Skip to Content

5 Must-try Punta Gorda Restaurants | Punta Gorda, FL

Sharing is caring!

With a population of just 21,079 residents, Punta Gorda is a small city, but don’t let that fool you into thinking its culinary scene is anything short of fabulous. While quaint, Punta Gorda has a vibrant waterfront community with some noteworthy restaurants that are not to be missed. 

Located on Florida’s scenic Gulf Coast, you’re going to find an abundance of fresh seafood at every restaurant. But that’s not all; nearly every restaurant on this list has delicious food accompanied by a waterfront location with spectacular views. 

Whether you’re looking for a casual bite or a fine-dining night out, we’ve got you covered. These restaurants run the gamut from feet-in-the-sand to fancy-schmancy. We hope you enjoy your meal with a famous Florida sunset at one of these must-try restaurants in Punta Gorda. 

5 Must-try Punta Gorda Restaurants

The Captain’s Table

1200 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, 941-637-1177

Located in Fishermen’s Village, The Captain’s Table offers unsurpassed, sweeping views of Charlotte Harbor. Along with stunning sunsets, they offer fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, and other gourmet dishes created by their award-winning chef. 

Their idyllic location makes them the perfect spot to stop and enjoy dinner after a day of shopping. Fishermen’s Village is a great place to snag unique souvenirs to take home. It is your gateway to Southwest Florida and has a motto of dine, stay, shop and play, so expect to do exactly that. 

After a few hours of perusing the quaint shops, we popped into The Captain’s Table for a much-needed refuel. Sitting at a table next to the water, our views of the sunset were nothing short of spectacular. It was one of those cloudless evenings when the sky slowly turned varying shades of orange before the sun sank behind the horizon. 

Watching the magical sunset, we shared several appetizers. Coconut Shrimp is always a must-try for me and it was perfectly crunchy on the outside with just the right hint of coconut. The Thai Calamari was another favorite dish. Tossed in a sweet and tangy Thai sauce, it was both sweet and mildly spicy. 

For dinner, I devoured an incredibly rich and creamy Lobster Ravioli. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of lobster in my ravioli. They were very generous! Our meals were decadent, but we couldn’t leave without sharing some Key Lime Pie and Florida Orange Cheesecake. 

Punta Gorda Restaurants: The Captain’s Table Key Lime Pie


Get my free checklist with 15 tips on how to eat like a real foodie and enjoy an authentic culinary experience!


We respect your email privacy

Perch 360

101 E Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, 941-639-7700

Aptly named for its sweeping 360-degree views of Punta Gorda, Perch 360 is located at the top of The Wyvern Hotel. This boutique hotel is independently owned and showcases art from local artists in its lobby, all of which are for sale. 

Perch 360 strives to offer the highest-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers. They are committed to using the freshest ingredients and even have their own rooftop herb garden. Open all day, they offer both a breakfast menu as well as a dinner one, and will serve you poolside should you wish. 

We decided to start our day here so we could enjoy our breakfast while overlooking downtown Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor. I chose to try their Omelet Brunch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Their Omelets are made custom as you get to build your own. I added spinach, bell peppers and feta cheese. It was the perfect combination. Served with toast and breakfast potatoes, along with a cappuccino, I was ready for a day of sightseeing. 

Perch 360 Omelets

Peace River Seafood

5337 Duncan Rd, Punta Gorda, 941-505-8440

This unique eatery has been made famous by great crabs and great customers. Peace River Seafood is a casual, no-frills, roadside restaurant serving steamed blue crab, shrimp and oysters in a simple setting with an on-site market. 

Locally-sourced seafood comes in daily from Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River. Fresh from the morning, you can’t get seafood much fresher than what you’ll find at Peace River Seafood & Marketplace.

We started our dining experience with their entree called A Night at Whorehouse Point. This consisted of a huge plate of clams, oysters, and shrimp. It was delicious, but my favorite starter was their Clam Chowder. It was Boston style, rich and creamy, and one of the best I’ve ever had. 

Once we finished with our appetizers, they completely cleared the table to get us ready for our main course. You know it’s going to be a fun and messy meal when they cover your entire table with newspaper before serving your food. 

It was blue crab season so we absolutely had to try them. The crab was served whole, with hot butter, fresh corn on the cob, and new potatoes. Yes, they serve the crab whole so you have to dig in, get your hands dirty, and break them open.

Peace River Seafood Crab

Not to worry though, they show you exactly what to do and how to eat your crab. They’ll even do it for you if you’re struggling. The service at Peace River Seafood really is top-notch. 

Stuffed to the gills, but unable to depart without trying the Key Lime Pie, we all shared one so we could get a taste of the rich and tangy dessert. Just a few bites were all I needed to end this perfect meal. 

The Perfect Caper

121 E Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, 941-505-9009

If you’ve had your fill of casual restaurants and are looking for a more refined dining experience, the Perfect Caper is just the spot. In 2002, Jeanie and her husband James opened The Perfect Caper in Punta Gorda, Florida, and it’s been a favorite of the gulf coast for 20 years. 

With more than 30 years of experience in the kitchen, as well as bragging rights after beating Bobby Flay on the popular Food Network show Beat Bobby Flay, Jeanie Roland brings culinary expertise and competitive energy to everything in both the back of the house as well as the front of the house.

We started with the Perfect Caper Paté, consisting of all-natural chicken liver paté served with mission fig-Vidalia onion relish, rustic pear jam, french bread crisps, and caper berries. It was one of the creamiest and most flavorful patés I’ve ever had. We also shared their warm goat cheese and Pork Belly Tacos to start. 

The Perfect Caper Dish

For my main dish, I enjoyed the Faroe Island Salmon with the Perfect Caper House Chop salad and it was an excellent pairing. A few of my friends ordered the Duck a Deux Façons and raved about it. 

While they offer an impressive wine list, I was more intrigued by their bespoke cocktail list. I opted for the Bergamot & Bubbly and it did not disappoint. Give it a try when you visit for a surprisingly strong, yet light and airy drink. 

TT’s Tiki Bar

33 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, 941-637-6770

Enjoy the fresh air along the beautiful Charlotte Harbor at TT’s Tiki Bar. Located behind the Four Points by the Sheraton hotel, they are open for both guests and the public. Offering seating with your toes in the sand, or not, it’s your choice. It’s up to you how casual you want your dining experience. 

Whether it is tropical drinks, beer, wine, or fresh and delicious cuisine, TT’s Tiki Bar has something for you. They have the best location on the water in Charlotte Harbor. Serving up great sunsets, cocktails, top-notch cuisine and Adirondack chairs to kick back and relax. 

Looking to work up an appetite? Play a game or two of volleyball on one of their sand volleyball courts. Staying for the evening? You’re in luck—because TT’s Tiki Bar has Punta Gorda’s best lineup of live entertainment on the weekends.

Since there was a group of us, we ordered several appetizers to share. I loved the fresh guacamole, but the salty pretzel with queso dip was a crowd-pleaser and the clear winner among our group. 

For my main dish, I enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Tropical Rice Bowl, consisting of yellow rice, black beans, mango salsa, pico di Gallo, cotija cheese, cilantro and an avocado cream sauce. Fresh, delicious and filling without being too much, I highly recommend this dish and would definitely order it again. 

TT’s Tiki Bar Ahi Tuna Tropical Rice Bowl

And there you have it, five must-try restaurants in Punta Gorda, Florida. If you’re ever in this area of the Sunshine State, be sure to drop by and check them out. 

Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our other guides:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sonia J

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

Oops, see now that it says "nearly every restaurant" Disregard last comment please.

Sonia J

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

While Perfect Caper in Punta Gorda is one of our favorite restaurants, we sure wish it was located on the water or with a sunset view, but it's not.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.