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9 Must-Try Marco Island Restaurants | The Best Restaurants In Marco Island

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Aquamarine waters glitter as they slide over fine, white sand. Palm trees sway in the breeze, refreshing cyclists and beachgoers alike. Marco Island is a lesser-known haven in South Florida, with expansive views and a little something for everyone. 

The largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, “Marco,” is located between Naples and Everglades National Park on Florida’s Southern Gulf Coast. Six miles of wide beaches and over 100 miles of canals make the island a vacationer’s dream. With impressive shelling on the beach, kayaking in the canals, and boating to nearby uninhabited islands, there’s no shortage of things to experience. Not to mention the food; Marco Island restaurants have something for everyone’s taste.

This six-mile-long island is packed with restaurants, over 50 in fact. In a nod to their beachy surroundings, most eateries are casual, embracing the laid-back island lifestyle, though the Marco Island fine dining scene gives even the most cosmopolitan of towns a run for their money.

Whether you’re looking for something to eat on the go, by the water or all-dressed-up, these are the nine places to eat in Marco Island no visitor should miss.

Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our restaurant guides to the following cities:

The 9 Can’t-Miss Marco Island Restaurants

Doreen’s Cup of Joe

267 N. Collier Blvd. // (239) 394-2600

By far the most popular breakfast spot on the island, Doreen’s can be a bit of a nightmare to get into at the height of the season. The wait is a hint at what’s to come, and I assure you, it’s worth it.

While anticipating the call of your name, check out the full-service bar. In addition to brunch classics, such as mimosas and Bloody Marys, coffee-based cocktails are on the menu to pick you up in more ways than one.

coffee cocktail being poured through a strainer

If you’re the designated driver, rest assured you’ll have your choice of premium coffees and seasonal juices too.

coffe cocktail

Doreen’s menu has a little bit of everything, from the mundane to the positively inspired. My favorites are those that pay homage to their home state, making this one of the best places for breakfast on Marco Island. 

Take, for example, the Key Lime Pancakes. Have you ever heard of anything so Florida? Fluffy pancakes are smothered in a tart and creamy key lime sauce. You’ll swear you skipped straight to dessert.

stack of pancakes on a plate with fruit

If savory is more your style, try one of the Egg Bentley, aptly named, as they tend to outshine the classic Benedict.  The Southern breakfast special is can’t-miss. Made with fried green tomatoes, a homemade biscuit, and topped with cheesy grits, it’s a true taste of the south.

For the more adventurous eater, there’s the Fig Omelet. Filled with bacon, scallions, figs, and creamy brie cheese, it may feel a little out-there, but trust the chef! This is a flavor combo to love.

omelet cooking in a pan with a spatula

Like a true breakfast staple, Doreen’s is only open 7:30 am – 2:00 pm, and they do serve a good variety of lunch items, including a flavorful selection of filling salads. But no matter what you choose, Doreen’s is a place every visitor should experience for breakfast on Marco Island.

Empire Bagel Factory

277 N. Collier Blvd. #1 // (239) 642-4141

If you’re looking for something a little faster than Doreen’s, though still filling and decadent, head to Empire Bagel Factory. It’s a family-owned restaurant located near the Tigertail public beach and perfect for a day outside. 

The bagels are cooked fresh every day, and if you consider yourself a bagel aficionado as I do, you won’t be disappointed.

tray of bagels

Another perk? With every sandwich slathered in cream cheese and piled high with meat and veggies, Empire Bagel Factory may be the best restaurant on Marco Island when it comes to bang for your buck.

These guys don’t skimp on the seasoning either.

Asiago, Garlic, Sesame, and Everything bagels are loaded with the toppings that give them their name. Try the Everything bagel, perfectly toasted, with scallion cream cheese. You may not want to get close to anyone for the rest of the day, but you won’t regret it either.

tray of bagels, one with cream cheese

The bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich will keep you fueled up all day long. And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, the cinnamon sugar bagel pairs well with maple or walnut cream cheese.

bagel sandwich with ham lettuce and tomato

Did I mention they serve lunch too? I’m hard-pressed to choose anything over a bagel sandwich for lunch. Lox is a typical go-to, and it’s a stand-out here. Made on a bagel with a schmear of your choosing, silky lox is piled with tomatoes, onions, and all-important capers. What a way to start the day!

bagel with salmon

The staff here is friendly and keeps the coffee coming for anyone dining in. Call ahead orders are also available for anyone on the go and in a hurry. Make sure you try this classic Marco Island restaurant for breakfast or lunch.

bagel sandwich

Mango’s Dockside Bistro

760 N. Collier Blvd. // (239) 393-2433

Hidden in a corner of the Esplanade Shoppes is a treasure worth seeking out. Mango’s Dockside Bistro was opened as a family affair by Marco Island natives, and you can feel it in every detail, from the friendliness of the staff to the kitschy bathroom décor. The wall of stunning sunset photos donated by patrons could keep me occupied for hours.

More than just some friendly faces, Mango’s Dockside is known for great waterside dining in Marco Island and has an expansive menu featuring various local delicacies and traditional bistro fare. 

If you’ve never tried conch fritters, this is the place to take a chance!  Battered and fried ever so lightly and served on a drop of lemon chili aioli, the conch is front and center and at its very best. The spicy conch chowder is also good, though more reminiscent of gumbo than a creamy chowder you may be expecting.

conch fritters

The fish tacos are another light option to enjoy as you soak up the sun. I recommend getting them grilled and springing for the fresh grouper. They’re light and flaky with a tangy bite of scallion aioli and creamy guac.

grilled fish tacos

An array of salads, sandwiches, burgers and even sushi is on the menu.

The Ceviche Roll stars delicate yellowtail topping shrimp tempura and avocado roll, but the “Mango’s Way” ceviche sauce brings it all together for a bright and refreshing finish. I also recommend the Baked Scallop Volcano roll if you’re looking for something more filling and with a little spice.

sushi roll

No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong with this nearly hidden gem. You’ll see why it makes our list of the top nine restaurants on Marco Island.

Sunset Grille

900 S. Collier Blvd. // (239) 389-0509

Sunset Grille is an in-demand tourist attraction as it’s located on Marco’s popular South Beach. But let’s be real, the whole island is a tourist attraction. This one just happens to be worth more than most! 

The food is largely normal bar fare, Florida-style. We tried the mini-crab cakes, and I highly recommend them. Most crab cakes tend to disappoint because the crab is used sparingly. Not at Sunset.

crab cakes and a Moscow Mule

These mini crab cakes were loaded with fresh crab meat and not weighed down with bread crumbs and oil. They’re served on a creamy aioli that lends a brightness to the overall dish.

We also splurged on crab legs, and I got mine with a side of perfectly prepared onion rings. Large rings were lightly but adequately breaded and fried to deliver that crispy crunch followed by the sweetness of the onion. No matter what entrée you get, the onion rings should not be missed!

crab legs butter and sliced lemon

Fried fish baskets, juicy burgers, saucy wings, and a whole host of other items are on the menu as well. If you can’t find something to eat here, you’re not hungry. This is one of the best restaurants in Marco Island for classic American food.

fish and chips with tartar sauce and lemon

The bar is indoor-outdoor style, flowing onto the patio. It’s the perfect place to perch and watch the sun disappear into the Gulf. Pay close enough attention, and you might just catch the “Green Flash” as the sun wins its final goodnight.

La Tavola

961 Winterberry Dr. // (239) 393-4960

This unpresuming restaurant looks like a quaint, Italian bistro, but the sign outside promises American Cuisine. The eclectic menu combines multiple inspirations to produce show-stopping delights. The impressive presentation and daily entertainment are how they won my heart.

Do yourself a favor and start with the Warm Brie. Heated to optimal melty-ness and topped with toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of sweet honey, and arugula to balance it all together, each bite is delivered on crispy ciabatta crostini. 

baked brie with honey

For the main course, try the Seafood Linguini in a velvety cream sauce or the spiced-just-right Fra Diavolo. Neither dish skimps on the seafood.

seafood pasta dish

A Half Rack of Lamb is not only a perfect portion, but the price is just right too. Served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes and topped with a cherry and mint demi sauce, it’s a dish no one should miss.

Don’t leave without at least splitting a dessert. The Key Lime Pie and Flourless Chocolate Torte are both gluten-free, so an excellent option for sharing with a large party. If you’re looking to splurge, go for the homemade Waffles and Ice Cream served with caramelized bananas and Nutella.

key lime pie

Once you’ve eaten to your heart’s delight, kick back and enjoy the entertainment after your Marco Island dining experience. There’s no better way to spend a night out.

Sale e Pepe

480 S. Collier Blvd. // (239) 393-1600

The moment you step through the doors at Sale e Pepe, you’ll think you’ve been transported to Italy. The dining room is the picture of elegance, all marble, and richly appointed chairs. But the Terrace is reminiscent of trendy, Italian lake-side bistros. Order an Aperol Spritz and settle in.

If you’re not sure where to start, one word: burrata! This creamy, milky, slightly sweet cheese is one of the best things on the planet, and Sale e Pepe’s Caprese preparation does not disappoint. 

burrata salad with sliced tomatoes

All of the pastas come highly recommended, though try the Cacio e Pepe. It’s a twist on a classic, made with agnolotti filled with pecorino, peppers, and guanciale. The Pappardelle Alla Bolognese stays true to its roots and is a warm and familiar option.

pasta Bolognese dish

The Passera is brightly flavored flounder prepared “meuniere” style with olives, capers, and of course, lemon. Try not to lick the plate when you’ve finished. Sale e Pepe also offers a full, salt-crusted fish if you’re looking for a unique Marco Island dining experience to share around the table.

If you’re going with meat, stick with a classic: Vitello Alla Milanese. Thin, tender veal is crusted in Parmigiano and topped with arugula and cherry tomatoes. It’s light but packed with flavor and will leave you with room for dessert.

Marco Island restaurants

This may be one of the pricier places, but it’s also among the more memorable Marco Island restaurants.

Snook Inn

1215 Bald Eagle Dr. // (239) 394-3313

The Snook Inn is a staple in Marco and exemplifies one of the more unique, and my favorite aspect of island life – sail-up dining! Located on the water at the north end of the island, Snook Inn offers several boat slips for diners coming in off the water.

The location and view alone make Snook Inn a can’t miss for visitors, but the food’s pretty tasty too. It’s also one of the more reasonably priced waterfront restaurants on Marco Island. With a daily happy hour and all-you-can-eat crab special running in the summer, there’s always a good deal to be found.

There’s ample outdoor seating and live music every day, making this the perfect beach bar to post up at on a lazy afternoon. If you’re feeling fancy, sip on the house Frosé. For the truly daring, you can even top it with a vodka floater. 

The Spicy Grapefruit Jalepeño Margarita is refreshing and comes with the promised kick. Made with fresh-squeezed juice, fresh jalepeños, and a sriracha salt rim, it’s quite the treat on a hot day.

And, for those looking for their next Insta-inspiration, the Loaded Bloody Mary is definitely picture-worthy, piled high with meats, cheese, and pickled veggies.

loaded Bloody Mary

The menu is huge, and the food is fabulous, so you’ll have no trouble soaking up your libations. Between the Stuffed Oysters, Smokehouse Baby Back Ribs, and Calusa Flatbread, you could make a meal out of the appetizers. 

baby back ribs on the grill

Save room for the Grouper Sandwich, though; it’s famous for a reason. Available fried, blackened, or grilled, I recommend blackened, though all preparations are fantastic. Served with a side and a trip to the salad bar, it’s worth every penny.

Sit back, relax, enjoy, and you may even see a dolphin stop by to wave hello as he passes this great place to eat on Marco Island.

Marco Prime

599 S. Collier Blvd. // (239) 389-2333

One of four restaurants owned by the Carvelli family, but with a personality all its own. 

DaVinci’s, an upscale Italian restaurant, was the family’s first contribution to the island, bringing all the flavors of their home in Mesoraca, Italy, to southwest Florida. In 2013, they opened the doors to Marco Prime Steaks and Seafood, their take on the classic American Steakhouse.

The family also owns The Oyster Society and the previously mentioned Snook Inn. All, except for the last, are located in the same small retail block on South Collier Blvd.

All offer attractive Happy Hour specials featuring a substantial selection of custom cocktails too. At Marco Prime, start with the Vesper, a light yet potent cocktail of gin, vodka, and floral Lillet.

cocktail

A nice selection of wine and appetizers are also available at a hefty discount during happy hour and only at the bar. 

The Wagyu Beef Crostini is a must-have. The meat is so tender and flavorful, it feels delightfully decadent. It’s accompanied by sautéed mushrooms and onions that highlight the creamy tang of blue cheese crumbles sprinkled on top. If you’re into the presentation, you’ll also dig the edible flowers.

The lamb carpaccio is also highly recommended and a rare find. Served with a briny combination of olives, peppery arugula, tart sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, black truffle, and topped with a lemon vinaigrette, it’s a worthy opponent to the more traditional beef preparation.

As a premium steakhouse, there are a variety of cuts and a school of fish available, all of which can be made to order.

The filet mignon cooked rare and topped with rich, umami foie gras is tender and sinful. Enjoyed with creamy spinach made with smoked gouda and a double stuffed loaded potato, it’s a dinner fit for a king. 

filet mignon cooked medium rare

The Asian BBQ Yellowfin Tuna served with black rice, crab, and pineapple pico is a robust seafood option. As you feel yourself begin to slip into a well-earned food coma, don’t miss the Family’s Secret Espresso Martini for a delicious wake-up call.

where to eat in Marco Island

If you are looking for a Marco Island steakhouse, this is your spot.

The Oyster Society

599 S. Collier Blvd. #218 // (239) 394-3474

If there’s one restaurant you’ll hear recommended, again and again, it’s The Oyster Society. It seems that one thing everyone here can agree on is that it’s the best restaurant on Marco Island – and they’re absolutely right.

A sister restaurant to Marco Prime, and right next door, Happy Hour specials abound here too, though in a nod to the prohibition-era theme of the restaurant, it’s delightfully referred to as “Social Hour” here. 

If you only try one thing, let it be the Spicy Tuna Bites. Creamy tuna mixed with a spicy aioli is set atop the most delicately fried pieces of sticky rice. Finished with micro herbs and a combination of sweet and spicy sauces, this appetizer hits every note. 

You won’t want to stop there, though. Blue Point Oysters are only $1.50/each during Social Hour, so you can enjoy to your heart’s delight without breaking the bank.

oysters on the half shell over ice

For diners more interested in land-side fare, try the Pork Belly and Tostones. The pork belly is rich but balanced with an herbaceous chimichurri sauce and fresh pico de gallo.

Not offered at happy hour, but worth it, is the Caramelized Spanish Octopus. Served over a white bean salad with smoked pepper vinaigrette, it’s like taking a trip to the Mediterranean before the main course.

Marco Island restaurants

There’s also a decent selection of sushi. Hamachi Crudo is always a home run, and the Surf and Turf roll is a fun departure from the norm. It’s a bit pricey but worth it if you’re looking to splurge.

best Marco Island restaurants

As a fine-dining seafood restaurant in Marco Island, you’ll recognize some staples like Lobster Thermidor, Salmon Oscar, and Ciopinno, but look a little closer, and you’ll discover what makes this place so special. 

Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass is a fun take on this delicate fish. Crushed pistachios generously cover the mild sea bass served over a white bean and shrimp ragout. It’s complex, flavorful, and a fan favorite for good reason. 

The Seared Diver Scallops offer another unique treat, topping butternut squash and mascarpone ravioli with a carrot and beet puree, sprinkled with a vanilla bean beurre blanc. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else.

The Moroccan Lamb Shank with sundried tomato couscous and roasted vegetables is spiced to perfection and a decadent alternative for carnivores.

where to eat on Marco Island

Reservations can and should be made, though keep in mind that Happy Hour is only available first-come, first-served at the bar for all of the Carvelli family restaurants.

Whether you’re looking to indulge in the bounty of seafood a coastal town has to offer or just looking for something you can’t get anywhere else, Marco Island has several of the best places to eat for you.


Which one of these Marco Island restaurants will you try first? Let us know in the comments below!

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Doug Sheroan

Thursday 7th of October 2021

We also recommend cocoons. Everything there is fabulous. The stuffed grouper was my wife's favorite and I completely enjoyed the fried grouper in a panko crust. Sami's was another favorite of ours. I never order spaghetti from a restaurant because ours at home is so good. However after watching it pass our table to other guest. I gave it a try. And easy to say I was definitely not disappointed with the taste or the portion. My wife's chicken parm was enormous and very flavorful. The staff at sami's and cocomo were very friendly and nice to chat with. For the sweet tooth, sweet Annie's has an amazing selection of ice cream and vintage drinks and candies which took me back to my child hood. Word of advice do not order more than 1 scoop unless you are very hungry. The scoop size is easily double anywhere else. We stayed at the jw Marriott and thoroughly enjoyed the staff, accommodations and food there as well. First time to marco, definitely not the last. My wife schedule my stepson and myself a Polaris slingshot rental which was a blast to buzz around the island. Give it a try for a unique way to experience marco

FoodieDG

Monday 21st of June 2021

Update... went to Doreens for breakfast on last day in Marco. In addition to this article, Doreens was recommended by several people. We found it unimpressive and borderline bad. First, cold food turns me off, especially when you have to wait 45 min for it. Also, it was packed. They were not seating tables because the kitchen was so backed up. Despite the fact that most of the tables were empty, it took about 45 min to get a basic breakfast. My husband had 2 eggs over easy with bacon hash browns and a biscuit. Pretty basic, hard to mess up, you'd think. His bacon was burned. Not just crisp, BURNED. I had basic eggs Benedict, nothing fancy, can get this pretty much anywhere they serve breakfast, right? It was nothing special. The eggs were the tiniest eggs I've ever seen, and to add insult to injury, the overcooked yolks were completely cooked thru. My hash browns were cold and tasteless, needed some spices or herbs. I make much better hash browns at home! Then they charged us for a little extra hollandaise. We were not impressed and we wondered if it was the decor that makes the place so popular. When there's a 45 min wait for cold tasteless food you can't help wondering why these places are so highly recommended. I have to say the best and most reasonably priced places we ate at that are both on this list is Snooks, and Sunset Grille at the Apollo condominiums. The Grouper Reuben at Snooks was massive and delicious. Came with salad bar too, so I had to take 1/2 of the sandwich home. And at Sunset Grille I had chicken cordon bleu, suggested by our waiter and it was to die for and a huge portion. My husband had the ribs and he loved them. All the food that passed by looked incredible including a big bacon cheeseburger, all the sandwiches and pasta dishes. I'd definitely eat there if we ever go back. Skip Doreens. Eat at the Empire bagel place, no wait, very fresh and the food looked much better.

FoodieDG

Sunday 20th of June 2021

Take note... Many of these restaurants are super expensive. For instance, Marco Prime's filet mignon option is a whooping $61.00, a-la-carte! The Italian place in the same shopping center is almost $30.00 for lasagna. Didn't eat there, I'm sure it's good, but it better be really special cuz lasagna is mostly pasta. Snooks was really good and more reasonable. Great salad bar and huge sandwiches. Oyster society is extremely expensive. We spent $171.00 on dinner and that did not include a 20% tip. Doreens was recommended to us by several locals, and we will be going there for breakfast on our last day.

Diana

Saturday 29th of May 2021

I would also have included CJ’s on the Bay. They offer indoor or outdoor dining and their food is delicious with views to match

Paddy Miller

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Cocomos has THE BEST blackened grouper sandwich on the island. Ebooks is a rip off. Sunsette grill has the best Philly cheese sandwich on the island.

Joel Krock

Monday 7th of June 2021

@Paddy Miller, never been to Cocomos but Quinns on the beach at the Marriott I believe has a very good blackened Grouper sandwich. I also like Crazy Flomingo for large clam strips. Coming down July 23 till August 6th. Can't wait.

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