When visiting the Punta Gorda and Englewood your trip is not complete without trying some of the local foods. Being right on the water, there is an abundance of seafood options, particularly fresh fish and crabs.
The region has many dishes that it is well known for, including collard greens, fried gator and key lime pie, which are worth trying at every restaurant to taste how each recipe differs.
In this post we share the five best restaurants in Punta Gorda and Englewood, FL. Get your taste buds ready for an adventure!
1. Farlow’s On The Water
We went to Farlow’s On The Water for lunch and the patio dining area was absolutely packed with customers. I started off with a mojito cocktail, the best way to cool down from the warm sun.
For appetizers I most enjoyed the Jumbo Caribbean Chicken Wings with a dry Jamaican Jerk rub and the Tuna Nachos, which are actually from the dinner menu. I would have been truly content if just these were my entire meal.
There are so many entree options, it is hard to choose just one. So have everyone in the group pick something they like and share it around the table, family stye. I highly recommend the St. John’s Steak Salad, Honey & Ginger Jerk Chicken Sandwich, and a whole fried fish!
It might be hard to save room for dessert, with all the amazing options, but it is worth it! The warm Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding with vanilla bean ice cream is just over the top.
Location: 2080 S McCall Rd, Englewood, FL 34224
2. Gator Shack Restaurant
At the historic Babcock Ranch you will find the Gator Shack Restaurant. It might not look the fanciest, but its fresh homestyle cooking is some of the best food we had in Punta Gorda.
I had the Hand Breaded Fried Flounder Sandwich, which was cooked to perfection and simply fell apart in my mouth. The Peanut Butter Pie is so dense and creamy it is like an amazing fudge in a pie crust.
Location: 8502 FL-31, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
3. Lock ‘N Key
Across the street from Englewood Beach you will find the Lock ‘N Key restaurant. It is the perfect spot for dinner or drinks in the evening, with live entertainment is five nights a week. The cocktails are strong and flavorful or they have several local beers.
From the specials menu, I had the pan seared Mahi Mahi, topped with sweet chili Thai apricot sauce and macadamia nuts, with a side of sweet potato fries and Jalapeno Creamed Corn.
With the large servings, I could barely finish my dish, with unfortunately no space for dessert.
Location: 2045 N Beach Rd Englewood, FL 34223
4. Beach Road Wine Bar & Bistro
The Beach Road Wine Bar & Bistro is right on the water and has the best view of the sunset while wining and dining. We started off with a cheese platter with a variety of flavors put together by the chef. As a wine bar, I recommend pairing the meal with one of the over 85 different wines in house.
I had the Black Tea Cured Duck Breast with Roasted Cauliflower, Peach Chutney, and Purple Potato Gratin which is a nice mix of sweet and savory with an undertone of smokeyness.
Location: 1350 Beach Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
5. Peace River Seafood
The Peace River Seafood restaurant is most famous for its all you can eat Blue Crab, but they also offer many types of seafood. There is gumbo, fish sandwiches, daily soups, and even a variety platter if you cannot make up your mind!
Honestly, my favorite dish is the house made smoked fish dip and crackers served while you wait for your order to cook. Come ready to get your hand dirty as you dig into these delicious delicacies.
If you like the fresh seafood, make sure to stop by their seafood market on the way out to pick up some fresh clams, shrimp, crabs or fish to cook up at home!
We highly recommend checking out the daily specials at each restaurant to get some of the more unique flavors and combinations created by the chef. It is the best way to taste local foods while enjoying a variety of options.
Weekend in Punta Gorda
If you are looking for more things to do in Punta Gorda, we have also written a complete guide for a guys weekend in Punta Gorda and Englewood. It covers activities anyone can enjoy, but is adventure focused and a trip Steven went on with a group from Men Who Blog.