “Galbi,” taken from the brisket or rib area and marinated overnight in a delicious, sweet fruit marinade and then grilled to perfection.

They also are very skilled at creating some of the best sushi around, and the craft cocktails are the perfect way to prepare your palette.

An eclectic atmosphere and compelling new culinary experiences are the keys to this South Fort Myers eatery.

Ember Korean Steakhouse
7091 College Pkwy #9
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Skip One Seafood

Sometimes, you want the freshest seafood you can find without putting on long pants and paying for the atmosphere. In those instances, heading out for some of the freshest seafood in Lee County in a laid-back Florida setting at Skip One Seafood is the perfect choice.

Located on U.S. 41 about a mile south of Gladiolus Drive, Skip One has been a local’s favorite for decades, and real seafood lovers stand in line during season to treat themselves to this genuine seafood haven.

You may not be overly impressed with the outside of the building when you pull up, but rest assured, the rewards are inside. The family behind this restaurant have a long history in the local seafood business, starting out operating shrimp boats between Fort Myers Beach and Texas.

If there is one restaurant in South Fort Myers that knows fresh seafood, Skip One, launched in the 1960’s, is it.

All of the food here is made to order, from scratch, using the freshest delicacies available and brought from the Fort Myers Beach docks that same day. If you can’t decide on just one entrée, try the huge Fisherman’s Platter with real grouper, shrimp, scallops, oysters, and crab cakes, prepared either fried or grilled.

You can also order steamer pots of snow crab, king crab, crawdads, clams, or mussels, boiled to perfection. Skip One offers about every type of seafood you could dream of, all expertly prepared.

They also have a retail seafood market so you can take your favorites home to prepare, and they ship fresh seafood throughout the U.S.

Skip One Seafood
15820 S. Tamiami Trail
Fort Myers, FL 33908